How To Build A Hakosuka, Zero-4 Style


People often say you should never have two cars in your garage that do the same thing.

By this, they mean it might be a little excessive to have three 4x4s or two convertibles. If you have space for four cars, wouldn’t it make more sense for each one to have a different capability? One off-roader, one family car, one sports car and one track car? At least, that would be the logical way to manage an expensive hobby.

The problem is, there are just so many great performance cars that all basically do the same thing. If money were of no concern, I would happily fill my dream garage with FR (front-engine, rear-wheel drive) two-seater coupes. You could even easily apply some man logic and argue that front and rear-engined cars don’t do the same thing, or that rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars are sub categories offering entirely unique driving experiences.

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This is probably why you’ll find both a very cool S30 Fairlady Z – which I shared with you last week – and this equally-cool KGC10 Skyline 2000GT sharing space in Sakamoto-san’s home garage. They’re very similar performance cars, but if ’70s Japanese coupes are your thing, why not have two of the best?

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What started out as a slightly worse for wear rolling Hakosuka (read: box Skyline) shell has been restored from the ground up, with a full treatment of blasting, dipping, welding and sealing. Toby_Thyer_Photographer-6

Finally, the entire bare body was repainted to look better than new.

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Sakamoto-san then added the details – a one-off carbon fibre bonnet, overfenders and boot spoiler, plus a custom FRP chin spoiler, HID Marshall headlights with dry carbon covers, LED taillights and more.

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The interior in Sakamoto-san’s Skyline is the polar opposite of his Fairlady Z’s cabin. Where as the Z car retained its classic ’70s aesthetic, the Hako features a full carbon fibre dashboard and carbon door cards, an 8-point roll cage, and Bride Histrix seats with TAKATA Racing harness belts.

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There’s also a Momo steering wheel, a full set of Stack gauges and a Cartek power distribution module that controls everything from the fuel pump and ignition switch to the Nissan’s lights.

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Opening the boot lid reveals one of the best-looking fuel systems I’ve ever seen in a road car, complete with a surge tank and a dry ice cooler for the fuel. It’s a serious setup, but it needs to be given what’s lurking under the bonnet.

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Like the Z, the Skyline is powered by an L28 engine, but this one’s even more impressive. Through the use of an ASW 86mm full counter crankshaft, ASW forged pistons and ASW ultra-lightweight narrow I-beam connecting rods, the inline-six now displaces 3.2L, but it’s what’s up top that really sets it apart.

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The original N42 cylinder head been replaced by a JMC L6 billet item, developed in partnership with PAMS (PlusAlpha Mechatronics Service) as a way to overcome the limitation of the original equipment, which can only be modified so far. Starting fresh, JMC and PAMS were able to manufacturer a head from scratch with an optimal combustion chamber and port design, plus improvements to the water jackets and overall structure. Further to this, Sakamoto-san’s cylinder head features an ASW 79SPL cam, ASW SPL rocker arm, ASW triple valve springs, big valves and ARP hardware to secure it to the block.

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Triple Solex 50mm side-draught carburettors with open trumpets supply the fuel, while spent gasses exit through an ASW 6-1 header running into a titanium exhaust system.

Sitting on Daddy Motor Works custom mounts, Sakamoto-san says the engine is now making around 380PS, which is plenty for this compact coupe. Power gets to the rear wheels via an OS Giken chromoly flywheel and twin-plate clutch, running into a Nissan 71C 5-speed gearbox and out to an R200 differential with a 3.9 final drive.

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You’ve probably noticed that the Hako sits pretty low both at rest and on the move, and this something made possible through a Feel Air coilover-based air suspension setup. The coolest touch is the NOS bottle, which Sakamoto-san has repurposed as the air suspension’s air tank. The rest of the suspension features numerous Nagisa Auto arms, rods and links.

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Like the Z, Sakamoto-san’s Skyline is rolling on his own Zero-4 wheels, this time in 16×10-inch front and 16×11.5-inch rear fitments. AP Racing Pro 5000R callipers and large slotted 2-piece discs feature on the front end.

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After seeing Sakamoto-san’s two-car garage, I’m not sure I agree with the whole ‘one of each’ philosophy. I say fill your garages with whatever you like, even if what is inside are similar.

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_
tobythyer.co.uk





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