An R32 Skyline GT-R Dream Build

With asking prices on a constant upward trajectory, trying to get your head around the world of GT-Rs is enough to land you in a permanent state of confusion and utter disbelief. And it’s not only the BNR34 that this is happening to, it’s all generations of the GT-R and every other popular JDM performance car too.

With such high buy-in prices for even the most average R32 GT-Rs these days, you’d think that then modifying one to an ultra high standard would be prohibitively expensive for the average enthusiast, and you’d be right. Luckily for Matty, the owner of this Skyline, he got into the car just in the nick of time. Well, kind of…


Executing a big idea right down to the nth degree is never easy (or in the case of GT-R restoration and modification, cheap), and for Matty it was especially difficult as he refuses to cut corners. He’s very particular about his GT-Rs. Yes, he has more than one in his possession, something I’ll get to later on.

Having been a total GT-R otaku for decades, Matty knew exactly how he wanted this R32 to end up. The goal was to not only turn it into a potent street car, but address every single detail with the utmost attention to detail. This ended up happening in two very distinct stages, ‘stage 1′ beginning in Japan around five years ago.


It took Matty some time to track down the right Skyline for the project. It had to be a very late BNR32, which is why he was only looking at 1993 cars. He wasn’t interested in putting up with the horrendous prices that rare versions like the V-specII and N1s fetch, simply because tuning it and perfecting it his way was always on the cards anyway. This was a car that had to tick all the boxes, but also one that would be properly used.

Oh, and it had to be factory-finished in TH1 Dark Blue, a rather rare hue for the R32. In fact, Matty’s car is one of only 118 made in this color in 1993. For comparison, in the same year, 4,948 white GT-Rs were manufactured.


Newera Imports ultimately found the perfect car for Matty, and then the work begun. There was a long stay at Midori Seibi Center to get the engine and mechanicals in check, and then Robson Leather where the GT-R’s cabin was brought up to spec.


The R32 rides on a set of Nitron R3 adjustable coilovers, allowing the body to sit with just enough aggression over a set of RAYS Volk Racing TE37V MARK-IIs in classic bronze. The suspension and chassis now also benefits from Spoon Rigid Collars, Nismo sway bars, rear upper links and rear A-arms. Nismo underfloor bracing was also added to counteract torsional forces running through the aging Nissan.


The TE37Vs are shod in sticky Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 rubber to get the most out of the handling improvements, and I found it quite impressive that the Brembo 355mm and 345mm 2-piece rotors fit inside the stepped lips of the RAYS wheels. The rotors work with Brembo 6-pot front calipers and 4-pot rears, providing immense stopping power and a proper race car look to boot.


In my mind, the R32 really only needs minimal exterior enhancements to look its best, and Matty is obviously of the same opinion. Just look at that perfect squared-off fitment.


A subtle dose of class was added nonetheless. That meant N1 headlights (try buying these now…), a Nismo intercooler surround (impossible to find…) and a Top Secret carbon fiber front lip spoiler. Along with the N1 rectangular openings on the bumper – a detail straight from the Group A racers –  the 32 has an aggressive front end appearance.

530 Ponies

Lift up the stock hood and things quickly get serious.


In a world where four-figure power outputs have now become expected, I commend builds like this. Because 500-or-so horses in a finely-honed GT-R will result in one of the most capable cars on the road.

Sadly, something like this might be dismissed as being underpowered, but anyone who thinks that is wrong.


The build itself is centered around a fresh N1 block, which features thicker cylinder walls, stronger internals, and beefier oil and water pumps. Basically, it’s the perfect RB26 canvas to start with, and one so right for this level of performance.

Tomei Powered Arms M8260 turbos were selected and mated to a complete Midori exhaust, including outlets, front titanium pipe and main system. In the middle, a naughty Tomei cat bypass pipe makes sure the car shoots foot-long flames every once in a while, spicing up the driving experience. The HKS V-Cam inlet camshaft provides a wide spread of torque as well as fast spool and big power up top.


Uchinaga-san at Midori revised the stock fuel system adding a Nismo fuel pump and FPR and a set of R35 injectors, fed through one of his billet fuel rails. These join other retrofitted R35 components, including coil packs and air flow meters. Refinements on the intake side include a Nismo GT plenum and a Nismo intercooler.

The whole ensemble is controlled by one of Midori’s proprietary ROM upgrades to the stock ECU.


It wasn’t just aftermarket parts lists that Matty scoured and purchased from. He knew that many OEM Nissan parts for the BNR32 would sooner or later be discontinued, or in fact were already hard to find and costing far more than their original price. A good example is the factory-fresh heat shield on the underside of the stock hood.


