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Drifter Body...Skyline Soul

This Skyline-powered 1996 Nissan 240SX is mad science at its best.

Al Mamoon
Feb 1, 2006 SHARE

One of the all-time great spoof comedies, the classic, "Young Frankenstein" (... that's Frankensteen), shows what can be done when "used" parts are mixed with creative thinking, three million gigavolts of electricity and a dash of cayenne pepper. We can see the same creative juices flowing at Premiere Autotechniks of Prembroke Pines, Florida. We're not saying the shop has an auto-opening skylight, retractable lightning rods and one of those cool machines with the towering electrodes. What we are saying is the crew has created a monster.

The ghoulish deed started with a 1996 Nissan 240SX and hit fever pitch when the idea of dropping an RB26DETT Skyline GT-R bullet in the engine bay materialized. Karl Allen of Premiere Autotechniks relates that the big challenge was getting the engine to nestle low enough in the car. "Building a project car can require a lot of experimentation. The key is don't be afraid to take chances. Be ready for some serious trial-and-error and to exercise a good deal of patience."

The RB has been built for big boost with a fortified bottom end and a massaged cylinder head. Within the race-bred block CP pistons swing on a balanced-modified stock crank via Crower connecting rods. Static compression checks in at boost-friendly 8.5:1. A grip of GReddy hardware is poised to zap the RB to life. The Nissan runs a GReddy T88 single-turbo conversion with a GReddy Type-R blow-off valve and a GReddy wastegate on call in supporting roles. Once the exhaust gases have energized the turbine as God intended, an A'PEXi GT Sport cat-back system leads the fumes to their ultimate demise.

Atop the mighty 2.6-liter inline six sits a fully reworked 24-valve cylinder head. Premiere Autotechniks and MTS handled the disassembly, porting, polishing and reassembly operations. During reinstallation the head was fitted with HKS 280 degree cams and adjustable cam gears for fine-tuning finesse.

On the fuel side a big Bosch pump feeds an Aeromotive regulated rail and ultimately a six pack of 1000cc Denso injectors. Tuning is handle by a DTA Pro stand-alone engine management computer. This combo has been torture-tested on the dyno where it belted out 780 whp. Apparently the monster was not mean enough. Since our photo shoot a lot has changed and the guys at Premiere say the car is now bumping 1,000 whp. We hope to catch up with the beast and do an update.

The silver lining on an engine swap of this magnitude is how far to the bone the body is stripped. This makes it easy to paint, especially if the game plan calls for a color change. The Nissan, stripped to its skivvies, was taken to All American Auto Collision where Raul Arbelaez did the honors with a hard-hitting Corvette red.

In conjunction with the engine install, the Nissan is adorned with an agility update complements of Tein coil-overs, 17-inch Volk Racing GT-7 aluminum, Kumho ECSTA Supra rubber and Rotora brakes. With a Skyline engine for motivation it made sense to enlist GT-R sized brakes for deceleration. The fronts feature 14.5-inch rotors and four-piston calipers while the rears run impressive 13.5-inch rotors.

Inside the hits keep coming with Sparco Milano buckets, GReddy gauges, Ichibahn tiller and shift knob and custom interior tricks. For added safety a Cusco roll cage and Sparco three-point harness system have been installed.

This car is a roller, not a poseur. It sees the road on a regular basis and is not bashful about revving to redline. "It's not just all show ... it's pretty and it's fast," says Allen. Indeed, the 240 provides a balanced attack of style, innovation and speed that would get an eyebrow raise even from the most sadistic of mad scientists--`Godzilla inside'--it doesn't get any better than that.

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By Al Mamoon
27 Articles

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