SKYLINE NATIONALS

HOSTS NATIONAL NISSAN-FEST

DAVE CAREY

GET YOU FIRED UP SKYLINE NATIONALS – ADELAIDE

HOSTS NATIONAL NISSAN-FEST

The Skyline Nationals, held over a very sunny weekend in Adelaide, brought together a stack of awesome Nissans from across Australia.

The sixth Nationals since the inaugural event in 2006 and the second in Adelaide, organiser Adrian De Angelis and his team put together an itinerary designed to showcase the best both SA and the sporty Skyline could offer each other.

Friday’s sign-in and meet-and-greet evening at the Coopers Alehouse saw old mates get reacquainted and new friendships forged over SA’s finest brews.

Saturday’s Show-and-Shine in Light Square in the city centre was where things got serious. We caught up with judge Alex Agnoletti while he was on gate duty, “Everyone who enters gets their cars judged and the standard of cars we’ve seen arrive has been really good!”

“People put a lot of effort into their cars, so it’s important we take the time and respect

1994 NISSAN ECR33 SKYLINE GTS-25T MATT HORTON

“WHEN I bought it, it was only five years old,” says Matt of his lovingly crafted R33 show car. Since then, he’s fitted an RB30 ‘Aussie block’ onto which he bolted an RB25 DOHC head. The innards are a veritable shopping list of good bits; HKS cams, Supertech valves, 1000hprated rods and forged pistons; the list is endless.

Bolt-ons aren’t lacking either; a Plazmaman throttle body leads to a custom polished plenum chamber with CNC-machined, bell-mouthed runners inside for greater efficiency and flow.

Boosted by a Force Performance HTZ GT35-85-R turbo, Matt’s Skyline is now good for over 460kw and 800Nm at the treads. “I daily drove it for a year, then hit the drag strip and decided I needed to go a little bit quicker, then a little bit quicker again!”

Matt now freely he admits it’s gone a bit silly. “You can’t possibly use this much power on the street!” he warns.

“I’ve recently installed a RaceLogic aftermarket traction control. Once this is set up with the integrated launch control, things overall will be a bit more controlled!”

Eight piston front brakes (yes, actually) pull the Skyline up well, but nothing was going to stop Matt from picking up “Best R33” in the show.

Congrats!

1966 PRINCE S54B SKYLINE GT-B ROSS SMITH

“I REMEMBER seeing this thing at a car show y ears ago; it was named ‘Marvin’ and was very ‘90s’ show car with MDF lettering on the parcel shelf and a carpeted centre console made of wood!” Ross laughs of his exceptionally rare Prince Skyline.

Little did he know he would one day own that car.

“It disappeared for years, then popped back up on my radar when it attended All Japan Day in about 2008. Next thing, it was on Gumtree.”

Excitement barely contained, Ross made an offer and drove it home.

Some may consider the RB20 turbo conversion and R32 brakes sacrilege, but for Ross it meant the purchase was affordable, as restored or original S54s go for exceptional money these days.

“I’ve installed new seats, harnesses, Black Racing alloys, tidied up a bunch of stuff and got it running well, then campaigned it in the 2015 Classic Adelaide Rally. We got through the last stage and pulled in behind Jim Richards. Suddenly we smelled fuel; we’d blown a fuel regulator, plus the brake booster was full of fluid. We almost rear ended Jim coming into Victoria Park so we parked it, walked away and went for a beer!”

their work,” adds Alex. Truer words have never been spoken at a car show and its indicative of the comradery that Nissan’s historic Skyline can muster. Aussie-spec six-bangers or turbo-powered JDM torquemonsters; they’re all welcome on the grass.

Nissan’s R31 model prevailed in numbers with healthy showings in both AusDM and JDM forms; an emerging classic, the model is cheap and cheerful enough to get younger people involved in the movement, still cool enough to be old-school, yet modern enough to drive without agony!

Sunday’s sunny track day at Mallala had participants split into four groups according to approximate horsepower.

“PEOPLE PUT A LOT OF EFFORT INTO THEIR CARS”

1975 DATSUN C110 240K COUPE Gerry Castrechini

“I’VE OWNED this 240K since 2006; I bought it before Japanese classics were ‘cool’!” laughs Gerry. “I paid $350 for it; it had a lot of rust; right up into the roof!”

