’70s Body, ’90s Heart: A Real Deal Kenmeri
A Japanese Legend

Nissan Skylines from the 1970s are cool. Iconic, legendary, beautiful – sexy even. Today, Hakosukas and Kenmeris are universally loved and appreciated, and considered dream cars by folks the world over.


But it wasn’t always like this, at least not outside of Japan.


It’s not like these models are newcomers to the classic car world though. The Hakosuka and Kenmeri have been out there on the roads and race tracks of Japan building their legend for several decades, but it really wasn’t until the last several that their popularity (and values) have skyrocketed internationally.

Vintage Skylines are definitely the ‘in’ car right now, but back in 2006 things were a little different. That was the year Patrick Soliman took ownership of his 1973 Skyline 2000 GT-X. It was a funky old car that had already been in the United States for a while at that point.


At the time a vintage Skyline wasn’t quite the status symbol it is today; instead it was a cult machine, and the car that Patrick bought was far from a cherry.


It had been heavily modified by its previous owners and even had an SR20DET swapped in at some point. Whatever the case, it needed a lot of work.


But as you can see, Patrick’s goal was never to restore the Kenmeri back to its factory specs. Instead, he decided this would be the perfect car to transform into a one-of-a-kind vintage JDM street machine.


Serving in the United States Navy, Patrick was stationed in Japan for a couple years and that’s where he was exposed to the radical kyusha that fill up highway parking areas every weekend.


Capturing that authentic look was one of his big goals when he began the Kenmeri project.


But he didn’t just want something that looked special, he wanted to give the Skyline plenty of attention under the hood as well. In Patrick’s mind, the car needed the power to back up its aggressive styling.

RB Or Bust

There were various routes he could have gone, sticking with the SR20 the previous owners had swapped or even reverting back to a carbureted L-series setup for that true old school vibe. But Pat had his sights set on something different.


He wanted the heart of a 1990s Skyline GT-R – the legendary RB26DETT – not just for the power but for that unmistakable inline-six turbocharged sound. For him, it was the ultimate upgrade for the vintage Nissan.


But rather than just dropping in a stock RB26 and calling it a day, the R33 GT-R engine in Pat’s car has been upgraded with a large Precision single turbo conversion with a host of supporting modifications, and a custom engine management system.


Altogether the setup is good for over 550 horsepower at just under 8,000rpm – impressive numbers for a full-weight R33 with all-wheel drive grip, but downright crazy in a much lighter, rear-drive Kenmeri.


The gearbox is an RB25DET 5-speed with an OS Giken clutch, and the turbocharged power reaches the ground through a Z31 R200 LSD differential with a 3.70 final.

Of course, you just can’t add that kind of power and call it a day, so Pat also added custom coilovers all around, T3 trailing arms and a four-wheel disc brake conversion to help bring it all to a stop. The custom coilovers also give the Kenmeri that all-important shakotan stance.

The Journey Continues

As for the body, Patrick fitted a set of works-style fender flares and a front chin spoiler from Restored.jp, as well as a GT-R front grille.


Then he had the whole car repainted in Matador Red from Toyota’s color palette.


And sitting beneath those flares are custom re-barreled Hayashi Techno Phantom wheels measuring 15×10-inch in the front and 15×12-inch in the rear with sticky Toyo R888s at each corner.

Inside you’ll find an interior that’s been tastefully modified with a pair of vintage Recaro seats mounted on custom rails, a Nardi steering wheel and a set of Auto Meter gauges to ensure the RB26 is running smoothly.


Despite the progress he’s made on the car over the last decade, Patrick says the Kenmeri will never be finished. Whenever time and budget permit, there’s always more that can be done. Anyone who has ever taken on a project like this should know his thinking all too well.


In any case, Patrick’s Kenmeri has the looks, the horsepower and most importantly – the authenticity. Even with the ever-increasing number of classic Skylines on North American roads, those attributes easily put this machine at the top of the group.


If this car ever made it back to Japan and rolled up at Daikoku Parking Area on a Friday night it wouldn’t just fit in, it would be the talk of the whole place. And when it comes to a retro Japanese machine it doesn’t get much more legit than that.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia

Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto

Patrick Soliman’s 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-X

Nissan R33 GT-R RB26DETT swap, rear oil sump, custom crossmember, Hybrid Performance turbo manifold, Precision Turbo 6262 dual ceramic ball-bearing turbocharger, 46mm wastegate, 50mm TiAL blow-off valve, 850cc injectors, AEM 320lph fuel pump, NGK Iridium spark plugs, Nismo fuel pressure regulator, Griffin dual-pass radiator, Spal fan, custom intercooler, 3-inch exhaust with dual-outlet muffler, MicroTech LT-16 engine management, GReddy manual boost controller

