It’s a cold Sunday afternoon in December, I’m three hours from home, incredibly hungover and standing in the middle of an abandoned Industrial Estate. I say estate, but this is nothing more than a road to nowhere – All in all a fairly a fairly depressing scenario! But then I hear a familiar rumble in the distance. The unmistakable sound of an SR20DET which would warm any petrolheads heart – All of a sudden the mood lifts as the Nissan S14 comes towards us!
When the global phenomena that is Drifting hit Ireland in the early noughties, the initial thought was that the ideal weapon of choice would be the E30 BMW or the Ford Sierra, and that’s exactly what ruled Rosegreen. But then, as if through a grand awakening, the Irish discovered Japanese goodies like a caveman finding Fire. With the Celtic Tiger in full swing, JDM metal became ten a penny on our roads. But in hindsight, now that we’ve come through a veritable famine of nice cars, it’s right now that we’re really starting to see the cream of the crop when it comes to Irish builds. In this case, it’s Andy Harkin of Zero7Four who masterminded this build originally before passing it onto its current owner.
Finished in Gloss Black, this Kouki S14 Silvia just screams for attention but in a very stealthy fashion. Quickly walking around the car, there’s soo many touches here and there that require a second or third inspection before you notice them. The widened hips, here a set of 50mm overfenders, seem almost natural, only given away by the recessed petrol cap.
The bodywork is polished to the last and the distinct shimmer comes through the paintwork all over including the aggressive Vertex body kit, encompassing the front and rear bumpers mated with a pair of Bomex skirts to give an incredibly sharp look. Vented wings upfront add to the widened style, while rolled arches help to accommodate the wheels. A DMax roof spoiler and Kouki spoiler really add to the overall look
The wheels are 18 Inch 5Zeigen RS1’s, 10J all round, and they really fill the arches with ease. Hidden behind the bronze alloys lie a set of golden Brembo brakes, the fronts coming from a 350Z, while the rears remain Silvia standard issue.
Step inside and it’s a feast of JDM goodies, although the hydraulic handbrake immediately grabs your attention. Elsewhere, a Blitz turbo timer sits neatly on the side of the centre console, while Apexi dials adorn both the dash and pillar. As a bit of a Jap nerd, I’m utterly fascinated by the wonderful checkerboard mats. The driver is well looked after with a deep dish OMP steering wheel and the pair of Recaro Confetti SR2’s make this quite a nice place for a drive.
Under the bonnet is where the fun and games really start. Although visibly underwhelming, it’s almost used as a distraction to steer you away from the list of mods that runs nearly the length of my arm. Sitting at the heart is the venerable Black-Top SR20. Forced induction is taken care of through a Garrett T28 turbocharger, mated to a menacing front mount Intercooler poking through the front bumper. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an Exedy clutch and lightened ACT flywheel, while a Horeshams Stage 2 Tune keeps everything happy and suitable for day to day driving.
That distinctive rumble, the almost quintessential sound of the emergence in the early 00’s of Drifting and JDM culture, is broadcast for all to hear through a stainless 4 branch manifold running into a stainless HKS HI Power exhaust system.
On the move, the Apexi Coilovers, which help give the Silvia its distinctive aggressive stance, really come into their own. Riding almost flat, the Koukimonster glides effortlessly around our location, although the smooth ride is definitely noted buy its relaxed owner, something generally at odds with the perceived backbreaking nature of something running this low.
All in all, this car just screams ‘Look At Me’, but exudes a sense of ‘I’d take you mate’. Its that threatening beauty that makes this such a special Silvia. As the turbo spools up and it heads for home, all I can do is smile. That was one hell of a cool Nissan S14!
