Do not adjust your picto-tube. At first blush, Scott Anderson's 1990 240SX hatch looks like it could've driven right out of an Option video. Its exterior is festooned in a fresh-but-familiar blend of JDM cladding, both in body panels and high-intensity livery execution. We wouldn't be surprised in the least if Anderson told us he takes the Nissan to Ebisu, or Meihan. All of the visual data inputs to our brain seem to tell us this S13 is from Japan—until we pop the hood and contend with the GM V8 staring back at us from the engine bay.
Of course, it didn't start out that way. Anderson picked up the still KA-engined, 5-speed 240 in the summer of 2007 for 800 bucks, with the intent of performing an LS swap, but it came with its interior fully disassembled and in boxes, and a blown clutch. Thus began a very long, slow process of gathering parts and putting in work on what was there, and virtually everything was done by Scott—save the exhaust system, which was fabricated by RCN Motors, and the HP Tuners ECU crack and calibration.
Anderson stripped down the S13 to its bare shell, and that included pulling every last square inch of Nissan wiring—something that proved unexpectedly problematic (and a little funny) after the car was finished. "[I had] to wire up and install a wiper motor/linkage to do a track day in the rain," remembers Scott. "Things you don't think about when you're 18 and throwing a 'race' car together."
Scott sourced the 5.7-liter LS1 V-8 engine to swap in, then proceeded to take it apart in order to freshen it up; here again, Anderson did the bulk of the labor, with the exception of having the block hot tanked and crankshaft polished by Opel Engineering. Much of the mill remains factory, with a few notable deviations, like the Katech high volume, high-pressure oil pump, Texas Speed custom-grind camshafts, and Comp Cams/Texas Speed dual valve springs. The power plant's timing gears and chain hail from an LS2, the intake manifold and PCV/valley cover from an LS6, and clutch assembly from an LS7. Power routes through a Tremec T-56 6-speed manual gearbox loaded up with a gear set from a 2004 Pontiac GTO—"That boat of a car got much taller gears than the Camaro/Firebird," says Anderson of the cogs. To get it all to fit, Scott had to employ Daft Innovations' LS-240SX swap headers and ditch the S13's front anti-sway bar (due to interference).
If the 240's engine bay is all 'Merica, then the exterior is (mostly) J-style. Its kit is a mishmash of Origin, C-West, and Vertex, with some Version: Select (out of good ol' Illinois) and DIY (the chassis-mounted splitter/skid-plate is oak hardwood) thrown in to balance things out. Anderson sprayed the three-stage "Lemon Drop" color over a white base, and complemented it in select areas (like the roof) with BMW "Cosmos Black Metallic." The S15 headlights, Enkei RP03s, and 3LLL graphics from Touge Factory really tie together the exterior—designs printed by EMC and installed by—you guessed it—Anderson, this time with assistance from his girlfriend and her daughter, who was just 6 at the time.
Now the car is full-blown, weekend-warrior drift machine, though we're still a little obsessed with its looks. And it appears we're not the only ones; according to Scott, he showed up to a Slammed Society event with the car looking less than show-worthy and it still managed to nab second place in the Track Car class. Yeah, maybe you shouldn't judge a book by its cover—but when the cover looks this good, and beneath it is a big honkin' V8, maybe prejudging ain't such a bad thing.