Sorry Hawaii—we’ve neglected you for quite awhile now. We used to give the 50th US state regular coverage in Super Street with events like Streetcar Showoff and shops like Hypersports, both of which are long gone. The motorsport scene was also popping when Hawaii Raceway Park regularly held open drift sessions and weekend drag racing. But for the last six years, there hasn’t been a place to legally race on the island of Oahu because the track shut down. It didn't matter if you were into quarter-mile racing, road course driving or drifting, there was no place to go. However, last year we started seeing some Hawaiian cars creating a buzz on the web so we revisited the 808-state for the HellaFlush and Wekfest car shows. We can safely say Hawaii is still holding it down and these three S14s are the proof we were looking for.
We hooked up with Ross Maeshiro, one of the guys behind local clothing company JSPIRIT and retail store JSPL. His store sits on the second floor of Import Dynamics, where many locals go to get anything done from an ECU tune, dyno testing or install work. Also sharing a space from Import Dynamics is the new shop on the block, Alpha Project Garage (APG). Barry Higa is the mastermind behind APG and has become known as the go-to guy on the island for anything related to an S-chassis or SR motor.
Barry’s start wasn’t all peaches and cream. He used to work a nine-to-five warehouse job but eventually picked up Nissans as a hobby. Now he lives and breathes cars, managing a store during the day called Race Factory where he installs auto accessories and alarms. By night, the wrenching doesn’t stop as he operates his side business, APG.
Out of the three cars here, Barry’s personal ride is the most subdued. It’s clean, simple, yet has the most power. The S14 is Barry’s first car that he’s owned and built since ’99. It’s been taken apart and put back together countless times and undoubtedly one of the most well-known cars on the island.
Many people might remember it when it was blue and then he painted it gunmetal. Today, it’s on its third color, white, and sports a slick Vertex kit with JDM lights, pulled fenders and Volk TE-37 wheels.
Under the hood is a beauty in itself. Since Barry finished his SR20DET swap, he’s been mixing and matching turbos and manifolds until the top-mount version seen here. Just before our photo shoot, Import Dynamics tuned the car to 503whp and 412 lb-ft of torque on pump fuel.
With crazy street power and good looks, Barry still remains modest. He enjoys helping other people out more than working on his own car, which is why the other two S14 owners looked to him for help.