As more and more Japanese classics are eligible for import into the US, prices have been rocketing. And as the price of entire cars climbs, so too do the prices of original spares and accessories associated with these classics. That makes finding new parts difficult, but Nissan is doing its part to help fix this problem, announcing today that the Nismo Heritage Parts program will now include new parts for the true Godzilla, the R32 Skyline GT-R. Using clever new techniques, Nissan is able to recreate original body panels and harnesses for the iconic JDM supercar.
This kind of thing is not altogether new. In the past, we've reported on Toyota's GR Heritage Parts program that looks to keep older Supras on the road. Mazda has done the same for the RX-7, and Nissan itself has been in the business of keeping old classics on the road for ages now too. We first heard about Nissan making spares for the R32 GT-R back in 2017, but Nissan is adding even more parts to this program now.
Rather than recommissioning old dies that could be deformed or worn, Nissan is using "dual-sided dieless forming technology" to produce rear body panels in low volumes. This method "enables the molding of complex shapes through the use of robots pressing rod-shaped molding tools onto opposite sides of a steel sheet to incrementally deform and mold a panel." Thus, rear panels can be produced with relative ease.
To make this happen, Nissan worked with Solize Corporation to produce a protector made of resin for the harness in the R32 GT-R. With the help and cooperation of the harness body supplier, Nissan was able to redesign the parts and conduct performance tests that adapt to 3D printers, enabling new parts to be produced in a short period of time. In the few years since December 2017's heritage parts program launched, Nissan has expanded its parts availability from 80 to 300 parts, but the automaker says that it intends to further expand this range. There's never been a better time to own a classic JDM legend.