We don't only feature fully modified vehicles in NZ Performance Car magazine — the mildly modified get a look in too! It doesn't matter what it is — if you're passionate about it, modify it, and drive it to work every day, we'll showcase it.

Name: Benjamin Baker
Location: Whangaparaoa, Auckland
Occupation: Tyre fitter

  • Make/model: 1991 Nissan Skyline GXE3.0 (R31) 
  • Engine: Nissan RB30ET, M&H T3/T4 turbo, 38mm TiAL external wastegate, HKS SSQV BOV, custom stainless steel exhaust system, two-core aluminum radiator, 12-inch electric fan, factory ECU
  • Drivetrain: RB20DET five-speed gearbox, Xtreme heavy-duty clutch, lightened and nine-bolt flywheel, factory LSD
  • Interior: Bride Low Max replica seats, Buddy Club seat rails, NRG sparkle steering wheel, NRG quick-release hub, Auto Gauge oil pressure, voltage, boost, and water temperature gauges
  • Exterior: 50 Shades of White and Satin Black, 50mm bolt-on flares
  • Suspension: Whiteline adjustable panhard rod, S13 SR20DE front hubs and suspension set-up (F) BC BR series coilovers (R) Tein springs, shortened shocks
  • Wheels/Tyres: 15x10-inch (-6) Southernway Epsilon Mech, 205/55R15 whatever’s lying around

NZ Performance Car: Hey Ben, it’s nice to see a modified R31 still cruising the streets. How long have you owned it, and what model is it? 

Ben: It’s an R31 Nissan Skyline GXE 3.0. I bought it bone stock about two and a half years ago, and started modifying it about two years ago. 

We understand these don’t come turbocharged from the factory — was that something you’ve done since owning it? 

I sure have. After swapping out the original stuffed RB30 for another low kms one, I decided I was going to turbocharge it. So I got stuck into it with a couple of mates, and within a couple of hours it had boost! 

Do you have any plans for the engine, or is it running as you want it to? 

I have a lot more work to do on it. I’m wanting around 250kW or more at the wheels when I go for my tune. I’m hoping to achieve that with some 550cc injectors, GT-R fuel rail, Walbro 500hp fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, custom ground cam, more boost, and a Link computer. It’ll be tuned soon. 

Tell us, was it a mission to get the car certified at this height? 

I was fairly surprised at how well it went through certification for a car of that age. Of course, it failed on a few things the first time, but nothing significant and the height wasn’t an issue at all, which was dope. I thought it’d be too low! What it did fail on I was able to fix in a couple of days, so I was pretty stoked about that. 

What are your future plans for the wagon now it’s all legal?

Where do I start? Well, other than getting the wagon tuned, it’s in desperate need of a panel and paint. It also needs a front and rear brake upgrade, and I’m considering doing bigger steel flared guards as I want to change the tyres and suspension set-up. There’s definitely a lot more I want to do on top of that, but I’ll keep you guessing. 

Thanks for chatting to us, Ben; good luck with your future plans. 

This article was originally published in NZ Performance Car Issue No. 228. You can pick up a print copy or a digital copy of the magazine below:

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.