It is not every day you come across an R31 Nissan Skyline, let alone over 400 hundred of them at the same place, stacked on top of each other as far as the eye can see. The place you’re about to read about is perhaps most known as the R31 Nissan Skyline graveyard, but these Skylines are not really abandoned per se, but “stored away” awaiting their turn to bring new life to the lost and forgotten.
The R31 Skyline was very different from its successor, the R32 Skyline. The R31 design is reminiscence of the 80s, with a boxy chassis with sharp lines. But the R31 is perhaps most known for being the first Skyline fitted with the RB engine series.
The entry trim level was available with a 1.8L and 2.0L I-4 (CA18I) & (CA20E). But the engine you really wanted was the turbocharged RB20, more specifically the RB20DET, which was a 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged I-6 producing 180-190hp depending on trim level. There was actually even a wagon available with this engine.
But there was a special engine, specifically reserved for the top-of-the-line trim level, the RB20DET-R, which was exclusively available in the GTS-R.
The GTS-R was manufactured as a homologation car in order for Nissan to be able to enter the R31 for endurance racing. Only 823 cars were ever built, making them extremely rare as many of them are either crashed or hidden away in some garage.
The R31 Skyline GTS-R was powered by the 2.0L I-6 RB20DET-R and produced about 210hp or 154kW. The RB20DET-R received a larger Garratt turbocharger boosting the power compared to the GTS and GTS-X model.
The GTS-R got various improvements such as:
The GTS-R was also known for distinctly being available in the “Bluish Black” color. To distinguish it from some of the trim levels, the GTS-R came optioned with 15” JDM BBS wheels, a rear-boot spoiler, as well as various GTS-R badging.
The man behind this place “Shibata-san”, owns 50 of these GTS-Rs.
At first glance, it may seem devastating to see all these old-school R31’s stacked on top of each. Surely, they could be better off in somebody else’s hands, instead of rotting away in this lot? And that is generally the first thought which comes to mind when meeting with this “graveyard” for the first time.
There are thought to be over 400 Nissan Skylines R31’s in this parking lot. Every model, every trim level, coupé, sedan, and wagon is accounted for within these walls. If you’re lucky you might find a Nissan Silvia or R30 Skyline tucked away in some corner. But 99% of all cars in this lot are R31s.
Without giving much thought to it, most would assume this is the place where R31s go to die, never to see the roads of Japan again. But there is more than what meets the eye, this is not merely a “graveyard”.
You’d be surprised at the condition of some of the R31s. Some of them look really well taken care of and are in running condition. It crosses the mind sometimes, how some of these cars in immaculate condition have made it to a graveyard.
Sure, most of the cars in this lot will be used as spare parts, and a general saying is that if there is a R31 part you are looking for and you can’t find it here, then it does not exist anywhere else either. But for the few cars in mediocre to good condition, something better awaits.
You see, Shibata-san does not only provide spare parts, he also rebuilds the cars, selling fully restored examples to customers.
In fact, this guy is such a big deal he has a 5-year waiting list and has over 3,000 customers across Japan.
But these customers are not only coming here because of the vast number of spare parts but because of Shibata-san’s long experience with the R31 Skyline. This man could very likely be the most experienced R31 Skyline mechanic in the world at this point since many went on to focus on the R32 when it launched.
Shibata-san launched his company R31 House over 20 years ago and he noticed that many customers do not want old, obsolete parts put into their newly rebuilt R31 Skyline. And because there is basically no one else to manufacture these parts, Shibata-san decided to do it himself, in-house.
He is extremely skilled and can fabricate most of the parts all by himself. To date, they manufacture over 2000 different parts. But this comes at a price, the most well-sought-after and rebuilt cars have a resell value of about $185,000, and Shibata-san has sold several of these, just proving that his skill is one of a kind.
Many of the better-conditioned cars you find in the lot are actually customer cars, waiting to be rebuilt. But as you know, the backlog is long, and if you were to order today it may take upwards of five years until you receive your car.
This is not a graveyard. This is not where R31s go to die. This is where Nissan Skyline R31s become reborn. And Shibata-san is the one to give them new life.
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