Looking around the engine bay, you realize that it’s very much the case with every detail, from the window washer tank and radiator overflow tank to the little clips that hold the brake/ABS lines in place along the firewall. Every component is new.


I have so much admiration for this painstaking level of detail, but at the same time it makes me feel slightly guilty that I haven’t kept up the maintenance on some of my GT-R’s parts.

Leather As Far As You Can See

In every respect, this is one of the cleanest 32s around. I mean, it even makes Nismo’s own demo car seem slightly underwhelming.


Where Nismo pursues the ultimate expression of conservatism, Matty’s car takes things up notch to execute a high-end feel overall.


Masa and his team at Robson Leather truly outdid themselves with the interior, upholstering the front seats, rear bench and back rest, and door cards in soft leather. The dash meanwhile received the full Alcantara treatment, highlighting the design and edges with matching red stitching.


A white-faced Nismo instrument cluster and matching triple-meter gauge set were sourced and fitted in place of the OEM items for an extra touch of exclusivity.


The result is something else; you can even smell the quality.


To keep things clean, the glove box was sacrificed and converted into a pop-down get fighter control center where you can find everything from the auxiliary Defi gauges to the GReddy Profec boost controller and a Do-Luck DTM2 G sensor module. It’s a cool ’90s JDM touch.


But it’s always the final judgment that makes or breaks a car. So how does it all feel out on the road?


I got thrown the keys to the GT-R and had a chance to drive it up and down the costal road that overlooks the Tokyo Bay and gives you an amazing view of the bridge section of the Aqua Line (opening shot).


The RB pulls strongly and smoothly from as low as 2,000rpm, the HKS V-Cam adding a much-welcomed touch of flexibility in the rev-happy RB. This makes it a far more easier engine to live with, but that said, if you keep this thing above 4,500rpm you have a massive power curve to play with – one that never seems to run out of puff. I lit up the cold Neovas in first and second gear before they could even generate any heat, putting an instant smile on my face.

There’s no hiding the fact that this is a superbly put together package. It’s strong and reliable, and all the modern advancements work to bring the RB’s inherent character into the modern era.


Could you have move power? Sure, but that’s where you enter the realm of diminishing returns in any GT-R. I’m pretty sure Matty has hit the sweet spot of what a freshly-built and modern second-gen GT-R should be.

Yet, He Still Managed To Improve It…

Fast forward over a year and the BNR32 had made its way to the UK, sitting right next to Matty’s other GT-R – a 2019 50th Anniversary R35 that he uses as a daily driver.


Upon its arrival, Matty wasn’t totally happy with the state of the original paint, so he decided that perfection was worth shooting for.


The car was duly stripped down and repainted by Matty’s trusted body shop. Furthermore, all the glass and rubber seals were replaced with fresh OEM items. These had to be supplied by the guys at Trust Kikaku, because Nissan and Nismo are simply sold out of most R32 parts at any given time.


Last time I talked to Matty he said the car was pretty much “finished”, a word any GT-R owner should know better than to use. Since then, the GT-R has received a carbon fiber Nismo inlet piping kit and air box, so the build is still ongoing.

That said, you do have to wonder what else could now possibly be done to improve it…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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Nice pics, but it's another story of some semi-rich dude buying a classic jdm vehicle and throwing money at it..yawn


You are not completely wrong. You might not be completely right.

One thing that is for sure though, is money and passion are two different things. The cars/owners featured on this website has demonstrated this for ages


Another comment complaining about someone spending money on what they enjoy... yawn


"Throwing money at it"

Sorry he didn't turn it into some POS "drift missile", and actually has the funds to basically do a full restoration.
Work like this, while expensive, will hopefully keep this car around another 25 years.
So I see nothing wrong with that at all, especially on a car that is only going up in value.

Jealously? Ignorance? Stupidity? Your comment is packed with it all, great work.


Well there's a reason dodos went extinct


Good thing about this website is you get to see all types of builds, High budget. low budget and everything in between.


Great to see this car featured, at long last! Great pics too, as to be expected from you, Dino.

A lot of hours and late nights went into painstaking work in our workshop fitting umpteen uprated top-shelf parts. From carefully reshaping the original turbo heat shields to accomodate the cast Tomei manifolds over Tomei turbos, to fitting the Nismo head gasket, and clutch, all the way to making the glovebox gauge panel from scratch and fitting the interior after collecting it from Robson Leather in Edogawa, Tokyo. The end result, was one of the nicest R32's we've had the pleasure of fettling.

