There comes once in everyone’s lifetime where you come across something which just screams out “Perfection”, such as that gorgeous girl sitting at the back of the bus or that beautiful house you could only ever dream of owning. Then there are the cars that have had so much money and effort poured into it and the end result is so jaw-droppingly good that it makes you weep tears of joy when you set eyes on it.
As I sat about twenty feet from the car during the photo shoot, I couldn’t help but stare at the car’s exquisite lines. I never had the opportunity to get this close to a R34 GT-R, so this was quite a treat for me. While Victor and Kenny, the uber cameramen of immeasurable power, were struggling with their tripod and cameras, I walked around the car, absorbing and taking in every minute detail.
From a distance, the R34 GT-R is a muscular beast; chiseled, broad-shouldered, intimidating but almost clumsy and ungainly from some angles. It’s only when you get the opportunity to sit down and just admire it from the comfort of your chair, while smoking a cigarette that you begin to notice that the R34 isn’t really all that bulky. As I snuffed out my third cigarette, I began to notice certain details on the car that I never knew were there, such as how the roofline extends very slightly to the trunk, leaving a very slight hump on the trunk cover.
The square-jawed front, with all its gaping air intakes, makes the R34 look like a pockmarked thug from the Bronx in the 1940s, especially when compared to past generations of the GT-R, like the R32 for example. That square façade softens after a while, and the R34’s face begins to look prettier and prettier, much like Scarlett Johansson; she’s not pretty at first glance, but an hour into watching The Island, many males around the world began to fall in love.
This car is like a work of art on display in a museum, like the Mona Lisa in The Louvre. You stand there and stare at it for hours, just admiring the beauty of it all. For every two minutes I spent staring at the car I discovered something new. Details are key when creating a show car, and what a show car this is.
The owner of this car – who shall remain unnamed, and henceforth be known as Mr. X – built this car with one thing in mind: to create a world class show car and for it to be the best show car in South East Asia, if not all of Asia. No expense was spared in building this car, and it really shows in the list of parts installed. Big brand names in the tuning industry litter the spec list, such as Tomei, HKS, ZEAL, Grippen, Koyo and many, many others. The sound system in this car is also very, very impressive. It is, by far, the best audio install I have seen in this country, but more on the audio later.
Links Dyno Tune was given a clean slate with this car. It was a stock Bayside Blue Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II and as you can see for yourself it’s a completely different beast now. Mr. X walked in the shop one fine day and laid down exactly what he wanted out of the car. It took two weeks just to plan what was going to be done with the Skyline, but Mr. X made it absolutely clear that he wanted only the best parts available for his latest project.
I had a chat with Kee, boss of Links Dyno Tune, and he said this car is one of – if not the – most labour intensive project he has ever undertaken. The Skyline had seen less than 20,000 kms and it was already getting a full rebuild. The car was completely stripped down; the windscreens, the drivetrain, the engine, the interior, EVERYTHING was removed from the car. It was then given a new coat of silver paint and the quality of the paintjob is just amazing. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a factory paintjob. Every nook and cranny was repainted and you’d be hard pressed to find a spot of blue on this car now.
As I mentioned earlier, a good show car is all about the details. Almost every single nut, bracket and mount was sent to be chromed. The radiator mounts are chromed and I didn’t notice it until Kee pointed it out. Although a minor detail, it’s these subtleties that separate a good show car from the show winner. The wires in the engine bay were also relocated and hidden from view to give the engine bay a clean and neat look.
Nesting snugly in the engine bay is the world renowned, nuclear bomb of an engine, the legendary RB26DETT. No expense was spared in rebuilding the engine; I think it’s safe to say none of the factory parts (save for the cylinder head) remain. The cylinder head was ported and polished, followed by a combustion chamber balancing job. A combustion chamber balancing job is when the compression of each combustion chamber is made equal, which results in better turbine spool up times and power figures.
Tomei hi-lift cams with a 280˚ degree duration replace the factory items and operate Tomei valves, which are held in place with Tomei Type B valve springs and retainers. The Tomei camshafts are held down with APEX’i cam studs and keeping the cylinder head bolted to the Nismo N1 block are reinforced Tomei head studs and washers. A Tomei competition head gasket keeps things under pressure and ensuring everything keeps rotating in harmony is a GReddy timing belt and Tomei adjustable cam sprockets, covered by a transparent GReddy timing belt cover.
