The HKS BNR32 Group A GT-R

The silver tank is a pressure accumulator for the air jacks.  The red thing is a small dry cell battery. The blue cylinders are the air jacks. Looking at the black boxes, one is an old-school EVC boost controller and the other is a VPC to eliminate the MAF.  Old school JDM tuning yo!

The car came with this list of things not to do on it!

HKS USA had shipped the car to the event so that Dai Yoshihard could drive the car as a tribute demo during the event.  Lucky Dai.  Dai was also driving the Evasive Motorsports S2000 as shown here and Spoon Sports FK8 Endurance racer.  He was a pretty busy person during the weekend.

I was lucky that I got to take a close look at this dream car of my youth.  It was also interesting to see that this state-of-the-art race car from the early 90’s had about the same quality and level of construction as my old Sentra Dog Car race car. In fact, the Dog Car was better from a safety standpoint!  I hope you enjoyed this look at the R32.  Some of my facts on the Group A mods may be slightly off, I am going from memory and I haven’t been up on the R32 for a long time.  Feel free to comment below.


  1. Man… as per so many Japanese race cars, there’s a combination of “oh my goodness that’s so cool” and headshaking. I also find it … grimly funny that 2850lbs was a “heavy” race car back then.

      1. I mean, I fundamentally agree, but then I look at FIA GT3 where seemingly everything is about that heavy… oh well, “progress”

        1. Bodies in white have gotten 3x heavier due to ever-increasing collision standards. I could easily pick up one end of an S13 shell and move it around but not any new car!

  2. I too really loved production car racing and am a little sad its not still a thing. I bet if it was still a thing, the cars being made nowadays would be a lot more exciting.

  3. Mike, I echo your sentiment about homologation specials. I just wish we had more cars like the GR Yaris.

    As for the BNR32, I’ve always thought the Nismo Group A cars were the top dogs… Until I read about how the Ozzies at Gibson Motorsport tinkered with the GT-R. Apparently the Gibson team explored the possibility of racing against works machinery in Japan, but Nismo effectively banned them from doing so, fearing they might lose face if they lost to foreign competition. Given that Nismo enjoyed a complete monopoly in Japan and supplied all the customer Group A teams with cars, parts and expertise, that does seem like a plausible explanation for why the Japanese and Australian-built cars never met on track.

    I remember reading about how the Gibson guys ordered custom-designed ECUs from Electramotive to control both the engine and the drivetrain with a single unit, in much the same fashion as we do today. I then see a photo of a modern-day Japanese time attack car and sure enough, there’s that familiar collection of boost controllers, turbo timers, ATTESA switches, VVT adjusters and the like, all hooked up with a spaghetti wiring loom that’s attached to the bulkhead with cable ties and sticks out from underneath the remnants of an OEM dashboard… It’s almost as if it’s a prerequisite and a tradition passed down from generation to generation, beginning with the BNR32 and its contemporaries.

  4. Thanks for sharing Mike, seeing these and the Aussie GT-Rs tearing up the competition had a very formative influence on young me and no doubt played a big factor in my being a Nissan tragic ever since.

    Regarding the bodywork, I believe all production GT-Rs had aluminium fenders and an aluminium hood. This is certainly the case for my “base model” BNR32 but who knows if those parts had been swapped out over the years. They do match the condition of the rest of the car though, so I’m fairly confident the car left the factory with them.

  5. It’s a bit unfair to compare the AU vs JP Group A cars. The Japanese cars had no competition and all of the cars in their class were identical so they didn’t need to go to the lengths that Gibson did. There were some cool bits NISMO homologated for the JGTC cars like Carbon Brakes and water cooled calipers which weren’t really seen elsewhere for another 3-4 years or so (besides F1).

  6. Your comment about fuel pumps made me chuckle. Working in the marine industry it was quite a thing when we learned that Yamaha came out with their 425hp V8 outboard with 5(!) fuel pumps a few years ago. Granted it is direct injected. For comparison Mercury’s new 600HP V12 outboard uses a single lift pump paired with a single high pressure pump, but it only has lowly port injection.

    Very cool write up on a very cool car, I remember seeing adds with this car in my favorite mags (what are those?) when I was just getting into modifying cars in my teens!!

  7. You can see the HKS ETC which is their electronic torque controller where the rear seat would be. Normally you would see a control on the dash. Not sure if its up there somewhere. The engine is a Reinik Group A by the fuel rail and the water pump pulley. Its interesting HKS did some of their own things, but not their own fuel rail, and some other parts. Sort of an interesting mix.

  8. Great article about an awesome car….but Mike it’s time to return to Group A school for a refresher course……

    All the body kit additions were originally homologated for Group A on the 1990 Nismo version. It’s internet myth that has seen them labeled N1.

    That’s an HKS ETC torque split controller in the back not a VPC. The silver tank also looks like a dual chamber Lifeline extinguisher rather than an air jack accumulator.

    Intake manifold is stock as per Group A regs, as is the intercooler.

  9. I didn’t think it was a fire bottle because the plumbing didn’t look like what is typical, too large, and there was no typical pressure gauge, valve, actuation cable, or solenoid and I didn’t remember seeing discharge nozzles.

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