The Ultimate Interior Upgrade Continues On Project 33
To Review

It’s been over nine months since my last post on Speedhunters where I gave you a glimpse into my R33 GT-R’s interior modernization project, but now there’s a lot more to share.

To summarize, my friend Cesar in Mexico had handcrafted a bespoke interior for my car, covering all plastic parts with genuine, high grade leather. Even though he had sent all the parts back to me in Japan, the next step was to find someone to install the larger pieces that I could not, while further upgrading and modernizing the interior.

Now, as any gear-head knows, projects sometimes take an unexpectedly long time to finish, and more so when you’ve left your beloved in the hands of a true artist. For me, the artist in question this time around was Nakamura-san of Worx Auto Alarm, someone widely acknowledged as one of the best GT-R car alarm specialists in Japan. He himself is a total gear-head who prefers the R33 GT-R out of all the RB26 GT-Rs, but actually rolls around in highly modified Chevy Chevelle wagon.

You may have already seen Dino’s post on an LED light upgrade that Nakamura-san did for Project GT-R, and with a demonstrated amazing OCD-level of work quality and a stellar reputation, I felt very comfortable leaving my GT-R with him for what I expected to be a few weeks. The job would involve installing the largest part of the bespoke custom leather re-trim – namely the dashboard (and center console), which I had arranged to be sent directly to Nakamura-san from Mexico, along with an upgraded alarm and stereo. It sounds pretty straightforward and quick, right? Well…

Seems Like A Simple Plan

About a month after my first interior upgrade post I headed over to Worx in Chiba Prefecture, on the other side of Tokyo Bay from where I live in Yokohama.

Prior to this I installed the easy stuff myself – specifically the new leather covered door cards (with Alcantara-lined map pockets) and the rear seat side panels. They’re bespoke and beautiful, but are not factory perfect, and I like it that way. If you look at the first photo you can see the results of the DIY sound deadening efforts I did several years ago, which I had thought turned out pretty good.

nakamura-inspection copy

Upon my arrival at Worx, Nakamura-san immediately inspected Cesar’s handiwork, which included a sniffer test. “Smells like a Bentley,” he said with a grin, “not the artificial leather smell of most modern cars.” It’s not surprising given that Cesar used automotive grade Cardinal series leather from Wildman & Bugby in the UK.


As I showed Nakamura-san all of the leather-covered interior parts from Cesar, we also discussed what other items I wanted to install while he had my GT-R in his care. Likely due to the sudden increase in popularity of the RB26 GT-Rs, thefts of these cars have seen a sharp rise here in Japan, and as my old Clifford alarm had recently conked out, a state-of-the-art custom security system installed by the best in the business seemed like the right thing to do. It made even more sense given Nakamura-san would be replacing the dashboard anyway, and further to this I decided to have him update my circa 2006 Pioneer navigation/stereo deck and speakers with something a bit more modern.

An Artist Must Not & Cannot Be Rushed

When a couple of months had passed and my inquiries with Nakamura-san were only being met with “don’t worry, I’m working on it” and “I have to fix many things,” I started to get worried. So, on a free weekend day I dropped by find out exactly what was going on. On arrival I found my car safely tucked away in Nakamura’s US-style air-conditioned garage/workshop/man cave.


A quick look revealed that the leather on the doors was still looking, feeling and smelling great…


But inside, things had gotten serious. After taking it apart piece by piece, Nakamura-san was meticulously cataloging what he deemed was wrong with the car, beginning with the insane amount of wiring simply stuffed under the front passenger footwell carpet and behind the instrument panel. Apparently this is something he sees a lot of.


What a mess; I can’t believe this was work done in Japan! Then again, the place where I had the original install done was a big automotive parts chain store. Lesson learned.


