Battle Plan: Eric Strickland's 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R

Battle Plan: Eric Strickland's 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R
An R33 GT-R at home both on the streets and at the track.

Eric Strickland found himself drawn to import cars in the mid 1990s after toying with car audio and local shows for a while. His first foray into the import world was a 1994 Honda Accord EX sedan, built to replicate Honda’s JDM Accord SiR and turbocharged to a whopping 400 whp. Then, when the “bugeye” Subaru WRX was introduced in 2002, he couldn’t keep himself away. He sold his boosted Accord and picked up a World Rally Blue 2002 Subaru WRX, getting to work right away on replicating Subaru’s WRC rally car at the time. After six years of ownership, and a few different iterations, the WRX was sold to make room for his incoming magnum opus, a build which would exceed his previous projects by leaps and bounds.

Strickland’s love affair with Nissan’s Skyline platform started in the early 2000s thanks to Best Motoring and other Japanese car entertainment he could find online. At the time, he never imagined he would be lucky enough to own one of his own, let alone build it to the limit, but he decided to start seriously looking for one in 2007. By February of 2008, he had a 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R in his name. With the help of some friends at Alamo Autosports in Arlington, Texas, the real fun began.

01 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

Quality of aftermarket parts was immensely important to him, so after some research on quality aftermarket parts, Strickland and the Alamo Autosports guys threw the GReddy/TRUST catalog at the car. GReddy’s A-pillar gauge pod, Type S coilovers, differential covers, a TRUST Power Extreme Ti R exhaust, and numerous engine bolt-ons were among the first large order of parts for the GT-R. With a handful of modifications made, and a SEMA appearance in 2008 under the belt, Strickland decided he was going to go all out with a true restoration job.

09 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

With the engine and transmission pulled, the chassis was stripped and reduced to bare metal to address any rust spots and future concerning areas. During this time, he took the opportunity to replace all bushings and bearings, powder coat all suspension components, and undercoat the car’s underside - this was a true resto-mod project now. The engine was disassembled, and the RB head was sent to Michael Ferrara at Club DSport for top of the line head work, which included Tomei cams and a full Supertech valvetrain. At the same time, the block was stripped down and cleaned, and assembled with all new internals to exact tolerances by Brice from Alamo Autosports.

08 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

Once the car and complete engine were back in his possession, the drivetrain was reassembled and dropped into the car, and ready for a tune with two new Garrett GT2860 turbos. The final result was a respectable 537 horsepower at the wheels, which was plenty more power on tap than any previous builds. Of course, power is only half of the battle, and with plans to build the perfect all-around car, suspension had to be addressed as well. A full gamut of Nismo arms, braces, and anti-sway bars were installed alongside Cusco strut bars. All in, the setup was good for the street, as well as any road course.

06 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

Ensuring the car could also hold its own ground at the local shows that got him into the scene in the first place, the R33 GT-R was treated to a handful of body pieces from the Nismo 400R special edition, including the front bumper and splitter, side skirts, and two-piece carbon fiber spoiler. With a love for rare JDM parts, he also sourced a Stout Type-R carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber Ganador mirrors, Bee Racing carbon fiber side diffusers, and a handful of other cool parts like East Bear LED tail lights.

04 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

On the inside, Nismo everything to match the 400R theme on the exterior. Driver and passenger are kept snug and secure in the custom modified factory bucket seats by way of Sparco safety equipment, and Bride floor mats keep everything looking tiny alongside the carbon fiber interior trim, right down to the floor. Being a street car, and since Strickland came up in the age of booming sound systems, you better believe this GT-R was treated to an audio system comprised of Kenwood and Kicker audio components. This machine is a true all-rounder!

Photography by David Barnhouse (@shutter.studios.david)

18 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag


ESSENTIALS

Owner: Eric Strickland
Vehicle: 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Location: Ada, Oklahoma
Engine: Nissan RB26DETT 2.6L Twin-Turbo I6
Horsepower: 537 whp

