Beginning of a Classic JDM Build

Some of you may be familiar with my Laurel, for those of you who are not here is a crash course.

At the time the shop I owned Idaho Speed Center was importing containers of JDM parts. I went to Japan to help our contact cut apart a few cars and fill a container. While there I saw my first Hako… instant desire. I traveled back to the States and started watching the auctions.  Japanese Yahoo Auctions  is where I first saw the Laurel SGX, let me just say I love the looks of the Hako but the Laurel with it’s American Muscle Car influence and big ass, it’s well, perfect. Most likely my attraction is driven by going to a high school with a parking lot full of Chevelles, Camaros, and Mustangs. Of course I didn’t drive a muscle car, lots of people drove muscle cars, my first car was a big block chevy powered Landcruiser. Just a little different from the beginning.










Back to the Laurel, here is a pic of my car in the driveway of the gentleman that I purchased it from. Next to a DR30 and wait, wtf a 70’s Trans-Am? Reminds me, I have a great story about tuning an IROC Camaro in the middle of the night in Nagoya, if anyone is interested.




Ass shot…


Here are couple in front of the Speed Center.












Unfortunately our contact in Japan wasn’t as much of a “car guy” as we first thought. I asked him to send me pictures of only the bad spots on the car. What he sent was the best areas of the car, no pics of the rust  and bondo in the fenders and quarters. So after a couple hours 😉 work it looked like this…

Thanks to Chris from for the pic.

If you would like more info on the Laurel or other classic JDM cars check out Here is a write up they did the year I took the car to JCCS.  Japanese Nostalgic Car

On to the build…..

I had a hard time deciding on a drivetrain, I literally took months to finally pull the trigger on a Q45 donor car.

I considered everything from…

RB26 Pros- sound, power, looks, smooth, sound, sound, Nissan built, did I say sound?…. Cons- $$$$$$.

LSx Pros- great motor to work on, great power, cheap to build… Con-NOT JAPANESE)

SR20 Pros- Cheap, light…. Cons- no torque

VH45 Pros- Cheap, almost 300 hp stock, fairly light for a v-8, finishing touch on the muscle car Nissan should have built, will make 600hp with a turbo…Cons- will it fit?


Here is the donor in all its beauty, bought it for $475, pulled everything off of it I wanted and got $325 back from the recycler.











My boys lending a helping hand. Surprise…surprise they are good at taking stuff apart.














Will it fit?

Sure…except for the steering box, brake booster, clutch master cylinder. But who needs those anyway?










Test fit…. it drops right in…. kinda


Intake MUST go…



Things like the booster and clutch master are going to dictate where the motor is going to sit.


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