RWD KA24+T EK Civic Coupe

Jimmy Oakes is a guy I’ve been following on YouTube since around 2016 when he decided to film his LS1 300ZX swap. From there he never put the camera down and his channel has well and truly taken off.

While he may be considered a “YouTuber” and move in the circles of other popular vloggers (and even did a stint at Hoonigan helping to wire up ShitCar’s SR20DET swap), he certainly doesn’t fit the mould. Jimmy is my favourite ‘tuber one simple reason; he puts in work! You won’t find him filming his morning coffee run, or a 10-minute monologue of the work he’s ‘going’ to do (and then outsources), nor will he spruik a giveaway or heavily push his merch. Every video is Jimmy grinding away in his shop, just getting shit done.

Which brings me to this build. Now the usual formula for Jimmy’s builds are simple in theory, but it’s the way he executes them that makes them great. Usually there’s an engine swap, a shaved/tucked and re-sprayed engine bay, a healthy dose of lowering and some killer wheels. There’s nothing wrong with this, but Jimmy and his mate Brian Hall (a certified body repair technician) wanted a challenge for themselves, and so Nissonda was born.

Nissonda is an EK Civic coupe with a K-swap. Not so unusual, I hear you say. But this “K” isn’t a K20 or K24, it’s a a KA24DE+T. Yep, that’s a Nissan 240sx engine with a turbo strapped to the side. Being a RWD engine in a FWD car, the guys also custom fabricated completely new architecture under the car to accept a complete 240sx driveline and suspension swap!

Along with the swap, every single piece under the car gets refurbished and refreshed, and the finished product is amazing. While I can’t wait to see this thing ripping around a track sideways, what I’m most excited about is seeing what the guys build next, now that they’ve completely raised the bar.

Unfortunately there isn’t a dedicated playlist for Nissonda, so you’ll have to go through the channel and manually load them up. I suggest scrolling down until you find this video and work your way up from there.

Usually with video builds I just link you to a video or playlist and leave it at that, but I like this one so much that I wanted to document the build in pictures here, for the sake of archiving.

You can also follow Jimmy and Brian on their Instagrams.

Enjoy!

L98 V8 FD RX7

Yes, yes, I know! “Another LS-swapped RX7!?” I hear you scream. I only need to say the names Hert, Vargas, and Dahm to explain that rotaries are the darling of the internet at the moment, and don’t get me wrong, I love rotaries too. However Luke doesn’t care for dorito engines or premix, Luke just wants to go fast around race tracks. Great handling car + reliable engine that makes easy power = lots of roundy-round laps at high speed. There’s only one problem. Luke is tall, VERY tall, and he doesn’t exactly fit into little Mazdas, so you’ll need to check out how he goes about rectifying that situation in his very detailed thread.
Click here for another V8 RX7 build.
Click here for more LS swaps.
Or, if your jimmies are rustled and you need to restore balance to the universe, click here for something really unique.

Continue reading “L98 V8 FD RX7”

Z31 300zx – Project Z432

You might not know Brandon by his first name, but you might recognise his internet monikers, RVAE34 and RVAE38, a pair of labels tied to a number of high quality builds that have graced websites, forums and more recently Instagram.

You also might recognise him from another build on this site, the LSX E39 wagon. Make sure you head to that post where I write about Brandon’s prowess in not only car building but also his ability to make a killer build thread, which is why any thread of his that makes it onto this site will always be hit with the People Who Get It post tag.

Brandon is currently deep into a passion project, a no-stone-left-unturned restomod of a Nissan Z31 300zx. The car is being built with a philosophy in mind, namely what the Z31 chassis could have been if Nissan bestowed onto it the same level of attention as the Z432 s30z.

There’s no way I can tell the story even half as good as Brandon, so hit the link at the bottom of the post and lose yourself in a good old fashioned build thread (remember those!?) The build isn’t quite complete yet, but with the Safari Gold paint layed down and the ITB’d RB28DE engine assembled it looks like we’re getting close to the finish line.

