Styles come and go. The phasic nature of any trend or fashion is what enables something new to flourish, because nothing can stand the test of time. Exceptions do exist, however, and its those anomalies that I want to highlight and share with those of you who come to find this site; this article in particular. My aim is to bring to people’s awareness of builds that might sometimes fly under the radar amongst all those IG-famous cars that are always popping up in your “Explore” feed.
The first of which I will open with: a street-spec R32 Skyline GT-R done so right, so subtly.
To me, the R32 is the greatest of the GT-R pack, and I honestly think its a car that has remained timeless since its original inception in 1989. Okay, maybe not so much as the FD RX-7 or S2000, but in a way that it made an impression on the automotive industry with its game-changing, futuristic technology; less so in the looks department perhaps. Yet, thats got to be the reason I am drawn to the R32 – it means business and there’s evidence of that in its demeanor.
If you remember the post I uploaded back in July on Instagram, I made a whimsical visit to the Fueled Society show up at Harewood this year, and came across this aforementioned anomaly. A wolf in black sheep’s clothing. Now, if it weren’t for me dissolving my prejudices about a show I’d never really heard much about, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet up with Josh and his GT-R. Its purely because I did something a bit of my comfort zone – attend a car show on my ones, that I had [wrongly] predicted wouldn’t deliver satisfaction.
Thankfully, I chose to ignore the ignorant voice, which is a virtue to be honest. Its usually the emotional part of us that screams the loudest when we try to think, and I reckon that causes us to become deluded in whether or not the thoughts we have are objective. (If I am coming across as too philosophical, its probably due to the books on G.I. Gurdjieff I have read recently, pardon me).
Long story short, I messaged the owner of the pristine, prize-winning Skyline, via Instagram asking whether he’d be up for being the first to be featured on the site as a “spotlight” article. Before I knew it, we arranged to meet up near Fewston, so I could get some photos of the car in the wild on a quality countryside pass.
Like-minded carboys have no problem making conversation. I had no idea who Josh was beforehand, and all he knew about me was that I took photos of cars. As soon as I pulled up, I saw his car and it was so clean, I felt so guilty asking Josh to bring it out to some gravelly car park beside a reservoir. Josh being a calm & collected type of guy didn’t seem too bothered though. Josh is also fanatical about Japan, so it was inevitable for us to both go off on a tangent about our trips to the holy land. I also found out that we rented the exact same DC5 Integra Type-R you may remember from my previous blogposts!
Josh did happen to have a white DC5 Integra Type-R of his own, in Champ White. I guess he felt like he had to part with it and make a move into new, unknown territory. And what better than a transition from an iconic FF coupe, to an undoubtedly emblematic Japanese AWD two-door saloon/sedan.
Once he found the Black Pearl example online in September of 2015, he knew from that moment there was no alternative, and I reckon you’d agree. After what probably felt like a long wait, Christmas must have definitely arrived early when his R32 showed up on UK shores 3 months after he committed to the buy.
There is without a doubt more to this Skyline than meets the eye. But I am not going to spew out a copy-and-pasted parts list, for the sake of word count and perhaps maybe losing your attention. A lot of work had already been done on the car during its life in Japan, including the trick HICAS lockout kit by Midori Seibi which is a textbook modification for GT-R owners who want a purer handling experience.
Noteworthy in the powertrain department: R34 GT-R twin-turbo setup, air filter and feed by Apexi, oil cooler, downpipe and sports cat-converter by HKS, triple-core radiator by Koyorad, along with supporting mods such as the twin-plate clutch and oil catch can by Nismo. Of course, the Nismo reppin’ continues onto the exterior in the forms of the N1 front bumper ducts, side skirts, bonnet lip, and those show-stopping LMGT4 wheels sized to perfection in 17x9J dimensions.
Before we knew it, the sun was setting, and my camera was producing some disgustingly noisy images. We seeked out a multistorey car park, luckily one random find on a Harrogate side street provided a well-illuminated location.
What grabbed my attention when I first spotted the car sitting on the grass up at Harewood were the front axles’ Alcon RC4 brakes sized at 355 x 28mm, which make a lasting impression and should give us an inkling about the tuning philosophy Josh demonstrates – balance. Big power can be unnecesscary. Big brakes aren’t exactly a hindrance, and it gives Josh the confidence when driving spiritedly. These stoppers weren’t carelessly thrown on either. In fact, they couldn’t have been, because at the time Alcon didn’t sell the mounting components for both the calipers and discs. The custom carriers and bells were CAD-drawn and CNC-machined by Josh himself. Now that to me is outright cool. Even though its a detail many would miss when walking by at a show, its a commendable action making something fit with a factory-like finish.
Before heading off back to my car in a parking area I was praying for not to be locked, I got a couple shots of the interior. Nismo accessories adorn the cabin with their floormats, and shifter & handbrake leather boots, which – if I remember correctly – Josh bought from the Omori Factory on one of his visits to the car’s birthplace.
Engine vitals are displayed on Defi triplet gauges, accompanied by that critical boost pressure digi-readout Josh fitted himself, all mounted in custom 3D-printed cubbies. A part I recognised immediately was the Nardi “Deep-Corn” suede steering wheel, only because I had the exact same (in a smaller diameter) for my MX-5.
Firing up the Pro Stock Racing Japan built, balanced and tuned RB26DETT, that happened to once sit in an R34 GT-R, we made our way back to the reservoir car park.
GT-Rs are machines that will always have presence, no matter what state of tune. This one speaks volumes, without being shouty at all, and I am grateful to both Josh for bringing it out that day, and also that whisper in the back of my mind telling me to keep driving to Fueled Society’s event. Otherwise, I’d never have this high performance legend grace a blogpost on the site…