Gloria? Say who, or what? It’s Nissan’s plusher, JDM version of the Infiniti M but it’s not exactly a car we would consider thrilling—or so we thought. You see, when you get rid of its original V6 and replace it with a highly-tuned 500hp SR20DET, then it becomes a lot more interesting. As Takanori Yoshida of Super Made explains, “These big Y34s are getting ridiculously cheap in Japan, hit by the usual depreciation big sedans of this kind suffer from.” He thought he would do something totally different and turn one of these grandpa mobiles into a dedicated drift car.
Osaka is the place where VIP-style originated from, back in the early 90s when Junction Produce began experimenting with big Toyota and Nissan sedans. Take a trip to the city and it’s obvious just how popular and widespread the style is these days, as slammed Crown Majestas and Cimas prowl the streets with their big, deep-dished wheels and fear inducing tinted windows. With more sedans making their way to the drift world, we’ve seen an evident fusion of styles and trends as these cruisers become weekend drift machines. This is probably what inspired Yoshida-san to attempt something of his own, and in the process designed an all-new Super Made Instant Gentleman body kit for the Y34. The aesthetic changes are buttery smooth, adding sharp flavor to the redesigned front bumper, which sports larger openings and a pair of integrated foglights. The car is used daily, and pretty much drifted daily, too; if Yoshida-san happens to find a deserted stretch of road, he isn’t going to pass up the opportunity to swing the rear end out wide. Which kind of explains the scars but then again a drift car without battle damage isn’t very authentic! The Instant Gentlemen treatment moves on to the profile, where taller side skirts help bring the whole car closer to the ground. And with aero-scraping VIP looks comes the drift stance, obtained by running 18-inch satin black Work Meister S1s at each corner, wrapped in stretched 225/40 Federal RSR tires.
Like all of their demo cars, the Super Made Gloria rides on adjustable 326 Power suspension using drift-spec dampers and hard springs that are mated to S14 adjustable lower arms and tension rods, modified to fit the Y34’s layout. This was necessary to allow the required geometry settings needed when setting up a serious drift car. Front brake calipers were pulled from a R32 Skyline and offer ample braking performance for both street and track drifting. But what really gives us wood here is what’s under the hood (hey, that rhymes).
One of the reasons Yoshida-san was attracted to this project is mainly because he wants to drift a car that isn’t the usual S-chassis he’s used to driving. The Gloria, thanks to its larger mass, would be able to carry a lot more momentum into the equation, something that on some drift tracks can come in quite handy. But the stock car (with its run-of-the-mill VQ engine) was just too nose-heavy, which is where the idea to transplant an SR20 came from. The little 4-banger could be positioned further back into the engine bay, giving a good front-to-rear weight balance and plenty of room to get creative. So, after fabricating custom engine mounts, the motor was slipped into place, along with its top-mounted HKS GT3037S turbocharger; it provides a good tradeoff between power and response, allowing the stock SR to develop 500 reliable horses. A custom Super Made exhaust system was made up, ending into a pair of very VIP-ish chrome square tailpipes, but despite the design there is no hiding the fact this there is a raspy SR powering this Y34. Seeing as how the Y34 came as an automatic only, even in its JDM-only RB25-powered guise, something nice and strong had to be used to transfer all that power efficiently to the rear wheels. After much thought, it was decided to go with a Z32 5-speeder, deemed strong enough to handle the power, not to mention the added driveline abuse drifting throws into the equation.
Only the essentials were upgraded in the interior, starting off with the Bride carbon-Kevlar bucket seats sitting on extra-low rails. Yoshida-san contacted his friend Miura-san at TRA Kyoto to find an alcantara steering wheel, a perfect match to the red seat fabric. The transmission tunnel console had to be modified, not only to allow the manual shifter of the Z32 gearbox to pop out in the right place, but also to fit the lever for the side brake, replacing the car’s pedal-operated system. A Trust Profec B boost controller helps keep boost pinned at 1.5 bar while additional instrumentation includes the Auto meter tachometer and A’PEXi Power FC Commander.
The need to stay unique in the drift world often pushes people to try out crazy and never-before attempted conversions and as Super Made proves, originality has once again helped them stay one step above the rest.
1998 Nissan Gloria (Y34)
Owner Takanori Yoshida
Hometown Osaka, Japan
Occupation Owner and designer at super made
Power 500hp and 350lb-ft at 1.5-bar of boost
Engine Super Made custom SR20DET conversion with custom engine mounts; HKS stainless steel exhaust manifold, GT3037S turbine, external wastegate, front pipe, SPF foam filter and 800cc injectors; Super Made oil catch tank, custom exhaust system and intake pipe; Blitz intercooler; NISMO in-tank fuel pump; custom-mounted Koyo race radiator; Trust oil cooler
Drivetrain Nissan Z32 5-speed transmission, custom transmission mounts; Exedy triple-plate carbon clutch and lightweight flywheel; ATS 2-way LSD, 4.6 final drive
Engine Management A’PEXi Power FC; Trust Profec B boost controller
Footwork & Chassis 326 Power adjustable suspension; S14 adjustable lower arms and tension rods; modified suspension mounts
Brakes R32 Skyline 4-pot front brake calipers, Project µ brake pads; Yahoo Auction handbrake lever
Wheels & Tires Work Meister S1 18x9" (front), 18x10" (rear), Federal RSR 225/40R18 (front & rear)
Exterior Super Made Instant Gentleman body kit, including front bumper, side skirts, rear fenders, roof spoiler, carbon roof and rear bumper; Infiniti rear emblem
Interior Bride GIASII bucket seats and low-mount seat rails; Willans harness; TRA Kyoto steering wheel, custom side brake conversion; Auto meter tachometer; Trust shift knob