I'm not really sure why I wanted to buy a GT-R. I've never really been a guy that likes a lot of attention, but I couldn't get over the fact that in my opinion there was always a Japanese car out there that could outperform the Supra. I had already gone 10.32 @ 141 in my Supra. I just wanted to be faster than that, period. I guess I felt like if I wanted to be faster at the drag strip I needed to be able to get out of the hole faster. My thought process led me to the epiphany that an AWD Supra would be the ultimate car. I guess I figured the GT-R to basically be an AWD Supra. I had heard all the stories of how strong the blocks were and how they could make the same power as the Supras with less mods, the basic stuff you read on the internet or in magazines. So I went on the hunt for one." - Jake Diehl
If I had a nickel for every time someone came out with the phrase "I am going to buy a Skyline, and make it 1000hp", I would have my own 1000hp Skyline by now. The Skyline has been one of the most sought after import automobiles in this country since the day it first appeared in the pages of a U.S. magazine. The 1000hp Skyline is the fabled creature you hear about, you read about, you dream about but never see unless you download the car guys' spank films put on the Internet by Top Secret Japan.
The rumor came to me one day while in conversation with Erik at ATI Procharger about a trip we were planning for a few feature cars I had to shoot in Kansas City. While we were ironing out the logistics of the trip, Erik mentioned he had an associate through his private company that was the proud owner of an 1100hp Skyline, and at first it was disbelief.
At first I thought to myself: "The car doesn't exist stateside." Then the true reality of it all hit me: KANSAS? What the hell is a car like that doing in Kansas of all places? Do Dorothy and Toto really need an 1100 hp Skyline to get to Oz? And how do you drive a car that heavy on a yellow brick road with HKS Hipermax Drag coils? And who is the mad scientist hiding behind the dark curtain in this fantasy world? After all, isn't Kansas supposed to be Mustang, Mopar, and Camaro country? This monster can't exist in a place like Kansas. Even the day I got off the plane I still didn't believe it until I touched it with my own two hands. From that day forward I have believed in unicorns and leprechauns.
However, Jake Diehl, owner of Dieman Motorsports and our fabled Skyline, is not as much of a believer in fairy tales, as his road to completion with the R33 project was bumpier than any yellow brick road, filled with more fairy tales than Disney's archives, and riddled with personal anguish.
If you were ever thinking of buying a Skyline you may want to make sure you enjoy being beaten in your wallet by a sledgehammer over and over again. Problems include: there's no warranty for these cars, it's nearly impossible to get parts for in the United States, and it's a pain in the ass to get by DMV and emissions testing.
As if just getting your new Skyline registered isn't enough, there is always the "what if." Remember Murphy's law? Anything that can go wrong will. Our very own Dorothy, Jake was carried off to California one day by a United-owned, Boeing-powered Tornado and dropped into the driver's seat of his new/used R33 Skyline to drive over the river and through the desert all the way back to Kansas City, but wait... Murphy's law... What do you do when you try to get home in your new car and spin a bearing just 2 miles from where you purchased it? In Jake's case you push it back to the dealer, get on a plane home the following morning and wait for the phone to ring. The dealer agreed to fix the bearing problem and to deliver the Skyline to Jake in Kansas City as soon as it was ready.
Approximately one year later, the car was delivered from its California crypt to Kansas City only to provide another fantastic surprise: Jake made it another, you guessed it, 2 miles before the familiar noise of mashed bearing crawled into the cabin from under the hood yet again. At this point the car was tucked into a corner of Dieman Motorsports to collect dust while Jake pondered what to do with his shiny new, $50,000 paperweight that he had driven a total of four painful miles in the last year. At this point Jake decided to make some phone calls looking for a built motor, only to be met with the challenge of a lifetime.
One particular phone call to the dealership, which Jake was skeptical of at this point, included the statement: "Let an associate of mine build the motor, he is more than capable of building a 1000hp Skyline motor." This was the trigger for the 1000hp desire that would ultimately be the goal of Jake's project R33. The wheel was spun and the needle ultimately landed on the only other person in the United States supposedly capable of building a 1000hp RB26 (to be left nameless). "I told him I had a Supra that ran 10.32@141 and I wanted to better that time with my new Skyline," Jake said. The response he got was "Here's what you do kid. You send the car to me and write me a check for $100,000. Then I'll build you a car that runs faster than 10.32 @ 141. You can't build a 1000hp GT-R in the states without me. It will never be done." And the 1000hp goal officially became a mission, to prove it could be done.
One last call to the dealership led to the mention of a motor builder by the name of Wakita, and after some checking in the GT-R community, the consensus was that Wakita was the man for the job. Reluctantly, Jake shipped his car back to California for another attempt at life for his car with the stipulation that no one but Wakita was to touch the car. Three months later, with no calls from California, the nerves started again. Jake finally got in touch with his builder who questioned Jake's intended setup, and convinced him to sell everything and let them take charge of the build.
"I almost had a heart attack, but at this point I was so frustrated that I broke down and said fine, just build the car," Jake said. "If we are going to do it this way, make it the most extreme GT-R this country has ever seen, no questions asked. I basically gave him an open checkbook build." This is a bold statement from anyone, especially when his car and the shop building it are over 1000 miles away. It was time to go to Cali unannounced and make a surprise visit to Blast Racing.
The magicians at Blast Racing, Wakita and Naoto, were shocked to see Jake walk through the door, but to Jake's surprise they had a number of parts already purchased and the build started. While in California Jake and Naoto ordered the roll cage and planned the interior layout. Every month Jake would receive pictures of new parts bought or fabricated for the Skyline, and every few months Jake would send a check. At nine months Jake put his foot down, it was time for the Skyline to be born and shown for the first time at HIN Kansas City.
Another flight back to Blast Racing for the final pickup and dyno pulls were scheduled. But an injector issue caused flooding and kept the car off the dyno. Crushed at this point, it was time for Naoto to come to Kansas City and tune on the Dieman Motorsports Dyno after the HIN show. With the injector issue fixed, the car laid down a sad 812hp @ 34 lbs of boost. "I was dejected," Jake said. Thankfully Naoto was unhappy as well and returned to California determined to figure out what the problem was. After two weeks, Naoto called back suggesting that the car needed a bigger intercooler; and Jake turned back to Erik at Procharger for direction. During a House of Boost outcall mod session in someone's garage, Erik introduced Jake to Scott Sweat of No Sweat Welding. With the new intercooler designed, built and installed, it was time for Naoto to come back to Kansas City.
After a little tweaking by Naoto, the first pull posted up a 1016 @ 2.1 kilo. The mission was accomplished, but Naoto wasn't done. Slowly turning up the boost and fine-tuning the ECU, every pass was over 1000hp. Jake was finally at rest with his investment, and Naoto was ready to go the full 2.3 kilo and see what the dyno had to say. The number was beyond anyone's expectations, 1133awhp with 670.9 lb-ft of torque. Naoto and Jake had completed the build on what would represent their collective dreams of what an R33 should be: 1133awhp with A/C, power steering, and a backseat - and in Kansas City. Now the Midwest is making a comeback, one car at a time. So Supras beware if you roll up on a Skyline west of the Mississippi. You may be in for a surprise. Visit www.houseofboost.com to view the video of the final 1133hp dyno pull.