As a member of the US Navy, Andrew Bannister found himself with the opportunity to choose a set of orders that would have him remain stateside, enjoying a nice, relaxing shore duty, or hop on another ship and be stationed across the globe. When he found out that he could be stationed in Japan, the car guy within made his choice pretty simple. "I chose Japan with the intention to bring back a car and plenty of parts," Andrew recalls.
All in all, everything really did go according to plan, except one minor detail: the entire make and model of the car he intended to buy and build.
Andrew started off and still remains a Honda enthusiast, having owned numerous generations of Civics, as well as a '98 Integra Type R, and a '90 EF7 CRX that he has owned for almost a decade, and intends to finish very soon. It's with this background and deep-rooted love for Hondas that Andrew arrived for duty in Japan, but with so much car culture around him, his plans changed dramatically.
"I got to Japan... there were so many options - I wanted a change." Having always had a soft spot for Nissan S13 coupes, Andrew searched for one that fit his criteria, but just couldn't find what he wanted. He ended up finding and purchasing an S15 Spec R Silvia, but after just 8 short months of owning it, the S13 he really wanted presented itself and he wasted no time in selling off the S15 to pick up the low-kilometer, one-owner S13 that was close to stock.
The first thing Andrew addressed was the engine. Although the purchase had low km's, the car had been sitting for 10 years and when he fired it up, the old seals let him know that it was time to bring in a substitute. He picked up a Tomei CA1.9 stroker engine and combined it with an S15 T28 turbo, then opted for a Nismo 1.5 GT Pro differential and Spec Stage 2 clutch to put power to the ground. Andrew sits comfortably in a set of Recaro SR4 Raptor seats and even has the optional lumbar support/manual air pumps. The car sits on Fortune 500 coilovers and a host of high-quality suspension replacement parts and upgrades from the likes of Cusco and Nismo. A Wilwood BBK sits behind a set of Desmond Regamaster Promadas, custom finished in pearl white.
"I always loved the classic design of the Regamasters," Andrew says. "Maybe it's the Honda influence of Spoon SW388's!" Andrew's Honda roots are clearly displayed on the exterior of the car, but in subtle fashion. Attached to the Nissan OEM optional Aero front bumper sits an Integra Type R lip that ties seamlessly with the OEM 180 Type X side skirts and rear valences.
Even though this clean and rather simple build is what many enthusiasts strive for, Andrew has already pulled the engine in favor of an SR20 from an S15, and changed out the wheels for 17x9.5 +12 TE37 and we look forward to seeing its progression.
When asked what the future holds, Andrew states, "My plans are to enjoy this car, then finish my CRX." When you have good taste, it doesn't matter what you build, the final product will always be worth it.