Back in the days, for those who were born in the late 70s towards the early 80s… there were a number of TV shows with kick-arse rides as the main attraction or even a sidekick. There was the chitty-chatty Pontiac Trans Am named KITT in the Knight Rider series with David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight without all his bouncing boobies’ friends from Baywatch, iconic mustachio mucho Tom Magnum driving his Ferrari 308GTS snooping around in Oahu, Hawaii, or even the dynamic duo of Miami Vice in their Ferrari Daytona and Testarossa solving the cases while donning their Armani suits attracting attention from the beauties of the 80s without having the bad guys noticing ’em in the crowd. Doesn’t makes sense does it? Way back then, somehow or rather, it does makes sense to us kids.
Fast forwarding to the 90s, Jacky Chan glorified Mitsubishi especially the Evolution Series on the silver screen making it one of the most sought after 4WD in the market. And then there was the Thunderbolt. It was the action movie before anyone even heard of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the rest of the lots. Despite the largely popular Jackie Chan, what actually commanded my attention was the villain’s ride, the Skyline GTR BNR32 in the blackest of black showing off its prowess both on the street and the track. In the end, as in any action-packed movie, the villain lost along with the R32 being totalled at the Batu Tiga Circuit. Nevertheless, it didn’t deter me from liking the R32. It’s boxy yet streamlined shape appeals to me and thousands others of the Skyline R32.
As for the performance, the R32 was a wailing banshee on the racetracks for its competitors. 320hp of happy horses were let loose from the in-line six cylinder of the RB26DET at the free will of the heavy-right foot syndrome of men and women who crave for speed. The R32 was proven on track… and it was not like any of those one-hit wonder songs, it dominated the Japanese Touring Car Championship (JTTC) winning all 29 races, holding on to the series title from 1989 – 1993. The domination took the R32 another 50 races from 1991 to 1992.
It was the ferocity that it showed during the Australian Touring Car Championship that had the R32 being nicknamed ‘Godzilla’ by the Australian press as it ended the Yankees’ domination in the Ford Sierra Cosworth and held the Bathurst 1000 Championship for three years pushing the Skyline to be a household name in Australia and the rest of the world. Performance has always been the priority of the Skyline ever since 1959, the birth of the KPGC10 or better known as the renowned HakoSuka among the Japanese locals and Skyline enthusiasts.
Haniff’s R32 might not be the mighty GTR specs while we’re at that, but it is one of those R32 that you rarely see and you would love to have sitting pretty in the garage while waiting for the weekend to let all the hellish ponies loose for a quick fix of touge or even at the track. It’s a four-door GTS specification. It might not have the spec A Touring Specs that was decommissioned due to the Godzilla’s domination years after years but it does pack enough punch for a spirited drive every now and then Haniff needs it.
Having a four-door R32 has its up and down though. Haniff’s very own Godzilla has been mistaken to be the A31 Cefiro, the Skyline close cousin one time too many. But a closer look would reveal that it’s an R32 GTS and there’s no mistaking it being a Ceffy. The sheer weight of 1300kg makes it a nimbler version compared to the GTR and with a heart transplant of plonking and RB26DETT it would make a better performance for the GTS compared to the GTR in terms of power-to-weight ratio.
With that in mind, Haniff did a transplant and got a later version of the R34 GTS engine, and RB25DET Neo. Being a powerboat driver for M7, he did the necessary and improved the performance and management with the M7 blow-off-valve, M7 air filter, M7 management, firing, oil cooler and exhaust system. Hoses were upgraded to SAMCO while the rest was kept stock in order to ensure less headache along the way. 280 ponies underneath the bonnet was more than enough to keep Haniff grinning in satisfaction while driving his Godzilla.
Safety has always been a priority for Haniff as he doesn’t need to lose control of all 280 ponies without being in control or getting a tight slap from his girlfriend every now and then. An M7 6-pot calipers at the front kept the happy couple all freakin’ jolly in the car. Falken 235/40/18 rubbers provides all the traction he needs once in a blue moon as he corrects the Godzilla from a crazy angle while drifting.
Body styling was also kept minimal only to get it as fierce as the R32 with R32 bumper, sideskirts and spoiler. A carbon fibre bonnet complements the Custom Silver Star flip-paintjob that costs about RM1200.00/per litre. It might look like a regular silver paint apart from the highly visible M7 logos, the R32 reflects a different colours once it’s bath in the rays of the sun and light. The same minimal treatment was given to the interior. MOMO Competition was his choice for the steering, gearknob and pedal. He kept himself comfortable while shifting gears and steering the R32 in and out of corners in R32 seats while the girlfriend sleeps soundly. One thing for sure, this particular 4-door Godzilla is a sleeper indeed.
Engine: RB25DET Neo transplant, M7 air filter, M7 engine management, M7 firing system, complete M7 exhaust system, M7 blow-off valve, M7 oil cooler, SAMCO hoses, 280hp, 0-100km/h: 8secs
Exterior: Carbon fibre bonnet, R32 front bumper, GTS rear bumper, R32 sideskirts, R32 spoiler, 50% tinted, custom Silver Star paintjob
Interior: R32 seats, MOMO Competition steering, Kenwood 4-way speakers, M7 boost meter
Rolling Stock: 18″ R34 wheels, Falken 235/40/18 all round, M7 High-Low Soft-Hard Street Dampers, 6-pot M7 calipers and rotors (front), NISMO struts
words: Hage’ pix: Jeo, Hazwan Najims & DICE