Inside the strengthened Nismo N1 block is a complete 2.8 litre HKS stage 3 stroker kit, which consists of a balanced crankshaft, conrod and pistons. Tomei crank studs hold it in place and replacing the original oil sump is a shiny Trust unit with a Tomei racing oil pump to keep the vital Motul lubricant flowing throughout the engine. Nismo engine mounts keep the engine firmly in the bay while reducing power robbing flex under acceleration. Running all the necessary engine accessories such as the fan, water pump, oil pump etc. are a set of Power Enterprise belts.
Sucking in copious amounts of air is a HKS T51R SPL turbo kit, which includes the exhaust manifold, the T51R turbine and a whopping 60mm wastegate. The turbine is a huge item, so huge that my immediate reaction when the carbon fibre bonnet was opened was “HOLY MOTHERF-!! That’s GINORMOUS!” Cooling the intake charge is a GReddy Stage 5 intercooler kit, complete with all necessary 4 inch piping. This intercooler is a massive 5 inches thick, perfect for cooling the huge amount of boost flowing from the T51R turbine. The GReddy intake manifold, which has been polished thoroughly for the ‘bling’ factor, is a massive 4 inches thick to accommodate all that air coming from the turbine. On a side note, the T51R turbine is good for 1000bhp, according to the HKS catalogue.
With all that air coming in the engine, an equally capable exhaust system is needed. That task was handed to an ultra expensive, handmade ARC titanium exhaust system. This kit includes the very pretty rear muffler which has a bluish tinge, a characteristic inherent in burnt titanium. Titanium is an extremely strong and rigid metal, and thus cannot be bent like conventional steel. Each section was measured, cut and then welded together and the quality of the workmanship is what one would expect of a company like ARC; flawless.
An engine this powerful needs a suitably upgraded cooling system to keep things running well. A triple layer Koyo racing radiator, fashioned out of shiny aluminium, coupled with an ARC thermostat, keeps the Motul Inugel coolant from overheating. Samco silicon hoses flow the coolant all around the engine, flowed by a Nismo water pump. A GT carbonfibre radiator cooling plate diverts oncoming air to the radiator and keeping the cooling system under pressure is an ARC radiator cap. A HKS 16-row oil cooler keeps the engine oil from overheating, which could result in catastrophic engine failure and a very expensive bill for Mr. X.
The fueling system on this car would not be out of place on a dedicated, circuit eating, GT race car. A Nismo fuel pump, which is capable of flowing 280 litres of fuel per hour, sends fuel to a 5 litre SARD fuel surge tank. A pair of SARD 260 litre per hour fuel pumps then flow fuel to the engine from the surge tank via two Earl’s steel braided hoses which run on either side of the car before meeting in the centre and into a SARD fuel rail. The fuel rail feeds six 1000cc SARD fuel injectors and keeping the fuel pressure constant is a SARD Spec R fuel pressure regulator. All this fueling hardware would mean nothing without a life giving spark and this task was entrusted to a set of NGK Iridium 7 spark plugs. An ARC oil catch tank with a custom made steel braided breather hose adds even more ‘bling’ to the engine bay but also relives the engine of crankcase pressure.
With all this hardware, one needs to ensure that the ECU is up to the task of handling it all, so an extremely capable Motec M800 standalone ECU takes over as the brain of the whole operation. The Motec is a highly advanced unit, with features such as launch control and timing adjustment built in.
This engine sounds fantastic at idle. It had lumpy yet smooth idle, typical of a straight six engine with high lift cams. As I stood over the engine bay while it idled to charge the battery, I tuned myself in, listening to every little sound this beautiful power plant made. Over the lumpy exhaust burble, I could hear the clatter of the valve train, the slight gnashing of the cam sprockets and the chittering of the fuel injectors feeding petrol into the combustion chambers. It was music to my ears; I felt calm and was taken away to a much happier place. It was as if the RB26DETT was singing to me, like an angel. I only wish I could have heard the car accelerating in second gear to the redline in a tunnel. Only then could I die a happy man.
