KAMEHAMEHA!

FROM HIGH-SPEED PO­LICE CHASES AT THE HANDS OF A THIEF TO BE­ING SLAMMED AGAINST THE CON­CRETE WALLS OF MERE­MERE, BRYCE’S DRAGON BALLZ TRIB­UTE 180SX-FRONTED S14 HAS LIVED ONE HELL OF A LIFE

NZ Performance Car - - News - WORDS: JADEN MARTIN PHO­TOS: ADAM CROY

Bryce’s 180SX-front S14 proves that you can in­ject a bit of style and flair into drift­ing while stay­ing true to the rough-and-ready her­itage that you’ve grown to love. It may be our in­ner kid, but this per­fectly ex­e­cuted Dragon Ball Z liv­ery brings out those nos­tal­gic feels — flick to page 80 to eye­ball the rad night shoot, which shows off the liv­ery’s se­cret weapon …

Break­ing the mould to build some­thing that screams ‘you’ can be a hard slog, as the scene is in­creas­ingly in­un­dated with big­ger and bet­ter ex­am­ples. Thank­fully, you don’t have to throw mass amounts of cash at the new­est, trendy bits and spend half your life do­ing it — mix up some hard work, a sim­ple idea, and a whole lot of nos­tal­gia, and you could be on to a win­ning com­bi­na­tion. Like many of us, Bryce was all about street-sift­ing an­tics when he orig­i­nally lived in Welling­ton. He pur­chased the S14 as a daily-driver, and no doubt it landed him in reg­u­lar amounts of mis­chief. Nonethe­less, what he hadn’t ex­pected was the rather rude 5am wake-up call one morn­ing when a joyrider de­cided he wanted in on such ac­tiv­i­ties, and took off down the street in the Nissan. Awak­ing to the fa­mil­iar sound of the diff chirp­ing, Bryce jumped into his flat­tie’s Evo VIII, and the pair screamed off down the mo­tor­way for 40 min­utes be­fore the po­lice man­aged to cut the ofender off in Lower Hutt. The car was re­cov­ered and the scum who took it were promptly chucked in the cells, which was the ex­act point at which Bryce told us things spi­ralled out of con­trol. “I thought of sell­ing it, [af­ter hav­ing had] that feel­ing you get of some­one else in­vad­ing your car, but I de­cided, nope, I’m go­ing to do the op­po­site and ac­tu­ally make a thing out of this,” he said. Cogs re­ally be­gan to turn, and he rem­i­nisced about his high-school days when a lo­cal ex­am­ple ap­peared on the scene sport­ing a car­bon-fi­bre 180SX front in cham­pagne gold.

But be­fore any proper gnarly stuff hap­pened, the car served mul­ti­ple tours of thrash­ing at var­i­ous North Is­land tracks be­fore hav­ing an un­for­tu­nate bump and grind ses­sion with the con­crete bar­ri­ers at Mere­mere Drag­way. That lit­tle en­counter set the wheels in mo­tion to­wards what the car has be­come.

Bryce told us, “It had to be dif­fer­ent. I spoke with Julian from An­i­mal Style in the States, and I al­ways liked the out­landish style on his S14. So I thought I’d try to com­bine the two and have a su­per low, su­per ag­gres­sive S14 with a 180SX front.”

With the front, side, and rear still wear­ing the scars of the car’s lat­est out­ing, Bryce pulled the front apart and be­gan mea­sur­ing up the di­men­sions us­ing steel 180 guards. This pre­sented the first of a few bumps in the road — the S14 front ex­tended too far to fit the shorter 180 ex­am­ples. The so­lu­tion was easy, lop the front off and tube-frame the sucker! Although, as he ex­plained it, that was more of an in­evitable than a last re­sort. From there, the con­ver­sion could be com­pleted rather sim­ply, mak­ing mount­ing tabs and sup­port brack­ets to suit the Ori­gin Labo pieces. One of the few com­po­nents that re­quired a cus­tom piece was the bon­net, as the 180’s a fair­sight nar­rower than the S14 — around 15mm ei­ther side — but Bryce opted to get around this by run­ning the stan­dard size and off­set­ting the back, to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of space, which ended up work­ing pretty well and will avoid the heartache of re­mak­ing it on the next meet­ing with a lead car’s door.

