The Touge Garage R32

So let me set the scene. I get a message at 9am on Friday morning from a friend of mine, telling me to quickly look at a car he has tagged me in on Facebook. I open the link, and sitting in front of me is a purple R32 GTS-4 with an RB26DET motor and gearbox, for a price that is an absolute bargain! The only problem is, it's 1715km away in Brisbane. Regardless, I message the buyer a minute later, ask a few basic questions, put down a deposit and book the next flight to Brisbane!

The next morning my girlfriend Clare and I get up at 4.30am, get picked up by a friend at 5 and head to the airport. The flight went by quickly (I slept almost the whole way) and before I know it, we've landed in Brisbane. Next up was an Uber to the car's location (a first time for me!). All the while the nerves and excitement are building, and within an hour we'd arrived at the car and finally laid eyes on it for the first time. The first thing I notice is how the Morpheus Purple paint shifts in the sunlight. It's really hard to appreciate from photos.

I give the car a quick inspection, noticing a few missing trim pieces and wires that seemingly lead to nowhere, scratches here and there and some misaligned panels. There's some coolant leaking from the front, but it turns out just to be the overflow hose. I pop the boot and am met with a face full of tyre smoke. This didn't go down well. After that I really started going over the car with a fine toothed comb. And luckily I did, as I found that one of the belts was just about to come off. The seller assures me not to worry, as his buddy is a mechanic right around the corner and he will fix it up for me in 20 minutes. This is less than ideal, as we had hoped to be in Dubbo before nightfall (10 hours drive away) and time is slowly slipping away. But better to delay our journey for something so important rather than rush and get stuck on the side of the road somewhere.

2 and a half HOURS later, we finally had the belt replaced and it was time for a cash exchange. The mechanic didn't have any appropriate length belts around, so one had to be sourced from a local parts supplier. Regardless, I still think the car is a good deal and it's in good enough condition to get us home, so I sign the receipt and hand over the money.

We roll out onto the road with our unregistered vehicle permit displayed, and get about 1km before I notice we need fuel. No problem, I didn't expect there to be much left in the tank anyway. We pull up at the servo, fill the tank, and head in for some supplies for the journey. It's going to be 42 over the weekend, so we stock up on water (for us and the car if it needs it!). We walk back to the car and start loading it, when I hear a truckie trying to get my attention behind me. "Oi mate, did you know your fuel tank is leaking?"...... Lo and behold, there is now a constant drip from the fuel tank. I calmly start to inspect the tank (ok, I might of dropped a few swear words), and without finding the source of the leak, I decide that it should be fine as it wasn't leaking before so it can't be substantial, and I can just watch the fuel gauge and fill up as often as needed. We hit the road again, and get about another kilometer when I notice that the fuel gauge hasn't budged. The seller didn't mention that the fuel gauge wasn't working, so that threw a huge spanner in the works. Clare want's to find an alternative way to get the car home, but I stubbornly say "Stuff that!" and head to the nearest bunnings, buy 3 jerry cans, and plan to drive the car til it runs out of fuel, then just fill it up with a jerry can and keep trucking to the next servo.

While filling up the jerry cans, a man comes over and says "Mate that is such a nice car! The colour is awesome!". Suddenly my mood lifts. I start to load the jerry cans into the boot, and notice that the fuel leak has stopped. I figure there is no way that the fuel tank has drained completely, so I check to see how much fuel has been lost. The tank fills almost instantly, then starts spilling fuel again. A closer look reveals that the seal between the filler neck and the tank has split, and when the tank gets full, it overflows from the leak and drips off the tank. PRAISE THE LORD! We just might make it home yet! With new-found enthusiasm, we hit the road! It's now 1pm, with Dubbo 10 hours drive away in a vehicle that's not legally meant to be driven at night. Let's do this!