It wasn’t just the navigation system that was cause for headache either. Nakamura-san claimed that the original installer of my Clifford alarm had also taken several short cuts, and that the install was unacceptable from a security standpoint. Given what the old alarm had cost me I was surprised and not happy to hear this, but since he’s the expert and I’m a DIYer, I wasn’t about to disagree. As I was about to receive a new alarm, what happened in the past was now irrelevant anyway.

Satisfied with the progress and with a promise from Nakamura-san that he’d send me update photos as he made more progress, I took my leave to let the artist work his magic.

So Much To Do… Oh & Let’s Also Fix The Audio

A few more weeks passed by, and as I hadn’t heard much I contacted Nakamura-san again. He claimed the reason why the work on my car was taking so long was because he had decided to redo all the non-OEM wiring he came across that did not meet his standards. Essentially, that was all the aftermarket wiring, be it installed by other tuners or myself in the past. Nakamura-san also sent me several photos to point out how bad my DIY electrical work was, which of course I am too embarrassed to publish here. Suffice to say, every time he’d remove and fix something, he’d send a message begging me not to touch the wiring ever again.

junk taken off copy

My GT-R is pretty noisy, which means I’m not too fussed when it comes to the audio side of things. I wasn’t expecting much work on this front, and in fact, I was perfectly happy with the inexpensive Pioneer speakers I had installed myself several years before, along with that aforementioned DIY sound deadening. But my amateur efforts were obviously not good enough, because Nakamura-san also went ahead and removed everything I had installed and replaced it with the best stuff from StP.


Nakamura-san also upgraded the speakers, fitting Morel Tempo Ultra components up front and doing away completely with the 6.5-inch Pioneers in the rear deck, as he deemed them unnecessary. The Morels were surprisingly inexpensive, and an aftermarket amplifier was apparently not necessary either; Nakamura-san simply added a capacitor to the head unit (along with a custom fusebox in the trunk). Without an auxiliary amp, I honestly wasn’t expecting much in terms of sound quality, but I was pleasantly proven wrong. Nakamura-san also chose to install StP’s polyethylene-based damping material (for both sound and heat), and used foam around the speakers themselves.


This is how sound deadening should be done.


The backside of the front door cards show evidence of some TLC too. It had never occurred to me before that this area really requires dampening material as well.

Done, Finally…For Now…

After several more months of email exchanges and phone calls, Nakamura-san finally got in touch to say my car was all done and ready to be picked up. I hitched a ride with Dino and in a flash we were back at Worx.


Four generations of GT-Rs, plus my R33 and Dino’s R34 – this shows how in demand Nakamura-san is.


As we pulled up, the artist was busy making some last-minute refinements.


In this case, he was installing the custom-made lower center console that allowed my GT-R to graduate from a 1DIN stereo to a 2DIN unit – something that opens up many options for onboard navigation units. You can also see that in addition to the 2DIN navigation unit, Nakamura-san had the A-pillars modified to incorporate the Morel tweeters, and all finished in a light grey Alcantara to match the OEM headliner.


It’s might be a controversial mod for some, but the HVAC unit, previously located directly under the three auxilary gauges, has now been relocated to below the 2DIN Pioneer AVIC-CZ900-M CyberNavi unit where the ashtray and cigarette lighter used to be positioned. Readers with an eye for detail may notice the two small problems I immediately spotted, and it’s not the choice of J-pop music being played…


Did I mention the state-of-the-art alarm? At this point Nakamura-san was adjusting how long the new onboard video camera records for after various sensors detect suspicious movement.


The view from the driver’s seat. Sharp eyed-readers will spot three problems immediately – Nakamura-san is OCD-level obsessive, but so am I and it’s all about personal taste. These three things along with the two mentioned before may serve as the genesis for a third instalment of this interior upgrade series. Hint: the instrument panel surround was not the same one that came off my car…


Nakamura-san was apologetic that he couldn’t get these real carbon-layered inner door handle scoops, which were custom made in a matte finish by fellow R33 GT-R owner Marc at Xclusiv Carbon, installed in time.


