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”

10 Years of Build-Threads.


I can’t believe I’m writing this, but today marks the 10th anniversary of the first post on Build-Threads.com (although back then it was buildthreads.wordpress.com)

I’d had the idea in my head for a few years before I started it, but had no idea how to execute it. I was even thinking about calling it “Ground UP” back then. My web browser bookmarks were full of builds, I’d even memorise some of them and show my friends when I went to their houses (this is pre-social media, remember). I don’t know why but I always loved seeing the process of a car come together. Even when I was a kid I’d squint to see the tiny picture in the corner of a magazine showing a half-built car in bare metal. Watching Home Improvement I’d stare intensely at the screen and hope I’d catch a glimpse of a rolling chassis in Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor’s garage. I would watch American Chopper not for the gaudy finished product and family beef, but to see the mock-up bikes sans-paint with solid wheels and no embellishments. I don’t know why I loved it, but I just did. When I discovered forums that love of all things build-related took on a new life.

The idea stewed in my head until I discovered free blogging software, and simplified the name to it’s core value. This was a time when Speedhunters had just launched, and I had the urge to be more than just a content consumer, I wanted my own way to share my passion with the world.

I finally put two and two together and Build-Threads was born.

I was 24 years old, I lived at home with my parents, had a girlfriend and a pretty relaxed job. I had just sold my S15 and the Datsun was only in my possession for a very short time. Fast forward to today and I’m 34, my girlfriend is now my wife, there are two kids at my feet, I’m onto my fourth job and have a mortgage. With life and age comes more personal responsibility, and unfortunately that means priorities shift and Build-Threads has taken a back seat in the recent years. With that being said, it’s still a big priority to me and I am continually aware that I owe it to the readers to keep it going.

In the early days I would use pronouns like “us” and “we” to try to make Build-Threads sound bigger than it was. But after a few years I realised being a one-man-band was something to be proud of. I work damn hard to make this whole thing happen, so why pretend it’s something that it’s not?

Has the site reached my expectations? Yes and no. After a year-or-so the site gained some good traction, I wondered if it would turn into a career path in the automotive media world, but it has always stayed as a passion project. I’m lucky to even make enough money to pay for half of my hosting every year. But the success came in other ways, namely the passionate audience and community the site has garnered. This isn’t a fly-by-night genre, builds aren’t a fashion piece, and the people who love them (I mean truly love them) are the ones who are willing to sit through a 100+ page build thread to get their fix, and are willing to wait for the next post to show up, sticking by me this whole time. That’s worth more to me than money.

It’s a community of like-minded individuals with a true passion. We all love the journey of the build. We’re not the ones grabbing onto the latest fad, this is what is inside us and what makes us tick as human beings. Whenever I put up a “show us your projects” post in the Build Threads Communal Garage, I can never believe what I see. To think that this site is a common factor in bringing those people together truly humbles me.

I had some help along the way. The first two people to really get my name out there was Judson Bryan from JDMego and Nigel Petrie from Engineered To Slide. To them it was a simple act of sharing a new website they’d just found with their own audiences, but to me it meant the world. I still follow each of them today and they both continue to inspire me for different reasons.

I was lucky enough to guest-post for Speedhunters on multiple occasions. What a trip! I never would have imagined that when I started this humble little blog in my bedroom that one day I’d have my name up in lights on one of the words largest car-culture websites, arguably the blueprint for all car blogs that have come after it.

The site even gained recognition in print, being named “Website of the month” on two occasions in Performance VW Magazine, along with features in Fast Car, NZ Performance Car and others. As a kid who grew up buying every car magazine he could afford, this was completely mind blowing.

I’ve been lucky enough to share words with some people whose work I’ve featured. I could never comprehend how they would be elated to find out their project made it onto the site. To me they’re the real heroes, I’m just a guy bashing some keys and pushing “publish”. I’m talking about insanely talented people like Lewis Peasnell, 3D Magic Mike, Kyle Kuhnhausen, Daniel Grub, Shawn Hibmacronan, Chris Purr, Gregor Halenda – just to name a few.

I see some big names like and comment on my posts, in the real world I guess it doesn’t mean much, but it’s nice to know I’m reaching the people at the top of the game and I hope they like what I’m doing.

The landscape has changed, blogs are old news and forums are fighting off extinction (although there are still more than a few holding strong with dedicated members and great content). I’m hopeful that there’ll be a renaissance, when people tire of hitting “like” and discover you can go on a real journey with someone when you read a multi-page build thread all through the night. I’d like to thank the guys and girls out there who know it’s not easy to document their build, who know it sucks to stop 10 times through the process to take pictures, and stay up all night uploading and writing captions. But these are the people who make this site possible. I’m merely the middle man between the creators and the audience.

