Growing up in the '80s, I remember hearing about this "Cold War" that was going on between us and the (now former) Soviet Union. Before the multiple syllable word "paradoxical" even entered my limited vocabulary, the whole concept blew my mind. For starters, how can a war be cold? That's like saying a bone stock HF CRX is fast. Or better yet, claiming a war on terror - don't make sense.
Another thing I never understood about the chilly war was the arms escalation-the whole male cock envy mentality of who can build a bigger and better bomb. Even as a nine-year-old, the realization of so-called world powers touting the nuclear capabilities of blowing the world up a thousand times over was dumbfounding. F-that, with billions burned for national security, might as well build a real-life democracy-preserving Voltron-five multi-colored lions, hot princess in pink, formed blazing sword and all.
Similar to the arms race is the ultra-competitive show scene. Sans Mr. Fusion, the art of one-upping the next car is undeniably the dominating trophy-winning, show-stopping force. Taking cues from other rides and enhancing and tweaking it has almost become the norm-even, gasp, an art. Take a look at Scott Buwalda's ride-a '95 US-spec 240SX. Or well at least that is what it used to be.
At first glance, you're probably thinking, "Wow, another S14 Silvia with a S15 front-end. Like I didn't see that in every other issue of Super Street." Pop the hood and the once holy-grail-turned-paper-Dixie-cup-swap RB motor doesn't even coax a small chub in your pants. Even the JDM-ish RHD configuration and completely ICEd-out interior has you shrugging your shoulders. One word and a color of green hue comes to mind: jaded. But take a closer look at the Buwalda wagon and you'll find something the untrained eye would quickly overlook-design and engineering rivaling that of the Einstein-propagated Manhattan project.
Examine the body. What started out as a left-hand drive 240SX was converted to a right-hand drive configuration; not for the JDM factor, but out of necessity to clear the now transplanted heart from a GT-R donor of the R32 family. A full S15 front-end from radiator support out was welded as were all the body holes and unibody seams. All the door handles, fuel doors, antennas and wiper fluid nozzles were painstakingly shaved, after which a full Vertex body kit was skim-coated with body filler and molded to the chassis. The new color? A Midnight Blue hue chosen from the Sikkens catalog which took Dwain Stiles from Atlanta, GA three tries to get absolutely flawless.
The attention to detail doesn't stop there. Gazing deep into the hood-beneath the ported and polished, HKS-gasketed, Nismo-refreshened, AN lines and fitting-plumbed RB26 motor; under the A'PEXi intake, Z32 air-flow meters, Fluidyne radiator, Mr. Gasket fans, and Vibrant Technologies silicone, all fastened with T-bolts; and below the HKS GT-RS turbos, cam gears, and blow-off valve, lies the true work of art-370+ filled and smoothed miscellaneous engine bay holes, tucked wiring, and painted finish that would've made a Soviet ICBM rocket engineer blush.
Any good scientist worth his wood-framed PhD degree requires the finest of parts, and this car is no exception. From the trunk-mounted, stock-replaced Race Safe seven-gallon fuel cell, SARD 700cc injectors, Aeromotive A1000 pump and regulator for the fuel system; to the Blitz downpipe, custom BRM exhaust piping, Magnaflow muffler on the exhaust; to a modified FR-enabling oil pan and Top Hat mounts (engine and transmission)-care was taken to ensuring the RB motor would work. An A'PEXi Power FC, Blitz SBC-iD II boost controller, and HKS Camp system makes sure the swap not only works, but works with wonder. How much wonder? No Vickie-the-girl-robot small wonder, but an estimated 575 hp at 450 lb-ft of torque type of wonder.
Converting the all-wheel drive powerplant to spin out the rear axles, a five-speed rebuilt transmission was plucked out of a Nissan Holden Commodore (RB30ET for you code-talking whores) and bolted in place (see sidebar). A Nismo two-way LSD splits the power to 18-inch Volk GT-U wheels wrapped in Falken dressing, while a Sparco T-Rex shift lever and Ogura twin-plate clutch ensure crisp and quick shifts. For the suspension, coilovers from JIC are matched to the yin of Tein goods and the yang of Tanabeparaphernalia. SPL Parts subframe bushings, Nismo Power Brace and a custom-welded rear strut brace ties up the chassis firming formula, while Z32 brakes, Axis brake pads and Goodridge brake lines slow it down.
