Let’s talk about the Nissan GT-R. The mere mention of the GT-R or Skyline or anything evoking the famous Godzilla coupe makes most gearheads weak in the knees. The turbocharged, All Wheel Drive monster is capable of embarrassing supercars with much higher price tags. The R35 is nearing the end of its production life and it might be the most important GT-R ever produced. The R35 introduced the GT-R to the masses. GT-R’s/Skylines had been coveted vehicles around the world, but never came stateside until the R35.
The R35 does things differently than we were accustomed to. Science and reason was used to design every single piece of the car in the pursuit of outright speed. Even the tires are filled with Nitrogen because normal air is too unstable. The attention to detail is incredible and the end result is an incredible piece of engineering. By all accounts if you are into cars you should absolutely love the R35 GT-R.
Thing is, I don’t. I respect its capability immensely however I just don’t covet one. The twin turbocharged V6 is an amazing piece and yet I can’t get excited about it like I do the RB26. The body doesn’t look good enough. It isn’t ugly but it looks dare I say, common. The looks of the body doesn’t match the performance underneath nor is it is a sleeper. We all know the GT-R, we know what it looks like but does it look special? I don’t think it does. Personally I’d rather spend my money on a much slower R33 or R34.
Or… If I was a little out there, a little quirky, a little different I could follow the model set forth by Jerry Fan. He loves the performance of the GT-R but covets a different body. He wanted a GT-R heart with the soul of something classic, timeless and American. Yes swapping JDM engines into muscle cars isn’t exactly uncommon these days. Folks are putting 2JZ’s into just about everything and that includes several Mustangs. Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift featured a classic Mustang with an RB26 under the hood. These style swaps are becoming more and more common.
Once again our friend Jerry offers up a different solution. He loves him some Mustang, specifically the 1970 fastback. It was one of those moments we all have. There is always one car that we see when we were kids and it sticks with us through adulthood. The 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback was Jerry’s dream. But this is 2017, YouTube builds are everywhere and this provided Jerry with the inspiration to do something completely different.
“I stared at the ’70 Mustang Fastback for hours. Right then I knew I wanted a track car. I also wanted to complete a Power Tour. Blame it on too much YouTube,” Jerry said. “The GT-R is simply a cool car.”
Long story short, Jerry’s dream car was something that devoured corners like a GT-R but had the classic look of an American muscle car. The car he affectionately calls Muzilla fits those requirements and then some.
Jerry started with a normal R35 GT-R and promptly cut the entire body off it. All of it, good-bye, make room for some American iron! Ok it isn’t exactly that simple, for starters the Mustang and GT-R share a wheelbase but basically nothing else. Why would they? The Mustang was created by man in Detroit who was using passion, soul and his best aerodynamic guess to design the Mustang. The GT-R was designed 45+ years later by a small man in Japan with his trusty computer who combined to use using logic, reason and science to design their car. The fact that they even shared a wheelbase is something of a small miracle.
“Joining the unibodies together and making sure they are properly squared up was the most difficult part,” Jerry said.
Once the enormous task of fitting the Mustang body onto the GT-R chassis Jerry decided to go full Mustang with the paint. The color of choice was Calypso Coral (I would seriously like to talk to the people responsible for naming paint colors) This particular color was originally intended to call the Boss Mustang home.
The entire body swap is done so perfectly that it fooled people at SEMA. People walked by and simply saw a resto-modded classic Mustang. More eagle-eyed patrons noticed there were 2 fewer cylinders and 2 more turbos than usual but wrote it off as just another JDM engine swap. Eventually a select few sniffed something was up and went as far as to crawl under the car to figure out what this car was.
The interior is more of the same. A perfect blend of Modern GT-R components mixed with classic American muscle car bits. Clearly some serious thought went into the interior which usually doesn’t happen. Usually the interior is left completely stock (See the Ring Brothers Cadillac).
“Integrating GT-R parts into the dash was difficult. Initially I tried to just use the stock GT-R cluster, but it was too big and can’t properly be cut down,” Jerry said.
Every single piece of this car was built with a specific passion and vision. The quality of the build speaks one man’s vision. It be completely blasphemous to both sides of the Pacific. It annoys Americans because where’s the V8? It will definitely annoy JDM fan boys who see the GT-R as God’s personal daily driver. That is exactly why I love it. It is the result of one man’s dream brilliantly executed. At the end of the day if all R35 GT-Rs looked this good I’d absolutely love it as much as everyone else!