I’d also like to thank all of you who have emailed, left comments, or Facebook/Instagram messages with builds you’ve found, your own builds, or even just saying thanks and acknowledging what I do. This means more to me than you’ll ever know, and has kept me going through times when I’ve felt like giving up on the site.

I’ve made some great friends along the way, even if I’ve never met them in person. Dave Thomas from Stanceiseverything.com stands out, someone who I call the hardest working blogger in the world. We’ve shared many a message over the years and have found common ground on plenty of topics, even though we’re at opposite ends of the hemisphere. His site is a constant source of inspiration and I’ve shamelessly re-shared his work on more than one occasion when I’m struggling to get a post together.

I can’t name everyone individually but there are countless people who I’ve chatted with that I’m better off for knowing. Sometimes it’s a one-off, and other times the connection lasts years.

I of course have to thank my family for being on the other side of the fence while I constantly bang on about needing to “get a post up” because it’s been too long since the last one. They know how much it means to me and have never once done anything except encourage me. To be a grown man with a blog that takes a lot of your time yet makes no money and still have the support of your loved one’s is priceless.

All I have left to say is, support your forum of choice, dust-off your log-in, update your avatar and signature, and get your build thread back up to date. We’ll all be better off for it.

Thank you all once again for joining me on this journey, here’s to 10 more years.


P.S. Special shout out to my biggest Mexican fan LCG for always keeping me in check.

What I’m watching – The Mongrel (MX5 – FORD 100e)

How many cars are subjected to the MX5 running-gear swap? Well, on this website alone, we’ve seen it done to a Mini Clubman Estate, a Volvo P1800, a Saab 96, a Datsun 411 wagon, a Datsun 520 ute, and now we can add a Ford 100e to that list! This project by Urchfab has seen multiple uploads coming at us in close succession (over 35 videos in 2 months!), and shows no signs of slowing down until it’s complete.

We’re back!

After a short hiatus, Build-Threads.com is back online!

Thank you to everyone who messaged me while we were in our downtime phase. It appears the site was attacked through some old and outdated themes and plugins, and needed to be re-installed, which is all sorted now.

If you would like to help out with the costs associated with getting us back online, please head to the store and consider buying some stickers, it would help out a whole lot:

I’ve got a few new posts lined up, so stay tuned for those in the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, I implore you to get reacquainted with the hundreds of posts already on the site and celebrate (with your warm or cool beverage of choice) our little corner of the internet. Check out some of the popular post tags and see what comes up, you just might find something new!





Scandinavian builds





P.S. Thanks to my friends at Supervillain.com.au for their continued technical support.


Long-term readers will no doubt be accustomed to my self-awareness of how infrequent I post. When I started the site in 2009, I wanted to post at least twice a week, nowadays I’m lucky to post once a month! Life changes, families are started, and spare time becomes a rare commodity. Very recently I have also started a new job which I absolutely love, but it is more demanding and thus leaves me with even less spare time than I had before. With all of this in mind, I have decided to…be a stubborn asshole and keep running Build-Threads.com just the way it is, haha. But seriously, I’m bringing in some reinforcements. I still have pages and pages of submissions from over the years, some great, some not so great, and I’m going to get some help sorting through them. The fact is while some blogs crash and burn and some flourish, I like Build-Threads.com just the way it is, and I think you guys do too. I never hoped for it to blow up into a media empire or anything like that, it’s just my little corner of the internet that I use to share builds that I like with people who have the same interests as me. It isn’t going anywhere, I just need a bit of assistance, and I’m okay with that. There will always be new builds to post, old builds to update, YouTube videos to watch, the Datsun is still evolving, albeit slowly, and so is my garage, plus I have a new idea or two up my sleeve, it just takes time.

I thank you for your eternal patience, and I hope you’ll stick around.




New stickers!

It’s been a while since I’ve had any new sticker designs hit the store, so after a long hiatus here they finally are…


More Than Just

The catch? I’m not happy with the colours, the black text has come out a bit light, like a dark grey, so I’m selling these at a discount, only $3.00 (AUD) for the pair, plus shipping!

Get yours here: http://buildthreads.bigcartel.com/product/circle-square-combo-green

As always, thanks for your support! There wouldn’t be a Build-Threads.com without you guys 🙂




Buy a sticker pack, get a sketch!

* UPDATE 3-NOV-14: Deal is now closed, thanks for your orders everyone.


I’ve posted about this on the Facebook page, but then I realised that Facebook strangles the reach of my posts to about 10% of the 12,000+ of you that have liked the page. Thanks, jerks! So I thought I’d post about this little deal here. What started out as an accident has turned into something I’ve quite enjoyed, as I jokingly offered to sketch peoples cars if they order a sticker pack after doing one by my own accord. Well, I’m going to continue this offer for the next 5 people who order 1x “The Lot” sticker pack, so get ordering!