Dylan Sharpe of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, has been into cars since his early teens. At the ripe age of 26, this build shows a style and taste well beyond his years, and an affinity for drifting, even thought this car is one that many would be happy just parking and displaying.
Having built an LS-powered, RHD 180SX previously, this time around Dylan decided to try his hand at a Nissan Silvia. Searching high and low for the right vehicle to fit his wants and needs, he came across a bone stock, high mileage, non-turbo model and the decision to purchase was a no-brainer. Functionality was most certainly on his mind, but aesthetics were also a big factor. Knowing that the work ahead would be daunting, he reached out to his close group of friends that were more than willing to lend a hand. The process kicked off by tubbing the shell, then shaving the engine bay. Next up came the rollcage, but rather than just gutting the car and welding it in, the cage was "fabricated in such a way to retain 90% of the original interior for aesthetic purposes," not to mention that he planned to still drive the vehicle on the street every so often. When reassembling the chassis, Dylan says, "every nut, bolt, and washer was cleaned, painted, polished, or replaced."
To power the project, Dylan and crew kept the engine setup relatively simple. The bottom end was left alone, but the top end received BC 264 cams, springs, retainers, and locks, while fresh seals were used to put it all back together. A Borg Warner S366 turbo is mounted using a DOC race manifold and complimented by dual Turbosmart 50mm wastegates. For cooling duties, the group got a tad creative by taking a vintage 4" ARC intercooler core and repurposing it with all of the necessary plumbing components coming from Vibrant Performance, including their signature VanJen clamps. Additionally, they took a custom radiator originally intended for an LS-swapped Ford Mustang and made it work for them. Providing the necessary fuel are 2000cc injectors fed by 750lph and 455lph pumps, with the air and fuel combustion being controlled by a Haltech PS2000 ECU.
With progress going smoothly, it was only a matter of time that a complication would arise. Unfortunately, this complication was a major one. The group had decided to use a 350Z CD009 transmission with an adaptor and a custom midmount shifter. To put it simply: "Never again." Those are the words that Dylan used to describe this particular aspect of the build because, as he says, "The headaches were unreal."
Regardless of headaches as a result of components you can't even see, the beauty of this build is the style and presence that is possesses due to a combination of components that you can. Aero from the likes of Vertex, SARD, Ganador, Origin, as well as custom pieces create the subtle, yet menacing look. But most important is the fun, love and perseverance of Dylan's friends that he credits the most. "This car was built by a handful of enthusiasts who are my friends, and who are my family — on and off the track." The goal was to bring the car out to Gridlife Midwest, and the group made it with almost no time to spare... finishing at 2am the morning of the event!
The Gridlife Midwest event was the first time he'd ever driven the car, aside from test driving it up and down the road near the shop where it was built. By the end of the event weekend, they were able to get the car dialed in. Taking the risk to finish it and bring it out to that event proved to be a great move on their part as we actually came across this beauty during our experience at the Gridlife Midwest event. The group already has plans to head out to Gridlife South and continue to race the days away. We look forward to seeing it tear up the track again soon.