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1989 Nissan 240SX (PS13) - Spirit of Oklahoma

Homebuilt and Spirit Rei-inspired Nissan 240SX

Danny Nguyen
Jan 30, 2018
Photographer: Grant Cox

From a young age, Jason Underwood's world has revolved around cars. As a kid, he was a dreamer and would make a list of mods he would do to specific cars as if he actually had money. When Gran Turismo came out in the later part of the '90s, you'd find him glued in front of a pre-flat-screen TV playing for hours. In between fantasizing about building cars in his notebook and in Sony's racing simulator, Jason was helping his Pops wrench on cars. Cars were—and still are—life.

1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi rear bumper Photo 2/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Rear Bumper

By the time Jason was old enough to drive, the ideal project car fell in his lap—a Japanese-spec, right-hand-drive Nissan 240SX. For a teenager living in Oklahoma, this was unheard of. Call it luck or call it fate, Jason was well on his way to fulfilling his dreams of building a Japanese sports coupe.

1989 nissan 240SX SR20DET Photo 3/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX SR20DET

Before reaching its current setup, the PS13 had gone through several stages with different body parts, wheels, and even paint colors. "First I painted it sunset bronze with Vertex aero and CCW LM5 wheels." After the addition of a Chargespeed hood and rear over-fenders, Work VS-KF wheels replaced the CCWs and the car was painted red. Many would have been satisfied, but Jason wasn't. After a couple more years, it was time for another makeover.

It all started with a wheel find. Jason hit the jackpot when he came across a set of SSR Agle Minervas for sale—his all-time-favorite wheel. He delivered them to Threepiece.us, where the staff rebuilt the SSRs with new lips and barrels, re-chromed the faces, and added 24K gold hardware.

1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi front fender Photo 7/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Front Fender

Keeping it JDM, the Vertex aero was replaced with most of the Spirit Rei Miyabi kit mixed in with a few other exterior components synonymous to the PS13, like BN Sports hood and DMAX taillights. From what Jason says, there are only 15 other cars in the world with that same Spirit Rei kit. A custom purple paint job finished the reborn exterior.

We mustn't forget about the engine and chassis modifications, either, which were done earlier in the build process. A Redtop SR20DET was swapped into the shell originally, which still powers the car today and features enough power to light up the rear tires at grassroots drift events, which Jason frequents. The vehicle's footwork is also on point with nearly every suspension bolt-on you can install on an S13 as well as an OEM Z32 brake upgrade. Jason's overall goal was to keep it a true street car and not go over the top because he simply loves cruising and listening to good music while driving.

1989 nissan 240SX recaro SR3 bucket seats Photo 11/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Recaro SR3 Bucket Seats

While there are a lot of great parts used in this build, we commend Jason the most for building his first project car from the ground up in his two-car garage. Everything from the body and paintwork to the engine swap was all done himself thanks to the know-how his Pops passed down him.

1989 nissan 240SX SSR agle minerva wheel Photo 12/121   |   If you think the wheels have massive lips, it's because they do. The front measures 5 inches wide while the rears are 6 inches deep!

Jason plans on keeping this car forever and tells us he's playing with the idea of picking up an S15 Silvia. If he does, we have a hunch he's already written down a list of mods he's planning to do and has already built it in Gran Turismo. Someone find this man a shell.

1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi rear bumper Photo 22/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Rear Bumper
1989 nissan 240SX SSR ogle minerva wheel Photo 32/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX SSR Ogle Minerva Wheel
1989 nissan 240SX redtop SR20DET Photo 42/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Redtop SR20DET
1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi front bumper Photo 52/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Front Bumper
1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi trunk spoiler Photo 62/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Trunk Spoiler
1989 nissan 240SX recaro SR3 seats Photo 72/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Recaro SR3 Seats
1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi rear over fender Photo 82/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Rear Over Fender
1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi front bumper Photo 92/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Front Bumper
1989 nissan 240SX vertex 10 star steering wheel Photo 102/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Vertex 10 Star Steering Wheel
1989 nissan 240SX spirit rei miyabi front bumper Photo 112/121   |   1989 Nissan 240SX Spirit Rei Miyabi Front Bumper
By Danny Nguyen
25 Articles
1989 Nissan 240SX (PS13) - Spirit of Oklahoma
Tuning Menu
Owner: Jason Underwood
Hometown: Lawton, OK
Occupation: Electronics Tech for Army simulation trainers
Engine: Redtop SR20DET; TOMEI exhaust manifold, turbo elbow, 740 fuel injectors; 2871R turbo; Blitz exhaust; Z32 MAF; A'PEXi air filter; ISR intake manifold; DeatschWerks fuel pump; HKS wastegate
Engine Management: ACT six-puck clutch with heavy-duty pressure plate, flywheel; J30 VLSD rear differential
Drivetrain: ACT six-puck clutch with heavy-duty pressure plate, flywheel; J30 VLSD rear differential
Engine Management: ROM-tuned by Enthalpy; Turbosmart electronic boost controller; AEM wideband
Footwork & Chassis: Fortune Auto shocks, springs; Whiteline sway bars; TEIN inner and outer tie rods; ISR tension and traction rods; Stance rear upper control arms; P2M toe arms; Street Faction camber plates; Stanceparts front coilover cups
Brakes: Z32 calipers; drilled and slotted rotors; Hawk pads; Street Rays conversion lines
Wheels & Tires: 18x9.5" -12 front, 18x11" -10 rear SSR Agle Minerva wheels with triple chrome faces, polished lips, 24K gold hardware; 215/40R18 front, 255/35R18 rear Achilles ATR Sport 2 tires
Exterior: Spirit Rei Miyabi body kit, front fenders, rear over-fenders, roof wing, trunk wing; BN Sports Type II hood; East Bear powered mirrors; DMAX tail lights; custom purple paint
Interior: Recaro SR3 confetti bucket seats; Bride MO bottom-mount rails; TOMEI short shifter; Vertex 10 star steering wheel, shift knob; NRG hub and quick release; Pioneer 270BT receiver, 280BT DVD player; Kenwood amplifier, subwoofer
Thanks You: My supportive wife, Crystal, who isn't scared to get her hands dirty when I need a hand and was there to keep me sane; my Pops, who has taught me how to do bodywork and engine work and has helped me build this car from the start; my brother-in-law and best friend, Michael Potts, for the motivation; Ant from Enjuku Racing; Rajeet from Mastermind; the boys at threepiece.us; Executive 8 from San Angelo, TX

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