NZ Performance Car - - Contents -

NZ Per­for­mance Car: Hey, Damo. We’ve fol­lowed your an­tics lo­cally and abroad for a while now. Tell us how you came to own your S13. Damo: Hi, NZPC. I never in­tended to buy this car at first. I was liv­ing in Ja­pan with a cou­ple of mates, and tagged along with them to check out this car, which was three hours away in Shizuoka. The work­shop we went to was pretty ques­tion­able — su­per chop shop–es­que. The car was rat­tle-canned black and the tags were ‘miss­ing’. My mate wasn’t able to find a guar­an­tor for the change of own­er­ship, so left it, but I al­ready had one and checked it all out, then bought it a week later. It was one of those too cheap to pass up cars; it al­ready had a lot of good stuff on it for a ba­sic set-up. What did it get used for in Ja­pan? Well, I bought it to learn drift­ing in, but I had barely driven back home in New Zealand, so thought, why not learn to in Ja­pan. Best place, right? I learned in the ports and moun­tains. There were def­i­nitely a lot of run-ins with the boys in blue, of­ten stay­ing in one spot for an hour or so un­til some­one showed up to move us on — then the red flash­ing lights be­came clip­ping points. Out­law ter­ri­tory! Why did you de­cide to bring the car back home with you? It was a pretty easy de­ci­sion. In New Zealand, S13 prices were go­ing through the roof, so ship­ping it over would save me a lot of money, with the idea that I could then spend the money on driv­ing. I had thought about just ship­ping the running gear back here and sell­ing it, but it seemed like a waste to part with such a solid car. Was im­port­ing a hard process? Ini­tially, it looked as if it would be im­pos­si­ble to ship it back, as there was an er­ror with the change of own­er­ship in Ja­pan that meant the pre­vi­ous owner dereg­is­tered the car. That meant I had to track him down and pay for the dereg pa­pers, but from there it was pretty easy. Toshi­hiro Tanaka from JAP Ex­press and Tyler Re­nall from Top of Range sorted all my pa­per­work. Toshi picked the car up from N-Style and had it sent through Au­to­hub. It did take al­most two months of wait­ing at the ports with the stink bug scare, but it was even­tu­ally re­leased and I drove it home.

That must have been a sweet mo­ment. Have you had much chance to drive it here, and will it be a for­ever car?

Def­i­nitely not as much as I would like to drive it. Un­for­tu­nately, we don’t have as many track days as there are over in Ja­pan, and I usu­ally end up spend­ing money on the car rather than driv­ing it. I’ll keep it for as long as the chas­sis lasts. It’s a bit beat up, but still straight enough. The seams are start­ing to split for the sec­ond time, so I’ll weld those and it’ll be good to go again. I’d like to keep it as long as pos­si­ble, and I’ll prob­a­bly send it back to Ja­pan even­tu­ally.

Plenty more driv­ing left in it. Cheers for the yarns, Damo.


EN­GINE: Nis­san SR20DET, 1998cc, four-cylin­der turbo; GTi-R T28 turbo, HKS ac­tu­a­tor, Jazz un­equal-length thick wall man­i­fold, three-inch stain­less ex­haust sys­tem, short-mount in­ter­cooler sys­tem, Tomei rocker stop­pers, GT-R fuel pump DRIV­E­LINE: Nis­san SR20DET five-speed man­ual, Nismo Cop­per­mix clutch, Tomei Trax 4.6:1 ra­tio two-way LSD, four-pot front calipers, sin­gle-pot rear calipers, Project Mu brake pads IN­TE­RIOR: Bride Ar­tis 2 seats, Cusco six-point bolt-in roll cage, Ju­nis 335mm two-spoke steer­ing wheel, Defi CR Ad­vance wa­ter tem­per­a­ture, oil tem­per­a­ture, oil pres­sure, and boost gauges, Yashio Fac­tory Okachan wa­ter tem­per­a­ture gauge EX­TE­RIOR: Ori­gin Labo Ag­gres­sive body kit, Ori­gin Labo 55mm Type 3 front guards, D-Max 30mm rear guards, D-Max roof spoiler, D-Max boot spoiler, TK-style bon­net WHEELS/TYRES: (F) 17x9-inch (+12) RAYS Gram Lights 57D, 235/40R17 Zestino Gredge, (R) 17x9-inch (-7) Work VS-KF, 235/45R17 Lin­g­long SUS­PEN­SION: GP Sports G-Mas­ter coilovers, Swift 8kg front springs, Swift 6kg rear springs, Mon Power S14 knuck­les, S14 lower-con­trol arms, D-Max/Cusco ten­sion rods, Nismo power brace, Ori­gin tie rods, Ikeya For­mula cam­ber arms, Cusco toe arms FUEL TYPE: 98 oc­tane THANKS: My girl­friend, Leah, for putting up with it; the GOGO!! Boys, Tweedie, Toshi, Tbass, Scolds, Pringles, and Mot­tokoi; Stano at Jazz Man­i­folds; the boys at N-Style; the guys at Stacked Inc.; Jesse Streeter; Macey; any­one else that has helped me out, and that I’ve driven with

Damo’s Jazz man­i­fold was spe­cially made by its cre­ator and good friend Stan, just for him

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