GT-S-the other Skyline. When it comes to Skylines the GT-R deservingly hogs the limelight. It's a racing legend with its twin-turbo RB26DETT, all-wheel drive and muscular body. However, the GT-S is nothing to sneer at with its single-turbo RB25DET, drift-friendly rear drive chassis and more JDM ambiance than you can shake a stick at.
Robert Gonzales' pride and joy is a '95 Nissan Skyline GT-S Type-M. The Type-M sports some upgrades not found on conventional GT-S models-namely body treatments, the biggest being a different rear wing and unique interior amenities. Robert, of Corpus Christi, Tex., is a member of Voodoo Racing, a local car club that rules the roost in the Lone Star State's gulf region. This small group puts out some serious rides. Fellow Voodoo clubber Josh Garcia built a number of high-profile imports, including a Datsun 240Z and an AE86 Hachi Roku. We asked Josh to give us the lowdown on the club: "Voodoo Racing is a group of hard-core automotive enthusiasts bent on pushing the envelope of all aspects of our vehicles' performance. Every member brings something to the table. We have aluminum welders, wiring gurus, fabricators, certified techs, tuning ninjas, machinists and some all-around bad dudes who step up whenever we need them." Established in 1998, Voodoo Racing is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, which is no easy feat for a car club.
In fact, Robert got this R33 from a fellow Voodoo clubber because the Nissan was thought to be vexed in some twisted way. "This poor Skyline was cursed," Robert says. "It had all manner of terrible things happen to it. Once there was something to do with the remote start system and a kamikaze slide into the porch, destroying an otherwise unobtainable front bumper. There was a garage attack while moving the car into the shop; it suffered a crushed FMIC, a trailer loading incident and many others." Robert has really brought the car to the next level. "Be gone, curse," Josh says.
The RB25 remains internally stock while the Voodoo crew bolted on a Garrett T70 turbo to pump out 16 psi on the street. The T70 is fed by a TiAL Sports wastegate and regulated via a GReddy PRofec B boost controller and A'PEXi blow-off valve. Josh pitched in by installing the GReddy intake manifold, which took some trial-and-error as the instructions were in Japanese. He also addressed turbo oiling and handled the XS Engineering front-mount intercooler fitment. The turbo's hot side leads to an Invidia 4-inch exhaust.
The R33's tuning scheme consists of an A'PEXi Power FC tuning computer running a six-pack of Sard 555cc injectors. The attention to detail in the engine bay delivers a clean look. We especially like how the RB's gold valve cover ties into the car's trick wheels, which incidentally happen to be Volk Racing GT-C Top Secret Edition wheels wrapped by Nitto 555 rubber. The front wheels measure 19x8.5 while the rears check in at 19x10-all are shod with 275/ZR30-19s.
The conservative GT-S body lines were brought up to GT-R spec with the addition of a Nismo front bumper, GT-R headlights, side skirts and rear spoiler-all painted the car's original Midnight Purple hue. The GT-R transformation continues in the cockpit with the addition of GT-R seats, suede headliner, shift boot and the pice-de-rsistance, a Nismo gauge cluster. "I really love the Nismo gauge cluster," Josh says. "It has a built-in LCD screen in the middle. I've never seen one before. It's pretty pimp to watch BMI videos ... and the backup camera feature is pretty nifty too." The remainder of the interior is dressed with a Razo shift knob and pedals, Schroth harnesses, A'PEXi multi-meter display, HKS turbo timer and an Eclipse double-DIN head unit with navigation that drives a set of Diamond Audio separates.
Since our photo shoot, Robert added a lip spoiler to visually bring the car lower to the road. He also says the car sees said roads three or four days a week, serving as his point A to point B transportation. An audio system in a car like this seems like a lost cause. What sounds better than the spooling and venting of a lively turbo?
The R32 GT-R, designed in every way to be a homologation model for competition, set the bar pretty high when it hit the track in 1989. The technological juggernaut dropped the hammer on all comers going 29 for 29 out of the gate in JTCC Group A competition, winning the championship from 1989 to 1993-even with weight penalties and the like. The R32 passed the baton to the R33, which also put up some monster numbers in the N1 Super Taikyu series, extending the GT-R championship run to 1997.
While it's hard to deny the super car credentials of the GT-R, Robert's GT-S packs credentials of its own. Bare in mind, this is one GT-S that just might be greater than the sum of its parts and is, undeniably, one supremely driveable JDM giant in its own right.
1995 Skyline GT-S Type-M
Power Output: 16 PSI
Garrett T70 Turbo
XS Exhaust Manifold
TiAL Sport wastegate
A'PEXi blow-off valve
XS Engineering FMIC
GReddy Intake Manifold
GReddy PRofec B boost controller
Infiniti Q45 Throttle Body
GReddy Airnix Filter System
Sard 555cc injectors
A'PEXi Power FC
Tein HA Coilovers
Nismo Clutch Set
Wheels & Tires:
Volk Racing Top Secret Edition GT-C
Volk Racing Top Secret Edition GT-C
Nitto 555 275/ZR30-19
Nismo front bumper
GT-R Side Skirts
Nismo gauge cluster
Schroth Harness system
HKS turbo timer
Eclipse head unit
Diamond Audio speakers