As for the still-punched-in rear quar­ters, Bryce hopped on the ham­mer to smooth them out be­fore a set of Ori­gin Labo wide­body rear guards was fit­ted to match the party go­ing on up front.

As the out­side neared com­ple­tion, Bryce be­gan on the oily bits, which he wanted to pack a hefty punch as well. This in­volved turn­ing the hum­ble SR20DET into a forged-in­ter­nals screamer. Luck­ily, a con­tact in Aussie came up with the goods — 9.0:1 CP pis­tons (86.5mm), 700hp Man­ley rods, ACL race bear­ings, a pol­ished-and-bal­anced crank, and a Tomei 1.5-mil­lime­tre head

The wide Ori­gin Labo kit is filled out by the 18x9.5-inch Weds Kranze Cer­berus wheels up front, and the rather large 18x12-inch Rota GTR-Ds that are tucked un­der the rear guards

gas­ket — at a price that couldn’t be turned down. The bot­tom end was built with the in­ten­tion of mess­ing with the heads once he got used to the ex­tra power, cour­tesy of run­ning a truck­load of ad­di­tional boost through the TD06.

Un­for­tu­nately, dur­ing the base-map­ping stage of the dyno ses­sion, the number-four rod de­cided it was hav­ing none of it, and launched straight out the bot­tom — what caused the fail­ure is still un­known. Un­der­stand­ably gut­ted, Bryce rid him­self of the bad juju from the first en­gine the fol­low­ing day, of­fer­ing what was left to Har­ley at Perry’s Auto Dis­man­tlers in ex­change for a non-turbo equiv­a­lent. Within a few days, thanks to sev­eral good lads and more than a cou­ple of brews, the sec­ond en­gine was promptly tur­boed and chucked into the bay. “My les­son was an ex­pen­sive one, but I was able to have the car run­ning again be­cause of the first build, learn­ing how bits go to­gether and giv­ing it a go,” Bryce said. “You can only f*ck up so much, and 99 per cent of things can be fixed, so you might as well learn a bit along the way.”

Tick­ing yet another job off the list to­wards great­ness, he knew that, be­fore it was ready to come out of hid­ing, one last piece of the puz­zle would be needed to set it alight. Tap­ping into the

It may be too much for some, but the loud DragonBallZ liv­ery is a mish­mash nod to both his child­hood love of car­toons and the match­ing cars of Team An­i­mal Style over in the States

nos­tal­gic feels of mid-’90s car­toon good­ness, the con­cept was sim­ple: Goku from Dragon Ball Z fir­ing off a kamehameha down the side of the car. Right about the same time that it was be­ing spit­balled, the CL Auto Dream Wrap comp opened up, and Bryce threw his hat into the ring. Be­ing picked to be in the fi­nal line-up was a sur­prise to him. He ex­pected peo­ple to think it was silly, but he was paired up with the good sorts at Big Brown In­dus­tries, who took the con­cept straight from his brain and whipped it up into the dig­i­tal de­sign that damn near broke the in­ter­net. Although he didn’t win the comp, Jeremy at Big Brown couldn’t let the idea go, and reached out to Bryce to de­velop and ap­ply it re­gard­less. He con­tin­ued to tweak the de­sign, adding a Shen­ron fea­ture to the bon­net and ty­ing the kamehameha blast to the front con­ver­sion to cre­ate a seam­less shift in body shape, not to men­tion our favourite fea­ture that was snuck in, and the rea­son it was shot at night — the re­flec­tive na­ture of the liv­ery that lights the en­tire car up from a mile away — any­one have a Frieza Saga feel­ing of déjà vu?

The in­te­rior takes things back to the old Ja­panese touge drifters with a rough-and-ready ap­proach. Per­haps the most mean­ing­ful piece is the raggedy old Nardi steer­ing wheel. It may ap­pear in poor con­di­tion, and we won’t blame you for look­ing at it side­ways, but it still re­mains as it was gifted to Bryce by Saku­masan of Ja­panese tun­ing house Agent K — while vis­it­ing a hand­ful of lo­cal work­shops with close friend Sky Zhao, he no­ticed the wornout wheel sit­ting ne­glected on top of an old oil bar­rel at Agent K.