Despite the 42 degree heat and lack of air conditioning, the journey goes relatively smoothly. The car is feeling down on power, the throttle seems ridiculously sticky, and the heat soak from the firewall is almost unbearable, but with the windows down and the sunroof popped, it's actually almost fun! The car is also getting plenty of positive attention. I guess you don't see many bright purple Skylines roaring through outback Queensland and New South Wales! Everywhere we go, people are waving and taking photos. I'm starting to like this car more and more. The noise of the single turbo RB26 helps too, I guess...

As we get closer to Dubbo the heavens open and rain start's coming down, along with an impressive electrical storm. The temperature drops to a more bearable 35 degrees, and we decide to order pizza to pick up on our way through town. After demolishing the pizza, I stagger into the shower and get hit instantly with a wave of extreme fatigue. It's now about 10:45pm, and I have been up since 4.30am, with 10 hours of straight driving thrown in there. I crawl into bed with the alarm set for 5.30am (to get as much driving done before it heats up), ready to do it all again the next day.

The morning sky was absolutely stunning. The outback air was crisp and fresh, and at 6am it was already a balmy 30 degrees. We headed out of town, realised we forgot to get fuel the night before, stopped on the side of the road to empty a jerry can, and drove off towards Parkes, our next stop where we planned on getting fuel and breakfast. The airconditioned Woolworths was like an oasis, and after grabbing a few supplies we found some fuel, sat down on the grass for brekky, then braced ourselves for the long, hot, 9 hour drive home. 

The car cruised along better than it dealt with city driving. Although the seller didn't mention it, it seems that the clutch is a twin plate unit, and extremely heavy. There is absolutely no give in it. Combined with this, the car had started to hunt madly for revs at idle, constantly and violently moving from 1-2krpm as soon as it was out of gear. This made for many stares and violent takeoffs, but aside from that all vital signs were good and the car was comfortable. About an hour out of Parkes we were pulled over for the first time. We had seen 5 other Highway Patrol cars by this stage, but none seemed to care much for our obnoxiously loud and coloured beast. The officer was polite, and mentioned that our brake lights and indicators seemed dull. He was astounded that we were driving such a long way for a car, but I ensured him that it was quite a special little thing! With a thank you we were on our way again.

The second day of driving was much more fatiguing than the first, and I needed to stop for a few rest breaks along the way. The plan was to teach Clare how to drive manual on the way (she is already pretty good, but hasn't had much practice) so that we could share the load, but given that the clutch was so heavy and the car was being a bit temperamental at low speed, that wasn't really an option. It only took 10 or 15 minutes to get out of the car and stretch my legs before I felt better anyway, so it wasn't too big of an issues.

We stopped for one last fuel and food break at Shepparton, then trucked it all the way home. Unfortunately it was absolutely bucketing down when we arrived, so I couldn't get any good photos or get any work done on the first day, but in the coming days I have been able to spend plenty of time swinging spanners and taking photos. All in all, our little 2 day adventure was an absolute blast. There is nothing quite like roaring through the outback in a bright purple Skyline to bring out your adventurous spirit. The trip may not of gone as smoothly as we had hoped, but we made it back with no major mishaps, and apart from a burnt out wallet, all is well.

Specs:

1991 Nissan Skyline R32 GTS-4, resprayed Morpheus Purple

Performance:

  • RB26DET motor and gearbox
  • RWD converted
  • Garrett T04E turbo on stainless high-mount manifold
  • Aftermarket front mount intercooler
  • Aftermarket forward facing plenum
  • Apexi Power FC ecu with hand controller
  • Proboost 58mm external wastegate
  • 3inch Nismo turbo back exhaust with Zetti cannon
  • Nismo 555cc injectors
  • Apexi turbo timer
  • Walbro GSS342 fuel pump

Interior:

  • Fully functional original electric sunroof
  • HKB boss kit
  • Autotechnica steering wheel
  • Splitfire boost gage
  • Splitfire air/fuel gauge (non-operational)
  • Sony Xplod head unit
  • Pioneer door speakers
  • Sony Xplod parcel shelf speakers

Suspension:

  • Standard
  • Unknown brand rear strut brace

Wheels and tyres:

  • Standard

 


Leave a comment