As owner of Bayswater restoration business Presto Industries, Gerry had the tools and the means to resurrect the sorry Skyline, but this is no resto.

“It’s like a Foose rendition of a Skyline,” Gerry explains. “It runs all GTR stuff; tail lights, interior, grille and steering wheel.” With only 197 KPGC110 Skyline GTRs built, it’s fitting a tribute has been built from one of our once-unloved 240Ks, but under the bonnet things deviate drastically.

Gerry’s 240K runs an RB25 with a high-mount turbo, R33 Skyline turbo gearbox and tough R200 rear end.

To pull things up, late-model GTR brakes are fitted all around.

“It’s quick, as the plate says, but it’s not a race car; it’s got three TVs in there, electric mirrors and windows, aircon; I drive it every day.

If I’m not in the work truck, I’m in this.”

With Gerry’s 240K the only C110 Skyline/240K model represented at the Nationals, we’re glad he gets out in it so often. Just don’t line it up at the lights!

With numbers down on previous years, organisers opened up the track to anything with four wheels, Skylines rubbed doorhandles with Datsun 1600s, Nissan 300ZXs, a Mazda MX5 and even a Toyota Soarer.

Fortunately, the outright Fortunately, the outright winner was a Skyline, so no heads needed to roll (or hang in shame), with Tom Crista putting in a sprint time of 1.18.40 in his R34 Skyline GTR.

Nissan’s Skyline is one of those vehicles that transcends genres, with a rich history dating back over fifty years that spans countries and continents. Carbies, turbos, drifters, rally racers, turbos, drifters, rally racers, classics, modern, chrome bumpers or coil-overs; there’s a Skyline to fit your mould.

Really, the sky’s the limit.

“SKYLINES PLAYED AT MALLALA LIKE SKAIFE AND RICHARDS YEARS AGO”

1987 NISSAN HR31 SKYLINE GTS COUPE DANNY GROSE

DANNY’S JDM HR31 Skyline was imported a few years back with only 20,000k’s on the clock. “The first Aussie owner sat on it and didn’t use it, but the next guy did; it had 69,000 on it when I bought it three years ago.” That’s still great k’s for a 30-year-old car.

“It was completely stock,” Danny admits, “I’ve fitted a later-model ‘silvertop’ RB20 out of an R32, plus R32 four-piston brakes up front and twin pistons on the rear.”

He also upgraded the suspension, “I got a set of Emotion U-Weld coilovers; you take the factory HR31 strut, mess around with them a bit and combine the Emotion gear.”

With a set of SSR Professors, 17x8 up front and 17x9 at the back, it stops, goes and turns better than it did from new; so how’s the downforce? Danny laughs, “I fitted a GTS-R bootlip spoiler. It must be working; I’ve put 30,000k’s on it since I bought it and it’s still right-side up!”

Danny leaves us with his thoughts on R31 ownership, “I did daily it for a while and still drive it heaps. I love to get it out; I don’t think cars should be stuck in the garage!”

1988 NISSAN HR31 SKYLINE GTS-X MATT WROE

MATT AND his dad Neville really put the hard yards into Matt’s R31 coupe to get it where it is. “It sat in a guy’s shed for 12 years,” Matt tells us, “Then he was going to wreck it for his Datsun 1600 project!”

Luckily the Wroes saved the JDM coupe from the indignity of 510-donation-status. Neville explains, “We brought it home on a trailer, lifted the engine out and fixed all the rust. It rusted in different spots to an Aussie one, thankfully, so we used some bits from a local sedan.”

Matt has only owned the car since May 2015, but has done plenty to get it to this standard, “I took three months long-service leave and I spent every day on it. For example, we had to cut the guts out of an Aussie bootlid for the inner frame; the skin was fine on mine but rusted inside!”

Aside from all the rust work, another great challenge was getting the front “GT Auto Spoiler” working.

Exclusive to the GTS-X, it deploys at 70km/h for that extra front-end downforce!

The Wroes did such a top job of Matt’s R31, they not only drove it down from Queensland, but took the “Best R31 Runner Up” gong home with them.