It’s taken many years to get from rotten wreck to movie star, but this modified Nissan Skyline R32 is out to impress in 2023.   

Rolling chalk hills. Beach huts and Ferris wheels. Extensive salt marshes. As pretty and interesting as Lincolnshire is, it’s a world away from the neon fury of the Shuto Expressway. But perhaps that’s appropriate, as the story of this modified Nissan Skyline R32 features nothing but new beginnings and unexpected diversions.

Why did we come to Lincolnshire? Because that’s where the genesis of this R32 project began; a project base for the creative aspirations of an intrepid duo, Matt and Alan, directors of Icaris Limited – the company which owns the Skyline. As found, it was running a non-turbo RB20 and, while seemingly solid, was a little bit ropey at first glance. Perfect for what the fellas wanted then, as ideas began swirling around for this forlorn Nissan.

The side of a modified Nissan Skyline R32

False Start

“Alan and I have had many different cars over the years,” Matt explains. “Everything from a Mini running an Audi TT engine to McLaren MP4-12C! We knew we wanted an R32 as we love the shape – although on discovering that this car was more than just a little bit ropey – well, totally rotten actually – that was when we decided to go down the path we did.”

Wasting no time, the pair of them stripped the R32 down to a bare shell to assess what was what… and it was bad news. Beyond-economical-repair news, in fact. So bad that people advised the guys to simply scrap it and find a better shell – so they did, for the princely sum of £90. And what type of Skyline does ninety quid buy you? Yeah, not a brilliant one. “It looked great apart from a few small rust areas that we could easily sort, or so we thought,” recalls Matt with a grimace.

“The car went to the blasters and when it came back, we were devastated; the rear quarter had been replaced badly, the floor was a mess! Pretty much every panel had some horrible rust issue. So Alan and I sat down and decided what to do next. We had an idea of how we wanted it to look in our heads, but we just didn’t have the mechanical or bodyshop knowledge. At this point we asked a friend of ours to start work on it, and after a good twelve months – due to him serving in the Forces – I fetched the car and all the parts we purchased to begin the build. We had to start again, but where would we even start?”

The rear of a wide R32 Skyline.

More Bad News

It’s not the ideal beginning to a project by any means, but Matt and Alan aren’t the types to give in easily, and before long salvation appeared in the form of Big Bear Kustoms. Having spotted the company on Instagram, Matt got on the phone and explained the vision of the build, sending over a video of the shell and their collection of aftermarket parts – the bodykit, wheels, coilovers and plenty more besides. Chris at BBK wanted to help out, but asked to see the shell in person. So, the guys took it down there – and the answer was a yes… with a ‘but’.

“Our heads dropped – what on earth can go wrong now?,” Matt remembers. “The previous company left the shell outside after they blasted it, and Chris said that if we didn’t re-blast it then more problems would hit us in the future. So that’s where the story finally began. The Skyline went off for blasting and this is when BBK started cutting the shell and completely transforming the mess that was in front of us all.

The front end of the car.

Body Fabrication

The entire rear arches of the car were cut out, and all new metal arches were made to house the huge widebody kit. Chris continued removing poor bodywork and replacing as he went. Then came the fun of putting the bodykit on. We’d had the kit about five years at this stage and it was misshapen and just didn’t want to match up with the shell; Chris then asked if we wanted to bond the kit or attach it like other kits he’d done with rivet-style joins. We knew that bonding would be more expensive, but it would give us the look we wanted.”

And so, with painstaking care, Chris set about re-shaping, cutting and using all the tricks of the trade to finally have the kit fitted in a manner to match the vision in Matt and Alan’s heads. A significant step, but there was still a long road ahead of them.

“In the meantime, we started looking for an engine package,” Matt continues. “We decided to go with the RB25DET and gearbox from the R33 Skyline. We sent the engine, gearbox and many other mechanical parts to Paul Cheshire; he stripped the entire lot down into component parts, cleaned using many techniques, and rebuilt them – it all looked like new by the time he was done.”

The interior of the car.

