DANIEL CAMPA’S NIS­SAN 240SX

WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT DANIEL CAMPAS MOM WOULD ONE DAY IN­SPIRE HIM TO BUILD THIS

Super Street - - Contents - WORDS Aaron Bonk PHO­TOS Dax Ro­driguez

Your mom’s Dodge Car­a­van gave you no rea­son to want to mimic her mo­tor­ing ways. Util­i­tar­ian at best, all that mini­van did was let you know it could be counted on to pick you up from choir prac­tice or stow 11 sacks of gro­ceries be­hind you. Any sort of thrills, that Car­a­van was never re­spon­si­ble for de­liv­er­ing.

Daniel Campa’s mother was ev­i­dently cooler than yours, then, in­tro­duc­ing her son to Nis­san’s S14 when she bought one for her­self not long af­ter the car was in­tro­duced. “I re­mem­ber driv­ing by the deal­er­ship with her and see­ing the car dis­played up on a ramp and her telling me she was gonna buy that car,” Daniel says. “That was re­ally the first time I’d ever seen an S14.”

Daniel’s mom wasn’t the only one who played a role in his later own­ing an Sr20det-swapped 240SX of his own… Dad drove an IROC Z28 and brother a mid-’80s Mus­tang. Be­tween those and mom’s Nis­san, there was no way he’d end up with any­thing that had its drive wheels up front. “I was used to driv­ing rear-wheel-drive cars,” he says. “I could never get into Hon­das be­cause I wasn’t a huge fan of torque steer.”

Cir­cum­vent­ing un­in­tended steer­ing wheel move­ments as­so­ci­ated with things like Civics and Ac­cords started with a ’95 240SX. Years af­ter pick­ing up his S14, it was trans­formed by way of Ja­pan’s al­ready-tur­bocharged SR en­gine, of which, at first any­way, Daniel left mostly alone. “I wanted [the car] to be as close to an S14 Sil­via as pos­si­ble, so in my garage with help from friends, we swapped the mo­tor, which I kept com­pletely stock,” he says, “even run­ning the stock Sil­via side­mount in­ter­cooler and pip­ing, com­plete with A/C.” It was a com­mend­able plan, to keep things as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble, but one that wasn’t long for this world.

Soon, the in­ter­cooler was up­dated with some­thing mounted up front, the turbo with some­thing larger from Gar­rett, and the un­der­side of the valve cover was treated to things like camshafts from Tomei. But the big­gest changes of all are the more ob­vi­ous ones—like the Rocket Bunny V2 Boss con­ver­sion kit Daniel wasn’t en­tirely sure about at first, but that the ’72 Dat­sun 510 he once owned helped make sure would hap­pen. “[That’s] why I de­cided to do the Boss kit,” he says. “It re­minds me of an old Dat­sun.”

Be­fore that Boss kit, though, there were aero pre­de­ces­sors. “I pieced to­gether an Ori­gin body kit but de­stroyed my side skirts at the track shortly af­ter,” Daniel says. Later, the S14’s Kouki front half along with a Ver­tex Lang kit were added, but that didn’t last long, ei­ther. “I kept do­ing lit­tle up­dates to the car,” he says, “but I was los­ing in­ter­est.” Long days at work and that 510 left lit­tle time for the 240. Daniel even posted up the whole she­bang to the clas­si­fieds at one point in an ef­fort to cut ties with it; how­ever, his friends who knew bet­ter were quick to flag those for-sale posts and kill any such plans.

And then the Rocket Bunny kit hap­pened. “It re­minded me of a mod­ern­ized Dat­sun,” Daniel says about the kit’s lines. “This re­ally kicked off the build.” The new­found in­ter­est led to an over­hauled ex­te­rior with new paint and what Daniel calls “Kyushu-in­spired” styling cues. “I wanted [a car] that could be driven daily, be­ing that my pre­vi­ous setup was more stanced, which I think con­trib­uted to my los­ing in­ter­est [in it],” he says. “I’d only seen the Boss S14 done by ma­jor shops and com­pa­nies as demo cars, but I wanted to drive mine daily.”

Which is ex­actly what he’s gone on to do. “This car was built with two things in mind: drive­abil­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity,” he says. “I’ve al­ways been a huge fan of the 240SX, ever since my mom bought [hers]. Need­less to say, I’m hooked.”

“My jour­ney with Nis­san started in ’96 when my mom bought a brand-new 240SX,” Daniel con­cludes. “I loved it. We road tripped in it…and I ac­tu­ally took my driv­ing test in that S14.” It wasn’t much of a sur­prise, then, when the 240 be­came the car of choice for Daniel. “Need­less to say, my ob­ses­sion with the S-chas­sis is very real.”

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