Just like last time Levin Delta Integrale, we have another face-swapped example: an AE86 with the face of a Skyline HCR32! Even though the tail lights seem to originate from a Trueno AE86, I’ll just call it the SkyLevin. It may look a bit weird as the R32 Skyline is almost a decade ahead in design, but does it look good? That’s up to you to decide!

Autoworks Nipponshi AWN 800: AE86 with Skyline HCR32 front end
Autoworks Nipponshi AWN 800: AE86 with Skyline HCR32 front end

Autoworks Nipponshi

Let’s start with the builder of this insane car: Autoworks Nipponshi. They called their work the AWN 800. I can understand the AWN abbreviation, but I have no idea what the 800 means. I wasn’t able to find out much about this garage. I’ve tried searching on both Romanized and Katakana, but nothing turned up except for this Motor Fan article. My guess is this was done by a small garage in the Nipponshi area without a website or any presence on the web. I’ve also tried to go through all the garages in the Nipponshi area but to no avail.

Rust AE86 + Skyline Frontcut = SkyLevin?

The build itself was initiated because the garage tried to fix up an old Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 where the front body parts were thoroughly rusted through and beyond repair. With the prices of good AE86 parts soaring and a Nissan Skyline GT HCR32 front cut on their hands, they decided to make a fusion out of the two. To be able to mate the Skyline front end with an AE86 chassis required either some extensive modifications or clever thinking. They went for the latter.

Double core support and cross members

When you open the bonnet, you will notice there are actually two (radiator) core supports. The inner is from the AE86, the outer is from the Skyline. If Autoworks had chosen to modify the AE86 chassis, it would have required them to extend the front chassis legs to meet up with the Skyline core support. This itself would have made passing Shaken more difficult as extensive testing would have been required. Retaining the AE86 core support therefore was mandatory.

Double core support and cross member are necessary
Double core support and cross member are necessary

To facilitate room for a 6-cylinder engine, the Skyline’s nose is 22cm longer than the AE86. Retaining the AE86 core support meant they had to shorten the front fenders and bonnet extensively. This would then ruin the Skyline’s looks. This hurdle was overcome by mounting the Skyline’s core support 22cm ahead of the AE86’s core support. Even though the Skyline’s core support isn’t a structural part, it was necessary to also add the Skyline’s cross member to add rigidity to the whole front end. Without it, the front end would wobble and it could potentially unlock the bonnet as the bonnet catch was now mounted to the Skyline’s core support.

Increasing the width

AE86 Origin FRP over fenders in the rear
AE86 Origin FRP over fenders in the rear

The Skyline is a much bigger car than the AE86. The normal Skyline is 1695mm wide, while the AE86 is only 1625mm wide. This is a difference of 70mm and they overcame this issue by mounting the Skyline core support and widening the fender mounting points on the front of the chassis. In the rear, Origin FRP fender extenders were installed to match the wider style of the front fenders.

Larger wheels

Larger fenders means you can run 17 inch wheels on an AE86!
Larger fenders mean you can run 17-inch wheels on an AE86!

Normally on an AE86, the maximum wheel size is about 15 inches. Sometimes 16 inches is also possible, but to allow this size fender lips have to be rolled as otherwise rubbing is inevitable. As the fenders now are much larger, also larger wheels will fit. On the AWN 800 they fitted 17-inch wheels and both front and rear are 8-inch wide (+34 front, +30 rear). However, they state it has room to go as large as 19-inch wheels!


I think, so far, I have given you an objective view of this build. Personally, I love both Levin and Trueno in both 2-door and 3-door shapes. Given that the Skyline R32 never came with a hatchback, this 3-door SkyLevin fills that gap. It would have been complete if Autoworks Nipponshi converted the tail lights to the Skyline afterburner design, but then I probably would have loathed the car. Personally, I like it just the way it is now! Yet still, I’ll post it in the AE86 Wall of Shame anyway.

So, what do you think? Should this SkyLevin belong in the AE86 Wall of Shame or not? Should it actually have gotten the afterburner tail light treatment? I love to hear all about it in the comments below!

All photos in this posting are taken from the Motor Fan article.