Do you remember those horrible Nissan Pulsar NX Sportbaks from the late-1980s? You know, those Pulsar coupes that could be converted into a station wagon. Auto design schools taught that cars that could convert into different configurations were the wave of the future. That turned out not to be true, and maybe the Pulsar Sportbak had something to do with that. But for as crappy as it was it did result in something positive: this one and only Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 “Speed Wagon” converted station wagon. Right now it is for sale.
The Speed Wagon has a unique history, especially in its home turf of Japan. Daijiro Inada came up with the idea of turning a Skyline into a wagon using the Pulsar Sportbak as inspiration. Inada is partially responsible for promoting the aftermarket in Japan into greater popularity. He’s one of the founders of the sometimes crazy Tokyo Motor Salon. It’s Japan’s version of the SEMA Show.
Converting a Skyline into a Speed Wagon definitely gets everyone’s attention
From publishing a custom car magazine to helping Keiichi Tsuichiya get drifting on the map, his Skyline wagon represented everything Inada promoted. Converting a Skyline into a wagon definitely gets everyone’s attention. But under the skin, there were as many if not more mods to be found.
While the outside looks hot, the 2.6-liter engine was hotter. The twin-turbo inline-six combines HKS upgrades with head and block massaging to make it a serious race/street car. The Drive notes that its 189 mph top speed also meant a 11.89-second quarter-mile time. At the Tsukuba track, it was a tenth of a second quicker than any McLaren F1’s track time.
Inside the Speed Wagon features many aftermarket pieces like the Nardi steering wheel, Kenwood audio system, and four Recaro seats. And, yes, being a JDM the steering wheel is on the right side.
The Speed Wagon was part of PlayStation’s Option Tuning Car Battle Spec-R
The Speed Wagon’s fame only increased when it was part of PlayStation’s Option Tuning Car Battle Spec-R. So it is both unique, fast, and famous. Is all of that worth the asking price of $85,000? We don’t know. We also don’t know why it ended up in Florida for sale.
What we do know is that the 25 year cutoff for importing non-certified vehicles means some fairly unique and desirable Japanese vehicles are one-by-one showing up here. Let’s see; a 2020 GT-R will set you back at a base price of $113,500. But for under $30,000 less you could slip into something faster and much more unique.
Should you consider that worth looking into the Speed Wagon is waiting for your eventual purchase at Vistec R Imports in Florida.
No one remembers or wants to remember the Pulsar NX Sportbak. But at least its existence resulted in inspiring something much cooler and enduring.