Nakamura-san claimed he also could not fit the center coin tray (with the GT-R logo), also carbonized by Marc, because the leather on the center console was now causing clearance problems. But that’s okay, this leaves me some work to do.


So in addition to the scraped-off sound deadening (and trunk-fitted Alpine subwoofer I had installed myself years before), all of this wiring was removed from the car.


These wires and parts weighed at least 10kg.

steeringwheel copy

I love how the new red stitching on the edge of the dashboard gives the interior a bit of character. I now wonder if I should have the steering wheel redone to match…

wideview finished copy

And from afar; the combination of the leather, relatively subtle red stitching and the upgraded navigation unit really changes the character of the car – and for the better. The stereo now sounds pretty good (at least when playing my favorite music, i.e. hits of the ’80s), and I can sleep much better at night knowing that my car is protected as well as it can be.

But am I done? Unfortunately, no. As many of you will have no doubt experienced, working with an artist can be tricky. While their creativity is to be cherished, they sometimes lose sight of what the task at hand is and go overboard, and some of them even choose to make, in good faith, decisions by themselves that do not align with the parameters of their task. So while I was thrilled to finally get my car back in October and generally happy with the work Nakamura-san did – especially the cleaning up – I have been spending my free time over the few months since making a few adjustments.

I suspect many of you will have comments that align with my thoughts on what needs to be done next, and I welcome them all below.

Aki Itoh
Instagram: aki_itoh

Additional Photos by Dino Dalle Carbonare

Project R33 stories on Speedhunters



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My god that leather interior is incredible! Gotta love the OCD, has a mind of it's own. The quality of his craftsmanship is stellar, something incredibly rare to find here in the US. Very nice update.


Thanks Matthew! Yep I have no qualms about the leatherwork, and the smell alone is fabulous! I have to figure out next how to tackle the seats, I love the cloth actually but some leather there might be proper next step...


Good toughts about the leather seats, but if i can give you a tip, don't go for Full leather seats. My friend's GTR33 got the original GTR seats re-upholstered with leather all over, and we are sliding in the seats from side to side in the corners (on street, not even on trackday!).


Laszlo, that's exactly what the Nissan guys told me when I asked them why the car didn't originally come with leather seats. "racing cars don't have leather seats" if I recall correctly lol. The goal here will be upgrade but not take away the original character of the seats. And yes have already plans for how to do this... stay tuned!


Sliding around is one reason for the cloth seats... Heat radiance and sweat absorption, and allowing your back, butt and back of your legs to breathe, is another. Give this some serious thought.




So what's on the horizon for Project R33? Really hoping to see another update, Project R33 and Dino-san's Project R34 are 70% of the reason I come to speedhunters page any more. The rest is for the other projects and Time attack coverage.


ALL PRAISE CESAR! The leather work is just beautiful. Both of you did a great job designing the layout of leather, alcantara and red stitching, it looks OEM in the best way possible!

Thanks Aki for the great write-up, I actually happened to read your blog yesterday so I was curious to see the shots of the interior. Of course the leather looks absolutely amazing but I have to admit to being a bit baffled at a couple of the choices Nakamura-san made. That whole center plastic piece is disappointing with the Carbon fiber gauge surround, the different OEM plastics plus the loose fitment of the Navi just makes the whole thing look cheap, which is just a horrible thing to say about your interior!

Also, those tweeters look like they belong about 10 inches lower unless you want your right eye getting all the good tunes...


Sam - yep Cesar is truly fantastic, I cannot be happier with the final result of the leather work. As you say, I was baffled too, for exactly the same parts... and more, as you will see in my next post (and probably in m blog too).

To be honest, as you say the tweeters are misplaced as you say - not necessarily height-wise but the sound stage is too far in front of the driver/front passenger, so unless you drive with your head about 10 inches forward from the rest of your body, you fail to enjoy the true sound the Morel tweeters can generate...


Aki Itoh- Part of me wonders if Nakamura-san saw all that incredible leather work and decided to try and one-up Cesar-san in his own special way...


