Background: I was a huge fan of older style VIP cars.
In the early days of F31club, there was one kit that everyone wanted… Diana kit. The F31 is also known as “Private Coupe”. It was so interesting because it verified that the F31 chassis can be “VIP”. The kit consisted of Front and rear bumper covers, side skirts, 3 piece wing, door panels and a fog light set.
From what I was told by Tanaka-san, the kit wasn’t popular in Japan and you only see it on a couple cars.. and not even the full kit.
Ogawara-san sent me pictures of his old Leopard with the Diana on it.
Again, besides a few pictures, I have never really seen that many and most of the time, it is not the complete kit. Once I heard they are not available anymore, but some people do have them stashed, I knew it was going to be very difficult to get. I realized that leopard owners are also collectors and they will probably hang on to the aero until they have to really sell it.
So I pretty much decided to forego that path at that time. It only popped up in my mind again because with the Kaido parts, I was thinking,
How cool it would be to have a kaido F31 at a show.. then I was like… what about a VIP F31 next to it…
Then my fascination was rekindled like no other. Now, I might not be able to get the Diana kit.. but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a VIP kit that is similar.
First, I had to think how I could make this. I know grafting top half of an oem front bumper with what every fiberglass bottom end. I started to search front ends, but its more about what is out there and whats available.
Ogawara-san said this front end is available.
Now it is near perfect! I would had a bit of a front lip protrusion to it. But the squareness and fog lights are exactly what I want. Looking at this model, I wanted to get the general idea if I were to fabricate the bottom of the front a bit. I want close to Diana (Insurance group).
The other thing is the side skirts. My Piko racing side skirts can be a rough template, but the Diana kit is very square and flat.
Also noticed the moulding too! So Ogawara-san said the moulding has to be removed, and these are actually part of the sides. So the door panels need to cover.
The important piece I haven’t seen on cars is the door panels (this example is from a Chaser). Even though it isn’t the Leopard specific part, it gives me a general idea of the clearance in the front of the panel (which is angled). The leopard piece would replace the molding.
The wing is 3 piece too, so the piece fits the trunk and has ends that follow it.
While I wonder what comes with the Y31, I do like the 92-98 E36 BMW fog lights. The styling seems square enough to flow with it.
Rear bumper cover:
I haven’t seen a clear picture of the rear bumper, looking at the rear bumper, it looks one piece. F31 bumpers are just the back. So I think I’ll have to get the rear side pieces and rear bumper and mold to be one piece, the try to come up with a block type of design like this.
Some other goals I want to achieve with this VIP build.
Clear headlights. Ogawara-san told me it was like a flashlight! LOL
then some eyelids to round off the look.
The unthinkable happened. I secured a full Diana kit! 5 piece kit with fog lights!!! As of now, Noguchi-san is holding the parts until shipping returns to normal again.
Front and rear bumpers, side steps with door panels and moulding!!!
Interior – So now that I look at it, I want to have a decent interior.
This picture shows 3 typical must haves in a VIP car:
- glove box VIP tray
- Some type of broadway mirror
- Wood steering wheel
M30s do have wood trim and there area couple kits available. But I would bypass those for marble!!!
There is a thought of swapping in a bigger motor. I want to swap in a VH45DE.
The main reason to do this is to have a bigger motor. OG VIP cars were V8 sedans. While the F31 was considered the Private Coupe, I want to up the stakes on this car so it looks really good.