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Speed Freak

Come feel the adrenaline and sheer terror of riding inside a genuine 630hp, 300 km/h GT-R Skyline!

Words by Michael Knowling and Julian Edgar, Pix by Julian Edgar

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Rrrrraaaahhhhh!! The demented scream of this kick-ass Skyline GT-R is like no road car that you've ever heard. Its overwhelming aural violence matches perfectly with the shattering performance - you can simply forget all about other fast cars that you might have driven. This widow-maker has sufficient acceleration and top-end speed to ensure that after a ride you get out laughing like a blubbering idiot....

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Get a few revs aboard, put the hammer down in first gear with and rrrrraaaahhhhh!! the wastegate exhaust dump's open and wheelspin is happening. Pluck second an instant before you hit the rev-cut and rrrrraaaahhhhh!! the seat neck-strains you forward. You try to focus - to make comparisons - this must be what it's like being strapped in the space shuttle moments after launch.... Grab third at eight grand and the wastegate exhaust again explodes open rrrrraaaahhhhh!! In this gear you've got time to flash a glance down at the speedo as well as the tach. The needle's spinning past 180 and then rrrrraaaahhhhh!! you're into fourth and again instantly on boost. The GT-R with its aftermarket body kit is starting to move around on what's become a threadlike thin stretch of bitumen and you figure its time to back off. How long's it taken? Mebbe nine or ten seconds...

Second, third, fourth, fifth - no matter what gear you're travelling in, if the tacho's past 4000 rpm and the hammer's down, there's gonna be some serious action a-happening! When boost hits, you just gotta grab hold of something and squeeze tight. Either that or you can put your head between your legs and kiss your ass good-bye! Every time you select a gear and punch it, the next cog-swap is just an eye-blink away. Otherwise it's "crack, crack!" as the engine management's rev limiter pulls the plug on fuel and ignition. Believe us, once that birdhouse-sized turbocharger gets pumping, the tacho needle simply launches skyward, and there's more torque around than you'd find at a Kenwood dealership - this car's just totally "*^%#ing unbelievable!

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It's on the open road where this blue R32 GT-R can really show its colours - a wind-out through the gears in urban traffic conditions would result in splattering someone all over the road. Cruising along at the state limit of 110 km/h, the car can trickle along effortlessly with just the presence of the growly exhaust and stiff ride imposing on the car's factory-level comfort. But reach down one or (if you're extra-game!) maybe two gears, push the gas and the needle on the 180 km/h speedo starts on its way for a second journey around most of the dial... With the car working as only a RWD during our drive, a wish for wheelspin in second or third at the state's legal limit is obliged by just a push of the right-hand pedal. Talking about top-end performance, we've heard a reliable whisper that 7500 rpm's been seen in fifth..... that's a cool 300 km/h....

A car like this sure makes one awesome sight as it hyper-speeds along the black top - and it's a sight we Aussies are becoming more and more used to. That's because once cars like this have past their use-by date in Japan, they can be picked up for a few measly yen and shipped here to Australia - ready for action amongst the kangaroos and koalas. This blue streak is a perfect example.

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Its history in Japan is a bit sketchy, but an educated guess would have us believe it was used in the street drags and shoot-outs that seem all so common in Japan. The crazy lads over there threw a whole host of Japanese brand-name go-fast gear at the car including a Trust intercooler, numerous interceptor-style engine management add-ons, and of course that monumental Endless Racing body package.

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But everything wasn't smooth sailing. When the engine was pulled apart at Allan Engineering in Adelaide, it became pretty obvious why the last owner in Japan had decided to off-load the car - it had detonation damage like you wouldn't believe! Craig (the senior half of Allan Engineering) suggested that it's not surprising though, given the mis-match of piggyback engine management systems that had been wired in. So Craig and his son Adam Allan started with a clean slate and went for an Australian manufactured Autronic SMC fully programmable management system. And, of course, there was the matter of that battered looking set of pistons and a head squish zone damaged by the impact of fragmented spark plugs...

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Allan Engineering pulled the motor down and inserted a set of Aries 0.5mm oversize forged pistons that dropped the comp ratio to 8:1. Already fitted were GRex 7/53 inlet and 63/7 exhaust cams, with 0.340 and 0.360 inch lift (respectively). The rods, crank, oil pump, valves and valve springs are all standard Nissan.

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What's definitely not standard is the bloody enormous turbo. It's a GReddy T-88 with a compressor wheel featuring a 1.6 inch inducer and 3.55(!) inch exducer. A 50mm external wastegate looks after boost control while a superb Japanese-fabricated tubular exhaust manifold mounts the new snail. This uses 1.75 inch primaries which are each about 14 inches l-o-n-g.

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Allan Engineering is an Autronic agent and so they selected an Autronic SM2 management system for the Nissan. One of the advantages of this system is it allows a combination of throttle position and manifold vacuum monitoring, allowing it to work successfully with the six-throttle engine. Nippodenso 650cc/min injectors are used, with ignition by six Bosch external coils triggered by six Bosch ignition modules.

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On the engine dyno (so there are no conversions from wheel horsepower figures here!) this combination developed a peak power of 630hp at 20 psi boost, and 580hp at 17 psi. When we drove the car, boost was set at 17 psi.

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Before the car set sail from Japanese shores, it had been endowed with a selection of the world's choicest aftermarket pieces. Of these, one of the most plainly obvious mods is the suspension. It's hard - damned hard! You can feel your internal organs bouncing around - at only moderate speeds! Although no-one knows what rate springs are in service, we can guarantee that those English-made Quantum adjustable struts are set up purely for motorsport use.

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Another mod that has altered the car's handling for the better is a pair of Veilside adjustable tension rods on the front end. These help to add-in some much-needed castor - the car tramlined noticeably les than most GT-R's. Blurred at most times, the 17x7 and 17x8 front and rear Veilside 5-spoke rims fill the guards out with a pair of 235/45 and 265/40 Yokohama Advans - which cope remarkably well, given the loads that they are subjected to.

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An aggressive body kit designed by Endless Racing was also fitted in Japan. It comprises a very complex front bumper, a brow for the top of the grille, slinky mirrors, side skirts, a "Batman" style rear wing and a rear bumper that cleverly acts as a diffuser off the fuel tank. Next to the fuel tank also lives the exhaust system that came ex-Japan. It kicks off at the front end with a single 3 inch custom pipe (with a cat converter replacement pipe), and leads into a huge 4 inch Jasma stainless pipe with a centrally-placed resonator and rear-mounted muffler. The dump pipe off the wastegate is totally unmuffled....

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Once you've dared to step aboard for the thrill of a lifetime, you'll notice that the interior remains virtually standard with Nissan's own seats and door trims. What isn't so normal is the Volanti flat-bottomed steering wheel, Alpine CD shuttle, Endless short-throw gearknob and the GReddy boost gauge, Autometer Pro Comp tacho and shift light that seem to stare you down. There's also a springy-looking cup holder on the passenger's side of the dashboard - which is just the thing to make sure you wear a splash of Coca-Cola when the driver gets eager!

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What will no doubt get a few people a bit more excited is that the car is now for sale. It's a steal at the A$50,000 asking price - plus compliancing cost if you want to drive it on the road. But apply only if you're totally insane...

Contact: Allan Engineering +61 885 272266

Thanks: Awesome Automotive (+618 8277 3927) without whom the test drive wouldn't have happened!

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