1999 Nissan Silvia (S15)
Name: Matt Dunstan Location: Levin Occupation: Apprentice spray painter
NZPC: Hi, Matt. Is this your first S15? What made you buy it?
Matt: Hey, guys. This is my first S15, but not my first S-chassis. My father and I are currently building a Kouki S14 powered by a 13B turbo, and dedicated to drifting. Before this car, I always focused on the audio aspect of my builds, to get as much bass as possible. I built four other cars solely for loud music, until one day I thought to myself, I would rather listen to a turbo spool than a bass drop, so I sold my car and began hunting down a tidy S-chassis.
As you’re an apprentice spray painter, did you do the harlequin paintwork yourself?
I’m still learning the nitty gritty of it all, so I took on the task of completing all the bodywork in the garage at home, after work, which took about a month. The panel beater at work, Paul Harrison, helped me flare the guards nicely, and he showed me how to do all the other repairs and a few bits of fibreglass work. I got everything primed, then blocked it back, repeated the primer and blocking stage a few times to get a full flat finish, then enlisted the help of my boss, Daniel Jack, to lay a beautiful coat of paint over it — he’s an extremely good painter — as I wanted the best finish possible. Glasurit played a big part in helping [me] to choose the exact colour I was after and the clear to match.
It came out a treat. Were there any setbacks during the process?
There were a few mild setbacks. One was using grey ground coat rather than black, which caused us to use almost double the paint than I initially bought, and I had to keep ordering more. Also, after laying the first coat down on the car and hanging the paint gun up so we could let it dry, the gun fell off the wall and spilled a half-litre of paint through the booth — that wasn’t a cheap mistake. But, overall, it turned out exactly how I wanted, and it taught me a thing or two in the process.
How have people responded to the wild look so far?
Well, first of all, I’m in love with it [laughs]. I’ve had some extremely good feedback now that the car is finished. I’ll be minding my own business in a car park, and people will come up to the car asking questions about what it’s running, who did the paint work, and generally they’ll have a good gander over it. People so far can’t get enough of it, but I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, which is fine.
Different strokes for different folks. Does it drive well, with these goodies under the hood?
Oh yeah, it drives beautifully now. The power is smooth and responsive, which makes all the money, time, and stress worth it. I bought an SR20DET engine and gearbox package, including a MicroTech ECU, and the first task was to get it dropped in. My father, Leon Dunstan, played a big role in that. I decided that I would go for a top-mount turbo set-up, installed it all in the bay, and closed the bonnet, which is when the turbo punched through it — one of the reasons I repainted the body. After that, I decided to do things properly, and got the Sinco Customs manifold, MasterPower R545 turbo, and a Turbosmart 40mm wastegate.
Nice. What are your future plans?
I maxed out my injectors on the last tune — which made 263kW — and, since Powercruise, I [have been] … saving up to forge the bottom end and address the head with new cams and valves so [that] I can make the most out of the monster Master Power MPR545 turbo.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Bruce Jack Panel and Paint, and Glasurit Paint, as I wouldn’t have achieved such a finish [on the paint work] without them