Sakuma-san asked if he liked Nardis, be­fore ex­plain­ing that it was used in his first drift car many years prior, and, af­ter fur­ther yarns, Sakuma-san said he would like to gift it to Bryce. Hum­bled, Bryce of­fered to buy it in­stead, but the of­fer was de­clined — which is why it now sits in pride of place.

Keep­ing with the OG steez, the vi­tals are mea­sured through a set of aero­nau­ti­cal-spec GReddy gauges, and the driver must nav­i­gate the sparkle gold eight-point to seat their arse into the Racetech seat. The cabin space is prac­ti­cal, noth­ing more and noth­ing less — it doesn’t fo­cus on flashy com­po­nents and 15-layer paint; it’s sim­ply an of­fice space with one job to ac­com­plish — hit­ting full lock and pump­ing smoke, which Bryce tells us ain’t no thang af­ter in­stalling the C’s Garage 555 knuck­les and ex­tended lower-con­trol arms, with the front chas­sis rails hav­ing been chopped and re­in­forced to sup­port the chas­sis-drag­ging height that the car re­mains at full-time. Now that it’s pack­ing the su­per low, su­per ag­gres­sive style that he was al­ways af­ter, Bryce’s hum­ble S14 is help­ing to set the bar for what a grass­roots drift hack can and should look like. There is no doubt in the world that the kit will get smashed off and the car will earn its fair share of bat­tle scars, but that doesn’t mat­ter, as Bryce is sure to have one hell of a good time, and the car will look fly while do­ing it. We now also ea­gerly await the rest of his in­ner cir­cle com­plet­ing their match­ing Dragon Ball Z builds …

080

IN­TE­RIOR SEATS: Racetech STEER­ING WHEEL: Nardi IN­STRU­MEN­TA­TION: GReddy oil-, wa­ter-, and exhaust-tem­per­a­ture gauges EX­TRA: Dildo shifter, cus­tom switch panel

SHOES WHEELS: (F) 18x9.5-inch Weds Kranze Cer­berus, (R) 18x12-inch Rota GTR-D TYRES: (F) 215/35R18 Jinu, (R) 265/35R18 Hero

HEART EN­GINE: Nissan SR20DE, 2000cc, four-cylin­der BLOCK: Fac­tory HEAD: Tomei 1.2mm head gas­ket, ARP head studs IN­TAKE: Cus­tom in­ter­cooler EXHAUST: Sinco Cus­toms top-mount exhaust man­i­fold, 2.5-inch stain­less-steel straight pipe, Hill­side Au­to­mo­tive down­pipe TURBO: Scar­les TD06 20G WASTEGATE: Ad­justable wastegate ac­tu­a­tor BOV: Blitz FUEL: DeatschWerks DW300 fuel pump, Sard 870cc fuel in­jec­tors ECU: A’PEXi Power FC COOL­ING: V-mount Fenix Per­for­mance S15 ra­di­a­tor, elec­tric fans with shroud EX­TRA: Cus­tom birds-nest wiring

PER­FOR­MANCE POWER: 190kW BOOST: 13psi (0.89 bar) FUEL TYPE: Gull 98 TUNER: Wayne from Pro­tune

EX­TE­RIOR PAINT: Fac­tory red, Dragon Ball Z (Goku) re­flec­tive liv­ery de­signed and ap­plied by Big Brown In­dus­tries ENHANCEMENTS: Ori­gin Labo Rac­ing Line 180SX front bumper, Ori­gin Labo 55mm 180SX front fend­ers, Ori­gin Labo rear wide­body guards, Ori­gin Labo Style Line side skirts, Ori­gin Labo Style Line rear bumper EX­TRA: Tube-frame front, mini­tubbed rear DRIVELINE SUP­PORT GEARBOX: Nissan five-speed CLUTCH: Exedy five-puck FLYWHEEL: Nismo DIFF: R200 limited-slip (4.3:1-ra­tio) STRUTS: BC Gold coilovers; 8kg front springs, 6kg rear springs BRAKES: (F) R33 GTS25T four-pot calipers, Brembo ro­tors, TRW pads; (R) stan­dard calipers, Brembo ro­tors, TRW pads EX­TRA: C’s Garage 555 knuck­les and ex­tended lower-con­trol arms, R33 GT-R rear sway bar, ad­justable front cam­ber and cas­tor arms, ad­justable rear toe and cam­ber arms, eight-point roll cage by Luke Mayes and Sky Zhao

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