Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger: A Group A-Inspired Skyline GT-R

When I first met Jun and proposed a Speedhunters features on his BNR32, it was already a fine example of a hard-tuned Skyline GT-R. However, there’s always room for improvement, and before any shoot took place Jun-san wanted to make another round of upgrades to the Nissan.

“Please wait until Wekfest Japan,” he said. “Rest assured, I’m building something very cool.”


I’ll admit, when I next laid eyes on the car after Wekfest in early May this year, it wasn’t immediately obvious what I had been waiting for. At first glance, the silver Skyline looked the same. Or did it…


When Jun-san purchased the GT-R at the ripe old age of 18, he didn’t know much about the world he was getting himself into. It was bought on a whim through an auction house, simply because Jun liked the way it looked.


Over the next while, Jun enjoyed the Skyline in largely the same way he acquired it, but as time went on and he learnt more about the car, the itch to modify grew. Once you start digging around for ways to tune a BNR32, you’ll find a wide community of people with some very good ideas, and this is where things start getting dangerous. Because it’s human nature to want whatever your peers have. Why do you think Tamagochi became so popular?

All of a sudden, Jun-san found himself surrounded by enthusiasts, and he listened carefully to what they had to say. He read tuning magazines and watched YouTube tutorial videos, taking a little bit of information from here and a little bit from there. Ultimately, Jun-san used this knowledge to build a car which, to him, is a melting pot of everything great about the R32 Skyline GT-R.


Indeed it is something special, hence approaching Jun-san with the offer of a Speedhunters feature in the first place. So why had I been asked to hold off on the shoot until after Wekfest Japan?


Well, Jun-san wanted to widened the already factory-widened BNR32 by an extra 30mm per side at the front and 20mm at the rear. I initially missed it, probably because he’s built on the original lines of the Skyline rather than disrupt them. But then I couldn’t un-see the fender work and I love what Jun-san’s done.


The idea behind the widening came naturally. As Jun-san had chiselled away at the Skyline, he found that the effigy emerging was that of a Group A machine for the road. If there’s one way to make a production car more race-car-like, it’s to add some extra visual aggression, and the custom widening certainly does that.


Jun-san may have taken the brief a little too far through, because he turned up to the shoot with 300/680R18 Hankook Ventus F200 slicks wrapped around his 18×11-inch +18 RAYS Volk Racing TE37SLs. Yes, full slicks. On the street.


This meaty wheel and tyre combo coupled with a functional ride height gives the car a squared-off stance that must look terrifying in the rear-view mirror of a kei car.


The interior is simple, stripped-out and very motorsport-like, with just a splash of refinement from what remains of the factory trim. There’s a full roll cage, Bride seats (a wrap-around Gardis III for Jun-san) with TAKATA Racing harnesses, an OMP steering wheel with quick-release extender hub and Stack gauges.


The highlight for me has to be the MoTeC M600 engine management system box mounted on the transmission tunnel, wire conduit connecting it to the engine like the spinal cord of a reptilian-brained beast. It is Godzilla after all.


This leads us to the engine bay, where now resides the holy grail of RB26 engine blocks – the strengthened N1, which was born for Group A racing. But that’s not all.


Jun-san’s N1-block based engine was built by Jing Techno, where we find yet another Group A connection. Hitoshi Maeda, Jing Techno’s founder and CEO, worked as a Group A mechanic during the peak of R32 racing development. Who better then for Jun-san to have assemble the long block for his car. Not with any old parts though.


On top of an HKS 2.8L stroker kit – which includes forged pistons, forged rods and a forged crankshaft – Jun-san’s RB26 features Reinik high lift, 272-degree Group A camshafts, Reinik reinforced valve springs and retainers, and a Reinik Group A oil pump, plus other N1-spec goodies. Reinik, now known as Reimax, was instrumental in the development of the BNR32’s Group A engine for Nissan, and has also built special engines for Nismo.


The real power-making part of the equation, however, is the Garrett-based HKS T04Z ball-bearing turbocharger. With all the supporting mods you’d expect, including a huge front-mount intercooler, high-flow injectors, and a custom 90mm pie-cut titanium exhaust (which sounds superb), Jun-san says the engine develops 655hp.


That’s quite a lot of power for the street, but the Skyline seemed perfectly happy meandering along during the shoot. I couldn’t help but sense it was just gagging for Jun-san to dump the ATS twin-plate clutch and let rip through the Nagao Techno Full Cross close-ratio gearbox. Surely it would have hooked up nicely with those slicks at all four corners.


Stopping the GT-R from high speed would be no problem either, thanks to Brembo F50 front brakes and a Lotus Brembo setup at the rear.


Despite R32s being my favourite of all the Skyline GT-R variants, I don’t shoot nearly enough of them. But I do see plenty out and about on the street and at events, and in my mind Jun-san’s is the best yet.

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_

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yakuza plate is crazy


"1" is a popular number plate with everyone, not just gangsters, so you have to enter a lottery to get it

A Yakuza member who wanted everyone to know would probably get "893" (which is literally Ya Ku Za) or "5910" (which means scoundrel or something like that), but they're a bit too obvious for a real G.

"8008" or "1001" apparently mean Suehiro gari 末広がり "spreading up like an open fan" as a metaphor for "becoming prosperous", which is similar to the idea behind "ascending koi" tattoos. They started from the bottom (feeder) now they're here.

Other numbers you'll see on shady cars are "1111", "7777", and "8888", but they're more likely to just cut you off, than actually cut you

I personally only worry about cars with a single digit "8" on them


Can you explain?

Daniel Huneault

8 - special purpose vehicle


The 18th photo is how to shoot the interior as cool and informative as possible. Beautifull!


The execution on the widebody is superb! Absolutely fenomenal.
Plays really well with those fat 18 inch wheels.


Close to perfect (my) R32.


Now this is my idea of a stanced R32. Built for the track to be functional but just so happens to look breathtaking while doing so. The Reinik RB and the Stack cluster really bring that Group A vibe.


Now that is some good widening instead of ugly riveted overfenders! Beautiful car!


Boot clips - stuck on with what? Double-sided tape?
And yet the bracket holes are still there....


Great build. Almost polar opposite to my old R32 GTR but absolutely love it. Would be an experience driving this, a rewarding one.


My favorite Speedhunters photographer, and Skyline, the R32! A legendary combo.


It really is refreshing to see a widened car that doesn’t have screwed on plastic fender flares or overfenders. I understand that people do it because they lack the skills and equipment to do something like this car, but it really is a tiresome trend and this is just so much more visually appealing. It is a beautiful car