As exacting as the exterior is, so is the intricacy paid to the interior. Just as with the engine bay, the entire cabin has been ripped apart and re-finessed with vinyl, alcantara and fiberglass from the floorboard on up. Custom-contrived and wrapped carpet, dash, console and panels are highlighted with a Nitrous Express 5 lb bottle and Sparco goods in the form of Milano 2 seats, Faster steering wheel, and Cromo pedals.
Design and engineering rivaling that of the Einstein - propagated Manhattan project.
With Scott representing Hybrid Audio Technologies, you can bet the S14 is packed with oodles of audio. A Denon DCT-Z1 head unit paired with a DEQX using a JK Labs interface provides the audio source, while Phil Collins-like Genesis amplifiers fission-up energy going out to Hybrid Audio speakers, all of course custom fitted and finished to the S14. Unique to this Nissan is the computer automation system that controls most of the vehicles electronics including a motorized back window as well as various car functions (headlights, door locks, engine start, etc). Also trick is the liquid-cooled amplifier system, motorized electronics and interior-hiding activated plasma glass (for more info on the vanilla ICE check out the December '06 issue of our sister publication Car Audio-Mr. Oh will make sense of all the madness).
Besides founding and presiding over Hybrid Audio Technologies, owning this tight S14 as well as another (a turbocharged KA24 500hp S14), and writing the lengthiest tech sheet in Super Street history, Scott Buwalda has a more bolder claim to fame-he, himself, alongside Brett Nelker and Team Hybrids built over 90 percent of this vehicle! That's right, from the engine build-up, to the 12-volt electronics, to the customization and design, Senor Scott was the mechanic as well as the mastermind. While it's a far cry from a transforming lion-bot, at least this piece of heavy engineering won't cause any nuclear holocausts.
Owner Scott Buwalda
Power estimated 575 hp; 450 lb-ft torque
Under the Hood Nissan RB26DETT motor; Z32 mass airflow meters, RB25DET oil pan, R34 GTR power steering pump; JUN crank collar; Nismo 1.2mm metal head gasket, harness protector, N1 oil pump, N1 water pump, timing belt, oil filler cap; Race Safe seven-gallon fuel cell; Aeromotive fuel filter, A1000 fuel pump, A1000 bypass regulator; SARD 700cc injectors; Russell lines; A'PEXi intake; HKS filters, cam gears, GT-RS turbos, Super-Sequential blow-off valve, gaskets, CAMP system; Top Hat Performance Z32 MAF adapters, test pipe; Vibrant Technologiessilicone coupler; Blitz downpipe, SBC-iD II boostcontroller; BRM exhaust piping; Magnaflow muffler; custom Malaysian intercooler; Nitrous Express nitrous kit; Trust cam gear cover; Fluidyne radiator; Mr. Gasket fans; Spectre radiator hoses; PowerMaxx 240 amp alternator
Drivetrain Nissan RB30ET transmission; Nismo two-way LSD; Sparco T-Rex shift knob; Ogura twin-plate clutch
Brains A'PEXi Power FC
Stiff Stuff JIC Magic FLT-A2 coilovers; Tanabe antiroll bar, front strut brace, pillow tension rods, camber and tow control arms, rear traction rods; Tein tie rods
Rollers Volk Racing GT-U wheels 18x9 (front) and 18x10 (rear); Falken RT-615 tires
Stoppers Z32 brakes; Axis brake pads; Goodridge brake lines
Outside molded Vertex body kit; welded body and chassis; S15 front-end conversion; RHD conversion; shaved exterior
Inside Sparco Milano 2 seats, Faster steering wheel, Cromo pedals; Llumar window tint; custom dash, console, interior
Ice Denon DCT-Z1 head unit; DEQX with JK Lab proprietary interface; Genesis Bespoke Series III amplifiers; Hybrid Audio Technologies speakers; IXOS wiring; computer automation system; motorized pieces; activated plasma glass; custom fuse/distribution center; liquid-cooled amplifier system; pneumatic compression system; custom work galore