02nd Jun2017

Face/Off R32 GT-R

by Michael Chandler

Like many of us, Skitch Bryant fell in love with the Skyline GT-R’s whilst playing Gran Turismo.  Unlike many of us, he imported one.  One that’s a bit different than most of the R32’s you’ll see roaming around.

Yes, despite what the car looks like from the A pillars forward, this is an R32 GTR.  It just has front end conversion, similar to the Bee R 324R.  Unlike the Bee R kit, this one has some R34 Z Tune fenders grafted on to it.  It also has a rear windshield wiper, which is a nice touch.

Under the hood is…

*sips soda*

An RB26DETT that’s been given a lot of NISMO upgrades: N1 turbos and oil pump, bigger intercooler, and other stuff we’ll file under “etc”.  It also has…

A BUNCHA SHINY-ASS HARD PIPES!  And a shiny Top Secret catch can.

All of those pipes, along with the downpipe, exhaust, oil cooler, and oil filter relocation setup are GReddy/Trust pieces.  There are also Spitfire coil packs, and a Cusco strut bar in there, but since it’s an RB26, people will focus on the power adders.  Which is a shame, because this thing has seen some upgrades in the handling department as well.

Behind the NISMO branded Enkei wheels are the OEM brakes and rotors.  And behind them are a set of Cusco Street Zero coilovers, and NISMO stainless steel brake lines and sway bars.  

The interior has been given the NISMO touch as well, in the form of seats, floor mats,…

And 320 kph gauge cluster.  

That orange, blurry thing in the last photo is a MOMO steering wheel, because it can’t be all NISMO all the time.  While we’re here, can we take a minute and appreciate the late 80’s goofy awesomeness that are buttons and switches on the cowl of the gauge cluster?  Man, makes me miss my Legend and its radio controls on the cowl.

Skitch picked up the Bayside Blue Skyline from a seller in Japan.  He did all the paperwork, and flew to Long Beach to drive the car back.  And that drive was interesting, because everyone was snapping photos of the car.  Especially in California.  From the email he sent me (because I forgot some of the details when he told me the story during the shoot):

I stopped at a Walmart along the way in Cali to grab some snacks and supplies for the road trip.  I was literally inside for only about 10-15 minutes and come out to an entire Nissan club with their cars parked next to mine, taking pictures and geeking out over the Skyline.  I asked them how they got here so fast and they told me that one of their members was following me and phoning everyone in the club to come out before the car disappears.  They were super cool and we hung out for a little bit before I had to move on.

Stalkers can be fun sometimes!

People love it at car shows, especially kids.  I love it when the little kids run up to it and recognize that they’ve played the car in a video game or that it’s their favorite color.  Although I wasn’t expecting anyone else to really pay much attention or freak out over the car, it’s fun to know that it’s so well received and love in the community.  After all, I bought this for me and because I love the platform and heritage of the car.  It’s nice to know that others know of the car as well in some form or another

I can attest to the kids freaking out when they see it at a show.  I was the guy shooting the roll in photos at ISS, and when Skitch and the Skyline rolled past, the crowd behind me lost their minds.  

I’m glad that we can finally, legally, have R32s of all varieties.  Especially ones like Skitch’s: super unique, and driven frequently.  Now let’s see some crazy time attack builds!

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10th Nov2016

Hiroyuki Hasegawa, Co-Founder of HKS, Dead at 71

by Michael Chandler

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Hiroyuki Hasegawa, co-founder of legendary tuning company HKS, has passed away at age 71.  The company released a brief statement, which contained no specific details of his death.

Founded in 1973 by Hasegawa and Goichi Kitigawa, and with an investment from Sigma Automotive, HKS has been one of the premier tuners in the world.  Crafting everything from one of the fastest R35 GTRs in the world (pictured above), to outright drag racing monsters, top speed machines, and even developing a Formula 1 engine, HKS cemented itself in the lexicon of those who know about speed and craftsmanship.  

A former Yamaha engineer, Hasegawa worked tirelessly to develop and release his first aftermarket turbocharger kit in 1974.  From there his company developed many turbo kits and upgrade kits, eventually developing electronic devices that would become staples in the tuning world: boost controllers and turbo timers.  HKS has been involved in all levels of motorsport, from D1GP to JGTC, Formula 3 to drag racing.  Demand became so great that the company expanded into the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, and Thailand.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd May2016

Just Some Skylines

by Michael Chandler

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Bask in their glory and power!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
01st Mar2016

4-4-32: An Interesting Skyline

by Michael Chandler

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Since the R32 Skylines became legal, they’ve been popping up everywhere.  They’re like cockroaches in the sense that if you see one, there’s a lot more you’re not seeing.  They’re not like cockroaches, because they’re not spreading disease and scurrying under the fridge when the lights come on.  There’s one that caught my eye a while ago, and I’ve seen it fairly regularly.  It’s not a GTR, or even a GTS-T.  It’s a simple four door, with a motor not usually found under the hood of a Skyline.

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It’s packing an SR20 of all things.  The combination of the SR and the extra set of doors make this a unique bird, one that I’d be all over if I had a place to put it and the money to afford it.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
02nd Sep2015

JDM Legends End of Summer Meet Up

by Michael Chandler

JDM Legends Meet August 2015 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-34

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Last year, JDM Legends had their First Thursday series of meets at their shop.  It was cool to have Eric and the guys open up the shop to us: the lowly, unwashed masses.  This year the meets were absent, but last month the doors opened up, the cars were rolled out, and a meet was held!

