SUPER CLEAN HKS 2.8L R32 GT// MAY FEATURE

Photos and words by: Jordan Leist

Jamie Paolucci’s taste in cars are very, very varied – try old and new Euros, VTEC powered JDM monsters and even some mid-90s Aussie V8 goodness all adorn the floor of his expansive workshop. Pinning him down to just the one style is impossible. I think this has a lot to do with his age. Years of loving cars as a kid, he has created a list of dream cars in his head, and he is slowly ticking them off. The love affair with this R32 started in 2015 practically by accident. It was during a late-night shopping expedition with his family that he became the proud owner of a new project.

“I was scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled across a mate’s car up for sale. I had always liked 32s, and the colour was a real standout. I couldn’t stop looking at it,” said Jamie. By the end of the Thursday night shopping trip, the girls all had new items for their wardrobes and dad was the proud owner of an R32 GTR.

“It was in reasonably good condition, I thought. The BMW Boston Green had originally been applied in Japan prior to being imported, and it was fairly neat all round. I planned to strip the driveline and reinvigorate the car with 20 years’ worth of evolution and turn it into a bit of a street/track bruiser that I could still drop the kids off to school in,” explained Jamie.

The mild tart-up soon became a comprehensive build and before he knew it, Jamie was well and truly in over his head. To begin with; the car was stripped down and carted off to Owen Ellis at Meltham Motors where the car was promptly rubbed back, and the bodywork was given some love.

With the car away on holiday, Jamie felt like he needed to achieve more, so he started to accumulate parts for the build. The first thing to appear on his credit card statement was a brand-spanking-new RB26 87mm block and head. The motor was also blessed with a HKS Step 2 2.8L stroker kit for some added displacement. A pair of HKS 272 Step 2 camshafts were added to the shopping list along with a whole heap of other HKS gear. Let’s just say, if it was in the HKS catalogue, Jamie bought it.

Induction comes from a Precision PE6870 turbo with a split rear housing, 3.5-inch dump, 60mm Turbosmart Pro Gate and a HKS Silent Pro cat-back exhaust. A healthy diet of E85 is maintained by ID1650 E85 compliant injectors fed by a Radium Engineering surge tank, and submerged fuel pumps while R34 GT-R coils provide the spark — the whole package is managed by a Link G4+ ECU. Cleverly, the surge tank, battery and ABS unit were all relocated to the boot and mounted on a billet tray. This provides easy access and declutters the engine bay to boot.

The cog-swapper is a 6-speed Getrag unit purchased brand new from Japan and is backed up by a DSC twin-plate clutch and 3.9 LSD differentials front and rear. A Trust drag intercooler keeps the intake temps manageable while the Koyo aluminium radiator and oil cooler keeps the fluid temperatures under control. Luke from Crazy Luke’s Speed Shop was assigned the task of fabrication duties. Notably, the custom-designed exhaust manifold, dump pipe, intercooler piping and catch can.

The combination of R35 GT-R callipers with AP Racing J Hook floating rotors are a welcome improvement over the old stoppers. The ultra-lightweight Nismo/Rays LMGT4 Omori 18 x 9.5-inch wheels are wrapped in Continental 265/35/18 rubber, and BC Racing ZR 3-way coilovers tied in with Ikeya Formula adjustable arms have the beast handling better than ever.

The interior, while reasonably well presented, paled in comparison to the now evolving engine bay and the smooth-as-silk green paint. Maintaining a JDM theme was paramount, but it also needed to be a clean, restrained approach – this meant no gauges/monitors mounted on the A-pillar or on top of the freshly re-covered dashboard. A battery of Defi gauges and ZD monitor were sent over east to Custom Clusters who fabricated the dash binnacle and centre console.

At this stage Jamie was convinced the car needed more: “I’ll be the first to admit, I really like the boy racer look, but it needs to be executed with balance, to be able to pull it off and not detract from the natural lines of the car.” Paul Nguyen from Solid Imports was given the task of sourcing some high-quality Japanese components to finish off the look Jamie was chasing. In addition to the already sourced Defi gauges, Paul located a pair of Bride Stradia Carbon Aramid seats with matching seat rails, and a Nardi Deep Corn suede wheel completes the period-correct interior.

Paul was also given an extensive carbon fibre wish list from Jamie, which included a Top Secret rear diffuser; Fujimura Rocket Dancer gurney flap, OEM boot wing, Nismo N1 boot lip, Abflug front lip extension, Varis bonnet and a Garage Defend cooling slam panel. “The carbon parts were just as I’d hoped but I wasn’t convinced on breaking up the paint on the car. Owen suggested including some green tint from the main body colour into the clear coat on some of the carbon parts. The gamble paid off in my eyes. At a distance to hue remains continuous, it’s only when you get up closer, especially in the sun, that you notice the carbon weave. The results speak for themselves.”

After having the car completed and driving it as much as he could, a good mate, Jarryd Thraves, somehow convinced Jamie that the 32 was better off in his garage. Reluctantly, Jamie handed over the keys and the rest, as they say, is history.