I LOVE THIS SERIES. Gives me so much inspiration. Please keep this going. I fail to see the small issues you have with the interior. it looks great to me. But i dont drive your vehicle as much, and wouldnt notice the details as well.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I cannot wait for the next installment.


Hi Miguel

Thanks for your comment! Love the feedback. But to me, just like detailing the exterior of a car, it's all in the details. I think you will be surprised in my next post what I end up doing to rectify what I consider the details.


After further review, i should have noticed the mis matched console pieces , and gauge cluster overlay. I thought they looked odd but didnt want to be the first person to point them out. Cant wait for the next installment.


Yep, currently fixing this as well as several other things. Hope to have the next post up soon! Thanks again Miguel.


First off - incredible car. We don't have 'em, and this is my favorite generation. Beautiful.

Second, and I hate to say it, but - the gray Alcantra may not have been the best choice. It's great for headliners and pillars where dust and detritus typically does not collect, but it'll look perpetually slightly scruffy, especially in medium grey.

Third - his wiring work is impeccable, and the man truly is an artiste when it comes to sound deadening.

Overall - wonderful thread and stunning car.


Yep, the gray Alcantara was something I pushed back on, but got installed that way nevertheless. I have plenty of dark gray Alcantara left over from the glovebox and the inside of the center console, however, which I may use to redo those A-pillars. Thanks for the comment!


Like Sam, I was curious to see the picture of interior after reading your last post on your blog somedays ago.
Now I can understand what upset you. Those are clean parts but they simply didn't match with the rest of the work.
May be the more capable the "pros" are (and often costly too ) the more that kind of "details" seems unbearable.
Honestly, even if I had the budget and someone who could do it within reach, I'm not sure that I'll do the same on mine (ok, after a second broken motor, I'm already happy to be able to drive it again but that's another story).

P.S.: Am I the only one to have trouble to connect with my facebook account?


Hi Joachim, yeah well it's been an educational experience for me as well. Pros that have technical capacity are one thing, but those who have different taste are another. In any case, I'm moving on now and doing what I can to change things to my liking, as you will soon see. (And not sure about your FB account...sorry)


Beautiful work Aki. Was concerned that appearance wise you would more too far from original - but you nailed it retaining the appearance but massively improve the quality of the interior. Just made the 33 (best of all RB GTR’s in my eyes) even better!


Thanks Mr. GTRBOB! It's improved yes but it's all in the details for me, so you can look forward to another post where many of these details are addressed...


Final result looks amazing and is a fantastic modern update for the interior! However, as good as you claim Nakamura-san to be (and I don't doubt judging by the wiring) the fact he didn't complete the job, after such a long time, irritates me somewhat. Anyway, I'm sure it will all work out in the end.


Thanks Mat! Luckily I have the IS-F for my daily, but not having the GT-R around for over 6 months was, as you say, irritating to say the least, especially as I can't see how all that time was actually needed for Nakamura-san to actually do the work he did. But, whatever, car is back in my hands now so....


When I saw that first picture, I nearly had a heart attack, seeing the interior in such dismal shape, thinking it was gonna be stripped out. But later on seeing the overhaul calmed me down. And I want to know why you ended up removing the trunk subwoofer? I would have assumed you were gonna incorporate it into the new system.


Believe me, I was surprised too, the custom enclosure, 10 inch Alpine and matching Alpine amp was thrown out without my knowledge. And despite the Morels having pretty good low end punch, it doesn't sound quite as crisp and clear down low as it used to. So, yeah, I'll have to go and fix this problem soon...


So I assume you'll be finding a sub and amp and just add it on?


No Terry, that would be too easy! I'll give you a hint - with the R35 brakes on my car, I can't use the temp spare tire now...


Custom enclosure/low profile sub/amp box in the spare tire cavity?


I am not the kind of person who would invest in a super-nice interior, but wow, this is really something else. I get it now.


