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one way or the other - power, handing, usability, looks and cost. It's subtle, yet aggressive. It's comfortable, yet fast.
“After building my Evo-powered Mitsubishi Mirage race car, I wanted something I could get more use out of,” Ng, who operates a motorsport-focused workshop in Auckland, explains. “The Mirage was 500 horsepower and 1,250 kilograms (2,760 pounds), but was terrible to drive on the road and only had two seats. The original idea for this car was to build something interesting on a budget that I could use to tow the Mirage to the track and enjoy with mates.”
An ER34 Skyline sedan fit the bill perfectly, and as an added bonus, they're cheap and plentiful with plenty of aftermarket support here in New Zealand.
“Any Toyota sedan is either ugly or has a huge price tag in comparison,” says Dustin. “I like the R34 front and low roofline, but don't like the flat rear guards. I first bought a cheap crashed car, but it was too far gone, so I found another base model GT that was missing a few parts. I took it to a panel beater to shape the rear guards into the wider GT-R style, but to be honest, the guards came out looking terrible so I started again with new panel beaters, GT Refinishers. I drove in with a pair of R35 wheels sticking two inches out of the guards and drove out with them nicely tucked under fresh all-steel guards.”
In a similar fashion, the front end of the R34 stays away from fiberglass - Ng wanted it to look right. After plenty of searching, he eventually found an entire genuine R34 GT-R front end, which once matched with a custom set of side skirts and rear lip, was coated in a factory Mazda deep red hue. To finish off the look, Ng runs a set of massive R35 GT-R wheels.
“I liked the look of the factory Rays Engineering wheels and wanted something other people wouldn't have,” Dustin says. “I found a full set at a race workshop that was building an enduro GT-R, and as they were also upgrading the brakes I picked up the R35 Brembos too - big wheels need big brakes.”
Although it's very common to see super aggressively styled cars here in New Zealand, especially of the rear-wheel-drive Nissan variety, that was never the path that Ng wanted to go down for his ER34. “I wanted to build the car like you'd build a good hot rod. It's made better in every aspect, but it's sometimes hard to tell how.” Also in keeping with the traditional hot rod ethos, wherever possible Ng has used parts from other vehicles, only resorting to the aftermarket if there was no better option. Most obviously, that includes the Toyota 2JZ sitting between the front Tein Flex coilovers.
In a land where Nissan's RB motor is equal measure plentiful, cheap, and very well developed, why would Ng cross-breed manufacturers by running a Toyota engine in a Nissan chassis?
“It's the best of both worlds,” says Ng. “To build an RB that makes reliable horsepower requires a lot of love and isn't cheap. 2JZs sound amazing, have variable cam timing and can make the power much easier - plus the swap was very easy. I had the