Sure, you can be a drag racer taking a four-figure R35 Nissan GT-R down the strip or a collector keeping that R34 M-Spec Nur edition perfectly polished inside the garage. But you’ll never be R34-body-on-R35-base cool! That honor belongs to Chris Steinbacher, the vlogger behind the B is for Build YouTube channel. So, having decided to marry the two, the enthusiast did the math and ended up with the R69 GT-R, which he recently took out for a first drive.
Especially since we’re a bit past the era when most cars came with a body-on-frame construction, the sort of conversion seen here makes for a massive project. For one, the generation gap means the whole stunt is considerably more complex than, say, bringing an Evo and an STI together.
Then again, builders like Chris see this as a reward. In his case, the R69 was crazy enough to lure him into GT-R land last year, determining the man to sell an Mk IV Supra he had imported before grabbing the hardware required for this Nissan mashup.
The build is documented in a generous series of videos that kicked off last summer and the time has come for the contraption to leave the garage in one piece. So, in the first clip below, you’ll see the R39 Nissan GT-R being tasked with shenanigans such as a hard launch or emergency braking.
The adventure isn’t without its difficult moments, as, for instance, the charge pipe came loose and hit the inside of the hood at a certain point. Then again, how smooth can such a maiden voyage go when the windshield isn’t even attached to the vehicle yet?
As Chris explains, the next video will be the final one documenting the build and putting the tons of details together into a nice recap (we can probably expect some real-world shenanigans after that).
B is for Build’s R39 Nissan GT-R is done!
Meanwhile, though, we’ll remind the whole story started with an R35 that had been in a serious accident, as well as an R34 Nissan Skyline GTT (a lesser version of the ex-gen model) that had turned into an abandoned project car, albeit being offered together with some GT-R conversion parts.
Now, as the vlogger pointed out last year, the said GTT base should be a feature, not a bug to enthusiasts. After all, you wouldn’t want a genuine R34 Skyline GT-R to be chopped up for such a project. That’s because Nissan only built around 12,000 of these back in the late 90s/early 2000s, with the number of cars that have made it Stateside believed to sit at under 100.
And, until the calendar shows 2024 and these non-modern-emission-compliant beasts can be legally imported into the US and enjoyed freely, the special editions that qualify can only be driven in America under the Show and Display historical vehicle rule, which means their annual US mileage is capped at 2,500 (4,000 km).
Note that the vehicle still packs the full R35 tech goodies, including the dual-clutch transaxle and suspension, while featuring plenty of fabricated pieces, with examples including the air intakes, the power steering and coolant tanks—the whole cooling system is custom.
There’s an aftermarket widebody kit installed, while the car was wrapped in Midnight Purple—hey, this means the R33 GT-R is also represented here, since the said pearlescent color was offered on a special edition of the mid-90s Nissan halo car.
Both the R35 and the R34 were cut in half to create this
Some of the major steps involved in the this Godzilla-squared endeavor involved stripping the R35 chassis and cutting it in half to remove 4.75 inches (12 cm) from the middle, so the R34 body would fit. The older model was obviously dissected too, with this being “sculpted” in order to meet the new platform.
The entire structure was reinforced by the R34 body being welded to the shortened R35 chassis, while the half-cage that now adorns the interior also helps with this.
Plenty of carbon is involved, with the list of bits using the wonder material including the hood, trunk, and the rear wing.
At this point, not modding the twin-turbo 3.8L V6 heart of the R35 would’ve been odd, which is why the VR38DETT engine was gifted with full bolt-ons, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see this being taken to around 800 horsepower or so. In fact, you can see the thing toasting the rear tires during the first drive, as the vehicle is in store for a set of wider wheels and tires.
Much to nobody’s surprise, there were a ton of hurdles along the way. And while Chris only started treating cars like LEGO back in 2015 and with no previous experience in the field, the enthusiast and his team managed to overcome all of them. After all, they have built multiple vehicles meanwhile, including the world’s first manual-swapped Huracan and another Lamborghini of the sort, which has been LS-swapped and turned into an off-road beasts, hence its Jumpacan nickname.
So, now that the Nissan GT-R generation merging is completed, is somebody going to do the same with the Mk IV and Mk V Supras?