Father-son time is an opportunity for bonding and passing knowledge down to the next generation. For many of us, that usually means playing catch with dad in the backyard or attending a pro baseball or football game. For folks like Katsuya Otani and his dad, Masao, it was all about car customization.
Father Built Previous Features Cars: R34 Skyline GT-T and S13 180SX
First things first, let's reintroduce you to the father, Masao Otani. We gave you a glimpse into his personal project car collection two years ago, which included a gorgeous 590hp R34 Skyline GT-T and Tsukuba-ready S13 180SX—both painted an illustrious white. By trade, Masao is a master auto body tech at TM Car Body Shop, and he's responsible for executing the paint and body work for every major rotary build from the RE Amemiya stable. Interestingly, while his day-to-day involves sculpting Mazdas, his manufacturer of choice just happens to be Nissan, which, as you can tell, has heavily influenced his son.
R33: Least-Loved Generation of the Skyline GT-R
As the son of a respected fabricator and painter, Katsuya turned to his father for advice, and they collectively decided on the R33. While most of us drool over anything that wears a Skyline badge, the R33 is considered the least popular generation of the GT-R family—often overlooked as it doesn't have the classic appeal of the R32, the charming looks and Hollywood attraction of the R34, or the muscle of the R35. There's definitely a family semblance with certain design cues like the taillights, but something about the R33's appearance doesn't strike a chord like its siblings. For Katsuya and Masao, this made it a challenge and the ideal candidate for a father-son project.
RB26 Stout; Focus on Exterior, Fenders and Time Attack Theme
Being Katsuya's first real build, he didn't set out to tinker with the RB26 outside of a replacement turbo and A'PEXi exhaust. The majority of his attention was focused on aesthetics. In stock form, the R33 isn't a complete eyesore, and definitely retains some of its R32 roots, but it just didn't have an aura about it that would make you go "wow". He determined to transform its image, the father-son duo laid down groundwork to update its styling that would mirror his father's white S13 and R34. This meant incorporating off-the-shelf parts while also designing new pieces from scratch. The biggest challenge was updating the exterior without being too gaudy, something you'd typically notice with over-fender kits. Katsuya wanted something aggressive but also subtle that didn't take away too much away from the R33's natural lines. The result is 20mm widened metal fenders on each corner, sculpted by hand. They almost look OEM if you didn't know any better. Masao took care of the main metal and fabrication work while Katsuya was in charge of the initial preparations and final smoothing.
The rest of the exterior follows a time attack theme and is accented with plenty of carbon fiber, from the Auto Select front lip and canards to custom sidepieces that establish a horizonal design. The design of the sides flows nicely into to a one-off rear diffuser, which as you can guess, was fabricated by Masao as well.
With the heavy lifting out of the way, the rest of the project was completed with a perfectly spec'd set of 18-inch Volk Racing TE37V wheels, plus Final Konnexion coilovers and Cusco arms. Last minute additions include the Bride seats, Ganador mirrors and Personal steering wheel.
From deciding on what car to buy, finding the right model and finally modifying the Skyline to the stunning beauty she is today, Katsuya reminds us that this project car couldn't have been realized without his father's love and assistance. Major props to dad, and we can't wait to see what the father-son duo come up with next!