Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

800HP Nissan GT-R Widebody is the Nation’s Wildest R32 Skyline Build
BY Sam Du //
July 31, 2023
Photography: Gian Fernandez
Owner: Brad Nielson
  • Pit+Paddock hosted its first Grid Icons event at 405 Motoring in Los Angeles with the help of title partner Yokohama Tire and presenting partner Haltech.
  • The inaugural car show celebrated the R32, R33, and R34 generations of the JDM Nissan Skyline GT-R, and featured Brad Nielson’s 800hp SEMA build as the hero car. 
  • After transporting his widebody R32 GT-R 1,400 miles roundtrip from Utah to California, Brad received tremendous recognition from more than 500 industry and media guests. 

Grid Icons media coverage is presented by Hawk Performance

The first-ever Pit+Paddock x Yokohama Tire Grid Icons presented by Haltech wouldn’t be anything without the right theme with the perfect cars. Curating a car show of R32, R33, and R34 GT-R builds might sound easy, considering JDM Skylines has been legal to import and own for several years now; however, finding an example that would be worthy of the main spotlight at Grid Icons would take a little more than hitting up our local Cars+Coffee. 

With Dai Yoshihara’s 750hp R33 Skyline and the million-dollar NISMO 400R secured for the event, I knew we still needed a showpiece that would rock people’s socks and truly give Grid Icons spectators something they’ve never seen before. So, in a similar fashion to inviting Cam Cocalis and his insane Toyota 86 to our Cars+Coffee earlier this year, I dug into my contact list and reached out to our friends at Vibrant Performance, who in turn, put me in touch with Brad Nielson, the owner of this balls-out R32 Skyline GT-R. 


One look at Brad’s R32 and you’ll know right away, this is far from a basic bitch. It was one of the top cars from the 2022 SEMA Show, and arguably one of the wildest JDM Skyline builds ever completed on U.S. soil. The attention to detail is out of this world, especially within the engine bay that runs an RB30 block with a Nitto 3.2-liter stroker, a PRP R35 coilpack kit, a one-of-a-kind exhaust manifold with Vibrant hardware, Hypertune goodies, Supertech hardware, the list goes on and on… On the outside, it wears 19×12” Work wheels and is the first Garage Active widebody conversion sold and installed in America.

Custom carbon and billet pieces, plus diamond-stitched upholstery can be found within the interior. I especially admire the trunk setup that shows off the audio, T-Demand air suspension, and Nuke fuel setup in an impressive carbon enclosure. Brad’s GT-R has an undeniable presence with not just a list of parts that would make any JDM fanboy or fangirl melt, but the hours of custom work to appreciate made it the perfect candidate for our first-ever Grid Icons hero car.


There was just one hurdle to bring Brad’s Skyline out for our show, and it came down to distance. Brad calls Utah home and it would take 700 miles and two days on the road to make it to 405 Motoring. It was nerve-reckoning that Brad also felt ill come week of, but thankfully, his brother Mark became our savior as he transported the R32 in Brad’s place, thus saving our first-ever Grid Icons event! I’d like to give a huge shout-out and thank you to both Brad and Mark. Without the support of both of you, we wouldn’t have had as successful and as memorable of a show!


From the looks of it, you’re a big Skyline guy! Tell us about how you got into GT-Rs.
My first fast car was a Mustang 5.0 Foxbody. Skylines really started to grab my attention when I started playing Gran Turismo 2 on PlayStation. They were an inexpensive car that you could make insanely fast. I kind of went down the Skyline rabbit hole from there. I started buying Best Motoring videos from Japan and eventually found the Mine’s R34. It was so fast and so good-looking. That was when I knew I had to have one. 

How many JDM Skylines have you owned and which is your favorite?
I’ve owned six Skyline GT-Rs, and currently own five. I have two R32s, two R34s, and one R33. People think I’m crazy because my R33 is my favorite. I’m 6’4″ and I fit in it. It doesn’t get the amount of attention the R34 gets and it’s super reliable. Most of my cars are heavily modified. The 33 has upgraded twin turbos, a Haltech, Fortune Auto 510s, and most importantly, the air conditioning works!

The R32 made a crazy impact at SEMA 2022. What’s the backstory behind the concept of the build?
In 2019, I was in a financial position to finally buy a Skyline GT-R. I worked with an importer and searched for months to find the right one. I ended up finding this really clean, low miles R32 with a cage already in it. At that point, we were just going to do a 500hp build and leave the body alone. But then I found the Garage Active kit and knew I had to have it! Once we ordered the kit, the build really started to spiral out of control. With the widebody, I needed the custom Work Meister wheels and the T-Demand air suspension for drivability. My goal at that point was to have the “coolest” R32 on the planet. Personally, I think I achieved that goal. It’s a truly special car; however, I will never build a car that custom again.

Can you elaborate on the performance goals for this car? 
I think the car will probably live around 800 horsepower; however, it will have the “Bugatti tune” because I love to roll race. We don’t have a drag strip here in Utah, but Utah Motorsports Campus hosts roll race events a couple of times a month. On occasion, someone will bring out their Bugatti or their Senna. If I hear someone is bringing out one of those, I will fill the nitrous tanks up because I would love to film my R32 just smashing a million-dollar car!

Haltech is a big supporter of Grid Icons and we noticed you’re running their standalone.
The Nexus R5 is a pretty intense standalone, and my tuner has never worked with one before. Haltech has been super quick to hop in and answer questions. We have heaps of logs and data that we’re currently going through to sort out some gremlins. Haltech offered to help us go through these logs and double-check the tune before the engine starts up again. Unfortunately, the car currently doesn’t run, but I am extremely confident that we will have a great running car in the coming months. Big thanks to Josh Redden and the Haltech team for being such an amazing partner!

Grid Icons media coverage is presented by Hawk Performance





Do you want to be informed whenever we publish a new article? Share your email address with us, and we'll deliver great original content straight to your inbox!

We respect your interest in Pit+Paddock, and we'll never share your email address with anyone.