Full Spec List
- Front mount Intercooler
- Alloy rad
- K&N Cone filter
- GTR Fuel Pump
- S15 T28 Ball Bearing Turbo
- 4 branch tubular manifold
- Horshams dev stage 2
- Exedy 3 puk clutch
- Lightweight ACT Flywheel
- Stainless turbo elbow and downpipe & decat
- HKS HI Power silent exhaust
- Kazz 2way Diff
- Front and Rear Strut Braces
- 350z front Brembo brakes
- Adjustable arms
- Apexi Gen 2 coilovers
- Tinted S14a Headlights
- Kouki rear lights
- Full vertex kit
- Bomex side skirts
- Genuine Kouki spoiler with custom lip
- Custom front splitter (not installed for pictures)
- Front Bumper quick release
- 50mm Rear quarters 30mm Vented wings
- Dmax roof spoiler
- Jap pressed plates
- 5Zigen RS1 wheels 18×10 et 25.
- 20mm and 25mm spacers
- Dewipered rear
- Manual Boost Controller
- K-Sport Hydro
- Recaro Confettis SR2
- OMP Suede Wheel
- Trust gearknob
- Blitz turbo timer
- Blitz boost gauge in Greddy mount
- JDM Checkered Mats
By way of an introduction and rather than telling you how I enjoy reading and long walks in the country or whatever else people put in bio’s I though i’d just post up my car history. If you’re a died-in-the-wool car guy you’ll probably get a much better idea of who I am that way anyway!
Like a lot of petrolheads of meager means my car history is interspersed with some gems is but largely made up of cheap, mediocre turds – usually a necessity whilst waiting to buy the next cool thing… or while paying the price of the last cool thing!
998 Austin Mini (field car)
My first ever car, bought from the scrap yard for £50. Bolted on a loud exhaust and blasted round the field behind my house all summer. Despite 10 acres to play with I Still managed to crash it into the wall of the field!
998 Austin Mini
My first road car. It only cost £350 and looked like it only cost £350 too! Still I thought it was the best thing ever. It got some 10” minilite alloys and straight-through exhaust
Ford Escort Diesel estate
1.8 Non turbo – possibly the slowest thing I’ve driven!
1 litre. Second slowest car I’ve driven, but First car that would do over 100mph! Only downhill though
1300 Austin Mini
This thing was my first modified car. It had wide arches, 13” revolutions, adjustable camber arms and rear trailing arms, Full Janspeed exhaust and alloy inlet manifold. I ported & polished the head myself which worked really well except for the fact that it used to chew through head gaskets. Must have changed it at least 10 times – learned loads with this car.
Peugeot 205 gti 1.9
Loved the way this car looked but was disappointed in every other way. It was rattly, flimsy, not that quick and it didn’t even sound that good. Still thought I was the dogs danglies driving it round at 19 or 20 or whatever age I was at the time
Ford Escort Saloon
Blew up on the way home from the dealer – no oil. Got my money back and bought the Rover
Proper old mans car but actually had decent performance
First bike, little 2 stroke screamer. Great fun. Smokey as F**k
One of the best looking bikes out there. Single sided swing arm, proper race replica. Sounded awesome too and was properly quick compared to all the cars I’d owned to date. Sadly the VFR got knicked and that was the end of my biking career.
Audi S2 Quattro Avant
This has to be one of my favourite cars I’ve owned. The S2 is the quick version of the Audi 80. It has 4 wheel drive and the awesome 2.2 litre 5 cylinder Turbo motor out of the original ur Quattro. Mine was remapped to about 280bhp and lowered. It was really quick and sounded incredible! Wish I’d kept it, they’re worth a fortune now!
Mk 4 Golf
Used more oil than petrol.
Deadly car. Bog standard 1.6 diesel, non turbo. Never have I had so many people offer to buy a car off me as this Jetta
Audi A4 Avant
Remapped 1.8 turbo, had this one for quite a while. Quick enough not to be too boring a very practical
Nice, modern, but ultimately Forgettable
Westfield Hayabusa Turbo
Insane. Quickest thing I’ve driven. 350bhp at the wheels and a shade under 500kg’s Started life as my daily driver with a 1.8 Ford Zetec motor which I rebuilt with Dunnell stage 2 head, cams and twin Weber 45’s. Did a few track days and hillclimbs and gradually ended up as a track-only car with the bike engine conversion, 10” slicks and no windscreen, roof or doors
Standard mk1 road car. Should have hung on to this one
Davrian Solo Stiletto
This is a race car from the 70’s/80’s modsports/silhouette era. It was based on the Hilman Imp/Sunbeam Stiletto but had a fibreglass and aluminium honeycomb monocoque built by Davrian cars. Rear engine and super light weight at 450kg’s!
