As car enthusiasts, we all have a list of cars probably the length of our arm that we dream of one day owning. For some people the top of that list will be exotics such as a Ferrari 458, or a Lamborghini Aventador. For some of us it’s more JDM orientated, like a Honda NSX, or an JZA80 Toyota Supra as seen in Fast and Furious. But for owner Ash Marks, that car was one of the best Japanese classics around. A 72′ Nissan Skyline 2000GT, or as they have come to be known, a Hakosuka, which translates to ‘box skyline’.
A true Hako GT-R is incredibly rare these days with less than 2000 manufactured, meaning a lot of people purchase a 2000GT version which is still quite rare, and create replicas as you see here. The car was purchased by Ash back in 2013 from an importer in Sydney, and was brought back down to Adelaide where he uses it for daily duties. That’s right, Ash drives the car every day to and from work. Not something you see often for a car so rare. Since buying it, he has been slowly restoring it but also putting his own touches in it with new parts he picks up when overseas for work.
The engine bay houses a L28 instead of the GT-R S20 motor, but has been stroked out to 3L with the clever use of components from various makes of Datsun. The head has been polished by Tony Knight from Knight Engines down in Glenelg and has had a new upgraded cam shaft fitted, as well as 45mm OER carburettors to take care of the intake side of the engine. Originally the extractors fitted were heat wrapped but that has since been ditched in favour of ceramic coating to keep exhaust temps down in the engine bay. The fuel system has been upgraded with all new lines, fuel pump, and fuel pressure regulator, and Ash went with a MSD electronic ignition system to take care of the much needed spark that the Hako was lacking. But with the subtle upgrades done to the engine, Ash has something better in store, opting for an OS-Giken TC24-B1Z if possible, as they are extremely hard to get a hold of, or a RB26/30 which will be a lot easier and cheaper to fit.
The body is kept stock except for original GT-R parts such as the grill, badges, rear lights, and since this shoot, it has had a front air dam fitted. You will also see the standard fender mirrors as well as over fenders fitted to cover the wider rear tyres. All the parts needed for that tough Japanese look. The interior is also kept stock except for the addition of a higher rpm Stack tacho.
The Chassis and suspension has also had some upgrades, with a pair of coil overs fitted to the front in Japan, but Ash plans on removing these in favour for a better quality pair that will stiffen up the front end a bit more. Also fitted to the front is a Cusco strut brace. For the rear end, Ash had a Datsport camber/caster kit installed to fix Camber issues by Cameron Lee at Solid Engineering, as well as some rust repaired on the rear cross member by the boys while it was there. He also wants to stitch weld the seams to give more strength to the aging chassis.
Wheels are Genuine RS Watanabe’s measuring 16″ in diameter up front, and 15″ x 9.5″ out back. Wide enough to need those over fenders. After talking with Ash, he recently found out that the diff was upgraded in Japan to a R200 out of a Nissan Silvia, which after doing some research is a common upgrade.
Having been in this car multiple times, I can tell you that is an awesome machine and creates that perfect sound when blasting through the Adelaide hills, much like it would have in the Japanese alpines with its previous owner. I’m sure a lot of you have dreamed of owning a piece of classic Japanese automotive nostalgia like this, and I can tell you, you’re not the only ones. Its jumped a few spots on my dream car list that’s for sure!
Thanks goes out to Ash for letting me shoot this great piece of history as well as being apart of the engine rebuild, and the good times had riding in it.