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1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R - Flip The Script

Going with the flow in a 700+hp skyline gt-r? Why the hell not?

Brad Lord
May 20, 2011
Photographer: Alastair Ritchie

There are three types of car modifiers in this world. Those that like to keep things pure and do things by the book, those who like to follow a recipe but not to the letter, and those that just go with it and see where it takes them. Australia’s Adam Drady is definitely one of the latter. What he’s created could well be the wildest street-driven Skyline GT-R in the Southern Hemisphere. Throwing down 751hp at all four wheels, we know it’s one of the most powerful.

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Adam’s GT-R infatuation, like so many others, began with a ride in a friend’s car. He had always like the shape and stance of Nissan’s giant-slaying BNR32 Skyline, but once he had experienced the might of an angry RB26 at close range the deal was sealed he simply had to own one himself. The hunt commenced straight away and within a few weeks time he had a lightly damaged GT-R in his garage and big ideas in his head. Initially the Skyline was repaired and put back on the road, but over the course of the next year it remained in a constant state of evolution. In its final guise the motor featured a pair of big cams and a sizeable TO4Z turbo, and according to Adam was making in the vicinity of 550hp. Not bad power for a bona fide daily driver.

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Future upgrades for the Skyline were centered on a full show-style makeover, but things didn’t end up going quite as Adam had planned. A chain of events that began with the purchase of another identical-looking GT-R for his girlfriend, and ended less than two weeks later after an engine blow in his Skyline, prompted a major rethink. His broken Nissan was pushed into the corner to await an engine rebuild and work began, albeit prematurely, on the other car.

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The first round of modifications included the creation of a custom body kit. We really wanted to do something different, says Adam, so the guys at Adrenalin Autostyling grabbed a bunch of different kits and basically cut and shut them to fit together. Once Adam was happy with the look the Nissan was rolled into the paint booth and liberally coated in the exclusive BCNR33 Skyline GT-R hue Midnight Purple. And that’s the way it stayed for the next two years.

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During that period work on the original GT-R’s engine rebuild had progressed to the point it was ready to go a back in the car. Adam entrusted the build to performance engine building specialist, InStyle Automotive, which had pieced together a bulletproof bottom end package built around a Tomei 2.7-liter stroker kit. Up top the RB26’s DOHC 32-valve head underwent some serious performance-enhancing surgery that included a custom port and polish job and the fitting of HKS 272-degree cams and adjustable slide pulleys, oversized Inconel valves and uprated valve springs. Everything was going to plan, which can only mean one thing disaster was once again looming.

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This time it was the engine in the second GT-R. But it didn’t take Adam long to decide what to do. The dead RB26 was removed, and preparations to fit the big motor began. Of course having the car in bits was perfect time for Adam to give the car a bit of an exterior and interior overhaul, starting with another respray, this time in the not-so-subtle hue of Mippa Andromeda a heavy flip with chunky metallic flakes. With the paintwork complete attention turned back to the engine, which was bolted in place complete with a host of new go-fast bits. The piece d resistance: a huge HKS T51R KAI turbo sitting on an HKS stainless steel manifold and mated to a 60mm external wastegate from the same maker.

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Other notable upgrades included fitting of a huge Fantasy Performance front mount intercooler, an HKS 4-inch exhaust, and a huge fuel system comprising of twin Bosch Motorsport 044 external pumps, a high-flow Walbro in-tank pump, new fuel line, plus an HKS adjustable rail and massive 1000cc injectors.

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While all this was going on the rest of the car was coming together too. There was only one style of wheel Adam wanted to fit, and after a lot of time spent figuring out what offset would fit best, an order was finally put in for set of 18x10.5-inch Work Meisters. Cusco adjustable coilover suspension was fitted and the front brake got a worthwhile upgrade with big rotors and KTS 4-pot calipers. Inside ZNZ Customs overhauled the cockpit adding Bride inserts on the door cards, and leather trim to the Bride seats. Adam finished things off with a bunch of gauges, a MOMO steering wheel, and one of the best looking JDM shift knobs we’ve ever seen. At least we think it’s a shift knob anyway!

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All that was left was the tune, and right off the bat things looked promising.With just 12psi dialed in, the GT-R was making 415hp at the wheels, prompting Adam to quickly cover the 750 required run-in miles, so they could wind the boost up to see what it was made of. When that day came, 24psi made 675hp at the treads, and soon after 27psi saw a whopping 751hp. Still not content, Adam tried for more, but with 31psi running through its veins the turbo had run out of puff, and the only gains to be found were in the mid-range RPM zone.

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While those sorts of numbers seem excessive for a car that he still drives to to and from work everyday, Adam isn’t quite ready to give up yet. I really want to hit 1000hp at the wheels, he told us, so to make that happen we’ve got a huge Mr Turbo billet turbocharger on order. It’s a whole lot bigger than the T51R, so we’re pretty sure it’ll do the trick. Who knows where that will take him...

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Tuning Menu

1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR32)
Owner Adam Drady
Hometown Queensland, Australia
Occupation Carpenter

Engine Nissan RB26DETT; Tomei 2.7-liter stroker kit, forged connecting rods, forged pistons, stoker crankshaft and oil pump; HKS 272-degree camshafts and adjustable slide pulleys; custom ported head, Inconel valves, custom valve springs, custom intake manifold, 80mm throttle body, Blitz SUS air filter, HKS T51R KAI turbocharger, 62mm HKS wastegate, exhaust manifold, fuel rail, 1000cc injectors and exhaust system; Turbosmart Godzilla blow-off valve, Fantasy Performance intercooler, 3-inch intercooler piping, 4-liter surge tank, braided fuel lines, 2x Bosch external fuel pumps, Walbro in-tank pump, 2x inline billet fuel filters, GReddy radiator, remote oil filter, Tomei baffled sump, polished heat shield, custom overflow tank, Speedflow fittings

Drivetrain Factory GT-R 5-speed gearbox, Direct Clutch twin-plate clutch, factory diffs

Engine Management A’PEXi Power FC with De Jetro; Turbosmart E-Boost

Footwork & Chassis Cusco adjustable coil-over dampers, Cusco stabilizer bars

Brakes KTS 4-pot front calipers, 315mm front rotors, Endless brake pads, factory rear calipers/rotors

Wheels & Tires 18x10.5" Work Meister wheels, Silverstone 235/40R18 tires front/rear

Exterior Custom Adrenalin Auto Styling body kit, custom bonnet, Mippa Andromeda paint, Ganador mirrors

Interior Bride seats and door trim; MOMO steering wheel, Defi oil pressure, boost, oil temp, water temp meters, Auto Meter 5-inch tach, voltage, boost gauges

Audio Kenwood DVD head unit, Fusion 12-inch subwoofer, Fusion speakers, 2x Bezerk amplifiers

Thanks You Rick and Jason at Adrenalin Autostyling, Blitz Bodykits, Duane, ZNZ, Scooba Steve and Dave at Instyle Automotive, Yanos and Ebbe at Christine Ave Tire & Mechanical, Jackie Chan at CJ Motors, Adam at Dr Datto Motorsports, Mathew at Pits, Ricky at Fantasy Performance, Mrs. Miranda, and Nathan for driving me around when I lost my driver’s license , ,

By Brad Lord
19 Articles



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