Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  Street Legal R30 Nissan Skyline Coupe Painted Millennium Jade w/ 300hp Turbocharged 4-Cylinder FJ Engine
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Street Legal R30 Nissan Skyline Coupe Painted Millennium Jade w/ 300hp Turbocharged 4-Cylinder FJ Engine

Fully-built and boosted, this FJ-powered, R30 Skyline found its way onto U.S. soil and serves as a history lesson to GT-R fanboys

Sam Du
Apr 3, 2020
Photographer: Arlen Liverman

You don't have to be a diehard Nissan fan to realize this old school, 1984 Nissan Skyline R30 is wicked cool. However, it's safe to say many of us probably don't have a clue as to what its history is and why this particular coupe is so unique. Perhaps we're all well-versed in GT-Rs and RB inline-six engines, but how about the boxy R30 generation and its four-cylinder FJ from the early '80s? Today, finding these cars is as rare as finding true love on Instagram, which is why when we discovered Brandon Miller's pristine 1984 Skyline, we knew we'd just struck gold. It takes an extraordinary type of Nissan buff to import a JDM Skyline, especially one that's not on everyone's wish list, however, one that is just as iconic as the GT-Rs we all hold in such high regard.

THE R30 SKYLINE AND ITS ROOTS IN FIA GROUP 5 RACING

While the R30 was offered in over 20 iterations, plus various powertrains that include the L-series inline-six and even the four-cylinder Z-series, it wasn't until Nissan campaigned the Super Silhouette Skyline in FIA Group 5 racing, where it become a poster child for fanboys. Only having to retain the factory hood, roof and doors, the rest of the R30 racecar received flared fenders, a massive front spoiler, towering rear wing and turbocharged 2.0L inline-four rated at nearly 600hp. Between '82 and '83, the R30 won seven races, but the look of the Super Silhouette Skyline helped inspire the bosozoku movement on the streets of Japan. Despite this, the R30 didn't quite have enthusiasts falling in love with the chassis years down the road, the way that the R32, R33 and R34 GT-Rs did.

1984 Nissan Skyline Jenesis Rear Spoiler 01 Photo 22/22   |   Street Legal R30 Nissan Skyline Coupe Painted Millennium Jade w/ 300hp Turbocharged 4-Cylinder FJ Engine

BACKGROUND BRANDON

Brandon hails from Richmond, Virginia, and makes his living as a financial advisor. His background in Nissans doesn't just start from messing with a handful of Maximas and Pathfinders in high school but stems from watching his dad tinker with Datsun 510s, 240Zs and Porsche 911s when he was a little kid. Guess you could say the rhyme to his reason was all in his blood. He continued to ramp up his project car portfolio with an LSX-swapped BMW 528 E39 wagon, a S62-swapped E38 7-series, and a '95 240SX with S14 SR20DET Silvia conversion. Quite the collection, but as he got older, he realized he didn't want to forget the era in which he grew up in. "I was born in 1979 and therefore am quite obsessed with all things from the '80s. My current build, which is my most ambitious project ever—two and a half years in the making, with another few months to go—a 1986 Z31 300ZX which is inspired by the Datsun 'Z432' powered by a fully-built naturally-aspirated RB28." While his Z31 project sounds bananas (and we'll promise to bring you the feature when it's done), it's his R30 Skyline that has folks geeking out now and, interestingly enough, it's the one project car he had to do the least amount of work on.

R30 LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

"About five years ago, I'd seen a DR30 with Watanabe wheels and flares for sale from Driver Motorsports which was semi-local. I had never really paid any attention to R30s before, but of course, I've been far more familiar with the Hakosuka and R32-R35 GT-Rs. I was in complete awe with the R30. It was one of the best-looking cars I had ever seen, and it just screams 1980's. It's greatly underappreciated and it's also far rarer than the later examples. Unfortunately, I assumed I would hate owning a right-hand-drive car. About a year or so later, that car came up for sale again, and once again, I passed. That decision haunted me for the next five years..." Inundated with regret, Brandon decided to see what RHD car he could snag up and see if his fear of sitting on the right side would bother him. He found a cheap R31 Skyline for sale in his own backyard and loved driving it right away. It was now time reopen the search for the R30.

1984 Nissan Skyline Barramundi Design Raycod Wheels 01 Photo 22/22   |   Street Legal R30 Nissan Skyline Coupe Painted Millennium Jade w/ 300hp Turbocharged 4-Cylinder FJ Engine

THE PERFECT FIND

As you can imagine, finding a R30 in the States, let alone a mint condition one, is damn near impossible. Brandon shifted his search parameters to Japanese auction and dealer sites where, in his head, he was looking for a 2000 Turbo RS model with the factory red and black two-tone. Eventually, this particular '84 Skyline surfaced, however it was already well modified and dialed-in. Typically a red flag for most project car owners, but this one just seemed too good to be true and then some. "It was exactly as I would want to build my own for the most part, but it was already fully built, which scared me. I paid a guy to check it out and he told me it was spectacular. It started life as a standard HR30, a base model which means it likely had an anemic L20 inline-six non-turbo engine. My best guess is that they took a rust-free base model and turned it into the car you see now. They spared no expense on the build."

