Nissan trophy truck

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Nissan 240Z, 370Z, GT-R and Trophy Truck Face Off in Drag Race

That being said, what's to hate about a drag race between a 240Z, a 370Z, a GTR, and a Trophy Truck? It's so ridiculous that it's bound to be fun. The power underdog is the 240Z, even though it's not running the stock 2.4-liter, 151 hp engine originally fitted to the car in the 70s. Instead, a more modern RB 2.6-liter, 280 hp Skyline GT-R straight-six engine resides under its hood. It could be a more powerful unit, since in the video it is stated that the hp is similar to the 370Z.

Next up on the power scale is the 370Z Nismo, which is propelled by a 3.7-liter, 350 hp V6 engine. But it's a lot heavier than the 240Z: about 400 kilos when comparing weights of the standard cars. Even if it has a slightly bigger engine, the 240Z also has a partially stripped interior, so it should weigh even less than the standard 1,044 kilos of the production car.

One of the last things you'd expect to see on a drag strip is a Trophy Truck since they're notoriously heavy, coming in at way over two tons. In this case, it's a Nissan Class 1 race truck from the 90s, powered by a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated V6. We did some digging and found out it's a 4-liter VQ unit putting out 503hp.

The GT-R they used in the video is just bonkers. It would have been the most powerful of the bunch even running the stock engine. But it's not running stock. It's a 1,100 hp ethanol beast tuned by Narvaez Racing. With that kind of power, the added weight of the production car doesn't even matter anymore.

Even if the end result is exactly the one you'd expect, the quarter-mile race is quite interesting, with the Trophy Truck being quickest off the mark. Watch the full video below.

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Baja-Ready, 600-HP Nissan Frontier Desert Runner: Not the Cybertruck, Still a Cool Truck

It's an off-road-prepped Fronty with a 5.6-liter Titan engine and a six-speed manual transmission.

The Nissan Frontier Desert Runner trim sits beneath the harder-core Pro-4X spec in the mid-size pickup's lineup. It's nothing special, the Desert Runner, just a Frontier with some off-road suspension bits and all-terrain tires. This Desert Runner, which Nissan brought to the L.A. auto show just weeks after putting it on display at the closed-to-the-public SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, is hardly normal. If you couldn't tell by looking at it, that is. 

Under the hood, Nissan installed a 5.6-liter V-8 from the larger, full-size Titan pickup in place of the Frontier's ancient 4.0-liter V-6. As if the bigger engine wasn't enough of an add on its own, it was modified with a Garrett GTX3584RS turbocharger, a custom intercooler, Jim Wolf Technology camshafts, valves, and pistons, Anne an MA Motorsports turbo header and exhaust system. The result is a titanic 600 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque, output figures that eclipse a stock 5.6-liter's by 200 horsepower and 287 lb-ft. For extra nerd points, the engine is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission with a Jim Wolf Technology clutch and flywheel.

On the suspension front, this special Nissan Frontier Desert Runner gets a BTF long travel front suspension kit, king Racing Triple Bypass front and rear shocks, coilovers, Giant Motorsports Link Killer rear leaf springs, and Fifteen52 TurboMac HD wheels shod with BFGoodrich Baja all-terrain tires. Body changes include Fiberworks Pre Runner fenders and fabricated front and rear bumpers. There's also a custom tire carrier and Rigid Industries off-road lights. Nissan also stripped the pickup's interior and installed a coated floor, a MA Motorsports custom harness bar, Sparco harnesses, Sparco racing seats, and a Sparco steering wheel with a quick release steering wheel adapter.

Is there a point to this? Not really, other than to remind you, probably, that the Nissan Frontier still exists. The soon-to-be-replaced model is the oldest pickup in the mid-size segment—well, any pickup segment—by far, yet it remains a rugged, affordable piece. Now, apparently, it can also fit a Titan engine in it and be built out into an ultra-rad desert racer.

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This Scary Little Truck Changed Off-Road Forever And Now It's Back, Baby

All images by the author

Some 30 years ago, this Nissan Frontier “Hardbody” was supposedly the first pickup truck built for off-road racing... with the engine behind the driver. Behold: the sort-of first “trophy truck”! Now it’s back in Baja, which you can watch live all week!

The 1991 Nissan “T-Mag” is No. 125 in the 2016 National Off-Road Racing Association Mexican 1000, which you can watch live from Mexico every day from Saturday, April 23 to Wednesday, April 27 right here:

The Nissan will “compete” as Vintage Era vehicle, which is anything from 1989 to 1996. I say “compete” and not compete because as one of the car’s techs told me, they’re just “here to have fun and get some great footage.” That’s kind of the whole point of the NORRA race for a lot of people, which is pretty much the main reason I love coming down here so much.

