There are times in life when you're presented with hardships that you aren't exactly prepared for. It's what you decide to do and how you react to these situations that show people who you are and what you're made of. Andre Torres is one such individual, and his story begins in the late-'90s.
Andre jumped into the scene at a time when things were booming; however, his car at the time was a '94 Corolla. Not the best platform to work on as you can imagine, but he saved up his money and bought things like wheels, coilovers and an exhaust, regardless. Understanding that he wasn't going to get too much aftermarket support for his car or respect from his peers, he moved on to a '94 Integra sedan, followed by a '01 Integra GS-R, which he was proud to say had "JDM everything." Unfortunately, he ended up in a bad accident, which resulted in a total loss of his car. His hopes and dreams were crushed. "I had to find another [project] car immediately, but all I could find at the time was a raggedy 240SX with blown suspension and an SR." Andre took one look at the car and was by no means impressed, but found himself essentially forced into buying it. "I didn't want it, but out of desperation for another means of transportation, I took it for a test drive and was amazed by the way it accelerated. I knew then that I had to get it." After a gutless Corolla and two Hondas, there was no denying the difference in power with a boosted 240. But yet again, circumstances had something else in mind, and his newfound joy didn't last very long. After only a few months of ownership, "the 240 just started falling apart," he recalls. From bent rods to a blown turbo, he became tired of fixing the car over and over. If it wasn't one thing, it was another, so he decided that he simply had to take apart the whole car to rebuild it.
Andre started with the SR20 heart of the vehicle and called on Millennium Racing Development in Virginia for the engine rebuild. While that was going on, he replaced all of the aero with JDM Type X parts. A freshly built motor and new aero were all that he had in mind originally, but he received an extra push to keep going. "Around this time, I met a few members from Team Sumospeed who have great S-chassis cars, which inspired me." Andre elected to pick up the Rocket Bunny Version 2 widebody kit; however, he put his own twist on it. "Nowadays, almost everyone is rocking the Rocket Bunny kit, so I decided to do something a little different from the others and keep the OEM Type X front, along with a First Molding rear diffuser." Along with the deep-dish Work Rezax wheels and a fresh coat of paint, there was no denying how clean his S13 looked.
It's been a long, bumpy road for Andre, especially with all of his unlucky mechanical issues, but he has a positive attitude and remains grateful, regardless of the difficulties he's experienced. "Over 10 years later, I can finally say that I am happy with this car. I'm also thankful my wife dealt with me during the ups and down throughout the build of this car." Good friends, a great wife, and a beautiful build... Now that's coming out the victor.