BORN AND BUILT IN JAPAN

A 36-year-old car is bound to show its age, but Brandon reassures us this car is as gorgeous in person as it looks in the photos. The Millennium Jade paint, borrowed from the R34 Skyline GT-R color palette, glistens in the sunlight while it's impossible to find flaws even in the door jambs and engine bay. Speaking of the bay—gone is the original L-series and in went a tuned 2.0-liter FJ20 that's been upgraded with a larger Garrett turbo and Blitz front-mount intercooler. "It's kind of like taking a GT-S and swapping out the RB25 for a GT-R's RB26. The FJ20 was the most powerful four-cylinder at the time, the first sequential fuel injected engine and the predecessor to the SR20DET." Once an OS Giken clutch and NISMO limited-slip were thrown into the mix, the boosted DOHC 16v engine put down 300hp managed by an A'PEXi Power FC system.

1984 Nissan Skyline fj20 engine Photo 22/22   |   Street Legal R30 Nissan Skyline Coupe Painted Millennium Jade w/ 300hp Turbocharged 4-Cylinder FJ Engine

The previous owner also ensured the rest of the spec box was up to bar with Blitz coilovers, Cusco sway bars, R32 brake conversion and staggered Barramundi Design wheels. Inside, the cockpit looks just as immaculate with its OEM equipment perfectly intact, plus the addition of a Recaro driver-side bucket, suede-wrapped rollcage and Nardi steering wheel.

IMPORTED VIA JAPAN PARTS SERVICE

With the Skyline completely vetted out, the next move was pulling the trigger. "I utilized my friends at Japan Parts Service to broker the deal and import the car. They're a sister company to Japanese Classics LLC, and I had used them to import a bunch of stuff already and couldn't have been more pleased to learn they could also import cars. I have known the owner of Japanese Classics for 20 years and was happy to have him help me along the way. And yes, it's fully legal due to the 25-year rule."

Brandon signed the check and four months later, his very own R30 Skyline dream car was sitting his garage, rust-free and in better quality than he could've ever imagined. The only changes he made afterwards were adding a two-tone color scheme, routing the wastegate to the exhaust and, post-photoshoot, swapping out the wheels to RS Watanabe R-Types. "I don't really plan to do much to it other than drive it since it's already so well done. Such a rare thing for me as I love modifying cars, but I never get tired of seeing it in my garage or taking it out for spirited drives which I try to do as often as I can."

CHECK OUT SOME MORE R30 SKYLINES FROM THE SUPER STREET ARCHIVES:
532whp RB26-powered monster from Oregon
Classic JDM styling from Thailand
No joke... 1,000hp RB-swapped R30

By Sam Du
1000 Articles
Street Legal R30 Nissan Skyline Coupe Painted Millennium Jade w/ 300hp Turbocharged 4-Cylinder FJ Engine
Tuning Menu
1984 Nissan Skyline (R30)
Owner: Brandon Miller
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Instagram: @rvae38
Power: 300hp (est. )
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder DOHC FJ20 engine; Garrett turbo; individual coil conversion; Blitz intercooler and oil cooler
Drivetrain: five-speed manual transmission; OS Giken twin-disc clutch; NISMO two-way limited-slip differential
Engine Management: SR20DET ECU with A'PEXi Power FC
Footwork & Chassis: Blitz coilovers; Cusco sway bars; bumpsteer spacers; adjustable tension rods and trailing arm brackets
Brakes: R32 Skyline conversion
Wheels & Tires: 16x8.5" -4 front, 17x10" -23 rear Barramundi Design Raycod wheels; 215/45R16 front, 245/40R17 rear Yokohama Advan Neova tires
Exterior: Jenesis front air dam and rear spoiler; 240Z flares; Millennium Jade paint; two-tone graphics
Interior: Recaro composite racing seat; HKS/Blitz gauges; Nardi steering wheel; Denon head unit; Bose rear deck speakers; upholstered rollcage
Thanks: Chris Bishop of Japanese Classics, Daniel Pellegrino of Japan Parts Service, Mike Poore, DJ Manifesto, my wife and of course my dad for instilling my love for Nissan into my DNA

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

Alex Markovic originally purchased his EM1 to be a dedicated winter beater, but about 15 miles into driving his new car home, that plan began to change.
RodrezSep 21, 2020
Tyler Graff picked up his Mk4 Supra when he was only 22, but don't think for a minute that he was some spoiled kid. He worked his butt off to be able to buy it as well as build it to the car it is today.
Sam DuSep 18, 2020
Riding shotgun with Randy "the Rocket" Pobst as he takes on Willow Springs in a 2020 Civic Type R
RodrezSep 18, 2020
Other than its color-scheme the connection between this Civic DX hatchback and the late, great Kobe Bryant isn't completely clear, but talk to its builder, GhostboyAki, and things clear up in rather short order.
RodrezSep 17, 2020
Here's a rundown of what each of the Super Street Network staff think about Nissan's latest and greatest
RodrezSep 16, 2020
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP