I really and truly love cars.
I cannot get enough of them in any way, shape or form. It’s been pretty much the same story my whole life; whether it was playing with toy cars, watching rally videos on VHS, reading about cars, looking at pictures of cars, playing car video games, thinking about cars. The list is pretty long, it’s certainly non-exhaustive, but I get the feeling that it’s something a lot of you will relate to.
It’s perhaps the reason why I’ve contributed to Speedhunters for over 10 years. Mostly, because I don’t think any other outlet would allow me to indulge my passion for cars in the same, ahh… ‘varied’ way.
By most measures, the two cars are basically incomparable except for one small, but not insignificant factor: They’re both loved and driven by their owners.
This shared enthusiasm is infectious, and it’s how I found myself diving deep into this car on a typical damp Irish summer afternoon.
Yes, this is a car which is a bit rough around the edges cosmetically, but that can be excused when it’s driven in the manner it often is. It’s not neglect either; far from it. Eamonn reckons he goes through around three front bumpers a year, and I have seen the car relatively immaculate not all that long ago. He’s just someone who prefers to drive his car hard as possible and deal with the consequences afterwards.
The thought of driving my GTI around with a broken front bumper would keep me awake at night, but here, it just feels right. Incidentally, the bumper was broken at a pre-lockdown track day when it detached from one side of the car, but was dragged along by the other.
Besides that, let it never be said that we’re elitist on Speedhunters. I’ll take a car with character and personality any day.
Eamonn is a regular at the Juicebox BBQ, and while at last year’s event we were talking about our favourite cars in attendance he quipped about a certain stanced and styled, drift-inspired street car – “it can’t look like that unless it dances the dance, too.”
I think this might tell you all you need to know. He did also mention that he doesn’t like cars at all, just Japanese ones produced between 1980 and the early 2000s, so bear that in mind.
I do agree with him as well, although I think it just highlighted an unconscious bias that I already had, but wasn’t previously able to articulate. That, the most important factor of any build is that you build a car that knows what it’s trying to be.
I think that makes sense? An outright show car being built to be a show car is fantastic, but building a race car that will never see a track is a bit disappointing.
There’s not really any doubts in this instance as to this HCR32’s authenticity. It’s a car with character and has the scars to prove it.
Instead of rambling on any further (kudos if you’ve made it this far, gaining an insight into what it must be like to live inside my head for five minutes) let’s talk about the car that you clicked through to read about.
This is Eamonn’s 1992 Nissan Skyline HCR32. I’ve no idea what it started life as – I just care about what it is today. I guess the exterior is as good a place as any to start.
You won’t win any prizes for guessing that it’s wearing a full BN Sports kit with Ganador mirrors and Nismo N1 headlights.
The black tape on the headlights isn’t a style thing, it’s to stop the indicator light going missing when the bumper gets removed. Once bitten, twice shy and all that.
The rear spoiler is BN Sports again, specific for the four-door Skyline.
With regards to wheels, Eamonn has options. Normally, the car wears a full set of 17×9-inch +17 Buddy Club P1s, but on this day there were a pair of 17×9-inch +12 RAYS Gram Lights 57Cs on the rear axle.
Suspension wise, the car runs Driftworks CS2 coilovers with Cusco front camber arms, Driftworks rear camber arms, Driftworks HICAS lockout kit with full HICAS removal, and Tein extended tie-rods. There’s an S15 steering rack too, along with a Largus 32mm front sway bar.
Being a 30-year-old Japanese car, some extra chassis stiffening could never go astray. So, there’s a Cusco 7-point dash dodger along with a floor brace behind the front seats.
Otherwise, the interior is a good mix of form/function for a street/track car. The driver is secured into a Bride Zeta III with Willans four-point harnesses, while the passenger takes their place in a Brix. A Nardi wheel feels mandatory in a this sort of build, as do the collection of four Defi gauges mounted atop the dashboard (which display oil pressure, oil temperature, boost and water temperature).
The obvious omission is the lack of hydraulic handbrake, which Eamonn believes should only exist in competition cars.
There’s more interior photos in the gallery chapter at the bottom of this feature.
The noisemaker/party piece of the equation is an RB25DET Spec 2 engine with a HKS GT2540 turbocharger, GReddy inlet manifold with Q45 throttle body, Tomei Poncams, Trust turbo elbow and down-pipe, HKS AFM delete pipe, Nismo 550cc injectors and fuel pump, and an A’PEXi air filter.
Cooling wise, there’s a GReddy radiator and cooling panel. I’ll drop more engine bay shots below for the nerds to pore over. Ask any specific questions and I’ll pass them onto Eamonn.
Power wise? In the region of 400+hp for sure, but there’s no current dyno sheet for this setup. I guess once it drives good, feels fast and is reliable, then a number is just a number sometimes.
The intended use of the car (photographs were taken on a private estate, street drifting is bad, kids) sees other upgrades. The RB25 gearbox finds itself equipped with an OS Giken twin-plate clutch, and this sends power rearwards to a 4.3 ratio Nismo 2-way differential.
The main braking upgrade has been a pair of R32 GT-R calipers on the front with Project Mu 294mm grooved discs with HC+ pads. Project Mu D1 spec rear brake shoes have also been used.
Made it this far? Fantastic. Here, have a burnout.
I’ve probably covered most of the things that you would have wanted to know about Eamonn’s Skyline sedan, and I hope that you would agree that there’s no doubt it’s a car with a clear sense of purpose and direction.
While I do indeed love all cars, I’ll always have a particular soft spot for this era of Japanese street drift cars, and the driving style that comes with them.
It’s another great thing about our world of car culture. You don’t ever have to choose a side, you can always just enjoy them all.The Cutting Room Floor