The Smart Way to Build an R34 GT-R – Speedhunters

Imagine this, it’s 2005 and the factory warranty on the BNR34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec II Nür has just ran out. What are you doing?

Dare I say, owners of the V-spec II Nür at this time will be split into the middle. Those who will feel liberated when the guarantee is lost and begin to adjust to their heart’s content, and those who have either more self-control, or a crystal ball to see the future.

The latter, predicting the future value of the model, could have locked the GT-Rs away in a safe deposit box at the local investment bank. V-spec II Nür values ​​are either disgusting or a blessing depending on whether or not you currently own them. If you are not lucky enough Not Have a Nür – or even a “regular” R34 GT-R – you better get a paper bag or bucket now.

Back in 1999, you could have bought a new GT-R V-spec for $70,000 with today’s money. Today, the cheapest V specification I can find goo net (Used car platform here in Japan) Available at $102,000 USD.

It gets even more nauseating when you look at more popular models like the GT-R V-spec II Nür, which Nissan has a selling price of about $79,328 in today’s money. Today, examples of low mileage fetch more than $400,000 USD.


Now that I’ve filled my paper bag really well, a cup of tea, a digestive biscuit and a little peek are needed.

These cars were, and in some respects still are, Mr. Emperor Penguin. They deserve to be there with Ferrari and Porsche, although the most expensive Porsche of the same old model I could find goo net (Frisinger 993 GT2) was just over $300,000. It’s apples and oranges, but there’s some sobering perspective though.


When the R34 GT-R was new, it was considered a complex and technologically advanced machine straight out of the minds of the crazy rich Japanese. But today, despite the all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering and the twin-turbo setup, it looks more simple and analog. It just looks like a car. It is no longer seen as an advanced form of alien life from the planet the rising sun.

However, the model commands some of the highest prices for used cars on the planet. Which is why most sane people don’t modify R34 GT-Rs anymore. This brings us to the significance of this story.


If you want to build the ultimate custom R34 GT-R like the one owned by Koichiro Yamashita, you need to start with the ER34 Skyline 25GT Turbo coupe. It’s even better if you can actually find one in Bayside Blue.

Koichiro-san completely transformed the grandfather’s 25GT Turbo specification using the original GT-R front and rear bumpers, front and rear fenders (later OEM panels were welded onto the original bodywork) plus all other GT-R-spec trims.


If someone did all the stellar things Koichiro-san did here for the slick GT-R, they’d probably say goodbye at this vacation home.

If you ask me, this is the best option.

I don’t think the GT-R was meant to be an assembly car. It was never designed to sit in a gallery, or worse, in someone’s garage, and not drive. The BNR34 was supposed to be a driver’s car from the moment designer Kozo Watanabe got the go-ahead from Nissan officials upstairs.


The R34 GT-R was not only meant to drive, it was also meant to drive Difficult. The stock drivetrain was designed to withstand more than twice as much as a stock engine could muster, which in turn meant it was always meant to be tuned up to 11.

Koichiro-san’s 25GT was converted to an 11, and then some. Pushing more than 700 horsepower to the wheels of a fully built RB26 with one turbo hanging from its side, this car can be driven just as a GT-R was meant to be, not spoiled and sheltered like some endangered animal on the brink of extinction.


Having the freedom to adjust as he likes has also allowed Koshiro-san to choose the configuration that perfectly suits his driving style.

He believes the FR (front-engine, rear-wheel drive) is the purest form of automobile, especially on the track. While the GT-R might provide monster grip in all weather thanks to its all-wheel drive system, the FR’s configuration in the 25GT Turbo requires more involvement to keep things in check. Koichiro-san has replaced just about everything else from the GT-R, but by sticking with rear-wheel drive it’s a little happier and not that heavy.


The all-custom suede interior is another modification that today’s GT-R owners might think twice about implementing in their garage-disappointed investment. That’s a bit of a shame, because, let’s face it, aside from the gaming PC’s multifunction display, the interior of the stock GT-R is pretty lackluster. Like most similar Japanese cars from this period, you’re paying for performance, not luxury.


Speaking of performance, this is one area in which Koichiro has raised the humble 25GT Turbo engine to the highest standards of a finely tuned GT-R. While the Nür-used Nür block that’s badged like it may not run (Koichiro-san admits without remorse because it’s just a fashion accessory), this is the capable RB26 bored to a 2.7L and built from the ground up.


I’ll drop the full spec list at the bottom of the page, but some interesting features include the inlaid OEM GT-R35 fender channels just behind the front wheel arches. There are also massive Brembo brakes from the late R35 GT-R, which sit behind some custom-painted 19-inch Nismo LMGT4 wheels.


The car was sitting in 7-Eleven, parked like an elephant babbling thanks to HKS’ 272-degree cameras. I think Skyline would rather be on the racetrack than taking pictures in the city.


Koichiro-san’s 25GT Turbo engine might not be as obscene as the real GT-R V-spec II Nür, but I’d say it has the same spirit, if not more.

It’s on track (the GT-R broke records at the Nürburgring) regularly. It makes ridiculous amounts of power for a street car. Most importantly, it fulfills its destiny as a driver’s car, intended for its intended use and well used.

It also gave Koichiro-san the ultimate GT-R build experience, and that’s invaluable.

Toby Thayer
Instagram _tobinsta_

#Smart #Build #R34 #GTR #Speedhunters

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