Joel Tan, the Filipino responsible for 2018’s viral owner-type jeep in the US, is back. This time, the dude is on the world’s biggest aftermarket stage, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his modified 1972 Nissan Skyline.
Tan began working on the ride—an official display at the 2019 Toyo Tires booth—in April this year, equipping the Skyline with a turbocharged 2JZ dual VVT-i engine that is capable of 450hp and comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The vehicle has been converted from right- to left-hand-drive, and features a rack-and-pinion setup from a KP61 Toyota Starlet.
Other add-ons and modifications include a Koyorad radiator and snazzy 14-inch Colin Project wheels wrapped in R888 Toyo Tires. The interior of the car has also been stripped and fitted with Seibon carbon bucket seats. And of course, there’s the Skyline’s incredibly low stance.
Our favorite addition, though, can be found out back: a Philippine license plate (though Tan points out the unit wasn’t sourced from our country—as mentioned, it was originally right-hand-drive). Nice.
Seeing the vehicle prior to Tan’s restoration will give you an idea of how much work has gone into this build—the thing was practically just a frame when he got his hands on it:
Asked the amount of dough he’s spent on the project, Tan replied in the way only a true bona fide car nut can: “I’ve lost count already, sir.” By Tan’s description of the vehicle’s reception—he calls it a “showstopper”—at this year’s show, it seems like it was money well spent.
Filipinos making waves in other countries is nothing new— we do have a reputation for seeking greener pastures outside our borders—but seeing homegrown talent like Joel Tan being recognized in the international car scene is always worth appreciating. What do you think of his SEMA 2019 build?