Turning An R32 Skyline Sedan Into A Monster

Anyone who’s embarked on a project car build will know that, like any relationship, they come with incredible highs and lows.

Kiel Fitzgibbon’s eight-year build of his R32 Nissan Skyline four-door sedan was a challenge at times, but the result has most definitely been worth all the blood, sweat and tears. Because he’s created a monster.

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Finished in a stunning coat of Black Pearl Metallic – one of the eight factory R32 GT-R colours – it’s easy to be fooled by its subtlety. A Skyline sedan of this era has, in modern terms, an almost minimalist design. Kiel’s car maintains this, and save for the iconic afterburner-style taillights and custom flared rear arches, the rear end is almost nondescript.

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What grabs your attention first is the rear tyres protruding past the tapered ends of the bumper, the lack of additional spats an inspired decision here. The Toyo Proxes R888R semi-slicks’ aggressive tread patterns are on full display for everyone to see, giving a sizeable hint that this is no standard Skyline.

Those tyres wrap around one of the Nissan’s defining aspects – a set of 17×10-inch Desmond Regamaster EVOIIs. These ultra-lightweight, forged aluminium five-spoke wheels have a timeless design, and look right at home under the Skyline’s fenders. While the rear arches have, as just mentioned, received a subtle flare, up front Kiel’s taken things to another level.

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Despite the huge number of used JDM performance cars in Ireland, R32 sedans aren’t a common sight these days, which might be why I didn’t immediately notice the complete front-end facelift. No expense was spared during the transformation. Genuine GT-R front fenders and indicators were added, while the front bumper, lip and headlights are R32 GT-R N1 fare. Finishing things off is a carbon fibre bonnet and a Knight Racer front splitter.

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It’s fair to say that the car attracts plenty of attention. Granted, we were shooting close to a city centre, but plenty of passersby grabbed photos on their phones or came over for a chat. Even the police stopped by and only had good things to say.

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Kiel comes from a precision engineering background, and nowhere around the car reflects that more than under the hood, where a hard-tuned RB25DET now lives. Every last detail in the engine bay has been executed to perfection.

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Inside the 2.5L inline-six you’ll find CP forged pistons, Manley forged H-beam rods and race bearings. The DOHC 24-valve cylinder head features port and polish work, plus Supertech titanium valve springs and retainers. ARP hardware holds everything together. There’s also an ATI Super Damper crank pulley, HKS adjustable camshaft gear on the exhaust side, and PRP crank and cam trigger kits. PRP also supplied one of their coil pack setups with billet bracket, while the spline-drive billet gears for the N1 oil pump came from Supertec.

On the intake side of the engine, Kiel runs a classic GReddy plenum with an 80mm throttle body, plus Injector Dynamics 1050X injectors in a Radium top-mount rail supplied by an AEM 450lph fuel pump. Over on the other side, there’s a Garrett GTX3076R turbocharger sitting on a 6Boost manifold that houses dual Turbosmart CompGate40 wastegates. The exhaust is a custom 3-inch system.

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With tuning through a Link G4+ Fury engine management system, Kiel says his Skyline is making around 600rwhp, which is a solid number whichever way you look at it. Cooling comes via a Fenix aluminium race radiator, custom front-mount intercooler and a 16-row Mocal engine oil cooler.

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As you’d expect, the driveline has been suitably upgraded too, starting with a Nissan R32 GT-R transmission converted for rear-wheel drive and mated to an ACT clutch and lightweight flywheel. A custom propshaft then sends power to the rear wheels through a Nismo 2-way limited slip differential.

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Most modified R32 Skyline sedans are used for drifting, but that’s not the case here. Kiel built the car to be driven hard both on and off the track (the Nürburgring badge on the boot is a nod to his obsession with the iconic German circuit), and he has spent a lot of time and effort bringing the near-35-year-old chassis up to spec.

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At the heart of the suspension setup are Tein coilovers with EDFC electronic damper control and a full suite of Hardrace rods, arms and braces. In his quest, Kiel also raided the Nissan parts bin for a Silvia S14 steering rack and lower control arms, and a Silvia S13 rear subframe reinforced by GKTech plates. Polyurethane bushes feature throughout.

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And the brakes? Of course these have been upgraded too with a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII Brembo setup at the front and R32 GT-R callipers and discs out back.

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Inside is a mix of factory trim and select aftermarket parts, including a Bride FIA carbon/Kevlar driver’s bucket seat, Nardi Classic steering wheel and a rare white-faced Nismo 320km/h/11,000rpm dash cluster.

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The hydraulic handbrake is neatly hidden, but it’s hard to miss the Haltech iC-7 digital display mounted atop the centre console, which reads from the ECU. The tucked wiring is all Kiel’s own work.

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The R32 Skyline sedan might live in the shadow of its GT-R coupe cousin, but that’s what makes this build so interesting. Godzilla is cool, but Kiel has created his own four-door monster, and that’s special.

Cian Donnellan
Instagram: Ciandon
Facebook: CianDonPhotography



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As a new owner of a ‘90 sedan this article was especially exciting. The rear fender work is exceptional. Top notch build. The drift R32 sedans are endlessly entertaining, but something this thoughtful is truly timeless.


Well put together machine.


This is so badass. I love how understated it is! Super cool!


Thanks for the article! Funny how from some angles it's almost resembling a Ferrari 412, especially with these wheels.