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Nismo Is Restoring R32 Skyline GT-Rs To Fresher-Than-Factory Condition

The modern R35 GT-R may be faster, but the Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R is still a JDM icon. And it’s one that’s becoming increasingly available, thanks to the 25-year import rule. But it’s still a classic car, subject to the same effects of time and wear as any other vehicle. However, with Nismo’s recently-announced R32 Skyline GT-R restoration service, entropy may soon reverse itself for Godzilla.

Nismo already makes parts for GT-Rs and other older Nissans

A gray Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R
Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R front 3/4 | Matthew Skwarczek

To be fair, Nismo, Nissan’s performance division, has already stepped in to provide R32 Skyline GT-R owners some assistance. Back in 2017, it announced a new Heritage Parts department devoted to reproducing classic car parts, MotorTrend reports. That includes new blocks for the 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged RB26 six-cylinder engine, Hagerty reports.

At the time, the department only made R32 Skyline GT-R parts. But as the R33 model became US-legal, and Canadians started importing R34s, Nismo expanded its offerings, Petrolicious reports. And since then, Nismo has started offering off-road parts for the Frontier, Titan, and discontinued Xterra.

Now, though, it’s going a few steps further by starting a full R32 Skyline GT-R restoration service, Hagerty reports. And it’s not the only automaker, or only Japanese automaker, to create this kind of program.

Mazda’s been restoring NA Miatas for a few years. Acura’s about to start a first-gen NSX restoration service. And numerous high-end brands such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, also offer in-house restoration programs, Automobile reports. Ditto Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW, Hagerty reports.

And based on what we know about the service, these restored R32 Skyline GT-Rs could end up in better-than-new condition.

Nismo’s new R32 Skyline GT-R restoration plan details

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Nismo plans to offer a variety of restoration services for the R32 Skyline GT-R, The Drive reports. They range from interior refreshes to ground-up overhauls from the bare chassis.

And it really is ‘from the bare chassis,’ Road & Track reports. Nismo’s most extensive service sees the R32 stripped down to its frame to remove rust. The chassis then gets new sealant and rust protection and goes through a full torsional-stiffness test to see if it’s rigid enough. And if it needs new body panels, Nismo can make them based on 3D measurements, Hagerty reports.  After that, the Skyline is repainted in either its original shade or any factory color the owner desires.

But that’s just the first part of Nismo’s R32 Skyline GT-R restoration program. The car’s engine is torn down, inspected, and rebuilt with any necessary parts. And if the owner wants, their car can get an extra tune with Nismo or HKS racing parts, The Drive reports. Once the R32 Skyline’s engine is rebuilt, it’s broken in and tested on a dynamometer, and reinstalled. The rest of the powertrain, wiring harness, and suspension receive similar treatment.

The 1994 Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R's front seats and black dashboard
1994 Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R interior | Duncan Imports

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After everything is rebuilt and reassembled, Nismo starts work on the R32 Skyline GT-R’s interior. Technicians deep-clean the upholstery, go through the HVAC system and replace broken plastics and electronics. Nismo can’t make period-correct upholstery, because it doesn’t meet modern fire-retardant standards. However, if it can’t be deep-cleaned enough, the interior gets new R35 upholstery.

The final step is having a Nismo driver take the restored R32 Skyline GT-R for several track tests. Once the shocks and steering are fully calibrated, it’s sent back to the owner.

How much will it cost?

Japanese Nostalgic Car reports one R32 Skyline GT-R has already gone through the Nismo restoration process. But if you want to restore your car to mintier-than-new levels, it’ll take time and serious cash.

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Nismo hasn’t released pricing or duration details for every level of service. However, a full restoration takes anywhere from 6 months to a year. And it costs a little bit more than $432,000. That’s a lot considering a good-condition US-imported R32 costs roughly $30-$40k, Hagerty reports. Plus, that doesn’t include the cost of shipping it to and from Japan. Though, if you want, Nismo can source an R32 Skyline GT-R for you.

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The idea of spending almost half a million dollars on an old Nissan may seem ludicrous to some. Though admittedly, it’s happened before. And given the thoroughness of the restoration service, to some Godzilla owners, it might be worth it.

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