Armands’ Nissan Skyline R32 GTST (1992)

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The iconic Nissan Skyline goes back a long way. Spoiler alert, originally it wasn’t a Nissan – for its first two generations it was actually produced by the Prince Motor Company of Japan (which later merged with Nissan in 1968).

The Skyline has existed in various forms since 1957, and is now in it’s 13th generation. Though opinions vary wildly on the matter, it’s safe to say one of the most popular periods of this car is the eleven year period between 1989 – 2000 (better known as the R32, R33, and R34 generations).

The Owner: Armands, Age 28, Lives in Rotherham, UK
The Owner: Armands, Age 28, Lives in Rotherham, UK

Check out Armand’s Instagram here (he’s also an automotive photographer!)

The Skyline we’re looking at today is an R32, which debuted in 1989. The R32 (like its predecessors) came with a huge choice of engines, but the most popular were (and still are) the turbo-charged RB-series, straight-six engines, famed for their immense tuning potential. The RB series engines were available in a range of capacities for the R32 Skyline, from 2.0 litres right up to 3.0 litres.

The most desirable “RB engines” of this generation were the 2.0 litre turbocharged unit (found in the GTST Skyline – the car we’re featuring here today) and the 2.6 litre twin-turbo which featured in the infamous R32 GT-R. The R32 Skyline also featured a revolutionary (for the time) hydraulic four-wheel-steering system known as HICAS – this is a big part of what makes them such brilliant handling cars, considering their relatively long-wheelbase.

The R32 GTST is a really popular model with JDM enthusiasts partly because of the engine, but also because (unlike its big brother the GT-R) it was rear-wheel-drive!

This isn’t the first of Armands’ cars we’ve featured on Driveaholics (you can check out his wide-arched Quattro here). It’s safe to say that Armands is a bit of a visionary when it comes to his cars. Not only does he restore and rebuild them, his art for upgrading and modifying them in such a way where they don’t lose their original charm is really quite impressive.

Please note photo credits go to: Armands (the owner) and Down4rce Media and Shuttersauras_Rex.

Nissan Skyline R32 GTST (1992)

The Skyline has existed since 1957, and is now in it's eighth generation. Over that time it has become synonymous with the JDM scene and considered by many to be the ultimate Japanese sports car. Values for the higher spec models (such as the GTR's and GTST's) are now absolutely flying!
Model Year 1992
Model Skyline R32 GTST
Make Nissan
Keywords classic car, drift car, Japanese, JDM, Modified, Nissan, Turbo

Modifications

  • It has an aftermarket exhaust manifold, bigger turbo, front mounted intercooler, Audi R8 coil-pack conversion, aftermarket fuel pressure regulator, upgraded fuel pump, Apexi AVCR boost controller and the Airbox has been swapped to a sports filter.
  • It has Nismo two-way limited slip differential. The front wheel base has been widened by 80mm and the rear by 100mm. The "Hicas" system has been deleted for better predictability when drifting.
  • The car is on D1 spec fully adjustable coil-overs and is lowered all-round!
  • It has a modified S13 rocket bunny kit fitted, aftermarket front bumper, GTR front grill, fibreglass bonnet, top secret rep diffuser and roof spoiler fitted, the rear window has been replaced with perspex.
  • It has been painted in BMW Sapphire black, it's sitting on ROTA GTR D alloys, 18" 9.5j et12 fronts with 245/40/18 tyres and 18" 10.5j et12 on the back with 265/40/18 tyres.
  • It has the R33 skyline GTR seats fitted, with Sparco harness for the drivers seat, boss kit and a Momo steering wheel.

Interview with the owner

  • When did you first purchase the car?
    February 2018.
  • What made you buy an R32 model in particular?
    I grew up in Gran Turismo era, so always loved Japanese cars from those times. But never really thought about it after that until in recent years skylines became popular again and that did gave me a lot of memories of sleepless nights playing Gran Turismo 2 on PS1!
    Then about 4 – 5 years ago, one of my friends bought a drift car so we went to Buxton. I was really bad at drifting, however it did spark a fire in my heart. From that point it was clear – I needed a drift car. However me being me I decided I wanted to drift something special.
    I decided to build a drift Subaru, when that was done, I just kept watching old Japanese drift videos and I just felt that I needed a skyline in my life. I looked at the prices and understood that if I don't get one now, then I will never be able to afford one.
    So as soon as this popped up for sale went for it straight away.
  • What's it like to drive?
    It's interesting to drive, however the feeling that something might break never leaves me.
    It's a good handling car and when it comes on boost it makes people smile. It's not very comfortable as when turning the two-way diff is constantly fighting the car and making noises.
    The suspension is quite stiff, the seats are not the softest, the exhaust is making lots of beautiful noises, and spending more than an hour in it is a challenge.
    It does go sideways and it does bring a lot of attention. However it's daily-able. At least for my standards, as I've never been a fan of the comfortable and quiet ride!
  • Has the car been restored / rebuilt?
    The car has been stripped and painted few years ago, and the bodywork and rust got sorted. This was done by a bodyshop. However as with a lot of Japanese cars from this era – it requires some work to underneath each year.
  • Ok so onto the modification side of things. What have you done to the engine?
    It has aftermarket exhaust manifold, bigger turbo, front mounted intercooler, Audi R8 coilpack conversion, aftermarket fuel pressure regulator, upgraded fuel pump, Apexi AVCR boost controller and the airbox has been swapped to sports filter.
  • And you mentioned a two-way diff, tell us more about that…
    It has Nismo 2-way limited slip differential installed. It's also had the front wheel base widened by 80mm and the rear by 100mm. The "Hicas" system has also been eliminated.
  • What have you done to the suspension?
    It's on D1 spec adjustable coilovers and is lowered.
  • What have you done to the bodywork?
    It has a modified S13 rocket bunny kit fitted so it would fit the R32. It's got an aftermarket front bumper, GTR front grill, fibreglass bonnet, top secret rep diffuser and roof spoiler fitted, and the rear window has been replaced with perspex Window.
  • What have you done to the paintwork?
    It has been painted in BMW Sapphire black (done by a body shop).
  • What have you done with the wheels & tyres?
    It has been fitted with wider and bigger wheels.
    It's on ROTA Gtr D alloys.
    18" 9.5j et12 fronts with 245/40/18 tyres and 18" 10.5j et12 on the back with 265/40/18 tyres!
  • What have you done with the interior?
    It has R33 skyline GTR seats fitted, with a Sparco harness for drivers seat, boss kit and a Momo steering wheel.
  • Do you plan to do any further modifications to it?
    Yes!  It will definitely have a spoiler fitted, I have bought two already but haven't decided which one to fit. It will also be getting a splitter on the front and on the side-skirts.
    The rear diffuser will get some modifications done to it, different wheels, and at some point a new paint job.
    Possibly even a completely different body kit.
    Obviously it will be getting more power mods this year and there is one more big thing coming for it, but I will keep it as a secret for now!
  • Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?
    I'll take it to my grave!
  • And final question – you also mentioned you built a drift Subaru… what make and model is that?
    A Jap import Subaru Legacy GTB '96, BG5 twin-turbo (this is the original car I built for drifting)
Owner: Armands
Model: Skyline R32 GTST
Make: Nissan
Keywords: classic car, drift car, Japanese, JDM, Modified, Nissan, Turbo
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