Thanks! However, I'm not done - not only are there things that need to be fixed after what Nakamura-san did, but things he did NOT touch, I am working on...

George Drakoulas

Aki, such an amazing effort put into this car, every time I see updates I keep writing down ideas for my own. Love it!


Thanks George!! Appreciate the kind words!


I love stripped out interiors as much as the next guy, but damn that looks sweet!
And about the thefts, are they really that big in Japan?



Oh yes, we are seeing quite an increase recently. No doubt the battered up one for parts (here AND overseas), the clean ones for resale outside of Japan even some that are likely "stolen to order."


Oh that is sad...the demand for these has skyrocketed and with USA opening the floodgates within the next 4-5 years, I'm pretty sure that these will be even dearer in Japan haha.
Also, aren't the police very effective in Japan?


Yep, lots of owners now are taking security a bit more seriously now here. Alarms, attack dogs, etc. lol.

As for the Japanese police, it's not like they have anything better to do, however, the focus hasn't been on the relatively few (up until now) stolen cars which might otherwise be found on the touge and the Wangan at extra-legal speeds lol.


Loving the upgrades and the attention to detail! SH can never have enough tech articles or coverage on GD-arrghhh's! *Dino will get this joke lol


Dom, the OZ accent? He's doing it all the time. Hope to see you at TAS.


Daaaamn, It's so nice even a dead man would scream!! ;)


LOL Rolf, who are you really, a certain Mr. Tsuchiya? Thanks for the comment!


Thank god we finally got some R33 GT-R updates! Specifically, a car which is actually driven on the road!

Please, please keep the updates coming. I think the double din and hvac unit being moved as they have been us the change all R33’s should have come with from the factory - it is a cleaner solution and less clutter is to be applauded.

I love the stitching you’ve had done - the subtlety of it yet the nod to the original is beautifully judged.

I can see the areas you’d want to change. Perhaps the next stage is to embrace the satin finish we see on dry carbon and let that be adopted by interior panels in future which appears to be what you’ve aimed for with the coin tray and other bits. Could this be a change in fashion? Super cars employ dry carbon in the interiors whereas aftermarket cars have glossy items - your car is one of the first i’ve seen with the satin dry carbon style finish.

Keep it coming - more updates please.


Hey CJ - you have a very sharp, yet discerning eye! Yes, subtle stitching, in the right color, and not too much! You like the satin (matte) finish of the carbon? I agree I don't like the gloss look especially in the interior and hence was trying to go for that . Hats off again to Marc Binet at Xclusive for a great job on those parts. Not sure what other pieces I should go for, a full carbon interior might not be too OEM looking lol.

Thanks as always for your comment!!


WOW....I am proud of I own my BCNR33 !!


Me too Chris! We BCNR33 owners need to stick together!


Great writing as always :)
I really love the modernized look of the interior, the stitches really make it look R35ish. Doing the math in my head your car was away for several months?! Holy **** you have to be a very patient man. I’m very curious about the two things here and three things there that need to be changed now. And I love how subtle you express your - let’s say criticism or maybe a „space for improvement due to different opinions“
More please


Thanks Andreas! Well in the meantime I had gotten a new job so it wasn't always sitting around for the car to be done.

And mind you, I am VERY happy to have a state of the art alarm system fitted to the car, as well as the all the wiring clean up! As for yes how things could have been done better - I think it's basically two people with OCD not being able to agree on small details, but hopefully I will be able to show you on my next post here on SH what I mean by "small details"!


Regarding the alarm system - in my research I have found that a transponder immobilizer and GPS tracker is realistically the best solution. The former discourages casual theft, alarms don't really help in most places as people usually ignore them. The latter deters serious theft (flatbed) as you usually have some time to track down the car.


Yep. Of course I'm not going to publish exactly what anti-theft features the car now has, suffice to say that it should be more than enough....


That looks amazing. That's a lot of wiring....