Transferring power to the ground via all four wheels is the stock 6-speed gearbox which is held in place by Nismo gearbox mounts. The gearbox is bolstered by a HKS GD Pro triple plate clutch and it bites hard. This is not a clutch you want to use in daily driven traffic. Watching the mechanic maneuver the car around was not a pretty sight, as the uncooperative clutch made it almost impossible for the poor man to move the car around smoothly. The car “hopped” around the workshop more than it did roll.
A stock R34 GT-R’s ride height is quite nasty looking. The big, bulky body coupled with a gaping fender gap made the R34’s shape hard to love. To remedy that, a set of ZEAL Super Function racing spec coilovers were fitted. These coilovers are the cream of the crop, featuring a hi/lo and soft/hard adjustability function and a very, very stiff spring rate. Nismo caster bars and lower and upper arms at the front and rear were fitted to improve the car’s handling characteristics. Nismo anti-roll bars at the front and rear keep the car level during hard cornering. The original squishy rubber bushes were replaced with sturdier Nismo items for better chassis control and handling.
A good show car needs “showy” brakes. If you look carefully at all the winning show cars in the various competitions in the world, you’ll notice that they all have some kind of modified brake system. Besides, nothing says “Big Power Here” than a set of huge calipers and rotors. In the front, a pair of Grippen 6-pot calipers clamp down on 355mm 2-piece rotors while the rear brakes are Grippen 4-pot calipers, also clamping down on 355mm 2-piece rotors. The stock rubber hoses are replaced with Endless steel braided items for better braking performance and Motul RBF 600 brake fluid keeps brake fade at a minimum during hard braking.
Black wheels on a silver car always drive me wild. The silver paint of a car makes it look elegant and classy, but the black wheels give it an edgy, down and dirty race car look, kind of like the classy businesswoman dressed in a power suit who turns out to be very “adventurous” in bed. The wheels on this car are Nismo LM GT4 forged wheels, measuring 18 x 9.5 inches, wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza S-03 rubber, measuring 275/35/R18. The wheels are bolted on to the hubs with Nismo chromoly lugnuts and are extremely strong.
On the inside, the car remains mostly stock, save for the elaborate audio system which has taken over the space where the rear seats used to be. The original Nismo navigation system remains, which also doubles as the boost meter, oil temp meter and other things. An APEX’i turbo timer allows the engine to idle to let the turbine cool down while a GReddy Profec B Spec II boost controller controls how much air the turbine puts out. Wired to the GReddy boost controller is a GReddy boost scramble switch, mounted on the steering wheel. A set of shiny Hasemi pedals along with a Nismo gearknob add a touch of class to the interior.
The exterior of a show car is ultimately the most important factor in deciding whether it wins the show or not. The R34 was treated to a full Z-tune bodykit from Nismo which includes the front fenders, the front bumper, the side skirts, the rear bumper and the vented dry carbonfibre hood. A subtle but important detail is the addition of a Nismo carbon fibre B-pillar garnish. There isn’t much on the outside that shouts “Look at me
!”, but that’s the whole appeal of this car. It’s clean and subtle, but you know it’s trying to tell you something.
As a show car, it needs to be bright and I don’t mean neon pink paint. The headlights sport a PIAA 6500K HID kit along with PIAA parking lights to light the way in the dark and PIAA sports horns alert people of the car’s presence and PIAA silicon wiper blades keep water off the windscreen.
The sound system on this car is one of the most impressive I have ever seen. The rear seats have been replaced with an audio set up which can only be described as something from a sci-fi movie. There were white LEDs surrounding the subwoofer, which made it look like a landing flying saucer and white LEDs in all the display cases which housed items such as the amps and the capacitors. The head unit is a Clarion MAX-677VD double DIN DVD multimedia station which sends sound signals to an electronic Sinfoni Phaser Pro crossover which splits the signals to two different amps. A Sinfoni 120.4 four channel amplifier powers a lone MB Quart PWE-302 subwoofer which sits nicely in the middle of the car. The other amplifier, a Sinfoni 150.2 two channel amplifier powers the MB Quart QSD-216 component speakers located at the front and the rear of the car.
