It was bound to happen.
You love cars. Your man builds cars. You have friends who've put cars on the cover of Super Street. You happen to have a 240SX hatchback, a nasty itch to drift and a pair of ovaries ready and rearin' to whoop some testicular ass. You imagine: "I will build it and the skills will come."
That's what Elizabeth Locke was thinking 19 days ago. BRS Autodesign's Leigh Guarnieri, a sucker for chicks with way too much MySpace time on his hands, was about to build a car using spare parts on an even sparer budget for a girl to drift. His accomplices? Wrench master extraordinaires Bucky Fellini and Andrew Fernandez of VQSwap, and Eric "Nothing to do with Bush" Cheney of Hillbank Racing. Luckily for Ms. Locke, Eric just so happened to her man.
And as fate would have it, we were putting together a "Women of Super Street" issue, where four girls *cough* and me, *cough* would learn how to drift. Since none of us staffers knew how to build a drift car, we put Leigh and his stalwart crew up to the challenge. But they had less than two-thirds of a menstrual cycle to finish it.
Deadline set, the first order of business was the motor. Since the car was to spend its life swerving sideways, Andrew reached into his 20 year-old bag of San Dimas Auto experience and chose one of his VQ35 swaps- a full-on, no-brainer kit complete with: shifter housing, mounts, driveshaft, drive-by-wire conversion, and exhaust header, requiring no transmission tunnel modifications and easy enough for Leigh to figure out. Or so Andrew thought, until Bucky and Eric discovered that, besides being one, the only tool Leigh knew how to wield was a mouse.
The V6 motor itself was built for Vortech-belted, Griffin-intercooled boost. Assembled by Sean Ragains at ERL Performance and ported by Stewart Engines, the newly Brian Crowered block (crank, cams, rods, valvetrain) is stuffed with JE Pistons sports 4.15 Mack truck liters of displacement. Airflow is increased for the mega VQ via a custom intake manifold and BDL throttle body, as is the fuel with RC Engineering injectors, Walbro fuel pump, BDL fuel rail and regulator. A JIC exhaust hangs out the rear and a slew of shinies from Weapon R and an Optima battery dress up the engine bay filled with Mobil 1 fluids. All of which is to be meticulously tuned with an AEM EMS.
JIC FLT-A2 coilovers and TC Sportline suspension components were installed by Bucky to lower and align the soon-to-be-sliding S13. And to ensure Elizabeth will break traction (along with men's balls), a Tomei LSD, B&M short shift, Exedy clutch and flywheel were called upon to replace stock components. To go with the drift theme, 18-in Drift wheels from R-1 Racing floss Falken RT-615 tires. Hiding behind the Falkens are Wilwood brakes.
Besides the Status seats, Auto Meter gauges, Ignited switches, NRG steering wheel, shift knob and seat belts, the interior is all but stripped like a Spearmint-colored Rhino. Time Machine fabbed up an 8-point roll cage and Eric custom'ed the dash, finding a productive use of an old Ford Ranger rear roll pan in the new gauge cluster.
While the motor, suspension and interior reek of raw, uncut testosterone, the exterior is where Elizabeth stepped in. Instead of the clunky stock pop-up headlights, she opted for the slinkier S15 headlights, using BRS Autodesign's conversion body kit combined with a weight-saving carbon hood and hatch from Seibon. SPS scrupulously installed the extra 20 mm of fiberglass and sprayed the entire 240SX with BASF's Crystal Blue Pearl. To add an extra feminine touch, Sam and Oria airbrushed the sides with a custom lace Fuschia Pink. Steve Lim from S&A Design vinyled the car to match.
But here's where the story ends for this car. Despite a valiant effort from the crew, the build wasn't finished in time for the Girl (and one boy) Fight drift competition; if only Bucky had disabled Leigh's Internet service. Instead, they took an extra day and made it to the cover shoot. A happy enough ending worthy of Soapland.
Elizabeth's story however, continues.
'90 Nissan 240SX
Owner Elizabeth Locke
Driver Laguna Niguel, CA
Hometown Elgin, IL
Daily Grind Student/Starbucks Manager
Power Coming Real Soon
Under the Hood VQ35 motor; VQSwap.com swap kit, custom header; Brian Crower 4.15L stroker kit (crank, rods), camshafts, valves, valve springs, retainers; JE pistons; Vortech supercharger, 9 lb pulley; Griffin front mount intercooler; Injen piping; Steward Engine ported and polished head; custom intake manifold; RC Engineering fuel injectors; BDL fuel regulator, fuel rail, throttle body; Walbro fuel pump; JIC exhaust; NGK spark plugs; Weapon R polished covers, coolant tank, power steering reservoir, oil catch can; Mobil 1 fluids
Drivetrain VQ35 transmission; Tomei LSD; B&M short shift; Exedy clutch, flywheelbrains AEM EMS
Stiff Stuff TC Sportline bushings, control arms, tie rods, camber arms, caster arms, toe arms; JIC FLT-A2 coilovers
Rollers 18x8 R-1 Racing Drift wheels; stoppers Wilwood 4-piston big brake kit
Outside Seibon carbon hood, hatch
Inside NRG suede wheel, quick release, shift knob, seat belts; Status seats; Auto Meter C-2 gauges
Props San Dimas Auto, VQSWap.com, Mobil 1, B3 Tuning, Hillbank Racing, BRS - AutoDesign, Bucky Fellini, Eric Cheney, Leigh Guarnieri, Andrew and Trish Fernandez, Jon Barillas and Tommy Buesa, Mike Ma and Steve Vuong at M2 Motoring, Sean Ragains at ERL Performance, Mick at BDL, Mick at JE, Brian Crower at BC, Tho at Time Machine, Yukio and John at JIC, Wilwood, Griffen, Adi at NRG, Chris at Weapon R, John at RC, Andy Williamson, NOS Energy Drinks, CarSponsorships.com, Wheels Next, Steve at Vortech, Sean and Josh at Status Racing, Clinton and Steve at Babe Blvd/Babe Talent, Garrett at B&M Racing, Exedy, Janie at Injen, Duy at Seibon, Josh Florance at B3 Tuning, Ignited, and Falken Tires