Combining work and pleasure: an extra wide R33 GT-R

Most people have a hobby. Some are lucky enough to get paid for it.

I consider myself one of the few lucky people. Capturing landscapes with a cheap camera started out as a light-hearted way to escape my studies at university, but photography eventually became my daily activity. I still remember the day I realized that my hobby was being swallowed up by the boring work, but it wasn’t bad at all. Takuro Koyabu, the owner of this Pandem-equipped R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R, knows exactly how I feel because he’s in the same boat. His hobby is also his daily work.


During the week, Takuro-san works in a body shop, where he repairs, modifies and paints customers’ cars. In his spare time, Takuro-san works on his own car – an endless journey of self-expression.


Takuro-san told me that he has loved cars since he was born. Growing up, he thought about them every hour – and probably dreamed about them too. He was sure he would work with cars when he grew up.


Takaru-san bought this R33 when he was 18 and had just gotten his driver’s license, and immediately started customizing it. At first glance the car looks similar to a few other Pandem-equipped R33 GT-Rs we’ve seen, but the devil is in the details. And there are a lot of personal touches everywhere in the car.


Let’s start from the outside and work inward. The Pandem overfenders include fairly large Work ZR10 wheels – 19 x 12.5 inches, to be precise. I initially thought they were at least 20 inches tall because they seem to dwarf the 30 year old Skyline so much.


On the way up, the Nissan has a snout hood and a custom headlight intake. At the rear is a GT wing of unknown origin.


Back to the front of the car and under the bonnet is the original RB26 – albeit now built up to 2.7 liters – with a unique aluminum grinder tattoo effect on the cam cover, with candy gold paint. This custom detail adds some funky flair, but the Trust T78 big single turbo, Sard fuel rail and injectors, and GReddy suction kit are all part of a 700-hp recipe that’s more impressive.


The funky customizations continue in the interior, with a gold-painted roll cage securing the wheel centers and hood, plus some custom trim work using Powerpuff Girls –theme fabric.


The colorful cabin is also home to a pair of Recaro Pro Racer RMS seats with Sabelt harnesses, a Momo steering wheel (also with gold detailing) and Defi gauges.


Like any hobby, messing around with cars can quickly become an obsession. Whether you’re browsing auction websites and forums or just daydreaming about the next big build, cars can consume you every hour of the day.


This can become tiring if it is also part of your workday. You have to be a certain kind of car addict not to let it drive you crazy or even find joy in the all-consuming work hobby. Personally, I can’t find enough hours in the day to complete all my car-related thoughts.


But when my work day is over, you will see me working on my hobby – just like Takuro-san.

Toby Thayer
Instagram _tobinsta_

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