Back in the late 1960s/early 1970s, when America was enjoying its original muscle car craze, enthusiasts over in the Land of the Rising Sun got treated to a bunch of lightweight sportscars such as the iconic Nissan GT-R Hakosuka. But who says you can’t bring the two together? Certainly not Japanese drifter Daido Saito, which is currently building one of these original GT-Rs with a NASCAR V8!
Introduced two decades before Nissan’s halo car got its Godzilla nickname by winning races over in Australia, the first Skyline GT-R came to the world in 1969 as a racing-based road effort. That was the sedan and and, two years later, the coupe you see here was born.
Nissan engineers refer to the thing by using its KPGC10 chassis designation. However, fans prefer to call this Hakosuka, a blend between “hako” (this simply means “box” in Japanese) and “suka” (the brief form of “sukarain”, linking to the form of Japanese mountain that inspired the name of the Skyline series).
The vehicle was animated by a 2.0-liter straight-six making 160 horsepower—those were the RWD days of the GT-R label. And while that was more than enough for the compact creature, the output number also provides some delicious context for presenting the custom beast sitting before us, which sits a bit higher. You know, around 800 horsepower.
This might be a member of the Dodge brotherhood of muscle
All the muscle comes courtesy of a NASCAR V8 and while we can’t precisely identify the motor in the images the athlete released via Instagram, we’ll remind you Saito has previously put a Dodge NASCAR motor in his Toyota Altezza, so perhaps this is also the case with the Nissan—having already enjoyed fame in his home country, as well as in the U.S., the slip angle specialist took the said build to Russia back in 2019.
Nevertheless, the vee-eight has been blessed with individual throttle bodies, with a small section of the hood being sacrificed for the motor’s breathing proficiency.
The understated, clean lines of the classic Nissan body were left intact, save of course for the super-sized wheel arches, the air dam, and the spoiler, as well as the pair of vents adorning what was once the boot lid.
Oh, and God knows what chassis sorcery has been done for this Hakosuka GT-R to become a proper drift car—the massive negative camber up front isn’t there just for the show.
Occupying the fenders, we have multi-piece wheels with lips more generous than those of a supermodel, which are wrapped in what YouTube auto-translate likes to call “Yoga Hummus” tires (CC on to check it out).
Now, if you’d prefer a more traditional build (albeit just slightly), Daigo Saito has you covered with his 2JZ 2022 Toyota GR86, which happens to be the also-under-construction white car in the background of these images.
Update [February 5, 2022]: With the build having debuted in January 2022 at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Daigo Saito has already started putting the radical Hakosuka GT-R through its paces. For one, if you check out the second Insta post below, you’ll find the athlete drifting the hell out of the machine, with the NASCAR V8 screaming as the coupe slides around obstacles such as a Ferrari and an Aston Martin.
Meanwhile, we found out that those meaty fender flares are part of the Pandem v2 kit for the Hakosuka Nissan Skyline, which can be briefly described as a meaner version of the original.
The car community has taken notice of the project and we can already see the effects of this. For instance, digital artist Elio Anzora (aka jdmcarrenders) created a Hakosuka GT-R rendering inspired by Saito’s drift car, which you can see in the final part of the image gallery. The pixel master brought a Hot Wheels-inspired livery, skipped the rear wing and threw in a set of forged wheels from RSV, so you can now pick your poison.