Most people have a hobby. Some are lucky enough to get paid to do it.

I count myself as one of those few lucky people. Capturing landscapes with a cheap camera started as a lighthearted way to escape my studies at university, but photography eventually became my day job. I can remember the day I realised that my hobby had been consumed by the drudgery of work, but it hasn’t been at all bad. Takuro Koyabu, the owner of this Pandem-kitted R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R, knows exactly how I feel because he is in the same boat. His hobby is also his day job.


During the week, Takuro-san works at a body shop, where he repairs, modifies and paints customer cars. In his free time, Takuro-san works on his own car – a never-ending journey of self-expression.


Takuro-san told me he has loved cars from the day he was born. Growing up, he thought about them every waking hour – and probably dreamt about them, too. He was sure he would work with cars when he grew up.


Takaru-san bought this R33 when he was 18 and had just obtained his driver’s licence, and began modifying it right away. At first glance, the car looks like a few other Pandem-kitted R33 GT-Rs we have seen, but the devil is in the details. And there are many personal touches all over the car.


Let’s start from the outside and work our way in. The Pandem overfenders house a rather large Work ZR10 wheels – 19×12.5-inch, to be exact. I initially thought they were at least 20 inches, because they seem to dwarf the 30-year-old Skyline so much.


Working our way up, the Nissan sports a snout bonnet and a custom–modified headlight intake. At the rear is a GT wing of unknown origin.


Back to the front of the car and under the bonnet is the original RB26 – albeit now built to 2.7 litres – with a unique aluminium grinder tattoo effect on the cam cover, with candy gold paint. This custom detail adds some funky flair, but the Trust T78 big single turbo, Sard fuel rail and injectors, and GReddy Suction Kit are all part of a 700hp recipe, which is more impressive.


The funky customisation continues in the interior, with a gold-painted roll cage that ties in the wheel centres and engine cover, plus some custom trim work using Powerpuff Girls-themed fabric.


The colourful cabin is also home to a pair of Recaro Pro Racer RMS seats with Sabelt harnesses, a Momo steering wheel (also gold detailed), and Defi gauges.


Like any hobby, messing about with cars can quickly become an obsession. Whether you are scrolling through auction websites and forums or simply daydreaming about the next big build, cars can consume your every waking hour.


This can become exhausting if it is also part of your working day. You have to be a certain kind of car addict to not let it drive you mad or even find joy in the all-consuming work hobby. Personally, I can’t find enough hours in the day to finish all my car-related thoughts.


But when my working day is done, you’ll find me working on my hobby – just like Takuro-san.

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_

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