Let’s be frank—Nissan knew what it was doing when it created the Skyline. So much so that I’ll wager more people perusing this site right now would rather drive a bone stock Nissan Skyline GT-R for a week than have a Dodge Challenger Hellcat for a month, present company included. But what if you wanted to create something Nissan never did with its Skyline? What if what you really wanted to do was get two more cylinders and a hell of a lot of luggage space?
(Welcome back to Build of the Week, where we highlight your project cars. If you’d like a chance to be in the Build of the Week drawing, send an email to my Jalopnik email address and I’ll give you my word that I won’t spend the evening sending you friend requests.)
This week’s submission comes from me. I submitted it and I won. I am the law. Don’t ever talk about Fight Club. I’ve decided to feature a car that we don’t have in the states, and will likely never see unless you go to Canada, or as it’s known around my house, America, jr.
This build, done as an offshoot of the mega-popular Australian Mighty Car Mods YouTube channel, features a Nissan Stagea owned by a guy named Benny, also known in MCM’s circles as Mechanical Stig.
For those of you who don’t know what a Stagea (pronounced sta-gee-uh) is, it’s a car that was constructed on Nissan’s WC34 platform - the very same bones that make the Skyline GT-R R34 platform as taught as it is, except the Stagea is a run-of-the-mill station wagon. It’s a grocery getter to which you can bolt on all the good bits of a Skyline.
Benny’s Stagea started life as an already converted and manual-swapped car, with an RB25DET NEO, the same engine in an R34 Skyline GT-T. While it was a stout engine on its own, the engine was showing some signs of failure, and although they could have simply rebuilt the engine, there was no reason for the guys at MCM to rest on their laurels. (Get it? Nissan humor.)
Benny enlisted the help of a mad turbo pipesman known lovingly as Turbo Yoda, to install a VH41 V8 engine, an engine used in the States in early Infiniti Q45s. They installed a custom twin-plate clutch, added a massive turbocharger fed by custom piping, adapted it to a new transmission, and used a Haltech Elite 2500 standalone ECU to tune it all, ending up with a car that is more mental than any Skyline GT-R ever made. The name of the build? Double Unicorn.
It’s a 14-part series of videos that I recommend watching if you want to see how true fabrication is done, if you want to be inspired by something coming from nothing, or if you just like seeing cool cars drive fast with people’s genuine reactions to boost - that happens as well.
If you’d like me to write a few nice or not so nice words about the rusty inspiration you call a project car, you can comment here or email me with any of your suggestions. Be descriptive and send lots of pictures. Make sure to write “Build of the Week” in the subject or else I’ll have my dog pee on your azalea bushes. I won’t even care.