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2022 - Introducing Project Shinigami

With the start of a new year it's time to start a new project. As I mentioned after my last track day it was time for me to upgrade from the S2000 (Project 71-109). Don't get me wrong Project 71-109 was a fun track car but after the last track day I came to realize without boosting it I was starting to reach the cars limits within the projects parameters.

So it was time to move on. I knew I wanted a RHD car and a car I could Time Attack. The list of what cars fit was very short. A FD Rx7 or Godzilla the R32 Skyline. Both cars are very capable although extremely different in their approach. The biggest difference is of course RWD vs AWD and the Rotary vs Inline 6. Both run the twin turbo's out the box and are able to make trackable power easily. It was time for me break out the spreadsheets and build out each project In the end you can see what I ended up with but how did I get to the R32 over the FD.

I first contacted all the normal JDM importers asking for prices and availability. At the time the FD on average was about 10-15k less then the R32 and was readily available either being in stock or on the next boat to the US. The R32 on the other hand was at a premium and most of the importers said for my budget I'd have a hard time bringing in a R32 as most were going for near 60k all day.

My buddy was the turning point in my decision. He described the difference in the two cars as being two different types of tools on the track, one being a scalpel (the FD) and the other being a sledgehammer (the R32) and then asking me "which would you prefer?"

The R32 has always been my dream car. I grew up playing ALL the Gran Turismo's from the very first one and watching all the old Hot Version dvd's where the R32 is always the car they pit the other cars against. Growing up the Skyline was always an unattainable car which is the reason I headed over to the Honda side and came up driving Civic's, CRX's a Fit and an Integra.

I figured before the market got to crazy and priced me out of the R32 it was time to get one. I was lucky enough to find one on BAT (Bring a Trailer) that fit all my needs and stayed within my price. The only thing left was to bring it home.

Just as I did with my last project the best way to sort out any issues with a new used car is to drive it home. Project 71-109 I drove all the way from Florida to California, this time it would be from Ohio.

I met with the owner in Ohio, finished the last of the paperwork and with a good friend that came along for the adventure we drove the car home over the next 36hrs which we did in 2.5 days. The car did amazing with no real issues.

Why is the the R32 named Project Shinigami?

The reason for the name Shinigami. Like my last build with the S2k the R32 is going to built after a car in Initial D. Most people that know Initial D know the R32 driven by Takeshi Nakazato that the 86 battles with early on in the series but this isn't the car that my R32 will be built after. Project Shinigami is from a much later battle on Hakone Turnpike (One of my favorite places to drive) that took place between Ryosuke Takahashi and Rin Hōjō who was also known as the Grim Reaper or in Japanese Shinigami.

With the direction the R32 is going to go I figured Shinigami (Grim Reaper) was fitting. Now its time to go through the car make sure everything is solid mechanically then move forward with the fun things.


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