BMW E39 525
Meh. Nice engine
Peugeot 206 GTI
Big engine, 180bhp, small car, great seats. Shite everything else
2 litre tdi bluemotion with the DSG box – you couldn’t find a more perfect family wagon.
EK Civic Race Car
Current Trackdays.ie Hire car. Loud. loads of grip. Great car to learn in. Good craic!
I know everyone is on Youtube nowadays but I just wanted to let you guys know Freshfix are too! Not everything I do will be uploaded to the site so if you do want to keep updated you can subscribe to the channel here . If you are on youtube or have your own personal channel comment below so we can check it out and subscribe.
The channel is a bit like a homemade soup…there is a bit of everything in it. I used the youtube page as a personal page along with using it while I ran the JustForFun motorsport page .
Here are some of the most popular videos on the channel to date.
1.John Mc Govern ITCC EP3 Civic
2.Motorsport is BullShit
3. Car Blows Up In Mondello
4. Hitting Vtec! ( Forgot to put lock the bonnet pins )
5.Bumps & Bangs
If I had a euro for every time someone asked me about buying a go pro or similar camera I would be a millionaire. The market is flooded with all types ranging from €50-€350 euro. I’ve owned a few at this point over the last few years and at present I find myself with a Go-Pro hero 3+ and Hero Session 5 which I use for every video we do. I also had the contour +2 roam for a few years but found myself going back to the go pro all the time.
The main question is to ask yourself why do I want to buy a camera and what will I use it for. The truth is these cameras are not just for recording your track days but are also very handy for holidays and taken photos, so consider that when looking into them. People would often get caught up in the megapixels and it does this and that. For me, these are some of the main things to look out of when buying an action camera.
1. How wide does the lens shoot? – This is important because I use it in-car a lot. Some cameras cannot shoot as wide as others. An example of this is go pros super wide which is impressive. Again depending on what you are going to be using the camera for this doesn’t matter.
2.Does it have a screen? – Some top end cameras now come with a screen or the adaptor to add one in but the majority of actions cameras don’t have a screen. Chances are that if the lens is very wide your going to catch the shot you need.Having the screen just ensures you are getting exactly what you expect,
3. The shooting quality of the camera? – I could safely say that 8/10 people who have an action camera don’t upload it to Youtube or make a video from it. Most probably don’t even take it off the memory card after an event. Some cameras shoot 4k which is all well and good if you are shooting the next big blockbuster but 720p or 1080p is more than enough for Youtube or online. Remember the higher the quality the longer it takes the edit and process afterward.
4.Frames per second – Fps is what you can normally see in the description of any given action camera. Why does this matter if its video? Well, let’s say you would like to shoot a slo-mo shot. You can get that shot to really slow down if shooting at 120fps compared to 30fps. It’s also good if you are trying to capture an action photo. The go-pro is able to take a burst of photos and you are simply able to delete them until to get the best one.
5.Does it have an app?- Again the majority of new action cameras have an app which allows you to use your phone and a preview screen and adjust settings etc. This is also useful for looking back on images and videos and downloading them to your phone through the Bluetooth or wifi.
6.Ease of use?– I know this may sound silly but make sure the camera is easy to use. A lot of people are afraid to use a go pro because they don’t know how, Sure there are only two fecking buttons on the thing. The contour, for example, has a simple button to slide one way for on and the other for off. It’s pretty straight forward.
