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Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cuzick, from Sasebo Naval Base’s Port Operations department, says he has upgraded almost every part of the engine on his 1991 Nissan Skyline R32-GTR.

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cuzick, from Sasebo Naval Base’s Port Operations department, says he has upgraded almost every part of the engine on his 1991 Nissan Skyline R32-GTR. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cuzick, from Sasebo Naval Base’s Port Operations department, says he has upgraded almost every part of the engine on his 1991 Nissan Skyline R32-GTR.

Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cuzick, from Sasebo Naval Base’s Port Operations department, says he has upgraded almost every part of the engine on his 1991 Nissan Skyline R32-GTR. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

A Texas Longhorn logo is one of the few exterior artwork elements on the shiny ocean-blue 1991 Nissan Skyline R32-GTR owned by Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cuzick.

A Texas Longhorn logo is one of the few exterior artwork elements on the shiny ocean-blue 1991 Nissan Skyline R32-GTR owned by Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cuzick. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cuzick started working on cars as a boy “out in the weeds” back home.

When it comes to his 1991 Nissan Skyline R32-GTR, what he craves most is high performance, the Porter, Texas, native said.

When riding around off base, he’s known on his radio as “Redneck.”

Flashy lights, fancy stickers and furry seats “just aren’t me,” added Cuzick, who has been in Japan since 1994.

Nonetheless, his car is attractive: sleek, deep ocean-blue and spit-shined. Under the hood is where it counts, he said.

“It’ll go well over 270 klicks (kilometers per hour, or about 168 mph), with more to go, no problems,” he said, while giving his engine a good once-over.

“A lot of people like to go out and drink and do other things,” he said. “I just like cars … you know.”

Why do you do this to your car?

“I’m from the country, out in the weeds in Texas. We were all about Fords and Chevys back then, and souping up the engines and all that. When I got here, I saw the Skyline, and it ran a straight six … pretty easy to work on … not a lot of electronic stuff going on in there. I decided the GTR was going to be my dream car; that was about eight years ago.”

What are some of the things you do to your car?

“I changed a lot of parts on the engine. I run a T-78 Turbo now, compared to the twin turbo it came with. I put a boost control in it, and various gauges … changed the injectors … put I-cams in it and a four-port intercooler. It comes with racing seats already. I added a twin-plated clutch. And of course, I changed the stereo out because stock stereos aren’t worth anything; now I have a top-of-the-line Pioneer.”

Where do you get the materials you use on your car?

“The main one is Karatsu Engine Works, one of the best in Kyushu. There’s another one in Arita called Squares. I also buy a lot of things off the Yahoo! Auction, and you can get things really cheap.”

Where do you go to show off your car?

“The base shut down the main place we used to go, out at the Saga Airport. We could watch people get it on down there; they do the quarter mile down there. Now there’s a couple around here where you can actually buy time on the track.”

How much have you paid in total for the car?

“Everything together? I’d say about $27,000.”

What’s your favorite accessory on the car?

“I’d have to say the T-78 Turbo … the extra horsepower.”

What is the next upgrade you plan to make?

“I’m planning to put a roll bar in there for extra safety — because you never know what could happen. And I will have to get some smaller tires. The bigger tires wear out a lot of parts, and do it quicker.”

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