The Project Car Magazine M30 rebuild



My perspective of this car


I’ve peppered F31club with the build of this car. Mostly keeping pictures and parts out there.

I initially made it’s own sub directory:  and while it is easy to update and post… it didn’t feel right.

Since my motto with this car is: “retro car, retro build”, I decided to make a retro early 2000s style website. While it takes a bit more time. I made an older website which I will promote after I do a few more tweaks.

How the car is: ROUGH. RB25det has blown #6 ringland. Engine taken apart. No RB25det transmission. No Greddy intake manifold (from original build). No exhaust manifold. No turbo. Bumper covers are broken and minor dings and dents throughout the car. Hood tension rods bent. Interior dirty with missing and broken pieces.

Junking the car would have been easy at this point.

Retro Car – There are so many connections with this car it is insane. This was an F31club car. It was a magazine car. It was also the epitome of what an M30 could be. Saving this car (and owning it) means a lot to me. I’ve know Koji (original owner) since those days, but we met up at JCCS last year. The history of this car makes it the most famous M30 and that makes it worth saving.

Retro BuildThis is a tribute car.  I want to keep this era/period correct as much as possible (but I don’t mind having some newer technology/parts). I am sticking with Quality parts from some of the original companies that contributed to the build. Greddy, Tomei, Phase2 Motortrend, Syko Performance, HKS, Blitz, and Nismo. I can’t ignore Franklin Engineering, Boost Doc, Clockwork Customs, Platinum Racing Performance, Supertec, Link and Wiring Specialties.

Marco (SR20store) agreed to work on the car with the stipulation of “No cheap parts.. Freddy manifolds or Chinese turbos”. He is the original builder of the car. The RB25det (from original build) is being rebuilt with forged internals. RB25det transmission, Greddy intake manifold. Oil drain kit. Tomei MX8265 turbo.

Project Leopard Engine parts list April 2020

Interior will be swapped from tan/brown to grey/black. Dashboard will be redone (fix warp and crack), Chassis cracks welded up, seats redone. Zenki digital instrument panel, Zenki F31 leopard arm rest with R31 shift bezel and Shift Royal boots. Link G4 ecu, with OLD SCHOOL HKS and Pivot electronics. Carmate accessories and Razo Pedals. Cabal Industries Passenger side vent.


Project Leopard interior change

Audio – Older unit with Carrozzeria DEH-P650. Custom system set up by MOB Audio (Also part of F31club)

Exterior – The only Zenki F31 Leopard front end in the US. I have to put this on. Piko racing front lip and side skirts. Villanelle rear valances. Zenki tail lights. Body and paint done by Sakura Garage (part of F31club). SP signworks with the Nismo livery and F31club decals. The car will be two tone. Wind chill white with blue pearl (as was my EK) and grey bottom.

Test fit the front end.


It took awhile, but since the COVID19 shelter in place.. This bumper (bumper reinforcement) is from 1986. It is needed to put on the bumper cover. I had to break this down in sections and spent hours on each section throughout 2 weeks. I did most by hand as there are small places, no garage and neighbors that are nosey. It took time, but it was something that had to be done. it is the ONLY ZENKI FRONT END in the US. Since the rest of the car is being built. I needed to get this cleaned up as well. Rust reformer used after getting it done.



Suspension – I definitely want to change. There’s some cheap angle kit that is giving the car some heavy camber in the front. I’m not drifting, so I don’t really care much about these. The BC racing suspension is the original set up and actually has held up to years of abuse!


So in keeping in tune with a retro build, I decided to use as many items as possible from that era. I came up in the “Import scene” of the late 90s/ early 2000s, and this era was amazing to witness for the most part. So I’ve been trying to get items and brands from that era. This is my tribute to them, the era and the old school tuning scene.

I’ll probably do periodic updates.. but for the most part, I wanted this portion to be out there.