SOCIAL

Facebook: /OkieGTR
Instagram: @okiegtr

ENGINE

  • Nissan RB26DETT 05U block
  • Tomei (oil pump, 272 ProCams, cam cap studs, Extreme manifolds, outlet pipes)
  • Supertec (Racing oil pump spline drive, valves, titanium retainers, dual valve springs, guides and seats, Racing R35 adapter plates)
  • GReddy (adjustable cam gears, kevlar timing belt, suction kit, 90mm surge tank, Type 29 intercooler, intercooler hard pipe kit, 10.5mm fuel rail, oil filter relocation kit, oil cooler, radiator, upper rad pipe, 1.3-bar rad cap, water/air separator, pulley kit)
  • Nismo (N1 water pump, baffled oil pan, gasket set, oil cap, low temp thermostat, engine mounts)
  • Manley H-beam rods
  • Wiseco 86.5mm pistons
  • Cosworth 1.1mm head gasket
  • ARP hardware
  • Garrett GT2860 turbochargers
  • HKS (actuators, carbon fiber coil pack cover)
  • ATI harmonic balancer
  • GKTech hi-flow fan
  • ACL race bearings
  • AEM Performance Electronics water-meth kit
  • A’PEXi stainless downpipe
  • 1-UP Fab (oil separator, coolant overflow tank)
  • Mine’s camshaft baffle
  • Deatschwerks (1000cc injectors, DW400 fuel pumps (2), fuel pressure regulator)
  • Fragola PTFE fuel lines
  • Tial 42mm BOV
  • Hitachi R35 coil packs
  • Silk Road torque dampener
  • SAMCO (heater, rad hose)
  • Nissan R34 GT-R engine cover
  • EP Racing carbon fiber fuse box cover
  • Dress Up Bolts titanium fasteners

EXHAUST

  • TRUST Power Extreme Ti R exhaust

DRIVETRAIN

  • Nismo (Super Copperplate twin clutch, chromoly flywheel, rear diff cooler, transmission mount)
  • Driveshaft Shop 1-piece aluminum driveshaft
  • GReddy diff covers
  • GKTech stainless steel clutch line

WHEELS / TIRES / BRAKES

  • Enkei PF01 EVO wheels - 18x9.5 +12 (f/r)
  • Nitto 555 G2 tires - 275/35/18 (f/r)
  • KICS Racing titanium lug nuts
  • Rotora (6-piston front calipers, 4-piston rear calipers, 14-inch front rotors, 13.5-inch rear rotors, stainless steel brake lines)
  • Cusco master cylinder brace
  • GKTech ABS delete

CHASSIS / SUSPENSION

  • GReddy Type S coilovers
  • Nismo (anti-sway bars, rear 4-link brace, rear circuit link set, rear lower A-arm, front tension rods, front circuit link set, center reinforcing bars, R34 trunk floor brace)
  • Cusco (tension rod brace, titanium strut bar, rear AL strut bar)
  • Ultra Racing subframe braces
  • Driftworks HICAS eliminator kit
  • Custom carbon fiber reinforcement
  • KTS roll center adapter
  • Whiteline (sway bar end links, subframe bushings, chassis bushings)
  • SuperPro suspension bushings

EXTERIOR

  • Midnight Purple II LV4 paint
  • Nismo 400R (front bumper, carbon fiber front splitter, side skirts, 2-piece carbon fiber spoiler)
  • Nismo (rear spats, smoked side markers, clear turn signals, carbon fiber hood lip, sport horns)
  • STOUT Type R carbon fiber hood
  • Garage Defend (carbon fiber canards, carbon fiber cooling panel)
  • Ganador carbon fiber mirrors
  • East Bear LED tail lamps
  • Bee Racing carbon side diffusers
  • Top Secret (carbon fiber rear diffuser, carbon fiber vortex generators)
  • Maxton Designs cab spoiler
  • Nissan R35 GT-R rear badge
  • EP Racing carbon fiber grille
  • Final Motion carbon fiber air guides
  • Nagisa Auto Gacchiri fender brace

INTERIOR

  • Nismo (rear floor mats, gauge cluster, aux gauge cluster, leather shift knob, carbon fiber B-pillar trim)
  • GReddy A-pillar gauge pod
  • Bride front floor mats
  • Sparco (4-point harnesses, harness bar)
  • Carbon fiber interior trim
  • East Bear 3-gauge center pod
  • 5th Element carbon fiber trunk wall
  • Custom factory bucket seats
  • Nissan R34 Skyline V-Spec II steering wheel
  • AEM Performance Electronics AFR gauge
  • Defi BF series gauges
  • ATS turbo timer

AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS

  • Kenwood DDX773BH head unit
  • Kicker (QS 6.75-inch mid-range speakers and tweeters, LS 10-inch subwoofer, IQ 1000.5 amplifier)

SPONSORS

  • Alamo Autosports
  • Superior Motorsports


PHOTO GALLERY

07 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

03 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

10 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

11 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

12 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

12 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

13 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

14 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

15 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

16 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

17 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

19 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

20 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

21 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

22 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

23 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

24 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

26 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

27 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

28 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

29 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

30 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

31 Eric Strickland 1995 Nissan Skyline GTR pasmag

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