The interior door grip would compliment nicely in carbon ;P

As always awesome update with a stellar eye for perfection.


Thank you as always Ibo for the kind words and support! Interior door grip? You mean on the driver's side?


On driver side the cover piece, on the passanger the handle. Especially the passenger side has that wierd fake leather touch to it...

But your interior looks so mint now... bit of envy coming throu :D


Ibo - I thought about it actually. But if you take a close look, the rough black plastic on the driver's door is mirrored on the main dash surround, all the way down to the shifter panel. So, in effect the rough black plastic surrounds the driver. To add carbon there would break that up, I think.

As for the passenger handle... well, that is all real leather now. But yeah that weird fake leather was indeed strange.

If you look closely, the car now has the carbon on the 1) each pull handle cup on each door, 2) the passenger power window switch, 3) the gauge surrounds - both the main gauges and the 3 subgauges, and 4) the center coin tray area. Anything else that could be done without unbalancing the subtle nature of the upgrades?

Whatever ideas you have, I am all ears!! Thanks Ibo again!


Yes, keeping the theme with the main dash makes perfectly sense. And you're absolutely right. Taught a lot about making the whole main dash cover in carbon but i have a feeling it would be too much.

Didn't even notice the handle was rewarped, and I just saw the pockets of the doors are in alacantara. So much going on, it takes a few views to get everything :)

Also just noticed the passanger window button surround in carbon...

I think you're pretty much point on with your dash....

The plastic door sills in carbon, with the knobs and levers of the seats in carbon, plastic seat covers warped in alacantara,... I have ideas,... in fact too many that I can never decide :D And the grill in the dash near the windshield in carbon would probably look good too, though wouldn't go glossy because refelctions...

But seriously, it's so tidy and neat your interior. Not a lot to be added. Enjoy your new workspace :D ;)


I can understand your frustration and disappointment Aki but it’ll come good in the end pal. I believe we share the same thoughts on mods and to me, the perfect mod is one that is subtle enough that you don’t know it’s a mod at all. Ok, don’t look at the outside of my car with that quote in mind! ;)


Matt, thanks as always for being a friend! To be honest, I think the issue was, perfection (for me) was SO close and yet the focus wasn't on that, it was on other stuff. Which, mind you, I'm happy to have in retrospect. But, these minor issues come with GTR ownership I guess, and further give me incentive to keep going on this never ending journey... speaking of which, YOUR car really needs to be featured on Speedhunters...


I'll be watching, as always, to see how you progress with these minor upsets and improve your car yet again Aki.
My car was once featured on Speedhunters btw, it made a guest appearance (on axle stands with no engine) back in 2009 when they visited TR Racing; although I've done a "few" mods since then...


Time for a revisit I think! I'll bug Dino about it... and thanks again for your support! Means a lot coming from some more OCD than me!


Hello there sir. New fan here. haha
I have a few concerns here that I just want to point out.
I'm not bad mouthing the master here, but I'm a little worried with how much care and detail he really did to your car.

First, the time that took him to finish all the job that you instruct him to do was too long. Yes, yes, you said an artist should not be rushed and maybe he had many cars he is working on, but still i find it an overkill. Base on my experience, some mechanics out there would be your friend at first, a good listener, jumps the gun and work at your car while you're still present, and after you've left, they strip out parts of your car so you cannot take it back suddenly and will be making some lame excuse every time you check in.
You made a good move there to show up without warning, so you can see if they are really working on your car. I found that move a good motivator for them to finish the job fast and swift.

Second, a good artist with a keen eye too detail and an OCD mindset, would place your parts in a manner that wouldnt mix up with other customers parts.

Third, A good artisan doesn't make excuses or blames the tools or materials that he was given. He will try and make a work around it and would be able to fit those trims that you really love. Yes, I do realize that he did a good job with your 2 din radio. But, that is a fairly easy job.

In addition with my first concern, I believe there were no major fabrications made. How come it would take that long?