Image for article titled This Scary Little Truck Changed Off-Road Forever And Now It's Back, Baby

The driver of record is Michael Power, but supposedly “one of the guys from Top Gear” will be behind the wheel at some point this week. Don’t know which guy, or even which Top Gear, but this will certainly be one of the machines to watch.

That same tech told me that when this truck was first released into the battlefield, it had a transfer case—the gears that send a truck’s power to the front wheels, making it four wheel drive—behind the engine and a driveshaft that ran through the fuel cell and the co-driver’s seat.

Here I thought I had balls signing up to co-drive in a race car at all, now I hear some crazy co-pilot actually ran races with a steel shaft spinning inches below his ass?

Image for article titled This Scary Little Truck Changed Off-Road Forever And Now It's Back, Baby

Fortunately that cockamamie system has been scrapped for a traditional rear-drive step-up for this race.

Another industry veteran told me this particular truck “wasn’t very fast, but caused quite a bit of controversy” when it first came out to race the Baja 1000 about 25 years ago.

I’ve been told that it was originally entered in the “production truck” class, even though a rear-engined Frontier was obviously not a marketed product ever. Apparently it skirted the rule because the man who built it happened to be the same guy writing the rules at the time.

“Just changing the gearing real quick.”

“So here was this tiny little lightweight buggy-style thing racing against big honking Dodge Power Wagons and Chevys,” my friend said. The other companies cried foul, and Nissan’s rear-engined pickup couldn’t compete against stock-style trucks anymore.

But legend has it the truck did inspire a new class of competition that would basically become desert racing’s bread and butter: the “trophy truck.”

Not a scrap of “stock Nissan Frontier” under here.

A trophy truck is basically a rear-drive rear-engined buggy that happens to have a fiberglass body vaguely resembling a pickup. These are now the highest-horsepower, fastest, top-level competing cars at almost any given desert race.

It’ll be interesting to see how this little Nissan does after so many years in retirement, and you know it’s going to look cool on the course no matter what. Make sure to tune in with us at the live stream, some of which I’ll be commentating myself, all week long!


Nissan Frontier Desert Runner

Nissan Titan prerunner is not a common vehicle in desert races like baja 1000, however it’s got a very good potential. Choosing a proper platform for a prerunner project is very important, as the truck must have a good potential to justify the cost and time spent on modifications. Domestic trucks are dominating in this class of the off-road vehicles, however full size Japanese pickups like Nissan Titan are not hanging behind.

Let’s take a closer look at Nissan Titan. The first generation of this model has everything to be called a proper full size pick up like a big and powerful 5.6L V8, tough chassis, 2WD or 4WD configuration, crew cab and a decent bed size. Affordable maintenance cost is definitely a plus, but the biggest advantage though is the number of available aftermarket parts and components that will help you to convert it into a serious desert rig without having custom fab every single part. Many companies offer Nissan Titan prerunner kits and parts such as suspension lift kits, conversional shocks, bulge fenders, skid plates, off-road bumpers and many more. 2017 Nissan Titan trophy truck build on the base of the new generation XD model was showcased at last years SEMA which ilustrates the full potential of this platform.

nissan titan prerunner off-road bumper

If  you are a fan of classic 2WD configuration with a dig suspension travel, you are free to choose this platform and modify it to meet your needs. 4WD versions with advanced off-road capabilities are also available.

Proper performance is a very important part of every project of this kind, however we shouldn’t forget about the trucks appearance. It’s hard to deny the fact that Nissan Titan prerunner with wide off-road tires and aggressive stance looks very badass. Classic prerunner mods perfectly fit in it’s exterior styling and in the end you get a very decent build that will be twisting necks wherever you go.

You can hardly call it an Import pickup, because it’s more American than some of the other pickup trucks that are assembled outside of the US. It is manufactured in Canton, Mississippi and features a famous Japanese quality. So next time when you meet a fan of “True domestic” trucks you can easily show your middle finger from the window of your Nissan Titan prerunner baja truck and prove that he’s wrong.

nissan titan lifted with 39 tires

2017 Nissan Titan prerunners are already rocking through the desert and jumping the dunes. Powerful 5.0L Cummins Turbo Diesel that gives out 555 pound-feet of torque is one of the most attracting things in the new generation trucks. These engines are famous for their tuner potential, and flexibility for various performance mods.

nissan titan prerunner kit

Let’s sum up the advantages of Nissan Titan prerunner platform:

– Lower price in compare with domestic trucks of this class

– Ease of modifications and maintanance

– Wide choice of aftermarket upgrades

– Brutal appearance

– Decent performance


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Matt Grabli

Automotive journalist and technical writer at with more than 10 years of experience in the sphere of aftermarket parts and 4×4 vehicle modifications. Passionate about off-roading, outdoor adventures, and an active lifestyle.

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Truck nissan trophy

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Nissan Titan Trophy Truck Supercharged VK56

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