Testament to Matt's Otaku nature, it got a full bare metal repaint, after arriving in the U.K. This must surely be one of the best 32 GT-R's in existence now. There's a video of it on our website, if of interest:


Easily one of the nicest R32s I have ever seen, and especially to your point of not having 1,xxx horsepower! I must be getting old.

Also, I always believed V-Cam could only be controlled by an F-CON?! Very cool if that Midori ROM tune can do the trick.


Yes, i as amazed to, as i purchased the FCON, but was told that the ROM upgrade was what Midori wanted to work with. Thank you for the positive comments.


I also agree with Matty, the R32 is the best generation for me (even if i'll be never able to purchase 1).
Of not willing to shift the "concept" of the build nothing else could be done, maybe some minor details like the air box but nothing "significant".
With the new 600hp fuel friendly solution by HKS an engine rebuild (with a dct transmission?) could be considered later on.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

He's got Nismo carbon piping and a carbon airbox now. I love the DCT idea but I also just like the manual...


HOLY shit this is nice, I feel poor just looking at it. Very well put together.


Thank you for the positive comment. It took me a long time to achieve it. End cost was not cheap, but these things take time.


Thank you Dino for the feature. Its lovely to see 6 years hard work all come together in the feature. Its great to see others smile at the build and it bring joy. Just to put this into perceptive. i had an R32GTR in 2005, so for me, it was to relive some amazing memories that car brought me. I have tried to do everything within my budget, and wanted to "future proof" this car. These developments for GTRs are not cheap, but they have to be done correctly, with the oem parts. It took me 6 years start to finish to complete. Also i am a GTR guy through and through having owned an R34 for nearly 12 years now, and previously 3 years with another BNR34. To me, they are the most amazing and inspiring cars to own. i am an average guy, working hard, and GTRs allow me to destress.


I want to say how impressed I am with the fact that this was a six year project, the fact that you stuck with it. The project turned out so amazing, highly detailed and a something I would be nervous owning and driving to the store.


I think you have to keep going, finding some parts being discontinued is the main issue …


I am astounded by this build. Embarrassingly I've owned my car for on or about 7 years nearly but have not even remotely come close to your build and exuberance. This is definitely done with care and comfort in mind. Truly a good balance of power and handling. One should take note and exemplify your build. Envious of the interior and exterior too. The engine gleams of perfection. Haven't seen much of midori seibi builds being pushed on the net truthfully, and this is on point. Look forward to more in the future perhaps?


Thank you. I’m half way through another one ….(bnr34) , midori we’re my tuner of choice & the engine is silky smooth, dry happy with the mapping


Perfect, very, very well done, and will surely prove to be a wise investment in the future. About the only thing I would consider changing would be to replace the blue silicone couplers with black.


Thanks, the ones on the air box side are now black as they are supplied with the nismo carbon air box & the carbon inlet pipes which are now fitted.


Seeing builds like this is why I love speedhunters. Great photos

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks Mark! Easy when the car is this nice!


Thank you. Very kind.


There's a 20 minute video link to the build story of this car, on Newera
Strange - my post with more details of the work we did wasn't published? Matt didn't build this car...


Sounds like someone isn’t giving proper credit where credit is due…and taking credit for work that wasn’t his…


Love these types exist... So time capsules can be driven around for those lucky to witness it rather than just seeing them parked at museums or driven into hay bales at Lord March's driveway.
But... Please all 32 owners going for OEM+ (that plus being the key): de orange your turn signals. If you were old enough to have been present in Japan when the 32 was a rockstar, you'd know they all went "altezza" clear and just looks better than having ragdoll pimple-dimples just ruin the whole front. The DOT of Japan aren't known for IMPROVING looks so please get some fresh clear corners and complete the perfection/Finish!
Also, much less important and maybe subjective, Carbon doodads on an aluminum car that didnt have oem carbon just is tacky. Please CNC some thin brushed aluminum or folded damascus steel or yamaha piano ivory or wabi wood veneer... Even just add more leather! But fail on the interior carbon bling: save the money for an actual carbon car, or spend more on FUNCTIONAL carbon replacements such as the intake.
Beautiful build except those orange plastics! Congrats to this Matty person!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'd agree on dumping the orange repeaters on any car (I've done so on my 34), except the R32. I don't know why but when I see them with clear one it just looks wrong?


I really like it but my only gripe is that rear foglight placement. It'd look much cleaner to put a red bulb in one of the reverse lights and wire it up to have the rear foglight there.


Nice job Matt - and nice photos Dino!