My advice, try going to other gtr specialist. and get that damn instrument panel surround back.
Take this with a grain of salt, cause I just based this thru my own experience.


Thanks for the long comment! And for being a fan!

All your points are valid, and in fact during the process I was frustrated as well. But, since he had done some good work in the past, I could only hope the end result would be very good. As you can tell from the article, there are still some things to be done, but at this point what's in the past is in the past, and I simply need to move forward and create a car that satisfies ME.

And yes I doubt I'll be going back, simply because Worx is too far away from where I live!


There is really no reason to excuse any worker, no matter how meticulous their work is, for making costly decisions above and beyond what the customer expects, both in terms of money and time. This work is good, but the time frame and I can only imagine the cost, is unacceptable regardless of how nice the work is. I feel a lot of people, especially Americans, aren't used to high quality workmanship, so will make excuses for bad time keeping/cost etc, but the reality is there are people out there who will do what you ask, immaculately and within a quoted cost and time frame.


Indeed this is quite the anomaly for Japan as well. Hence my surprise and yes initial frustration. But, I can't turn back the clock and he WAS highly recommended, AND he did do some good work so in that respect I have to let bygones by bygones... thanks for commenting


I like the R33. It's more an interceptor than a fighter.

A MiG-25 vs. the R32's F-15.

For me, it symbolizes insane midnight wangan runs and being up for three days straight building some project.


Exactly, well put!


Holy.. thats alots of wires.


LOL yes it is! Good to hear from you Alex!


Awesome looking car Aki!
Can't wait for the summer to start to undust my bcnr33
Greetings from Luxembourg!


Hey thanks! I feel the love. Yep, wintertime is when you fix/mod stuff on your car!


Aki.... The clock on your new screen is different to the car’s clock...


Yes, the cognitive dissonance caused me to reset to the second as soon as I got home. LOL


Beautiful car... But there are some serious issues here. Primarily with the sound deadening.
1) Too much CLD is used. 75% of the stick-on stuff has no purpose. It just adds weight.
2) OPEN CELL FOAM is used on the doors and door cards! That egg crate stuff absorbs moisture from the air, and will rust out your doors and grow mold. It's great in studios and indoors, but you should never use that in a car.
3) No MLV is used. Granted, it's ridiculously difficult to get it to work on doors, but it's where the most effect comes from. It appears Mr. Nakamura substituted more CLD in place of it, which is pretty inefficient.
4) The steering column surround, specifically around the key-hole, looks like it could use a little love. Was it trimmed back to have leather added, and that's just not done yet?

Not having parts installed come pick-up time, installing parts from other cars instead of yours, taking forever to do what appears to be only a moderate-difficulty job... These are not the trademarks of a professional. This is what you get when you ask a kid off Craigslist to work on your car, not a shop. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Nakamura has such a good reputation if this is the quality of work he does. That being said, the leatherwork is beautiful. The interior looks SO much better than a stock R33.

Do you have any more information about that HUD you've got attached to the dash?


Interesting... and thanks for the heads up! Well the good news is that I am not sure that the sound quality is the best it can be, so plan to visit another car audio specialist soon anyway. Maybe the open cell foam was treated to not attract moisture? I plan to post updates when I find out. In any case, I am past getting angry at the entire situation and would rather just chalk it up to an interesting experience at this point.

And sharp eye! Yes he had trouble fitting the keyhole surround, which has been finished in leather. I'm working on it myself.

The HUD was made by DEFI, but no longer offered for sale. VSD Basis. No longer for sale due to Japanese laws prohibiting stickers on the front windshield other than those necessary for car registration!


I love the leather, I am not following every other choice but that leather is gorgeous.

I think it would look amazing with an old-school set of Recaro seats. Of course, that might be because I have a hard-on for vintage Recaro seats with their pseudo-OEM (vs boy racer) styling. I'm talking about something like vintage Orthoped or Classic C series. You could buy a pair then have them refinished with either leather/Alcatraz or black leather with a diamond stitched insert. Either way, combined with red stitching would match the interior perfectly. Between the insert and the side bolsters you wouldn't slide around but it would still look very classy.

