I always bang on about the elements that make a good build thread, and having nice photos is usually top of the list. But another key element to a great thread is using it as a platform to tell a story, as a reader you want to get lost in the journey and feel like you’re along for the ride. That’s how I felt when I read both of Laurence’s threads a few years ago, first about his S14 and the other about his S13. I remember briefly reading about some of his exploits on another forum – including being busted, interrogated and fined by Japanese cops for street drifting – so I was excited to see he took the time to write his stories in full on JDMST.
What happens when you work for a major car magazine and share a fully equipped communal garage with your sister titles? You build a badass car, that’s what. Fresh black paint, OEM aero, all the good bits underneath, and an LS3 V8 swap to supply the power makes for one very tasteful and effortlessly powerful S13. And what better way to test the limits of your freshly built and swapped car than with a 2400 mile road trip?
Okay, the Speedhunters posts are done and dusted for another year, hopefully I’ve picked up some new readers with the increased exposure so let’s get back to business and feature some builds. Romas emailed me his Trueno build only a couple of days ago, hailing all the way from Lithuania. The AE86 was already modified when it was shipped over from Japan, but it was quickly torn down and rebuilt to his own standards, which meant fitting a 4AGTE and some S13 suspension bits, including the IRS rear end.
Lester emailed this one across to me not too long ago. A fresh 2010 build of an S13 240SX for drifting duties. A great build with quality documentation from front to back.
The generous parts interchangeability offered to enthusiasts by Nissan is a beautiful thing, from the old Datsun days to the cars of the present, it’s as if the bean-counters at head office have always secretly been catering to the people who love to modify by transforming the local spare parts counter into a virtual buffet.
Here we have a true diverse mix of the Nissan bloodline. Take one S15 Silvia, the front bodywork from a 180SX, an RB30 bottom-end/RB26 head, a supercharger, stir vigorously, and this is what you get…
Sal from Powerzamcam contacted me about featuring his 1JZ S13 drift car, to which I happily obliged. I think its fantastic when people contact me to feature cars, as it makes my job easier, plus it means I can feature builds that I might not have otherwise found.
So why do so many people put 1J’s and 2J’s into Silvia’s and Skyline’s? To me it appears as the perfect way to take a chassis with tremendous aftermarket support and affordable parts and combine it with an engine bloodline that carries a reputation for reliability and easily obtainable horsepower. It seems to be a tried and tested route so there must be good reason for it.
One word that gets thrown around way too much these days on the internet when describing cars is “clean”. Someone bolts a set of rims on their car, lowers it, and apparently its “clean”. Well the following car is the true definition of clean, no fan-boy-isms here. Pick any surface on this car and chances are you could eat off it. Owned by Brendan and built with the assistance of C-Red over in Perth, Western Australia, this S13 has been rebuilt down to every last nut and bolt.
I like to think of this car as a special edition that Nissan Japan would have built if they had to re-release the S13 Silvia using carefully selected after market parts. Brendan’s blog dates back to August 2004, and the car has only recently been completed. If you want to see what 5 years of hard work gets you when you let loose on an S13, keep reading…
Another DIY masterpiece, Nigel has hand fabricated his S13 Silvia in such detail that puts most “show cars” to shame. Built to slide, this is a car that is universally admired in the S-Chassis scene. Created in an understated Japanese street-drift style, it works to a simple formula that is easy to replicate, yet so many people still manage to get it wrong: Subtle factory bodykit, low offset wheels, slammed ride height.
In a world where many people only go as far as bolt-on mods will allow them, its refreshing to see a late model Japanese car with some hardcore custom modifications, all done by the owner too.