There isn’t much left to say about the Nissan 240SX that will shock or surprise anyone these days, and luckily we don’t want to shock or surprise you. What we would like to do is tell the story of doing something because you love it, not to impress others, which is what the self-proclaimed “Chicago Street Club” known as the Risky Devils are all about. I’ve been trying to track down this car for a photoshoot since we first used it as an example of a “cool drift car” in our March 2009 issue. Due to conflicting schedules and other mishaps, I hadn’t found the time to make it out to Chi-town to meet up with Joshua Maghirang until recently.
The first thing you’ll notice about the car is that it is far from perfect, not a show-queen by any stretch of the imagination. But that’s what these guys are all about; the car wears its scars like medals—medals which are earned, not bought. That’s not to say the car is a beater, but its aesthetic is a by-product of use rather than finance. Over the years, this rugged style has been widely accepted by the drift community and often imitated but never duplicated. This isn’t a missile car but in Josh’s own words has “that aura just like the ones I loved in VHS tapes and magazines from Japan”.
Josh and the rest of the Risky Devils definitely pioneered the true street drift style of Japan years ago and to this day I think they do it better than the rest of the US. They hit the nail on the head when it comes to the reproduction of JDM style from the right-hand drive conversion down to the minor details, and if it weren’t for the license plate you’d be none-the-wiser that this hatch wasn’t cruising around Nagoya. Although Josh admits it was a bit difficult getting used to drifting on the other side of the car, it was all part of the pursuit to build the ultimate embodiment of the cars we dream of owning.
Ironically, one of the most interesting pieces of the puzzle are the decals littered about the body and interior of the car, each with a special meaning to Josh. Trading decals is a common bond amongst drifters in Japan and we even experienced the phenomenon first hand at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon where the Drift Tengoku magazine booth was promoting sticker exchange between show goers with literally hundreds on display. Although not as common here, Josh says that the stickers are probably the most unique things about his car adding, “they bring back incredible memories of the people I’ve met” which from the looks of it are many.
Under the hood the hardcore JDM theme continues. You won’t find any massive V8 or crazy RB, 2J or any other over-the-top swaps but rather the engine Nissan had intended to power the car, an SR20DET. Bolted to it are some killer JDM pieces like a Power Enterprise PEI1420 turbo, Tomei PON cams and ultra-loud Buddy Club Spec II exhaust to ensure the volume is turned up to 11 when sliding this bad boy around town. There isn’t much in terms of engine bay fashion cosmetics, aside from the “cosmic dookie” valve cover; everything else is there to serve its function, not look pretty with the exception of the gold-reflect heat barrier tape, which coincidentally looks awesome.
Inside the cabin things remain simplistic, heavily worn and bear a striking resemblance to the cars we see from Japan. A good bucket seat is mandatory for any competition vehicle and Joshua decided on a pair of Bride seats with Takata harnesses to meet his demands. Other items like the personal steering wheel and STACK gauges are essentials for anyone serious about going sideways. However, the part I always find most interesting in cars interiors are the little trinkets and personal touches that make each car their own, and in Josh’s case I particularly dug the Weds bandana being used as a makeshift steering column cover.
But as we all know, the most important part of any drift car are the underpinnings and Josh certainly didn’t skimp here. Nismo mounts are used to firm up the power plant so delivery to the Nismo rear diff is smooth and easy to control. The primary ingredient of his suspension is Megan Racing drift spec coilovers while a slew of rods and arms from KTS and Peak Performance are the backup dancers. The alignment settings are dialed into what the car needs to work properly, not what the Internet fan boys want to see.
I originally liked the car because it gets used and it just looks right, but after spending the day with Josh I can say without a doubt that the best thing about this car is its owner. You could probably think of ten other S-chassis off the top of your head that are “better” in one way or another, but I don’t think you could find one half as unique, that looks or functions like this one. And even if you could, there’s no way the owner would be as cool. Let’s say you did, Josh wouldn’t give a #*&@—in fact he’d probably trade him stickers, he’s just that kinda’ dude.
1990 Nissan 240SX
Owner Joshua Maghirang
Hometown Bartlett, IL
Occupation Registered Nurse
Engine Black Top 2.0L SR20DET; CM Werks Cosmic Dookie valve cover; Tomei PON cams, rocker arm stoppers, valve springs; ARP head studs; Cosworth head gasket; ACL race bearings; Deutsch Works 550cc injectors; adjustable FPR; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; Nismo thermostat, oil filter, motor mounts; Touge Factory water neck adaptor; Power Enterprise PEI1420 turbo and exhaust manifold; NGK Spark plugs; Isis screamer pipe; Buddy Club Spec II exhaust; Koyo aluminum radiator; Mishimoto radiator cap; Samco radiator hoses; DFI dual fan controller; Altima dual electric fans, Z32 MAF; Powered by Max coolant swirl tank, mid-mount intercooler, magnetic oil drain plug; Circuit Sports overflow tank; GReddy Oil catch tank; Delro Sikmura wire tucked engine bay; Mobil 1 Delvac motor oil
Drivetrain Exedy clutch and flywheel; Motul transmission fluid; Nismo 2-way LSD, transmission mounts
Engine Management Enthalpy Rom Tune ECU by Ryan Botthoff at A-spec Tuning; A’PEXi SAF-C
Footwork & Chassis RHD conversion; RCN rollcage; Megan Racing drift spec coilovers; ST sway bars; Nismo Power Brace, steering bushings; Touge Factory steering column aluminum bushing; Peak Performance tie rods, tie rod ends, tension rods; KTS rear upper control arms, rear traction rods, subframe spacers; Ichiba 5-lug conversion
Brakes Endless M72 Front brake pads and fluid; Project Mu D1 rear pads
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5"/19x11" Weds Kranze Cerberus II wheels; 215/35R18 & 245/25R19 Nexen N3000 tires; Neochrome lug nuts
Exterior Blaze Red paint by “Leo” at Great Lakes Auto Repair and Body Shop; Shine Auto SS front bumper, SS side skirts, SS rear half lip; Nissan Kouki Type X wing and taillights; Works Daimyo vented hood; D-max front bumper position lamps and turn signals; Powered by Max hood spacers; Origin Lab Tatakadashi rear 50mm over fenders, sideview mirrors; projector headlights w/6000k HID bulbs
Interior Bride Japan Artis seat, rails and Japan fabric accents; Takata Racing four-point harness; STACK boost, water temp, oil pressure and wideband gauges; Nissan HUD cluster; Touge Factory spin turn knob; Personal 330mm steering wheel; NRG quick-release and short hub; fire extinguisher; custom shift knob
Thanks You My family, friends and Hunny Dip, Risky Devil, Junk House, Revgasm, T2 Films, ILL Photography, 3 Musketeers, R3, FDC, Garage Shiny, Garage Sikmura, Delro Decals, RCN Motors, Fatlace, Touge Factory, A-spec Tuning, Weds Wheels North America, Shine Auto, Works Daimyo, CM Werks, NOS Energy Drink, Club FR. I know I’m missing a bunch but I’d really like to give a big shout out to the readers, supporters, bloggers and everyone I’ve spoken to, emailed and met throughout my 180’s journey... Thank you for making car life good
WWW junkhouse.us/blog; revgasm.wordpress.com; riskydevil.com