7. Can I buy a cheap knock off camera from eBay? – yeah sure fire ahead! The only issue I have with these are they don’t always record.When you come back from an event or race after something amazing has happened to realize DAM! The camera crashed or fudged up! These cameras go for roughly €50 euro on eBay and amazon. Spend that bit more and get a better-known brand like Sony,Garmin,Go-pro or Contour.
8. Memory Cards – At the end of the day this is what records all your video and information. If you slack out on buying a good card the chances are it won’t record the footage correctly. Along with getting a good brand of memory card, think of the size aswell. The bigger the GB of the card the more it can hold for you.
Bear all this in mind next time you want to buy an action camera. If you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to contact us on our facebook page or email us at Hello@freshfix.ie
Welcome to the first of our reader’s ride. If you want to showcase your car you can email us at Hello@Freshfix.ie or you can drop us a message on our Facebook page.
Here we have this cadbury purple Mazda Rx8 which belongs to John Panda Mc Guinness. When I first asked for people to send in some cars this bright purple rx8 stood out in our inbox. Along with the photos, I got a link to his project thread – which you can also check out. This car started off silver with the standard wheels sprayed black and slowly but surely he really got stuck in to making changes.
All the bodywork has been carried out by John himself. If the finish was not done perfect the first time the paint was peeled- yes peeled back and prep started again. You see the thing is that John’s car is not spray painted, its plasti dipped.
One of the best modifications for the RX8 is to change the exhaust and John done just that replacing the original with a Toyosports cat back. Choice of alloys was the XXR 526 man, front are 9j et20 and rear’s are 10.5j et20.
Aggressive aero has been added by John which includes front and rear diffusers and the massive wing you can see sitting on the rear boot lid. John has the option of two boot lids running two separate spoilers depending on what style he wants to run with.
We looking forward to seeing what will be next for John and his Rx8.
The popularity of track days is on the rise again which is great to see. We’re all for people getting the most out of their cars and using them to their potential and the best place to do that is on a race track. With that in mind we’ve put together a very quick track day do’s & don’ts to get you started:
Check your nuts:
Check your wheel nuts/studs are tight periodically throughout the day and use a torque wrench if possible. You might think that’s overkill but with the extreme heat cycles, additional forces and vibrations from driving hard on track they can and do come loose
At a track day your engine will be at the top end of its rev range for most of the day. Even if your engine doesn’t normally burn oil it’s worth checking the levels once or twice throughout the day. Oil starvation is the last thing you want!
I’ve never been at a track day where I didn’t need tools of some sort. Now you probably won’t need the whole tool chest but a socket set, torque wrench, cable ties, duct tape, oil, fuel and a funnel would on my list of essentials
Use your mirrors
There’s always someone faster than you at a track day and it’s vitally important to keep a close eye on your mirrors and get out of the way of faster cars. If you have a car behind you for 3 or 4 corners you need to move over and let them past. Remember a track day isn’t a race!
Don’t be a dick!
A track day is a compromise and has to cater for a broad range of car and driver performance levels. In Motorsport terms it’s the best value for money that you’ll get in terms of seat-time and track time by miles, but you need to remember that everybody has an equal right to be there and drive accordingly. Whether you’re a championship winning racing driver testing a new car or are bringing your daily driver on track for the very first time. Accept that if you’re an experienced driver in a fast car, you’re going to get held up a bit and if you’re a newbie in a slower car you’re going to have to move over and let the faster stuff past.
In short, share the track, enjoy it and don’t drive like a dick!
Respect my authoritaah!
Track days don’t have many rules but the ones they do have need to be followed for everyone’s safety.
- Only overtake on the left
- Only overtake on the straights
- Never overtake in the corners
- No drifting
- No racing
Break the rules and you’ll find yourself being summoned to the control tower for a telling off. Break the rules a second time and you could be asked to leave.
Getting on-track tuition is one of the best things you can do. Some track days offer tuition for free and some charge for it. Even if you’ve been doing track days for years, you can always learn something new from an experienced instructor, so if they’re there we’d urge you to take advantage and get yourself some tuition
Images with thanks to brianwalshphotos.com and Trackdays.ie