Continue reading “Z31 300zx – Project Z432”

Isolation Hero: Iain Kelly

Not all heroes wear capes, some drink beer.

In this strange situation we all find ourselves in (COVID-19, for anyone reading this in the future), most of us are turning to our digital devices even more than usual, trying to find every last crumb of automotive content to keep us sane and distracted while we’re staying indoors.

In times of desperation, heroes emerge, and one such hero is Iain Kelly. You might know him from his musings in Street Machine Magazine, or the LSX Tuner magazine that he collates, or maybe you’ve seen him swilling beer and swinging spanners on Mighty Car Mods. He has an affinity for big body Pontiacs, loves deep diving into car history, and knows how to string a sentence together.

Iain has used his time in isolation to bring salvation to the car world through the elaborate story telling of automotive folklore, crossing over many genres, decades and personalities. To give you some quick examples, amongst his 30 or so posts, he’s covered land speed record chasers, monster trucks, Japanese touring cars, Le Mans, Pikes Peak, and even some hilariously ugly VW Beetles made to look like Porsche 911s that have spent a bit too long in a microwave.

Iain’s posts show no signs of slowing down, so make sure you head on over to his instagram, read his back catalogue, and keep an eye out for future posts.

Follow: @aka_marv

Thank you, Iain! Keep it up mate.

What I’m Watching: 3 Guys 1 Berg-Cup

Mike FPE is someone I’ve enjoyed following on both Instagram and Youtube for a while, and his content is based around older Ford Fiestas. Small-fords in Australia are usually concentrated on the Mk1/Mk2 Escort platform, so it’s nice to get my fix of models I don’t usually see here. Recently, Mike made the enviable trek to Berg Cup in Germany, and was gracious enough to film the experience to share with his audience. Check out Pt1 below and don’t forget to follow up with Pt2 straight after!

Follow Mike on Youtube and Instagram

Project 510: Interior Refresh

With this site now into it’s tenth year, that means my ownership of Project 510 is into it’s 11th. In the early years I pushed hard to knock out a lot of the “big ticket” items, like wheels, suspension, ECU, FMIC, etc. Now that I’m older and (questionably) wiser, I’m trying to tidy the car up, make it a nicer place to be in, and consider what I want it’s “final form” to be. Apart from seats and a steering wheel, I’ve neglected the interior, until now…

Continue reading “Project 510: Interior Refresh”

Zakspeed MkII Escort

While it’s not uncommon to have a few of the same build type appear on this site (chassis-swap, anyone?), one style that I didn’t think I’d double up on (letalone triple!), is the Zakspeed Escort, but here we are. What I particularly like about this one is that not only does it reside in my own home town, but it’s owner, Matt, informed me that the other two Zakspeed’s featured here inspired his build. I hope I get the chance to see it in person one day.

Click here for more Ford builds.

Continue reading “Zakspeed MkII Escort”

BMW M1 Sauber Group 5 Replica

Sweden; where else would you find someone building an M60 V8 (twin turbo, of course) powered BMW M1 Group 5 replica? The owner/builder has already built an AWD Turbo V8 Volvo Amazon that was completed rather quickly, so this considered his long-term project, with a track-ready date of 2020 on the cards.

Thanks to David for submitting. Not enough M1 for you? Check out this previously featured build. Want more insane builds from the Scandinavian region? Klicka här!

Continue reading “BMW M1 Sauber Group 5 Replica”

What I’m Watching: Tom is back!

It’s already been four years since Tom brought us the perfectly documented Project Thunderbolt LS3 Miata build. While he’s been keeping busy with his Figaro and AZ-1 projects, the time has finally come for the Turbo Garage to start another full build, this time an LS-turbo powered Toyota Tacoma. I can’t wait to see this one unfold with Tom’s token humour and build quality.