The whole system draws its power from an Optima Red Top battery, which is much more powerful than your run-of-the-mill battery. A full range of Phoenix Gold power accessories such as the fuse blocks keep the system from blowing the car up and a meter to keep track of how many volts is flowing throughout the system. Phoenix Gold titanium capacitors keep the flow of power to subwoofer constant to avoid any embarrassing dips in power which could result in a momentary lack of bass. The whole system is connected with Phoenix Gold power cables, interconnects and speaker cables. Keeping this car safe and sound from thieves is a state-of-the-art Clifford Matrix RSX 3.5 security system.
This car has everything. It makes huge power, has fantastic looks, a spec list that would make any car enthusiast scream in jealousy and a thumping sound system to make the ladies dance. This car is Perfection incarnate. There really isn’t much else that can be done to the car without wrecking the fine, delicate balance between power and looks that this car possesses. This car is, in a word, sublime.
By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed “mel-tune” stickers on the brake calipers and the emblem on the front fenders. You’re probably wondering who the owner of this car is. You’re probably thinking, “Where on earth did this guy come from?” I’m not at liberty to mention anything about him but what I can tell you is that Mr. X is an avid car enthusiast and this Skyline is just one of the many four wheeled masterpieces in his collection. If you’re really nosy and want to know what his name is, here’s a clue: look behind the black stars.
Nissan Skyline GT-R V Spec II (BNR34)
RB26DETT 2.6 litre twin turbo 24 valve 6-cylinder inline
ARC oil catch tank
Ported and polished, combustion chamber balanced head
Tomei Procam camshafts, 280˚ duration
Tomei cam sprockets
Tomei Type B valves, valves springs, retainers
Tomei competition gasket
Tomei head studs and washers
Tomei crank studs
Tomei racing oil pump
APEX’i cam studs
GReddy timing belt and cover
Nismo N1 block
2.8 litre HKS Stage 3 stroker kit
Trust oil sump
Nismo engine mounts
HKS T51-R SPL turbo kit
GReddy Stage 5 intercooler kit
GReddy inlet manifold
ARC titanium exhaust system incl. muffler
Koyo racing triple layer aluminium radiator
HKS 16-row oil cooler
Motul Inugel coolant
ARC radiator cap
Nismo water pump
GT carbonfibre radiator plate
Earl’s steel braided fuel lines
Nismo 280lph fuel pump
NGK Iridium 7 spark plugs
SARD 5 litre surge tank
SARD 260lph fuel pump x 2 (from surge tank)
SARD fuel rail
SARD 1000cc injectors
SARD Spec R fuel pressure regulator
Stock 6-spd gearbox
HKS triple plate GD Pro clutch
Nismo gearbox mounts
ZEAL Super Function track spec coilovers
Nismo caster bar
Nismo upper and lower arms (front and rear)
Nismo anti-roll bars
Nismo suspension bushes
Grippen 6-pot calipers, 355mm 2-piece rotors (f)
Grippen 4-pot calipers, 355mm 2-piece rotors (r)
Endless brake lines
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
Nismo navigation system
APEX’i turbo timer
GReddy Profec B Spec II boost controller
GReddy scramble boost switch
Hasemi pedal kit
Nismo carbonfibre B-pillar garnish
Nismo Z-tune bodykit
Nismo Z-tune vented dry carbonfibre bonnet
Wheels and Tyres
Nismo LM GT4, 18 x 9.5, +12 offset
Nismo chromoly lugnuts
Bridgestone S-03 tyres, 275/35/R18
PIAA 6500K HID kit
PIAA parking lights
PIAA 500/600Hz sports horns
PIAA silicon wipers
Clarion MAX-677VD 2-DIN DVD multimedia station
Sinfoni Phaser Pro electronic crossover
Sinfoni 150.2 2-Channel amplifier
Sinfoni 120.4 4-Channel amplifier
MB Quart QSD-216 6.5” component speakers (front and rear)
MB Quart PWE-302 subwoofer
Optima Red Top battery
Phoenix Gold power accessories
Phoenix Gold titanium capacitors
Phoenix Gold power cables
Phoenix Gold interconnects
Phoenix Gold speaker cables
Clifford Matrix RSX3.5 Security System
Links Dyno Tune: 03-5636 9901