NIS­SAN S15

THIS ROCKET BUNNY-KIT­TED S15 HAS MORE GO THAN SHOW

Fast Car - - Contents -

If Carls­berg made Nis­san S15s, they still wouldn’t be as good as this 2JZ-pow­ered, Rocket Bunny-kit­ted beast.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, the idea of run­ning a Rocket Bunny kit or the likes is start­ing to get a lit­tle bit stale. There was a time, which feels like an eter­nity ago, when we would have first spied these amaz­ing wide arched cars from Ja­pan on the in­ter­net and com­pletely lost our col­lec­tive shit. Their al­most crude riv­eted-on pan­els were the per­fect re­bel­lion against the smooth body­work that had come to be the norm. To­day, I’m sure you’ve al­ready scrolled past count­less ex­am­ples on your so­cial me­dia feeds, with­out even as much as a sec­ond look. The prob­lem is that so many of these builds lack sub­stance. Sure, they look good, but there’s not re­ally much un­der the sur­face. David Cole­man is one of the rare few who was aware of this when he started this project and it cer­tainly shows in the fin­ished ar­ti­cle. There’s def­i­nitely no short­age of sub­stance here.

This isn’t David’s first rodeo. His last car, an ag­gres­sively styled V8 pow­ered AE86 Corolla, caused quite a stir when it hit the streets for the first time. It broke away from a lot of the typ­i­cal AE86 con­ven­tions and most im­pres­sively was street le­gal. It might not sound like a big achieve­ment, but in Ire­land, it re­ally is. The strug­gle to per­fect a build and re-en­gi­neer things just to get it on the street is one that a lot choose to forego and in­stead com­mit their own projects to be­ing for the track only. Not, David. His cars have al­ways been about their street per­for­mance, although he’s been known to take in the odd track­day too. This is what makes his cars and this Nis­san Silvia S15 all the more in­ter­est­ing. Build­ing a track car is one thing, build­ing a street-car is a whole other propo­si­tion.

As we rolled to the photo lo­ca­tion, I did have to laugh to my­self at the ex­ag­ger­ated width of the car on the nar­row Ir­ish roads be­hind me in my mirror. The S15 is so wide that it needs to hug the ditch in or­der not to cross the cen­tre line of the road. While the Rocket Bunny kit and ag­gres­sive stance are the strong­est visual points on it, it’s what lies be­neath that re­ally im­presses. There’s noth­ing wrong with the SR20DET this S15 would have orig­i­nal been equipped with. With a lit­tle tun­ing, the two-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der en­gine can even make re­spectable power num­bers. It wasn’t enough for David, though. He had his sights set on some­thing far im­pres­sive.

The com­pact in­line-four has long since been re­moved. In its place, in the ti­died and smooth en­gine bay, now re­sides ar­guably the great­est in­line-six en­gine ever built: Toy­ota’s 2JZ-GTE.

For diehard Nis­san fans, this would ob­vi­ously be a prob­lem, in that he chose the 2JZ over Nis­san’s own RB26 GT-R mo­tor. For the

rest of us, it’s less of an is­sue and prob­a­bly the bet­ter de­ci­sion. The 2JZ is far from stock – a sin­gle T88 tur­bocharger re­places the orig­i­nal twin-turbo setup. Larger Pre­ci­sion 840cc in­jec­tors pro­vide in­creased fu­elling while a GReddy in­take man­i­fold and a cus­tom three-inch ex­haust amongst other mod­i­fi­ca­tions all play their role in help­ing the 2JZ to a healthy – and re­li­able – 550hp.

When the car comes on boost, there’s no mis­tak­ing it for any­thing other than a 2JZ, with the T88 dump­ing into the at­mos­phere via the screamer pipe lo­cated just be­low the driver’s door. It is glo­ri­ous.

The wide-body con­ver­sion hasn’t just been a case of riv­et­ing on some over-fen­ders ei­ther, it’s re­ceived the same amount of thought and con­sid­er­a­tion as the rest of the car. The car was brought back to bare metal be­fore the rear was tubbed, al­low­ing plenty of room

for the 295-sec­tion rear tyres on the 12x18-inch ET-17 SSR Pro­fes­sor MS3 wheels. The front re­quired a sim­i­lar amount of mod­i­fi­ca­tion to ac­com­mo­date the nar­rower – but still very wide – 10.5x18-inch ET-35 wheels, this time with a 265-sec­tion tyre.

Need­less to say, that’s a lot of rub­ber hid­ing within those arches. This gives the car an im­pres­sive amount of trac­tion and grip, although the rears can still be va­por­ised on de­mand. A cus­tom green, which has be­come David’s sig­na­ture, was sprayed over and in­side the fin­ished body­work, with a matt equiv­a­lent be­ing used for the en­gine bay.

In some ways, David has built the com­plete car. It has the looks, the power and the abil­ity to be driven hard when the mood takes him. It’s not a show pony ei­ther, as he uses it reg­u­larly go­ing to, from and dur­ing work.

Most of all though, there’s so much more to this car than first meets the eye. It has both style and sub­stance in spades.

A GReddy in­take man­i­fold and a cus­tom three-inch ex­haust help the 2JZ to 550hp There’s a lot of rub­ber hid­ing un­der those arches

The car was brought back to bare metal be­fore the rear was tubbed,

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