A Nissan Skyline GT-R has been lovingly restored… by Toyota

The world is utterly divided and in turmoil right now, so this is exactly the kind of story we need. Recently, an R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R was restored by expert mechanics as part of their duties for one of Japan’s largest car companies. Except, the company wasn’t Nissan. It was their age-old rival, Toyota.

Why would Toyota do such a thing? If you’ve ever been to the History Garage next to Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom in Odaiba, Tokyo, you’ll understand. The garage and display area are owned by Toyota, but the rotating display of classic cars feature models from all over the world, not just Toyota’s own family tree. You’ll see everything from a BMW Isetta to a C2 Corvette, and offerings from every Japanese carmaker.

All of the cars in the History Garage are driveable, and the staff periodically take them out on demonstration runs and let the public ride along. On the lower level of the History Garage is the Restore Pit, where maintenance and restoration take place. You can even look in on the technicians as you visit the gift shop (which has a tremendous selection of diecast cars). The technicians are typically older gentlemen that have put in many years with Toyota’s manufacturing side, and know cars inside out.

If you’ve been, you also know that the space is not big and often has several cars undergoing restoration crammed into it at the same time. That must have made the R32 project even tougher but the technicians make the best of the situation, working with just jack stands and a cherry picker to drop the drivetrain like us shadetree schmoes at home. The only outsourcing was the paint and body work, as the site isn’t really set up for that kind of work.

The restoration began at the start of 2019, so it’s taken about a year and a half to complete. We don’t recall seeing an R32 in our past visits there, so it may be a new addition to the collection. Or, it could be a job for the Toyota Automobile Museum in Nagoya, which the Restore Pit sometimes undertakes. One does wonder if they only chose to do it now that Nissan is remaking restoration parts for the R32.

Maybe it’s what’s going on in the rest of the world that makes us feel all fuzzy about this. It’s touching to see one carmaker paying respect to the greats from another, and showing such camaraderie is good for the greater car hobby as well. If Toyota can proudly restore a Nissan, then maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

Images courtesy of Toyota.

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11 Responses to A Nissan Skyline GT-R has been lovingly restored… by Toyota

  1. Ian N says:

    Good on you, Toyota! I’d say that their museum reflects a deeper look into their past model lines than elsewhere, as you can see the competition that they faced at the time those models were released. It would also strengthen the feeling of what “social” automotive trends were affecting the populace at the time, like the advent of the “wedge” shape and colour schemes, etc..

  2. Dutch 1960 says:

    Car guys are car guys. You know they are taking mental notes on how Nissan did things, compared to how Toyota did them at the time, to be discussed at break time and at the end of the day. You root for your home team but respect all the players.

  3. MikeRL411 says:

    Added to my bucket list [if travel restrictions are ever lifted]. Currently travelers from the USA are strictly forbidden entry.

  4. Rob says:

    An R32 with Toyota reliability!

    • Mike says:

      Haha! These cars are already reliable… but they’re old. Besides these cars use Nissan or Nismo parts only, with the exemption of after market of course. So I guess toyota will use a mix of Nissan and Nismo for this Godzilla. You should tale a look at Omori Nismo factory, that’s usually the choice of Japanese Gtr restorers, but they expensive af!

      • Jay says:

        Buy one and then see how reliable they are. I’ve owned many and they are not that reliable when compared to the competition from Toyota.

      • potato says:

        it is actually not difficult to restore a car if you work as a car mechanic. it’s the time and cost for parts that is consuming and they rather work on customers car and get paid than restore one just for hobby.

        i mean i could imagine a group of mechanics spending their weekends helping each other restore a car or some college brings in a car and let their students restore it.

  5. Johnny says:

    Toyota peeps be like, oh that’s how you make a legendary Japanese sportscar w/o asking the help of yamaha – Lfa, Mk4 supra, subaru – Gt86, bmw – current supra. ?

  6. Jimmy says:

    I saw this car being restored last year when I visited the History Garage in Tokyo Bay. Fantastic job on the restoration, what a beautiful car!

  7. Martin says:

    I was luckily enough to see this car in its early stages of restoration. A few close friends and I took a trip to Japan and we visited the museum. AMAZING. We saw the R32 and then started to look around the shop for all the parts like a giant games of wheres waldo. So good to see that it is still being loved. .

  8. Kalervo Kasurinen says:

    I’ve owned heaps of Nissan’s… two Skylines, two Pathfinders and a Cube… they have always been super reliable!

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