To be honest, a drag race wasn’t what the R32 was built for in the first place

These days, you can convert pretty much every car into a drag race monster. The required hardware and software can be found in abundant volumes and every wannabe drag racer is just one crate engine way from drag strip fame - unless, of course, you can splash the cash on a McLaren 720S and end all your competitors.

On the same hypothesis, you can easily take a drag-ready Nissan R32 Skyline and turn it into a hillclimb machine. In our opinion, this professional reorientation suits the R32 way better, because believe it or not, it was developed and built with racing in mind right off the bat.

The GT-R heritage was built on the race track

This 1400HP R32 Nissan Skyline Left The Track to Be a Hillclimb Monster
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The R32 Skyline came to life in 1989 with all-wheel drive and Nissan’s RB26DETT inline-six, twin-turbo cast-iron mill that cranked out 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Oh, and it revved to 8000 rpm, which was highly unusual for a turbo engine. Nissan didn’t bring it to the U.S., but in Japan, the R32 quickly rose in popularity - both off and on the track, because it was not only quick (0-62 mph happened in 5.6 seconds) but also agile thanks to the likes of fancy ATTESA E-TS AWD and HICAS all-wheel steering.

It was also in 1989 that a stripped-down R32 was thrown in the racing pits of the Japanese Touring Car Championship. There, it won EVERY race it started, securing no less than 29 wins in a row over the following four years.

This 1400HP R32 Nissan Skyline Left The Track to Be a Hillclimb Monster
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The R32 Nissan Skyline you’re about to see here was initially deployed in drag races.

It packs a heavily tweaked RB28DETT engine that initially made 1000 horsepower.

That’s until Desmond Gutzeit, the current owner, decided to do some hillclimbing inside his R32. More engine tweaks ensued, so the engine ended up cranking out 1400 horsepower matched by the hillclimb-specific aero body kit - it’s impossible to miss the towering rear wing and the plow-style front splitter and rear diffuser.

Results came, too: the 1400-horsepower R32 won South Africa’s Knysna Speed Festival Hillclimb in 2015 and 2016, and it came second in 2017. Mind you, the video is from 2019, but the goosebumps you’ll get from hearing that engine will be pretty actual.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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