Super Street - - CONTENTS - WORDS & PHO­TOS David Ishikawa

VIP is one of the most iden­ti­fi­able styles of tun­ing in Ja­pan. Pri­mar­ily as­so­ci­ated with big body, four­door sedans, there are two traits that most VIP cars share: road-scrap­ing ride height and fit­ting the widest wheels pos­si­ble, even if it re­quires run­ning an ab­surd amount of neg­a­tive cam­ber and stretch­ing a set of un­der­sized tires past its lim­its. Those two traits have found their way into other styles and tend to be very po­lar­iz­ing—some love it and many hate it; how­ever, there’s one build in Ja­pan that breaks the mold—kaoru Imanishi’s Y32 Nis­san Cima.

At the Stan­ce­na­tion Ja­pan G Edi­tion show in Tokyo ear­lier this year, the 27-year-old’s dark me­tal­lic gray sedan stood out from the crowd with its enor­mous over-fenders that neatly hugged some of the deep­est dished wheels we’ve ever seen. If the fenders look fa­mil­iar, it’s be­cause they’re plucked from Kei Miura’s Pan­dem line, orig­i­nally in­tended for the E36 BMW 3-Se­ries, but some­how Kaoru mas­saged them to fit his Y32. More im­pres­sive was the way the rear fenders were cut to fol­low the rear door line, which still al­lows them to be opened. Miura-san was at­tend­ing Stan­ce­na­tion and we asked him what he thought of Kaoru’s unique con­ver­sion; he re­sponded with an em­phatic, “Nice!”

Kaoru is a self-pro­claimed sneaker head with a pen­chant for Nikes, so it’s no sur­prise that his sedan would have fresh kicks as well. A set of rare and ul­tra­w­ide Work Au­tostrada Mo­dena wheels sized at a stag­ger­ing 17x11.5” fronts and 17x12.5” rears has to give Kaoru the ti­tle of “Dish King.” To even see the Au­tostrada Mo­dena’s classic wide five-spoke de­signed face, you have to al­most look at the Cima di­rectly from its side pro­file— they’re that deep!

Stand­ing still or in mo­tion, the Cima grabs your at­ten­tion even more thanks to the help of 326 coilovers. Be­lieve it or not, the car is static and sits this low on the reg­u­lar, even when be­ing driven hard.

When asked about what kinds of re­ac­tions his car re­ceives, Kaoru ad­mits they’re a bit mixed. Most guys just make their judg­ment from what they see on the ex­te­rior, but just like the say­ing, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” there’s a lot more to this Cima’s story than its VIP looks. Open­ing the hood re­veals an un­ex­pected sur­prise with the orig­i­nal 270hp VH41DE V-8 en­gine with au­to­matic trans­mis­sion ditched; in its place are an RB26DETT and five-speed man­ual from an R33 Sky­line GT-R.

A curvy, cam­bered, and slammed VIP Cima with Godzilla’s heart? Ac­cord­ing to Kaoru, the whole pur­pose was to build a cool drift car and at­tend this year’s Drift Dressup event. We asked if he was go­ing to drift and he re­sponded that his cur­rent setup is a bit too pre­cious to throw on the track. His bank ac­count is al­ready deep in the hole, and the car still needs some re­pairs as a re­sult of a pre­vi­ous drift­ing ses­sion. Kaoru wants to en­joy it a bit more be­fore risk­ing it all, run­ning through clouds of smoke in com­pet­i­tive tan­dem battles. Fair enough for now, but we give him props for get­ting this far with an Rb­swapped, wide­body sedan no one ever saw com­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.