We know what the thought process is for some of you here:
"I hate this thing!"
"When is this stupid fitment craze going to die out? What does this car have besides wheels and a kit? It’s not even functional. No one can possibly track something like that. I bet the owner doesn’t even drive it."
"At least its clean. The kit does accentuate the car’s lines. Turns out the engine is built, too—upgraded turbo, hybrid internals, it even makes decent power. But those wheels are just too much!"
"Wait . . . 18x13 inches in the rear?! Damn, that’s wider than two of my stock wheels put together. I guess that’s kind of cool. For a wannabe fanboy drift car!"
"Hold up . . . says here the cage was built by Mazworx. Don’t they own the fastest SR-powered car in the world? Got some serious money behind it. But the owner probably got everything for free!
"Hmm. Apparently the kid and his dad built the whole thing themselves—even did the paint. In only eight months, too? And he ran it to a 12.6 in the quarter and built it just to drift with his friends?!"
"I kinda like this thing!"
Then again, we also know what the rest of you thought right off the bat:
"I love this thing!"
Yes, we’ve had faster, more powerful, and more accomplished cars on our pages. Record-breakers. Budget busters. And having handpicked them all and seen their accomplishments, we’re putting Marc Neron’s right up there with them. While most of us strive to one day own trend-setting and record-breaking tuned imports, but blame our situation for holding us back, Marc went out and made it happen with what he had at his disposal—which was impressively very little.
Marc, hailing from the outskirts of Melbourne, FL, is either a lot like you or a lot like whom you wish you could be. He’s a car guy through and through. His dad, Alain, was one and kept Marc in the loop of automotive culture since the day he was born. They’ve owned 15 or so (the number’s sure to have grown by now) of the baddest project cars to which any avid enthusiast would love to own—an S2000, USDM Integra Type R, a RHD-converted DC2, ’96 EK9 Civic Type R, a black S13 Silvia very similar to this 240, another USDM S13 with an LS1 swap, a ’71 VW Westfalia, ’57 Karmann Ghia, ’56 Beetle, and a ’96 Caddy Fleetwood lowrider to name a few—most acquired in project condition or in trade for service. "This 240 was actually free," Marc says, of the flavor of this month. "I traded it for work on a Miata. It was already caged, so I thought, why not?'"
Like any half-begun/fully begotten project car, Marc’s new S13 was rough everywhere. "It was really nothing but a shell with a cage," he elaborates. As a planed competition vehicle, that stuff was to be expected. But having dropped from the hot rod and lowrider ranks, Marc saw no reason it couldn’t compete while still looking cherry. "There’s no excuse for an unfinished car," he explains. "Look at pro race teams. Even when they wreck their cars they’re back at the next race looking mint." Of course, this plan is easier to implement when you own a body shop.
The location where this particular one was shot isn’t some run-down, forgotten-about, heavy industrial remnant, it’s Menace Kustoms, the full-service shop Alain and Marc own. "My dad’s had it for years," states Marc. "Together, we’ve probably completed hundreds ground-up builds. I can’t even begin to count." Their first move was to paint that cage purple to match the D2 coilovers Marc bolted up around the same time. Tasteful, but we like his method of dealing with the shitty interior even more: scrap most of it, drop in a Bride bucket and Takata belts, replace the broken climate controls with dry carbon-fiber plugs—the one occupying the stereo spot cut to house a trio of Auto Meter Sport Comp gauges and a Blitz FATT—and paint all exposed metal flat black to reduce glare.
Underhood treatment, the next phase, would pan out to be every bit as functional, but with a little more flash. As he pieced together an S13 SR20 reinforced with S15 SR internals, force-fed by a Garrett GT2871R, and mated to a Z32 300ZX six-speed via a Mazworx adapter, Marc removed non-necessary engine bay components (such as power steering, A/C, and certain emissions equipment—"Good ol’ Florida," he says, about not having to deal with smog Nazis) and coated everything in House of Kolor Global Gold Flake—undercarriage included. Believe it or not, the exterior is actually the same color, sprayed between Gamma Gold base coat and five coats of Tangerine Kandy, all from House of Kolor. And if you think its flawless now, "We still need to wet sand and buff it," Marc says. Seems he and the old man know a thing or two about how to shoot clear.