Hollywood Calls

By this point, the shell was ready for a bit of color, and the chaps opted for a Rolls-Royce/BMW shade by the name of Twilight Purple, which really transformed the aesthetic and helped the aggressive wide arches to pop. BBK painted the subframes and fitted them, and then the team sourced all new camber arms and everything else underneath, along with a Yellowspeed big brake kit. The wheels that the guys purchased five years previously sadly no longer fit the bill though, as the new arches were so dramatically wide, the rims just looked lost. So, Matt got into discussion with Andy at 6AD Forged Wheels, who offered a fully bespoke service to create a beautiful set of polished gold staggered wheels with double-stepped polished lips.

“We put the original interior back in, with a new set of front seats at this stage,” says Matt. “Once it was rolling, the car went off to a JDM specialist who did some of the engine work, although they never got it running so, in the end, we took it over to Julian at Garage D. Julian got the car running and moving under its own steam. It was while the car was at Garage D that we received a call about putting the car forward for Fast and Furious 10.”

That’s right, the quality of this build is so impressive that one of its first outings as a largely complete entity was to be a genuine bona fide movie car. You can keep an eye out for it when the film comes out this year, and after filming wrapped, Matt and Alan had one or two further things to address.

An RB25 sits in the Skyline's engine bay.

Finishing Touches

“We were having a few running issues and it just wouldn’t boost properly,” Matt explains. “We then decided that the only way we could ensure it’s all OK was to send it off for more work… The Skyline went to Jake at 365 Performance who fitted many new parts around the engine side of the build, and after lots of issues including a faulty turbo, it finally hit the dyno at 400bhp on 0.7-bar boost. It will go back for another tune later in the year after we fit the R35 coil packs. And while Jake completed the engine work, we removed the whole interior so that Chris at Marshland Upholstery could re-trim everything in purple Alcantara and black leather. Finally, the car was in one piece and ready to enjoy!”

The seats have been re-upholstered in purple.

Community Build

And enjoyment was very much the point of this project from the start: it’s a mould-breaking show-stopper, but it’s built to have fun with, and has already visited shows in locations as diverse as Berlin, Rotterdam, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, with a trip to Amsterdam next on the list.

“Universal Studios Holland has invited us to attend the Amsterdam International Motor Show,” says Matt. “The R32 will have some great company, including original movie cars from Fast and Furious, Back to the Future and many others. We’ve had some great reactions and lovely comments from people all over the world, and are very lucky to be able to share our love for this 32-year-old Japanese car with other people.” Which, of course, was the game-plan all along.

It’s been a long journey to reach this point, but these two petrolhead friends always intended for this to be a sociable beast, keen to get out and about and share the love. From Yokohama to Lincolnshire and all across Western Europe, this is an intercontinental build of intergalactic desirability.

SPECS: Modified Nissan Skyline R32


RB25DET – built by 365 Performance, front-facing plenum, HKS Silent Hi-Power exhaust system, 6Boost manifold, custom screamer pipe, custom downpipe, Turbosmart 50mm wastegate, Turbosmart FPR800, Pulsar G30-770 turbo, Funk Motorsport turbo blanket, uprated injectors, R35 coil packs, Nuke catch can, Mishimoto radiator, Mishimoto intercooler, Link ECU, 400bhp at 0.7-bar


R33 5-speed manual


BC Racing coilovers with Stanceparts air cups, Driftworks adjustable arms, uprated anti-roll bars, front strut brace


Yellowspeed big brake kit


11×19” ET0 (front) and 12×19” ET-33 (rear) custom 6AD Forged Wheels – polished gold with double-stepped polished lips


Bespoke interior retrim (inc. boot) in purple Alcantara and black leather by Marshland Upholstery, Vertex Leopard steering wheel, NRG Prisma Heart quick-release, purple seatbelts by Airbag Team UK, We Are Likewise gearknob


Twilight Purple, bespoke Veilside-inspired widebody – fitted by Big Bear Kustoms, OEM GT-R rear wing with carbon fibre Gurney flap, neons


Thanks to the Icaris Limited team, Chris at Big Bear Kustoms, Jake at 365 Performance, Chris at Marshland Upholstery, Julian at Garage D, BC Racing UK, Andy at 6AD Forged Wheels, and all the companies around the world who have helped with parts.