With a car like the Nissan 240SX, it sometimes feels as if we’ve seen it all done before. Because of the popularity of the chassis among drifters (and road racers) and the massive amount of aftermarket support for these cars, it’s no surprise that everything from mild to wild has been done, and even seen on these very pages in the past. Yet somehow, through all the madness that has surrounded the S chassis community over the years, the car still stands as one of the most popular and highly regarded platforms for a basic FR canvas with practically limitless possibility.
When we first saw this particular 240, we almost passed it by because there wasn’t anything on the outside that caught our attention, aside from it being incredibly clean. A stock-body S14 is not the most rare thing in the world, but the fact that this car is completely devoid of dents and dings, or, in fact, any real signs of age, piqued our senses. Upon closer inspection, the truth revealed itself: This car is a great example of the “less is more” theory put into action. Oh yeah, and it also has a Toyota 2JZ-GTE under the hood, pumping out a massive 540 hp. That certainly isn’t something you see every day.
Ben Freed has owned this car for more than a decade, so to say it is his baby would be a massive understatement. “I just turned 30, and for the last two years I’ve owned and operated my own performance shop, Freed Engineering in Gambrills, Maryland,” Ben tells us. “I’ve had an interest and a natural ability to work on cars and mechanical stuff since I was a kid. My parents thought it was a little weird, since neither of them had the slightest interest in cars or anything like that.” After getting his feet wet with a few project cars as a younger man (including his first car, an admittedly not-tuner-friendly Chevrolet Cavalier), Ben found his love for the S14. “I’ve owned many cars— several Civics, five to six other 240s, an M3, a slammed VIP Y33 Q45—but the silver S14 has always been my baby,” Ben says. “I’ve owned the car for more than a decade now. When I first got it, I installed an RB25 swap; the car was fun and got a lot of attention. The engine made around 400 hp, but after a few months, the engine failed due to cracked ring lands. After that, I was fed up with the RB, so I pulled the swap and threw it into another S14 I had and let the silver car sit for a while while I figured out what to do with it.
“That was around ’05 or ’06. I was seeing the impressive results from 2JZs and that led to the idea to do the swap in the silver car. It sat for a couple of years while I worked on the swap and gathered parts. At the time, only a couple of people had done the swap, so parts and info were almost nonexistent. I ordered a set of mounts from a company that was advertising them at the time; they ended up not fitting at all, and after receiving a few replacements, [I threw them] in the trash and decided to develop my own. As I worked on the swap, I was impressed how well the 2JZ fit the S-chassis; it’s like [the motor] was made for the swap—the fit was so much better than the RB.”
Ben’s 2JZ is built with a couple of factors in mind. This car is not a trailer queen or a show-stopper, so the idea of breaking a dyno with a four-figure horsepower number was not on the list. Ben wanted to have a car he could drive around with a real, usable powerband, something he could have traction with on the street (with real street tires) but also be able to beat up on any wayward Corvette or exotic that might unknowingly wander into his path. “My goal when building a car is always to keep it clean and simple with OEM reliability,” Ben preaches. “With [this car], I stripped and painted the engine bay, deleted the ABS system, OEM fuse boxes, and all unnecessary parts and wiring in the engine bay. I didn’t go overboard; shaved and tucked everything isn’t really my style. The 2JZ is all stock internally, except for ARP head studs.” As most of us know, the stock 2JZ is an extremely stout powerplant. Ben went to work custom-fabricating his own mount kit (utilizing Cusco polyurethane mount inserts) as well as his very own intake manifold and pie-cut intercooler piping. The heart of the beast is a Precision 67mm turbocharger. In total, the car pumps out 540 street friendly and reliable horses through a V160 Getrag six-speed transmission, which we would imagine makes for an extremely fun street car.
Ben tells us he enjoyed the car in its last phase (what you see before you) but that his plan had begun to morph right after the photo shoot took place several months ago. We were a bit surprised to hear that he has begun to take the car away from its street roots and move toward the extreme by transforming it into a full-fledged drag car. It’s almost a shame to see such a clean street car go away, but we know Ben will do it right no matter what he does next. “Now running a bigger turbo, Garrett intercooler and new fuel system, [the S14] makes over 800 hp and has run a 9.57 at 149 mph,” Ben says. “I’m shooting for 8s, if the stock engine will stay together!”
Now running a bigger turbo, Garrett intercooler and new fuel system, [the S14] makes over 800 hp and has run a 9.57 at 149 mph. I’m shooting for 8s
That lessens the sadness in our hearts knowing there’s one less clean 240 on the streets. Because at the end of the day, Ben has taken this car through so many stages, and he has every right to do exactly what he feels like. We appreciate that, and we’re glad to see the car being used and abused. So Ben, happy hunting, and best of luck in the quest for the 8-second mark!
Specs & Details
'95 Nissan 240SX
Engine Toyota 2JZ-GTE turbocharged inline-six
Engine Modifications Freed Engineering engine mount kit, 4-inch intake plenum; Q45 throttle-body; ARP head studs; HKS 272 cams; GSC Beehive valvesprings & titanium retainers; Precision 67mm turbocharger; Tial 44mm wastegate; “Q” blow-off valve; ATI crank damper; custom 3.5-inch stainless exhaust, pie-cut intercooler & intake piping; Griffin stealth intercooler & radiator; SPAL fans; TRD radiator cap; powdercoated valve covers & intake manifold; Bosch 044 fuel pump; Aeromotive fuel filter; Earls braided lines; SARD 800cc injectors; Dual 10AN breathers w/ GReddy Catch can; DressUpBolts fasteners; custom engine wiring harness; Battery relocated to the trunk
Engine Management Electromotive TecGT & ignition system
Drivetrain V160 Getrag six-speed transmission; Carbonetic triple-carbon clutch; Q45 LSD; one-piece driveshaft; braided stainless clutch line
Suspension Fortune Auto coilovers; Battle Version adjustable arms; Whiteline sway bars (f/r); Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings; Cusco strut tower bar (f)
Interior R32 GTR seats; MOMO steering wheel w/ quick release; Nismo shift knob; NTK wide-band; Defi boost, oil pressure, & water temp gauges
Exterior Acura desert silver paint; flared fenders; tinted headlights
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Volk TE37 wheels18x9.5 (f) 18x10.5 (r); Michelin Pilot Sport tires 235/40R18 (f) 265/35R18 (r); 13-inch Brembo brakes (f); Z32 brakes (r); Z32 master cylinder; handmade brake lines; Hawk pads
Numbers 540 hp at 19 psi; 11.0-at-130-mph quarter-mile
Thanks to my brother Billy for all his help in the shop, my girlfriend, Liana, for putting up with all the late hours, my friends and family for their help and support, Ray and Brian at MA Motorsports, Joe and JB at AWRS, and Chris at Dress Up Bolts.