Sounds like a lot of people were involved in getting the car to this stage - but credit has to go to Matt I think, who I have known for a few years, for his patience as well as his quest for the very best, and sticking to that ethos. If anyone is as particular about the quality of the parts and workmanship as I am, I have met my match in Matt. As Speedhunters readers who have followed Project 33 know, it can easily take years to make sure that the part or component you WANT - not what is easily available - is installed. That you have to do your own research and get creative in finding a craftsman who specializes in some esoteric art, and then develop that relationship. And sometimes you take a chance on something that does not turn out well, so you have to start over. Or do it yourself. Rather than throwing money at something and buying a pre-established "package" I have much more respect for someone who takes the time to get it JUST RIGHT for HIM/HERSELF!!!

Happy that you are finally happy with this, Matt! Congrats again. Hope you are enjoying driving it around!


All comments and opinions aside; One very nice GTR and one lucky owner. Great to hear the car provides pleasure and is an outlet. Nice feature

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks Bob!


Really nice car. Shame GT-Rs are now so expensive they lose what made them so special in the first place

Dino Dalle Carbonare

So true... Nissan capitalizing on it too now.


The car was never worked on by Matt, whilst in Japan. He only spent a few hours discussing it with us, during several trips to Japan.

Pretty much every aspect, from spending months searching for and finding the car right for Matt, through storing it for years, then stripping it - including the dashboard, taking it all to Robson Leather, then refitting it along with buying up many (now rare) parts to Matt's specification, to stripping most of the engine parts and fitting uprated items (Aside from the V-Cam & ROM Tuning), through doing all the chassis work, taking the car to Midori.

I was surprised the car came soon developed a problem upon collection from Midori (Turned out the HKS boost control valve's 1/4 NPT nipple hadn't been refitted properly after being on their Dyno, so it fell out as I drove the car home). The wastegates weren't opening!
Suspecting something was wrong with it making so much power, I drove it all the way home off boost, then found the problem).

All throughout, the car was very carefully worked out by ourselves.

My colleague Dai Chan handled all the bodywork that was done in Japan. Unfortunately, the trade budget work completed wasn't up to Matt's levels of perfection, so he had the entire exterior stripped to bare metal, and repainted by the best in the business (in U.K.), MW Bodyshop. Can't get better, IMO. These guys paint classic Rolls & Aston Martins and have a 3 year waiting list. JT Auto Classics, who used to work with Newera, did all the stripping & refitting work in the U.K.

It's a shame GT-R prices are now out of the reach for the majority of enthusiasts. We had no choice but to pull ourselves out of the game and move into another (domestic Japanese) vehicle market, as there's no point attempting to explain to people one-by-one, why these cars cost what they do now.

Glad to have helped create this car. We looked after it, better than I look after my own cars. No stone was left unturned.
No doubt going forward it'll continue to be cared for the way it deserves, sitting proudly next to Matt's stunning R34 GT-R Competizione R, which may be the best road-going R34 Skyline - originally created by Top Secret, and also featured on Speedhunters (2009).

Might be time soon, to feature it again, Dino.


This build is superb. Might be one of the cleanest R32's I've seen. Love the emphasis on OEM+ restoration and upgrade. It's tastefully modded without being bonkers. Best color, fresh wheels, that factory hood heat shield... that's what I'm talking about. Inspiring.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'd say OEM++ lol


Such a Japanese thing to have a car with mint suspension, immaculate paint and panel, beautiful interior, nice engine parts and then have it run on a 30 year old ECU system. Such a compromise on how they run and drive as a useable car. No doubt fanboys will hop in here inventing reasons as to why it's just as good, yet it still uses MAFs. I hope that Japanese tuning as a whole can finally start to move into the modern age.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah it's a thing here in Japan, tuners are aging right along with the cars and they are so reluctant to try something non-Japanese and far more modern. That can't be said for the drift world where the demographic there is obviously younger and with that they try out newer and more advanced products from the scary foreign world lol. But jokes aside it comes down to the fact that these engines actually run fine with these systems, and that most tuners will have a coronary trying to learn new software that isn't in English. Little would they know that most ECU solutions now come with Japanese software and are indeed so advanced that most of the parameters are taken care for them. That said, HKS have just released a new F-Con so maybe we could see some change coming soon?


R35 GT-R MAF's on this car.


Why this story even mentions the "average enthusiast" baffles me. The "average enthusiast" is capable of having a car fully painted twice? The "average enthusiast" has an R35 as a daily and an R34 with the entire nismo catalogue thrown at it?
I appreciate the build but it is not achievable with anything less than a blank cheque.
As a BNR32 owner struggling with the cost of keeping his car on the road, these types of comments make be want to leave the GTR scene and never come back.