If you're looking for a restored piece of JDM machinery, you'll have to look elsewhere. Repairing and refurbishing a classic car to operate exactly the way it did when it rolled off of the assembly line is as cool as grabbing a metal detector and scavenging for Civil War artifacts. Owner Alex McDowell, and the guys at Z Car Garage, built this '72 Nissan Skyline GT with goals that go well beyond the typical street-driven GT-R clone. Simply put, this Hako embodies the same intentions that Nissan had for the first GT-R—to be stripped of unnecessary components and race.
It might seem counterintuitive to cut a huge square out of a perfectly good Hakosuka that's built to race. But before you get your panties in a bunch, a spare hood is on its way from Japan and should be on the car by the time you read this. The hood served its purpose at the SEMA '16 show, highlighting the Hakosuka's centerpiece, the motor, or more specifically, the mythical OS Giken TC24 head. It's become somewhat of a holy grail for Datsuns with origins that date back to the '70s when Masaharu Okazaki, founder of OS Giken, wanted to improve on Nissan's L-series engines. Furthermore, he wanted to surpass the performance benchmark, which was Porsche's 930 Turbo, the fastest production car at that time. It was called the TC24-B1 and was made up of an aluminum twin-cam head design and the customer's choice of an L-series bottom end. Essentially what Masaharu-san made was a high-revving race motor used by street cars. Approximately 11 TC24-B1 heads were made at the time due to the expensive price tag, but if you had the setup, you were virtually unbeatable on the street.
Fast-forward 30 years and Alex McDowell's Hakosuka is not powered by the aforementioned TC24-B1, but rather OS Giken's new and improved TC24-B1Z. Equipped with better materials and present-day technology, Okazaki-san was able to improve on his popular head. Instead of the solid single-piece camshaft tower, it's been revised with a two-piece design to reduce friction. Alex opted for a chain-driven system, but OS Giken tells us there's an optional direct gear drive system to help with high-rpm stability. The camshaft rocker arm no longer uses a screw-type adjuster and has been replaced with shim buckets for a lighter rocker arm assembly. Lastly, the new TC24-B1Z has a completely redesigned camshaft oil lubrication system. Instead of relying on oil lubrication from the camshaft towers, oil flows through the rocker arm assembly directly to the camshafts. This gives the motor sufficient lubrication when it's screaming at 10,000+rpm. Finishing touches to the head include Jenvey 50mm individual throttle bodies. As for the bottom end, Alex was able to pick his own L-series of choice and opted for an LD28 diesel block that's been plucked from a Nissan Maxima. Internals have also been beefed up with JE pistons, Molnar rods, and a Crower billet crank. Fill it up with 91-octane and the TC24-B1Z/LD28 combo makes 470 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque without the help of forced induction.
McDowell has only owned the car for a year and a half but has already racked up some serious track miles. However, he does have his eye on a specific race 3,000 miles away from his home in Miami at Monterey Historics in California. Alex tells us he originally wanted to do the race with a BMW CSL E9, but he simply couldn't resist getting into a Hakosuka. "There's something special about how the vintage Skylines would dominate racing at 9 to 10,000 rpm back in the day," McDowell concludes. Although, with a race-prepped chassis powered by a TC24-B1Z in his possession, there's no doubt that there will be a historic recurrence.