A pair of R35 seats or just reupholstering the stock seats might match really well as well if you are satisfied with the rounded seat styling...


Thank you for your feedback! Love it! Actually, I already have plans for the seats... stay tuned as I hope to get them done in the next few months...


Looks amazing! can't wait to see what is next on Project 33.


Thanks Carlos! Well, first I plan to do a few more items for the interior, and then it'll be back to some mechanical improvements.... with modernization being the theme to anything I do! Stay tuned...(or check my blog at for more frequent updates).


Great bro! Im going to check your blog too. Your R33 GT-R its on point my friend.


Firstly, thank you for sharing your experience. It's disappointing when stuff like that happens, and you can only move on. It sounds like Nakamura-san was either over-worked and lost track, or out of his depth. I'm sure his alarm and audio installs are great, but he shouldn't be going through your other stuff (removing sub and amp, sound deadening, etc.) when his job was to swap interior bits and install an alarm + head unit. Any decent worker would ask the owner before making changes that weren't initially agreed on. This is why I try to do everything I can on my car, as paying someone else might lead to expensive disappointments (already had those with so called "tyre shops". Also why my car hasn't received any mods in over a year, I'm damn lazy.

Of course, you need a big enough garage to do the work, which would be a premium over there. Oh well.


Hey, thanks for your comment - yeah well not everything you see on Speedhunters turns out 100% I guess? LOL. But yes this is exactly why I do most of the work on my car myself, as you may have noticed from reading my blog:

Unfortunately I know very little about car alarms, and yes my garage in Japan is a bit cramped and thus I decided to outsource the dashboard replacement while the alarm was being installed. But never fear I have a few fun things coming up in the future...


U got took son


I'm blaming the powers that be. Never again.


Almost ready to push my '93 Xedos 9 hobby car back to life after replacing the leaky head gaskets. To make things easier I decided to pull the engine because the car nearly amputated my hands ;-) during an earlier timingbelt renewal with the engine in place. But the cable spaghetti in your pictures are like a horrible deja-vu to me. To be honest, I have to admit cabling in your GT-R exceeds the ones of my Xedos, but I find the wiring loom of my car also quite impressive, (and quite a puzzle too). Think I pulled and re-installed a few dozen connectors in the engine bay alone and had to temporarily relocate a lot of wire related stuff. But anyway; thanks for the update of your incredible beauty of a car and good luck with all of the finishing touches to be made.


Thanks for sharing, and thank you for the best wishes!


Looking good Aki san! Thanks for continuing to share your journey.

*strips down to leotard and busts out the tambourine* (Rebecca- Friends as performed by GONZO)


Haha Ken you bad boy... lol thanks for the comment!


Go bears!


You mean, Go Bears! Lol


What's going on above the clock & demister switch? Did the refinished surround get damaged or are you just intending to change it to a different finish anyway? Those little marks would annoy me a lot given the amount of effort involved with the other trim parts.


Your interior reminds me of where I was going with my old r33 I had my dash, pillars and door cards covered in black leather with red stitching except I had gauges and a boost controller mounded in a pod above the centre vent and my facia and window switch trims were painted in gloss black it also had a full focal sound system mounted in the original mounts including the optional a pillar speaker mounts (my car had the optional upgraded sound system)


Hey Aki

Now u have a 2din. It would be time for u to put that MFD in a box and output video into it.
All u need is custom make the boards to fit in a case. Custom make those buttons as a ctrl panel fit into the arm rest ☺


I love the attention to detail in your car and how modern it looks fitted with the new head unit. Question though since you replaced your cigarette lighter do you have plans to move it somewhere else in the car or is the ability to charge a laptop or phone just kind of something you'll just have to do without?