The Big-Body Nissan You’ve Never Heard Of

In an era of big-body saloons and fuel-guzzling sedans, it’s no surprise that a few VIP land barges slipped through the cracks of mainstream JDM car fandom. The Y32 Nissan Cima is the perfect example.

When you think of big-turbo, luxury sedan drifting, your mind will go straight to a 1JZ-powered Toyota JZX (Chaser, Mark II, and Cresta) or even the RB-powered Nissan Laurel. Today’s wildly inflated used JDM performance car market eludes to that train of thought.

Cima - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-28
Cima - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-32

Before this shoot, I’ll admit that I wasn’t very familiar with the Cima. Even here in Japan you rarely come across them, let alone in a modified state. But on a recent trip to N-Style Custom in Gunma, I knew that Hiroyuki-san’s car had to be featured.


Released soon after the Y32 Cedric/Gloria in 1991 and still during the R32 Skyline era, the luxury Y32 Cima – first offered with Nissan’s VH41DE 4.1L V8 and then its turbo V6 3.0L VG30DET – achieved limited sales in a collapsing VIP saloon market. More than 30 years on, that explains why so few are still on the road in Japan.

Hiroyuki-san’s Cima, however, is far from the factory specification and intention. With select modifications, he has reinvented the chassis as a street car, show car and drift car all in one.

Cima - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-20

How has Hiroyuki-san done that, you ask? Well, it all stems from what sits up front. Here, the Cima’s original engine has been replaced by a Trust-built RB26, now stroked up to 2.8L. Atop the straight-six block sits a NAPREC-processed DOHC 24-valve cylinder head hosting HKS 288-degree camshafts.

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With such a strong foundation comes a single turbocharger to match, Hiroyuki-san sticking with an old-school KKK K27. Those familiar with this turbo will know it makes all the right noises; something amplified by an HKS GT wastegate for that quintessential RB howl.

And just in case he forgets, Hiroyuki-san has listed out the engine specs on the underside of the bonnet in some hand-brushed and colour-matched signwriting.

Cima - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-89

Outside, a full Sessions kit ties the look together. You don’t often see this type of body kit in the Kanto (Tokyo) region; VIP style is more common in southern Japan, particularly Kansai (Osaka). Matched to the kit, the fenders have been perfectly widened, even onto the rear doors. No tek-screwed flares here.

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Cima - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-10

The car sits on a full set of Work Meister L1s, hiding a Sessions big brake kit up front and R32 GT-R discs and callipers at the rear.

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Cima - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-11

Jumping inside, the contrasting luxuries of an early-’90s VIP car and a drift/show machine make Hiroyuki-san’s Y32 so interesting to shoot. A 6-point roll cage wraps the whole interior but keeps the rear seat functional. Up front, there’s a pair of Hardcore carbon bucket seats and a matching shift knob for the R33 GTS-25t 5-speed manual gearbox conversion.

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Cima - Speedhunters - Alec Pender-6

The Y32 Cima is the sort of car you don’t know you want until you find out it exists – especially when they look and go like this one. That being said, Hiroyuki-san’s is far from an out-of-the-box purchase. And for that reason, the Y32 Cima will continue to be a silent underdog.

Alec Pender
Instagram: noplansco



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You’re right, I’ve never heard of the Cima. I really like Toyota’s luxury cars, but never really liked Nissan’s luxury line that much. I do like S chassis though. But this car is actually really cool I wish I’d heard of it before.


Same chassis as the 2003-2004 Infiniti M45 we received in the U.S, they are brilliant cars.


I admired both the Y31 and Y32 Cima since I visited Japan in my childhood.
The design aged so well. Apparently some classic Jaguar vibes.


scrolled back up to the interior pics i missed and realized there wasn't much besides a dash and fuzzy headliner/cage pic. like only 3/4 of car is pictured where are all the detail shots


"Support violent driving"
always have to cringe when i read that

Dust from the Andes

Why? What does it mean or imply? Something bad?


Consider how people have japanese or chinese writing tattooed, and it says some really basic or bad things. Same thing i guess across the pond



Coincidence, i was taking look in one tonight by the first time.

By far i tought it was a kinda of Chaser then when it comes close...

I live in rural area of Japan in west. We have unique car culture over here that i bet speedhunters never heard of it.

A plenty of cars untouched and a classic cars event that we realize from autumn.


There are a lot of classic cars, the other day I saw an untouched RUF BTR and one of the first RWBs.

There are also several authentic cultures worthy of a real-life Initial D but without all the weebo so it's a lot of fun.

It's a shame that I don't see anything like this here on the site and I'm seeing the content repeating itself more and more over the years when you visit Japan.

I also get a little annoyed that the context of the landscape is left out in most of the photographs, I think you don't need blur when you have a beautiful landscape behind the cars in which they complement each other.


I only remember the Cima because I had the model kit for it. There seemed to be a bunch of Nissans, based on the Q45 platform, that we didn't get here in the states. I believe each manufacturer had a limit to how many models they could import? Anyway, I stuck some fancy rims on it, tinted the windows and gave it a pearl purple paint job. Fun stuff!

fake name #3204

It’s funny how someone was saying that you can’t ball park what engine is in a car based on the exhaust diameter and how many pipes there are. I took one look at this and I said “I bet it’s a straight six based on the pipe.” Lo and behold it’s an RB26. How on earth did I do that. Sometimes I even amaze myself. Almost like…you learn things after a while. Woah man!


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Hi i am here after a long time


Wonderful build, love the colors. Wheels are top for the car. The whole car oozes style. Wish it had more interior pics.


Killed it with these photos Alec, so many fantastic shots and the locations all suit the car to a tee.


Thanks! Appreciate that