SUPER CLEAN HKS 2.8L R32 GTR // MAY FEATURE

old and new Euros, VTEC powered JDM monsters and even some mid-90s Aussie V8 goodness all adorn the floor of his expansive workshop. Pinning him down to just the one style is impossible. I think this has a lot to do with his age. Years of loving cars as a kid, he has created a list of dream cars in his head, and he is slowly ticking them off. The love affair with this R32 started in 2015 practically by accident. It was during a late-night shopping expedition with his family that he became the proud owner of a new project.

“I was scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled across a mate’s car up for sale. I had always liked 32s, and the colour was a real standout. I couldn’t stop looking at it,” said Jamie. By the end of the Thursday night shopping trip, the girls all had new items for their wardrobes and dad was the proud owner of an R32 GTR.

“It was in reasonably good condition, I thought. The BMW Boston Green had originally been applied in Japan prior to being imported, and it was fairly neat all round. I planned to strip the driveline and reinvigorate the car with 20 years’ worth of evolution and turn it into a bit of a street/track bruiser that I could still drop the kids off to school in,” explained Jamie.

The mild tart-up soon became a comprehensive build and before he knew it, Jamie was well and truly in over his head. To begin with; the car was stripped down and carted off to Owen Ellis at Meltham Motors where the car was promptly rubbed back, and the bodywork was given some love.

With the car away on holiday, Jamie felt like he needed to achieve more, so he started to accumulate parts for the build. The first thing to appear on his credit card statement was a brand-spanking-new RB26 87mm block and head. The motor was also blessed with a HKS Step 2 2.8L stroker kit for some added displacement. A pair of HKS 272 Step 2 camshafts were added to the shopping list along with a whole heap of other HKS gear. Let’s just say, if it was in the HKS catalogue, Jamie bought it.

Induction comes from a Precision PE6870 turbo with a split rear housing, 3.5-inch dump, 60mm Turbosmart Pro Gate and a HKS Silent Pro cat-back exhaust. A healthy diet of E85 is maintained by ID1650 E85 compliant injectors fed by a Radium Engineering surge tank, and submerged fuel pumps while R34 GT-R coils provide the spark — the whole package is managed by a Link G4+ ECU. Cleverly, the surge tank, battery and ABS unit were all relocated to the boot and mounted on a billet tray. This provides easy access and declutters the engine bay to boot.

The cog-swapper is a 6-speed Getrag unit purchased brand new from Japan and is backed up by a DSC twin-plate clutch and 3.9 LSD differentials front and rear. A Trust drag intercooler keeps the intake temps manageable while the Koyo aluminium radiator and oil cooler keeps the fluid temperatures under control. Luke from Crazy Luke’s Speed Shop was assigned the task of fabrication duties. Notably, the custom-designed exhaust manifold, dump pipe, intercooler piping and catch can.

The combination of R35 GT-R callipers with AP Racing J Hook floating rotors are a welcome improvement over the old stoppers. The ultra-lightweight Nismo/Rays LMGT4 Omori 18 x 9.5-inch wheels are wrapped in Continental 265/35/18 rubber, and BC Racing ZR 3-way coilovers tied in with Ikeya Formula adjustable arms have the beast handling better than ever.

The interior, while reasonably well presented, paled in comparison to the now evolving engine bay and the smooth-as-silk green paint. Maintaining a JDM theme was paramount, but it also needed to be a clean, restrained approach – this meant no gauges/monitors mounted on the A-pillar or on top of the freshly re-covered dashboard. A battery of Defi gauges and ZD monitor were sent over east to Custom Clusters who fabricated the dash binnacle and centre console.

At this stage Jamie was convinced the car needed more: “I’ll be the first to admit, I really like the boy racer look, but it needs to be executed with balance, to be able to pull it off and not detract from the natural lines of the car.” Paul Nguyen from Solid Imports was given the task of sourcing some high-quality Japanese components to finish off the look Jamie was chasing. In addition to the already sourced Defi gauges, Paul located a pair of Bride Stradia Carbon Aramid seats with matching seat rails, and a Nardi Deep Corn suede wheel completes the period-correct interior.

Paul was also given an extensive carbon fibre wish list from Jamie, which included a Top Secret rear diffuser; Fujimura Rocket Dancer gurney flap, OEM boot wing, Nismo N1 boot lip, Abflug front lip extension, Varis bonnet and a Garage Defend cooling slam panel.

“The carbon parts were just as I’d hoped but I wasn’t convinced on breaking up the paint on the car. Owen suggested including some green tint from the main body colour into the clear coat on some of the carbon parts. The gamble paid off in my eyes. At a distance to hue remains continuous, it’s only when you get up closer, especially in the sun, that you notice the carbon weave. The results speak for themselves.”

After having the car completed and driving it as much as he could, a good mate, Jarryd Thraves, somehow convinced Jamie that the 32 was better off in his garage. Reluctantly, Jamie handed over the keys and the rest, as they say, is history.