Nissan RB25DET 5-speed manual transmission, custom trans mount, OS Giken dual-disc clutch, Wilwood master cylinder, Nismo slave cylinder, custom one-piece driveshaft, Z31 R200 limited slip differential with 3.70 final drive

Suspension & Brakes
Custom front coilovers with Eibach springs, Tein camber plates, Techno Toy Tuning adjustable trailing arms, custom-mounted QA1 rear coilover shocks with Eibach springs, Datsun 280ZX vented front rotors, Datsun 200SX rear discs

Wheels & Tires
Custom-sized Hayashi Techno Phantom wheels 15×10-inch (front) 15×12-inch (rear) Toyo Proxes R888 tires 225/50R15 (front) 235/50R15 (rear)

Works-style flare kit & front lip from Restored.jp, GT-R grill, Toyota Matador Red paint

Recaro seats, custom rails, Sabelt harnesses, Nardi steering wheel, vintage Nismo horn button, Auto Meter Ultra-Lite gauges, Razo pedals

More Kyusha related stories on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor


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I'm surprised that anyone can make $9248 

in four weeks .................



El Mirage?


This is rad.
Thanks Larry!


These images...
Larry You are a Master!


Great Photos and story. Congrats on the feature Patrick!


Brilliant photos, those tail lights in the sunset...WIN


Spanksy Thank you! This was shot during sunrise.


elertsmartins Thank you. It was a fun shoot for sure.


Thank you Mike and Larry for the awesome article! I have been following Speedhunters since the beginning. It is an honor to see my car on your websight. Now I can check it off my bucket list.


drooling over the pics, although gotta be honest, the over fenders on this specific mod don't do it for me, but hey, & don't get me wrong..."beauty lies in the eye of the beholder" - so as always, great stuff & the read is epic too, keep it up


Damn, Larry....you really bring out the SoCal sky in your photos. Thank you for the new desktops :)


15×10-inch (front) 15×12-inch (rear) with tires 225/50R15 (front) 235/50R15 (rear)... what the f_ck!? Seriously, why buy wheels that wide if you're going to use (dangerously) small tires?



Larry man, these images are epic!! I guess the early bird catches the worm...


370 Hemi It's all about the #stretchlife


the life being lived here... I want it.


More proof that Speedhunters needs to include a short video clip with each post. I bet this car sounds gorgeous.


Awesome! This is one of the cooler cars I have seen on SH in a while. Interesting choice to retain the six ITB plenum with the bigger single, but I suppose that helps with a bit of mid-range and transient boost response.
Also, not overly familiar with MicroTech EMS, so off I go to do some reading!


Damn, even a Star Road signature!


Ya, but with 550hp....talk about sketchy. That thing is a death trap. A stunningly beautiful, expertly executed one...but a death trap none the less.
I love the build, but I'd much rather see it on a practicle, aggressive racecar/track day stance, complete with some legit, meaty rubber.
Still, it's a amazing car.


Stance like the green Escort from a few posts back. BOOM, perfection! But that's just my taste :)


running open turbine. Straight reckless.


Well that's by desktop backgrounds sorted for the next 12 months! Great work Larry and Mike.


Twitch_6 These days, with the way rubber technology has evolved, arguing about stretched tires being dangerous is nearly irrelevant. For example, I daily drive a 05 GTO putting down well over of 400hp on concave 10” wide 19s on 225s. I drive my car like I stole it every day and it sees north of 120mph multiple times a week. And frankly it handles, grips and stops better than it did when it was set up in a more performance focused matter with staggered 19s and running 245f/275r tires.

When I decided to “retire” the car and stop racing, and focus more on looks, I was very apprehensive about poking the wheels and stretching the tires, but frankly, after dialing in the suspension and a lot of measuring, I have to admit it’s better that before by a lot. Now  I’m sure if I had more meat to take advantage of the fully adjustable suspension and big as 6 piston front, and 4 piston rear brembos; it would be mind blowing. But as it sits now it’s pretty impressive for a 3800lbs RWD car on 225/40/19 tires.


ryukyustriker And on a dusty dry lake bed no less. He uses this as a commuter car too if you believe it or not.


ryukyustriker even a hairnet would help!


like April replied I cannot believe that some one can earn $7119

in 4 weeks ...................



