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Rocky Auto's 1971 Nissan Skyline Packs Blasphemous Toyota V8 Power

Before the Nissan Skyline became the automotive analog to Godzilla, it was a quirky Japanese interpretation of an American muscle car. Although to be a true muscle car, you must have a V8. Puns about questionable-tasting vegetable cocktail drinks aside.
Nissan Skyline V8 Swap 1971 9 photos
1971 Skyline V8 Swap1971 Skyline V8 Swap1971 Skyline V8 Swap1971 Skyline V8 Swap1971 Skyline V8 Swap1971 Skyline V8 Swap1971 Skyline V8 Swap1971 Skyline V8 Swap
That's why the 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-X, swapped with a Toyota V8 engine built by Rocky Auto of Japan, is a transcendent restomod creation. The build starts by taking the two-liter L20SU straight-six engine native to the Skyline 2000 GT-X and, hopefully at least, setting aside for a deserving donor car to one day acquire. From there, a four-liter Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 from a Toyota Celsiorin Japan and the Lexus LS400 in the U.S. is ceremoniously mounted under the Skyline's hood.

The engine jets 260 horsepower and 353 Nm (260-lb ft) of torque, and its clever quad-cam design lends itself well to a more exuberant driving style. From there, a six-speed manual replaced the automatic unit found at the start, and the exterior received a comprehensive GTR conversion. The results are a car you couldn't tell was a copycat unless you ran the VIN number. The look is tied together with Rays TE37V wheels with polished aluminum outer rims. Paired with the period-correct Japanese number plate, this could easily pass for the GT86 from Initial D's grandpa.

Inside, the stock wood trim on the dashboard is flanked by a select handful of aftermarket trinkets. Starting with some of the oldest Recaro bucket seats we've ever seen. It's easy for aftermarket equipment to look shinier and new-looking than the rest of the interior, even after wear and tear. But in this case, these seats are so worn you could mistake them for stock seats. Recaro opened its first Japanese branch in 1976, so these must be among some of the first Recaro sports seats to see Japanese soil. That's an originality factor remarkably different in charm than a perfectly OEM interior. Kudos to Rocky Auto for a job well done.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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