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Plenty of S30s came out for the meet.  Seeing any number of these gorgeous coupes together in one place is always a welcomed sight.

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There were also some more modern classics in attendance.

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Inside the shop there were a couple of ongoing projects: a Hakosuka an a 240Z that looked eerily similar to a certain hero car.

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Outside was the car I’ve been dying to shoot photos of: the now legendary RX-7.  It was just hanging out, just chilling with its IMSA flares and Work wheels.

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We always love it when the doors go up and the cars come out at JDM Legends, because we always know something cool is going to roll out or we’ll see something awesome tucked away in a corner of the shop.

03rd Oct2013

JDM Legends First Thursday Meet

by Michael Chandler

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On the first Thursday of the good weather months, JDM Legends opens their doors for a little open house.  It’s a chance to chat up fellow enthusiasts, make terrible offers to Eric (that Silvia has a CA, it’s totally worth the next to nothing I could come up with!) and gawk at the tons of awesome that roll in to and out of the shop.  Last month Joey and myself hopped in the Subaru and made the trip over.

 

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Lots of Skylines were on display, from a four door GTR (#102 built and lovingly maintained Nissan in Japan) to the Kenmeri that buzzes around and even an R31 GTS with its awesome little electronic chin spoiler.  Brody brought down his R32 GTR and his DR30 GTS.  He left the R32 GTS-T at home.  Let’s all take a moment to be jealous of his stable…  Done?  Ok, moving on.

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Early S13’s are available for importation.  You can be the first kid on your block to roll in a legitimate Silvia, complete with a CA18DET!  You can take your JZx and LS swaps and punt them, and ditch all that KA-T stuff.  THIS is awesome.  Here’s proof.  This might be the best $12k you can spend on an S13.

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This lovely Celica GTV has since moved on to a new home, but she got to enjoy one last moment being fawned over at the shop.

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Some of the cars that are driven to the meet are just as good as the fare JDM Legends has up for sale.  An immaculate second generation Celica Supra, looking as clean as it did when it rolled off the showroom floor.  A KA24DE swapped S12 200SX.  The swap was so clean three of us had to check the vin plate to make sure it was in fact swapped.  A gorgeous, red S30 was at the edge of the parking lot, but still managed to draw a crowd.  And the Datsun 620 pickup has always been an awesome little truck.  They don’t need a lot to look cool.

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This little orange Bluebird was pretty awesome, sitting properly on a set of Panasports, but then I noticed the mirrors are a set of GT Napoleon pieces!  These are getting harder to find, so seeing a set on something was a real treat.

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Keep checking the JDM Legends Facebook page for updates on these little shindigs, and to see photos of the Prince Skyline GTB they took to the Japanese Classic Car Show this past weekend!

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
25th Aug2011

Project Perfection: RB26 Datsun 260Z

by Trent

260Z CAMautoMagThis project has been a project of love and determination. Clint, the owner of this 74.5 Datsun 260Z originally started this transformation 9 years ago on a different continent. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan with the Air Force and bought this US Spec car in Japan 15 years ago. Being constantly surrounded by Nissan Skyline’s, he decided it would be best to mate the looks of his Datsun, with the power of the almighty Skyline.
Datsun 260Z RB26DETT
Just before Clint was transferred back to the United States, he got the motor swapped in. He was stationed in Alaska where the majority of the work on the rest of the car was to be completed. It unfortunately spent 5 years in the chassis shop, so the motor got transplanted in another Z and ran a 9.1-sec 1/4 mile before he wrecked the car at the track. He estimates it is now putting down 750whp.
Skyline GT-R Datsun
How does a stock RB26DETT turn into the beast it is now? He started with a motor out of an R32 Skyline GT-R and swapped in an R33 crank, Crower Rods, HKS Pistons, JUN ported head and valvetrain, 280-deg. cam, Head coolant mod, 1000cc injectors, and a T88 34D turbo. All of this is controlled by an HKS VPro Tuner, HKS meters, and HKS Boost Controller.
260Z Front Mount Intercooler
Getting this power to the ground not only requires a healthy dose of tire(31″ tall Mickey Thompson slicks), but it is channeled through a 2-speed Power Glide transmission and a Ford 8.8 Rear End.
260Z Ford 8.8" Rear End
RP Squared in Utah finished up the chassis before paint and it is now certified to run an 8.5 1/4 mile. Clint is currently deployed in Qatar, but hopes to be back on the track when he returns and plans to run a low 9 or high 8-sec. 1/4 mile.
260Z RB26 Inside
The body is hardly original on this car, it is comprised of many fiberglass replacement parts to lighten the load. The front mirrors and doors are all that remains untouched on the body, the rest is aftermarket.
Drag Datsun 260Z
Out of the 9 years this car has been under construction, it has been on the road for a total of 1 year. Clint demands perfection in this project, he made sure to point out things in the shoot that just weren’t quite perfect enough and said we weren’t shooting that. This car just needs glass and it is perfect. The paint glistens, the stance is just right, and the swap is clean. However clean it is, Clint tells us he still has some work to do in the engine bay to tidy it up. While in there, thoughts of a bigger turbo also come to mind to ensure he hits that elusive 8-sec. 1/4-mile time. We plan to follow up on this car as it hits the track sometime next year, until then it’ll be perfectly preserved waiting for its chance at the Christmas Tree.
RB26 260Z

RB26 Swapped Datsun 260Z Feature on CAMautoMag from CAMautoMag on Vimeo.

Words and Video by Trent Bray, Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com