Words: Dominic Nguyen Photos: Matthew Everingham
It’s dark and cold. There is no light, no colour. Only darkness. Amidst the shadows, a warrior steps up against all that is accepted and seen as the norm. The WANGAN WARRIOR, highway battle contender and ultimately unrivaled champion, can be seen ghosting across the Shuto Expressway in Japan in the middle of the night.
But Sydney has its own warrior. Often seen at local meets, and recently on Queensland’s Gold Coast in the latest All Stars East Coast Tour, Dom’s WAN94N R33 GTR V-Spec is a familiar face in the JDM community. His R33 has gone where few others have dared, wearing monstrous-sized wheels, a sky-touching wing, pumped out body, and let’s not mention the unique paint job. At first glance, it looks nothing short of a race-car.
The first thing to get your attention with the exterior is those wheels. Leo from JDMConcept was contacted to supply the new shoes for the Godzilla, and the order was for classic MGM Gunmetal Work Meister S1 3-Piece wheels in ginormous 18 x 10.5, with a mind-bending -26 offset all round. With that much dish, you could feed a small family! They would soon be wrapped in 315/35/18 Pirelli P-Zero semi-slicks which were supplied by Ali at Taleb Tyres, who too found the wheel and tyre combo going on the GTR quite amusing.
Because the wheels were poking about 50mm out of the standard GTR body, plenty of work was required to get it all tucking in nice and tightly. Dom’s friends were called to the rescue, with close mate Phuoc – a panel beater by trade – rolling and pumping the rear metal guards out another 25mm to fit the wheels, which were sitting on -6 degrees camber aided by HardRace arms supplied by JDM Yard, with bumps controlled by a set of Proflex coil-overs.
The fronts were rolled and pumped another 15mm when the car went to see another friend, Ricky at Intense Paint and Panel (hence the side stripes), where it also received a clean shave of the aerial, boot lock and badges.
Ricky and his team have been long-standing friends with Dom ever since the days of his previous R33 GTS-t, which they had given the full body treatment to, before covering it in Mazda’s Velocity Red to give it the menacing look it is remembered for. When approached about respraying the GTR in Satin White, they opted to try something new. SEM’s Hot Rod White would be the killer colour, and it couldn’t have been a better choice for the black sheep of the Skyline family. The voluptuous lines of the car were now bold and with no clear coat over the bare paint, no reflections of its surroundings could be seen on the flawless body.
Then there is the wing. Oh the wing. The Nismo carbon-fibre wing blade, which Dom made custom stands for, bringing the blade up to the roofline, has been received with mixed emotions. In the nature of wangan runs, top speed traction and stability is very important. The practicality of the wing being that high was tested at last year’s Skyline Nationals where it ran in the 800M airstrip run and ranked in the Top 10 of the event. Dom recalls the 1st run with the wing on and hitting over 220kph – it was very stable, and despite the surface not being level, the car was very controllable. When removing the wing for following runs in an effort to reduce drag and hit higher top speeds (which increased by about 10kph), the rear end became tail-happy and was scary to manoeuvre as the needle wound its way around to the far reaches of the dial. So yes, it is fully functional!
The rest of the exterior is finished off with carbon fibre canards, carbon fibre lip, Qest LED tail light conversion, Nismo carbon fibre B-pillar covers and Ganador side mirrors.
Under the tough-as-nails body is a simple yet effective and proven powerplant. The RB26DETT received a HKS 2510 turbo kit upgrade, HKS step-1 cams, light head porting, Exedy twin-plate clutch, upgraded intercooler with SFS piping, GReddy Type-R blow-off valve, and straight-through exhaust featuring twin 3-inch dump pipes merging at a custom cat then into a Trust Ti-R titanium cat-back exhaust. The over-the-top fuel system gets you scratching your head as to whether it’s really for a street car once you hear the loud buzz. Hidden away, a Bosch 044 mounted within the factory tank feeds E85 to the 5L surge tank, which gets sucked up by the monstrous Weldon 2015-A external pump which is protected by Earls billet filters, and pushed all the way up the Aeroquip lines and Jegs fittings to the GReddy twin-feed rail containing 6x Bosch 1000cc injectors and pressure regulated by a Holley unit. The fuel system is good for 1000HP, and is something more commonly seen in drag cars than this daily driven grocery getter! With a Haltech Platinum Pro tuned by veteran gun Mick at Mick’s Motorsports, a conservative 295kW at all four wheels was achieved with track work in mind.
The interior is reminiscent of a Russian space ship. Defi BF water temperature, oil temperature and pressure gauges on the dash, together with a super-cool Defi VSD heads-up display showing revs and speed in real-time, with the added ability to record peak values as well. Steering the car with the ATC deep-offset steering wheel and a Nismo alloy shifter suddenly feels normal despite being in the spaceship once you look around and notice the full Bond roll cage and stripped-out interior. The deafening sounds of road noise, exhaust freely flowing and turbos spooling could only be music to anyone’s ears.
A pair of Defi Genome gauges displaying boost and exhaust gas temperature are mounted in front of the Nismo dash cluster , and a Zeitronix AFR gauge is in the mix to display fuel mixtures. A HKS EVC 4 is mounted in place of the ashtray just next to the Defi controllers, all still accessible once firmly seated in the Bride Vios 2 Carbon Kevlar seats mounted on Bride rails.
Without the support of family and friends, as well as the help and assistance of many businesses, Dom’s car could not be where it is today, and for that he wishes to thank his family and neighbours for understanding the constant late nights and endless days of tinkering with the car; all his friends especially, Phuoc, Yuan, Ben and Angus for constantly coming to the rescue every time extra hands were needed; Ricky and the boys at Intense Paint and Panel; Mick at Mick’s Motorsport; Anthony at Dahtone Racing; Matt at F&E Mechanical Repairs; Earl’s Performance; Jegs Performance Parts; the community at skylinesaustralia.com (SAU); jdmstyletuning.com (JDMST); his extended family at All Stars; and of course his new-found friends at AutoCult and SpeedNation!
“Where there is a dream there is a drive. Where there is a drive there is a goal. And when that goal is achieved, there will be success. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done!” – Dom