These have a special space in my heart and this one is really nice. First i thought it was a Rocky road-deal, a R32 with GC110 panels but this is truly the real deal. Bought my R32 a year ago to fit a Kenmeri body, or rather panels, to it, all panels are available in CF and/or FRP but couldnt find the roof so it was a no go for me, didnt want the struggle to get windshield, rear hatch, door all right and shape the roof myself.


davidfryklind Why not start with a Kenmeri? Unless you are looking for a prohibitively expensive real S20-powered GTR, 2000GT-Xs like this are pretty affordable in Japan.


Larry Chen ryukyustriker Boss level 1!


bluestreaksti ryukyustriker He needs a soba strainer, that's what they do in Japan lol


Turbology It's always a debated topic, to keep the 6 throttles or go single. One I'll be having soon too...


xrockonx Cars like these deserve full video features! Larry, get your car reviewing gloves on!


dadecode Twitch_6 Another long debated topic. It comes down to preference of looks, but to call it a deathtrap is a slight overreaction


Thank you Larry for the opportunity to be on Speedhunters, it is truly a dream come true. Been a fan of since the beginning.  I gotta see your Z or cruise out sometime.


2015 TACOMA double cab 4X4 V6. 13,700 miles. $28,900. Loaded with options. Call ...more Joine now ****----------> ᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵhttp://www.daily.jobs14.ℂℴℳᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ


what Ralph answered I didnt know that anybody can get paid $6830

in 1 month on the computer . 

i was reading this>>>>>>              http://tinyurl.com/youtube-have-jobs


what Ralph answered I didnt know that anybody can get paid $6830

in 1 month on the computer . 

i was reading this>>>>>>              http://tinyurl.com/youtube-have-jobs


Am I the only one that chooses which features to read not based on the car, but based on seeing Larry Chen's name on the photos? 

Awesome feature.


speedhunters_dino let me know if you want me to connect you with Ariel at Custom Plenum Creations, he is a good buddy of mine! ;)


like April replied I cannot believe that some one can earn $7119

in 3 weeks .............

see more details http://www.cashpro3.com/


All fair points. I just relate to where I live I guess, and the roads around here, and that car would not survive...nore would the passengers.
On the main highways, regular traffic cruises at about 110-120km/h. On the "Coke" (basically a freeway), average speeds are 120-140. And these roads are not straight by any sense of the imagination. At 130km/h, this car going through a significant compression, while turning, would be very sketchy.
Things only get worse as you go onto the single lane highways and B roads. Speeds are lower, but surface changes, elevation changes, rises, compressions, cambered corners....our regular roads here are like a WRC rally stage.
Driving this car at anything but grandma pace, or with the driver completely on his toes, would be the only way to get from A to B.
I guess this just speaks to the fact that we live in different realities...but I feel like people in major cities like LA or Tokyo live in these weird bubbles. They can get away crazy modifications because they don't really have to "drive" their cars...even if they are daily drivers.


I am inspired that anyone can earn $7391

in 3 weeks ......................



Gorgeous! You should definitely consider including a 10/20 second videoclip with just a passing of each of the cars you journal so we could cry in joy with the sound of them!


From one veteran to another, thank you for your service, Pat. The car looks amazing


my Aunts Mackenzie just got a new black Infinity 
G Convertible ISL only from part-time off a ----
see more...........................http://www.fox-88.com/


I am shocked that you can get paid $8264 

in a few weeks ..............................

more details              https://qr.net/2dNyvp


PatrickSoliman Thanks for letting us shoot it!


PatrickSoliman Thanks for letting us shoot it!


2tan My head was spinning like crazy as it was just trying to get these shots. I need more help to do video properly.


Reggiex_x thanks brother!


my Aunty Victoria just got a fantastic cream Audi A6 ......................




my dads buddy recently bought a fantastic yellow Toyota 
Camry just by part-time work from---------
see more..........................http://www.fox-88.com/


Larry Chen 2tan : Just do a quick video of the car starting up, reving and then passing by.
Quick edit on vegas and slap it on youtube! Post here also. Million views guarantee and our pleasures fulfilled. :D (i can give you help on the editing part if you ever need)
Love your work and thank you for it!


Awesome pictures as usual Larry... And that cherry color *.*


I'm amazed that anyone able to earn $9289

in  weeks ................



Twitch_6  I will concede to the city verse B road, or Western/well developed countries verses more rural, or run down urban countries. I wouldn't even run a stiff, coil over suspended car in a place like Eastern Europe or SE Asia for example. Never mind with stretched tires and crazy offsets. I like to drive first, profile second. If the environment wont allow me to run my car hard, I would be forced to adapt.


my best frend got a nearly new yellow BMW 6 Series Convertible

by .................. http://tinyurl.com/youtube-have-jobs


Amazing set of photos Larry!


That's a bit of a trek if you ask me