Make Mine Original : Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)


For Part II, click HERE

For Part III, click HERE

For Part IV, click HERE

Once upon a time, when people mentioned 'Godzilla', there could only be One car... the Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32). These were back in the good ol'days when the GT-Rs were still part of the Skyline range, unlike today's incarnation, the R35, where it is now simply called the GT-R (which may or may not point to more vehicle variants in this 'GT-R' line-up).

So if you've been lucky enough to have driven a R32 GT-R, the few things to strike you include its agility and how 'mechanical' everything feels. Anyone who has spent any seat-time in the more current electronic-laden cars should find the return to something as 'bare-bones' (by today's standards) as the R32 to be a delightful breath of fresh air.

This entry intends to chronicle the Before condition and After results of this R32 GT-R. Needless to say, this isn't a wild shot in the dark for the owner, since at one point in time, he has simultaneously owned the R33, R34 and the R35 GT-Rs...!

we're not fans of the starter button...!
The seductive temptation to walk down the path of immense horsepower and random after-market modifications can be difficult to resist, so the fact that this car is likely to be returned to as stock a form as possible is especially laudable.

At last count, there are 3 R32 GT-Rs in Singapore, 1 R33 GT-R and approximately 10 R34 GT-Rs. The R35? By our last reckoning, the figures were bordering on 300 units on the road over a two-plus year period, with many of its new converts not familiar with the GT-R's illustrious racing history.

This was even before official distributor, Tan Chong Motor Sales, started bringing in the car with the full technical support of the NHPC (Nissan High Performance Centre).

Rather, it is the twin allure of Nissan's automated twin-clutch gearbox (convenience!) and supercar-slaying prowess (power!), which endowed it with an unparalleled ease-of-use, that sealed the deal for many newcomers to Nissan's GT-R fold.

Many of these buyers would never have considered any earlier GT-Rs simply due to a lack of an automatic transmission variant.

Of the ex/current-owners of R34 GT-Rs who did take the plunge into the R35 pool, not many have hung on to their new cars for longer than a year, even if they continue to hang on to their R34s.

In fact, there has been a slight surge in transactions for the R34, which many enthusiasts feel has already achieved Cult Car status. Even amidst the furore over the new R35 or even the R34, there remains a certain respect that is reserved for the original, the one, the only... R32 GT-R.

For readers who only prefer to read about the shiny, the new, the trendy, this is probably your last stop since we intend to delve into the nitty gritty behind the restoration of this Cult Classic.

The pictures are more than capable of speaking for themselves... as you can see, the condition of the car is far from original, and even further than perfect. We haven't bothered to tidy anything up yet, because the point is to appreciate the slow transformation from decrepit to 'DANG!'!

Don't laugh, these rear seats were pretty practical

Even as we speak, the tow truck has just been by to flat-bed the R32 away due to a smoky engine-bay. Also the bonnet latch was jammed so it wasn't possible to peek under the bonnet to see what the matter was... in any event, we do suspect some serious oil leakage.

front wheels

The easiest thing to do would be to slap on a fresh coat of paint and patch up whichever pipe (s) is (are) leaking before heading on our merry way, but we feel that wouldn't be, um, right, nor did we feel this would do any justice to the mighty GT-R's legacy.

rear wheels; notice rusty bits and chipped rims

Thankfully, the owner seems to think so too, so we're lucky enough to be with the car to document its transformation... and of course, whoever else reads Motor Prime can hop along for the ride too.

we're not sure about the bonnet either!!

Like the rest of our stories, click on the images to enlarge (sometimes we have captions to the pictures that you don't see in its reduced format), if you want to better appreciate the sorry state of the car at present.

The engine bay will also be completely re-worked, as will the engine, since it's very likely the pistons have long gone.

we're not fans of the starter button...!
Don't laugh, these rear seats were pretty practical
front wheels
rear wheels; notice rusty bits and chipped rims
we're not sure about the bonnet either!!
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