Suppose Sasha Singleton had gotten her bigger-better-baller funbags done piecemeal over the course of two years. What if your haircut took three visits to the barber and four weeks to complete because the trimming was done in phases like a project car? Let's imagine that your girlfriend (or maybe your deadbeat sister?) had that tramp stamp inked onto her back in several installments during a painful three-month span, and by different artists who offered that week's lowest phone estimate. There are some tasks that just make heaps more sense accomplishing uninterrupted from start to finish rather than breaking into painful phases, and laboriously dragging them over time-inhaling installments. After all, the world would be a bizarre, downright scary place with mono-boobed import models, cops rocking "under-construction" uneven flattops, and scandalous tramps rocking unfinished lower back art of hornless unicorns or wingless butterflies.
The vast majority of car enthusiasts adopt a layaway-style build plan that dictates the pace and execution of a car project. Lesser car-building mortals know all too well how the realities of insufficient money, complicated engine work before far-too-costly body work, parts ordered from Japan, the word "back-order", and homies/cousins/flakes with parts or service hook-ups who never come through can derail even the most well-intentioned car-improvement plan.
Nick Irie is lucky enough to live in a rarified dimension normally occupied by SEMA project car builders and TV project car show hosts. And my, what car-modifying stones this young man has, thanks to the bionic capabilities afforded him as owner of Spring Mountain Auto Body in Las Vegas, NV. Shop ownership, access to resources, know-how, and labor are the secrets to build speed and have allowed Nick to complete the re-invention of the S14 on the pages you see before you in a blitzkrieg-like 30 days, for about $30,000. To put that in perspective, consider that some car projects could take 30 days to determine the right wheel/tire combination. There have been N15 Pulsar throttle bodies on back-order for much longer.
In a fit of wisdom, Nick chose the tuner evergreen, the Nissan S14, as his canvas because it's such an effective multi-role car. With drifting dreams soiling his mind, Nick set forth to build this captivating ride that highlights the capabilities of his body shop. At 27 years young, Nick is already a grizzled veteran of the project-car battlefield, having built up several Civics, an S13, an AE86, and a Datsun 510 among others. Nick's sage credo is a reality all would-be builders/ tuners should confront: "What I learned from past projects is that if you don't go all out in the beginning, projects lag. So, I decided to follow through the first time." Nick traces his infection with the modified-car virus back to his first contact with Import Tuner magazine. Over a decade back, this magazine ran a feature on a modified JDM 4Runner that got the bug in his veins, and now here is: a grown-ass man plundering sweat, fortune, and tears onto the tuner landscape. Like many a project car tale, the story starts humbly with a salvage-titled car with some frame damage, and $2,500 in cabbage to make the forsaken pile Nick's problem.
The foundation of this blitzkrieg '95 240SX buildup is a well massaged SR20DET engine. Showing faith in the proven 2.0-liter Nissan shortblock assembly, Nick stayed with the beefy, low-mileage stock internals. The engine's breathing is enhanced with HKS cams, adjustable Greddy cam gears, and a free-flowing Greddy intake manifold. The turbo was upgraded to a Garrett GT2871 that provides the kind of responsive, drift-focused ponies (and torque) Nick was looking to have under the hood of this driftable machine, attached to a stainless steel Tomei tubular exhaust manifold. A Greddy intercooler sends the chilled air into the engine through a Nismo 70mm throttle body feeding 550cc injectors. Handling their own tuning chores and with the help of an Apex'i AFC NEO and AVCR, the Spring Mountain Auto Body team extracted a stout 305 horsepower and nearly 295 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm from this very reliable engine combination-more than enough to make this lightweight car something of a drift orgy in skilled hands.
Proper stance and handling mean everything to a drift car, and Nick selected a Tein Super Street suspension to enhance this 15-year-old car's handling. The car rides on massive 18x10 and 18x11 Work VS-XX wheels shod in BFGoodrich rubber. Peeking from behind these wheels are massive Wilwood brakes poised to hasten abrupt ends at the flick of an ankle. Inside, the 240SX gets a serious re-boot. The foxiest red, suede-covered Sparco Monza seats ever cradle the driver and passenger, while other interior surfaces enjoy a hint of the Kiev bordello treatment with additional red suede covering. A Cusco roll cage helps stiffen the chassis and protect occupants when drifting goes wrong.
As the owner of Spring Mountain Auto Body, the exterior of the vehicle had to be every ounce a spectacle, and like Audrina Patridge on a trampoline, scald the retinas like a bold and indelible force of nature. The car wears an Origin Labs aggressive body kit and 50mm-wide flared fenders, and a bright hue of yellow as unforgettable as your mother with her top off, but far more pleasing. The stunning Lemon Yellow House of Kolor hue was applied by Nick's good friend at Spring Mountain Auto Body, Rodney Manandik.
Few are the 240SX projects that have gotten their body kit installed, prepped, painted and pinstriped within a 30 day span. Even on a compressed build schedule, Nick's car is arresting and satisfying behind the well, and with an execution that is cleaner than a freshly douched virgin. For his next project, Nick and his team are salivating about a track-focused AE86, and we can only imagine what that mission will produce 30 days after lift-off.
Behind The Build
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'95 Nissan 240SX
Output 305 hp at 4,500 rpm, 293 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm
Engine 2.0-liter SR20DET; HKS cams; Greddy adjustable cam gears, intake manifold, intercooler, piping; Nismo 70mm throttle body; Koyo Radiator; Samco hoses
Suspension Tein Super Street coilovers
Wheels/Tires 18x10 Work VS-XX wheels; 235/35-18 BFGoodrich tires (front); 18x11 Work VS-XX wheels, 245/40-18 BFGoodrich tires (rear)
Exterior Origin Aggressive body kit, +50mm fender flares; House of Kolor Lemon Yellow paint; body work by Spring Mountain Auto Body
Interior Sparco Monza seats, harnesses; custom reupholstered rear seats, interior pieces; Momo Jet steering wheel; Nismo floor mats; Tomei shift knob
Electronics Alpine IVA-W205 head unit; JL Audio amplifiers; Boston Acoustics Pro60 speakers; Audiobahn AW1200X subwoofers
Gratitude My wife Colleen, Spring Mountain Auto Body (Van, Tom, Rodney, Jim, Jesus, Ilene) Kool Kars (Chris, Johnny), James and all my friends at Team Hybrid
Las Vegas, NV
Body Shop Owner and Swinger
Building cars, snowboarding, competitive bellydancing judge
"For drift, time-attack and shows, the s14 is my favorite platform"