Of course, a lot went on before that point. A full Uras 4 body kit was bolted on with quick-release Dzus fasteners, windshield squirters in the hood and the hatch’s brake light were shaved, and like the taillights and headlights, rear quarter-glass was swapped with the JDM option. And don’t think the car’s stock steel fenders could have been rolled into that flare after paint went on. Same with the rears: 50mm oversized Bayspeed over-fenders "pinched" (bolted onto the quarter-panels short of where they should meet the doors and rear bumper) to 100 mm. Even more work went on underneath. "I had to trim the stock rear fender lips to fit the wider wheels," says Marc. "And I also tubbed out the rear wells a little while we replaced the hubs and brakes with Z32 300ZX ones." And that low stance, in case you were wondering, isn’t something easily achieved with a coilover suspension; Marc removed all the height-adjusting locking collars from his D2s to get it that way. Even with it all done, physically fitting the wheels and tires proved problematic. "The car was actually sitting on jack stands for eight months while we sorted out sizing issues," he explains. "It took me three different sets of rear tires to find the right ones, and my friends and I had to mount them by hand since none of the local tire machines were tall enough for the 13-inch width." And once he found the winning combination, it all had to come apart so Marc could have his new Works re-chromed and fitted with all-new hardware.
Aside from some small details—further suspension work, custom wiring, maybe a turbo upgrade, maybe painting the interior—Marc’s happy with how the S13 sits now. We can see why. Yes, there are more powerful, more accomplished, and more heavily modded S13s out there. But they’re also the ones owned by shops, race teams, and tuners who dedicate them to the track or show. Marc’s does both better than most, and was built to be driven and enjoyed anywhere he sees fit. Like his numerous other projects, it’s a car many would sell kidneys for to call their own—even those of us who only kinda like it.
Behind the Build
Auto technician / painter / refinisher
Drifting, building cars, being a wheel whore
"To have a drift car nice enough to make people say, 'W(hy)TF is he sliding that?!’"
1991 S13 Nissan 240SX
300 whp / 275 lb-ft of torque
Engine ’93 S13 redtop SR20DET; 9.0:1-compression S15 SR20DET pistons, rings, fuel injectors; Cometic head gasket; ARP studs; Garrett GT2871R turbocharger; Spoolin Performance turbo manifold; HKS wastegate, boost controller, rocker arm stoppers, adjustable cam gears, intake; custom 3-inch divorced wastegate downpipe, straight-through exhaust, intercooler piping, A/N fittings; C/X Racing 2.5-inch aluminum radiator, silicone hoses; OEM Honda S2000 radiator reservoir; NGK-R spark plugs; Sard fuel pressure regulator; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump; Tomei Stage One CPU tune, tuned by JDM Country
Drivetrain Blitz Super Single clutch, flywheel; Circuit Sports short shifter; custom solid transmission mounts, welded limited-slip differential
Suspension D2 coilovers (8kg/mm front, 10kg/mm rear); Tanabe Sustec front and rear sway bars; Mazworx competition-legal rollcage; custom mini-tub rear wheelwells, trimmed rear quarter-panels, trimmed rear coilover sleeves
Wheels/Tires Work Equip street wheels (18x10-inch -3mm offset front, 18x13-inch +4mm offset rear); Nankang Sports NS-1 street tires (225/35-18 front, 295/30-18 rear); MB Battles race wheels (17x9.5-inch +12mm offset front, 17x9.5-inch +12mm w/25mm spacer rear); Falken Azenis front race tires (215/40-17); Nexen 3000 rear race tires (235/40-17); custom bullet-tipped lug nuts and valve stem caps
Brakes Project Mu brake pads, drilled/slotted rotors; Agency Power stainless steel braided brake lines
Exterior Uras 4 front bumper, side skirts, rear bumper; Bayspeed 50mm rear over-fenders, custom pulled/flared front fenders; shaved windshield squirters; ’98 S13 Kouki taillight conversion; JDM IKI 9004 sealed-beam headlights; 180SX rear quarter glass; House of Kolor Gamma Gold base coat, Global Gold flake, Tangerine Kandy finish, applied by Marc and Alain Neron of Menace Kustoms
Interior Bride Low Max front seats; Nardi Taniguchi Drift-model steering wheel; Nismo shift knob; custom carbon-fiber deletes; Auto Meter Sport Comp gauges (boost, oil pressure, volt), Blitz FATT
Gratitude My dad, Alain; friends; drift team We Drift 322 -- Gee Ef Cee <3; Camelstyle; Phat Bill; Daybid @ Vile Photo Productions; Polish Alex; Ralph Nitts Liljizzon; Menace Kustoms; Warren Shim-Quee for the sick shoots; Luke, Charles, and 2NR!