There was a period around the year 2000 which for many of us here in Ireland defined what car culture would look like for the next 20 years.
I can’t say what it might have been like wherever you were back then, but the influx of Japanese performance and sports cars to Ireland in the early 2000s was a defining period. I’ve written about this before but it basically boils down to the fact that our tax system was more favorable to low capacity cars and like in Japan we drive on the left side of the road in right hand drive vehicles .
It is worth remembering that the early 2000s were pre-social media and the internet was still growing in Ireland. I think most of us here would have been introduced to Japanese car culture through the bootleg Video Option DVD or tuner type magazines.
In Ireland, drifting came soon after, and with it a tidal wave of Japanese cars, most of which had never been seen before. It was one thing for production Type Rs to land here, but it was a whole new experience to see already-modified examples rolling off the ships and hitting our streets.
These tuned JDM cars provided a template on how to style Japanese performance vehicles authentically.
Irish car culture JDM has since clung to this particular era of Japanese car culture. You will get the rare person who might try to adopt the more contemporary styles from Japan, but the vast majority still prefer this arguably simpler period.
Josh GreenThe Nissan Silvia S15’s is a great example of something that looks like it was kicked out of a RORO (roll-on, roll-off) freighter in 2003.
Although it might appear like a time traveler, not too long ago it was a slightly modified Spec R at the Nissan Pewter factory.
Now it’s a car that strikes the balance between form and function quite well, another attribute of early 2000s imports that we seem to have adopted here.
The exterior is a mix of Msports (front bumper, +25mm front fenders) and Vertex Lang (skirts and rear bumper), painted in a custom color by Flipsideauto, which changes from orange to red to gold according to the light. As a neat detail, the inside of the headlight housings have been painted with remnants of paint (engine compartment) by Neil Sheehan juice box AE86 Restoration.
The addition of a Varis Hyper Narrow carbon wing, Voltex Kevlar rear canards paired with carbon front bumper fins, plus DMAX headlight lenses and Sonar taillights pretty much completes the look of this model. ‘era.
SSR Type C RS wheels in 18×9.5-inch +22 are mounted in a boxy configuration.
As for the suspension, the S15 uses HSD coilovers and Driftworks GeoMaster 2 hubs along with adjustable LCAs and tension rods. Brakes, front and rear, come from an R33 Skyline, while chassis reinforcement comes in the form of front and C-pillar braces from Cusco.
Before moving on to the commercial part, we will do a quick overview of the cabin. A fully indoor tram looks like something of a rarity these days, but again, it’s true to the style of the times. A Juran bucket seat with a RYO 4-point harness for the driver is paired with a Recaro SR recliner from a DC2 Integra Type R for the passenger.
A red suede Nardi Personal wheel and Nismo shifter are Josh’s main points of contact with the vehicle, while an APEXi AVC-R and Innovate AFR gauge provide boost control and air ratio monitoring, respectively. /fuel.
The centerpiece of the equation is under the vented hood. Those who know will always appreciate a good SR20DET, and this one is an absolute peach.
Making a decent 360 hp, the 2.0-litre engine was fitted with Wossner forged pistons, Manley forged connecting rods and Tomei Poncams with adjustable cam gears.
The turbocharger is a mix of parts; a Garrett GT2871R core was mated with a GT3071R compressor housing and a TiAL .64A/R exhaust housing because Josh wanted a 4 inch inlet with a v-clamp on the exhaust housing, an option Garrett does not offer not currently.
A 38mm TiAL wastegate was also used, along with a GReddy-style high-mount Speedtek exhaust manifold.
A Tomei oil pick-up plate, GReddy oil filter relocation kit and GReddy oil cooler are all part of the engine’s oil management, while cooling is taken care of with a Mishimoto radiator 80mm and a 100mm intercooler with GReddy intercooler piping. The engine has been converted to accept VAG coil packs, while management is via an ECUMaster Classic.
You may also notice that the front wheel wells have been moved 30mm forward in order to accommodate the larger wheel and tire combination.
Power transfer from the engine to the ground is provided by an OS Giken STR twin-disc clutch, a factory 6-speed Nissan gearbox and a 1.5-way Nismo LSD.
It may lack the excess of wide bodywork and overtly aggressive aerodynamics that have dominated Japanese car styling in recent years, but it’s a respectable throwback to an era responsible for creating so many Japanese car enthusiasts in the whole world.
It’s also an approach that I think works with the S15’s best features, rather than against them.
That the car is fresh and that it is already driven in a way that could make you wince is the icing on the proverbial cake provided by vending machines.
So even if you couldn’t obtain this, you might now understand why so many people will.