The state of Arizona is home to a large population of Nissan 240SX's. It is not uncommon to come across one buzzing around on your short commute to work. However, Florida transplant, Dan Marino—I mean Doug Maiorino—has built one of the most unique Nissan 240's Arizona has ever seen. This took a lot of time, money, motivation, and dedication. Doug has come a long way from doing donuts behind his old high school with his classmates.
Doug's father was a gearhead as well, and taught him the ropes around cars before he died in 2004. A few years later, when Doug was 14, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift came out. With all of the hype around drifting at the time, Doug wanted one thing: to drift. Even though the drift scene wasn't very popular in Florida at the time, his mind was set on drifting. Moving to Arizona merely a year later really fueled his passion for cars and drifting. The drift scene in Arizona was huge at the time compared to Florida. Doug would watch videos and play Xbox to get his drifting fix, since he did not have a car or a license yet. He would pick up magazines, like Import Tuner, to keep up on what everyone was building and to stay motivated to reach his goals.
By the time Doug bought his first 240, he already had a build plan in mind. Shortly after, though, he caught a VIP-style bug and sold it off for a Q45. It didn't take long for him to realize it wasn't what he wanted, so he off-loaded the Q45 and bought the 240SX that is currently gracing these pages. Doug, being 18 with his first real build on the horizon, wanted to honor his father who was always a big influence on him. Having the voice of his father in the back of his head, he knew he couldn't let him down. After receiving a check that was left to him after his father died, Doug chose to build the car in his honor.
Not wanting to blend in with the masses of overdone styling, Doug took a sleek and simple approach to the body. Drawing inspiration from some of the guys from Risky Devil and the older Japanese drift cars, Doug tailored the rear end of his car with Kouki-style taillights, a Type X rear wing, and BMagic 50mm over-fenders, all the while tucking 18x10.5 Weds Kranze LXZ's. Doug stuck with the stock metal fenders up front to fit the 18x9.5s instead of the typical fiberglass fenders; he didn't want to destroy them while tucking the front tire since he drives this car daily. To keep with the simple and sleek look, Doug fitted the car with a Supermade Instant Gentleman body kit. From there the car was finished off with Dark Driftwood Metallic paint.
When you see the car you think style, but what is style on a car without power? The first choice when it comes to an engine swap is the ever-popular 1JZ. Instead, being the thug that he is, Doug chose to stay in gangsta paradise and go with the SR20DET. Knowing that a stock SR20DET swap is just plain boring, Doug opted to upgrade the small-time turbo to a slightly bigger GT28R. This required a lot of extra fuel and cooling to keep the engine streetable. Doug added HKS injectors, a Walbro fuel pump, and an aluminum radiator to battle the Arizona heat wave. Doug still wanted to keep the engine bay looking flossy, so he took the car to SPS Autosport to have a custom wire harness tuck done while having an aluminum coolant overflow tank, Isis intake manifold, and a FMIC setup installed. With the engine setup complete, Doug took the car to Evan Smith at Es Tuned, where the PowerFC was used to tune the car to 285 whp.
During the two-year build, Doug took an interest in the low car lifestyle. He was hanging out more and more with people from the Oof! Crew and Street Sweeper Gang. Wanting to have the car as low as possible, he installed a set of coilovers, along with the necessary adjustable arms, to achieve his desired ride height. After tucking the wheels into bed, Doug took a very Spartan approach to the interior. He wanted to hit the key points to make a solid street/drift car with good feedback for the driver. With this in mind, he installed a Buddy Club racing seat and Nardi 350mm deep corn steering wheel. Even with the car pretty much built up to the way he envisioned, it still wasn't done. Doug needed to add more style points by putting in a full sound system with subwoofers—something he feels every true street car should have. To Doug, he had built the ultimate car, and something that would also make his dad proud. Doug managed to separate himself from the pack of standard 240 project builds and still stay on track with his dreams and goals that he set so young in life. Even though the engine developed rod knock shortly after doing a John Force-sized burnout after the photo shoot, Doug wasted no time beginning the massive rebuild process. By the time you read this, the car should be done and better than ever.
Behind The Build
Oro Valley, AZ
Delivery driver for Mama's Hawaiian BBQ
1 year and 5 months
Listening and playing music, building and drifting cars, and basically anything that involves a good time with good people.
1993 Nissan 240SX
Output: 285 whp / 300 lb-ft of torque
Engine SR20DET; Cosworth 87mm head gasket 87mm; Greddy rocker arm stoppers, downpipe, pulleys, Type 2 boost controller, oil filter relocation kit; NISMO motor mounts, thermostat; SPS Autosport air intake; ISIS intake manifold, 3-inch exhaust, intercooler; Z32 MAFS; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump; HKS 555cc injectors; Z32 fuel filter; Circuit Sports 3-inch test pipe, turbo elbow, aluminum coolant overflow tank; Garret GT28R turbo; HKS SSQV Version 4 BOV; Forged Racing aluminum radiator; Samco radiator hoses; custom wire harness tuck; painted black metallic valve cover; NRG engine bay dress-up bolts; S14 power steering reservoir; A'pexi PowerFC
Drivetrain Nissan 180SX transmission; NISMO trans mount; Kaaz two-way differential; Clutch Masters Stage 3 clutch
Suspension Starke RS-G coilovers; Greddy rear strut bar; SPL V3 Titanium rear upper control arms, rear toe arms, and tension rods; Energy Suspension steering rack bushings
Wheels/Tires 18x9.5 -10 (front) and 18x10.5 -26 (rear) Weds Kranze LXZ; 215/35/18 Achilles ATR Sport 2 (front); 225/40/18 Kumho AST (rear)
Brakes R32 GTST front brake conversion
Exterior Supermade Instant Gentleman body kit; Nissan 180SX Type-X rear wing; Dark Driftwood Metallic paint; BMagic 50mm rear over-fenders, Hella HID headlight conversion; custom red-tinted taillights; Halo 8K HID kit; OEM Nissan window rain visors
Interior Buddy Club racing seat and rails; Status four-point harness; NRG harness bar, slim steering wheel hub, quick release; Nardi 350mm leather deep corn steering wheel; Greddy shift knob; flocked dash; Pioneer AVIC-X930BT head unit; Orion XTR front speakers; JL Audio 12-inch subwoofer, 1,000-watt sub amp; STRI V2 60MM boost and oil pressure gauges
Gratitude "I'd like to start off by thanking my entire family for the support of my endeavors in this hobby; a very big thanks goes out to Richard Harrison and Jay Magaletti of SPS Autosport as well as Evan Smith and Rick Warner of Es Tuned for being helping hands in the build process and for allowing me to use an awesome facility to work on my car with tool access without any questions; Oscar Bustamante from Quality First for the great paintwork on a day's notice; Dax Rodriguez and Justin Derendal of the Street Sweeper Gang for having a hand in this feature and for keeping me on track during the build process; Vinnie Contreras at Discount Tire; the entire Oof! Crew; Suspicious Garage; and everybody who has shown love over the years and helped me with the build process."
Special Thanks SPS Autosport, Street Sweeper Gang, Sway Gear