Industrial Strength Domestic
Direct from its home near the industrial backblocks of Osaka, it would seem that this S13 Nissan Silvia has seen more than its fair share of action, but theres much more to come… This car has lived through it all.
Before we present Streeter’s story, I want to say that this isn’t a usual 7tune article. Normally a car like this wouldn’t make it onto the shortlist of cars to feature, but this isn’t any ordinary Silvia, driven by someone who isn’t an ordinary drifter in Japan. I had mixed feelings at first about making the trek from Kobe city to Sugimotocho in South Osaka but the atmosphere this car exudes, in this particular area of Japan’s second largest city, was too good to pass up. To say this car has seen better days is an understatement, but that’s the reason it’s such a great car to write about. Take a moment to look beyond the drifting battle scars and see the car as it is in its natural environment, far removed from the flashy, polished, ‘showroom floor’ look of usual feature cars… Heck, we didn’t even want to wash it. Enjoy.
Japan has long been a paradise for drifters, in fact the biggest drift magazine Drift Tengoku’s name means exactly that! The lure of paradise is strong for many but few actually take the plunge. Streeter is one of those who did. After stepping off the train in the small town of Kochi on Shikoku island, his first priority was to find a car… Speaking no Japanese and surrounded by people who knew nothing of drift he initially had very little luck, until one night, as he walked back home he saw a Kei car with some drift stickers on it. After some considerable confusion and lots of sign language Streeter eventually got directions to a local workshop and made plans to head there at the first opportunity.
After arriving at Garage TK he was shown a number of options, but the car that grabbed his eye was a 1992 S13 Silvia Q’s with an SR20DET engine and basically everything that was needed to drift. The car quickly became Streeter’s and the drifters at the workshop were kind enough to show him the way to the local ‘touge’, a dark mountainous winding pass that had claimed many cars. It wasn’t long until the Silvia got introduced to the mountainside but again, thanks to Garage TK, it was only a matter of days until it was back on the road again and was driven in the hills on a regular basis. Coming from Melbourne, a city of almost four million people, to Kochi’s 320,000 meant that it wasn’t long before Streeter’s feet got itchy for a bigger city… Osaka was famous for its street drifting scene and was only a few hours drive away, so he found himself in the middle of Osaka with about four hours to find a place to live! Some hurried discussion with a real estate agent left him with a few options that suited and a quick look on the street map showed one clear winner. About 15 minutes drive from the biggest drift area in Osaka!
Unfortunately some Osaka locals took a liking to Streeter’s car and stole the seat, some gauges and the extensive tool kit that had been left in the car. So the next modification was a remote paging alarm. Since then the car has seen a lot of use at Osaka’s industrial area drifting hotspots and it slowly changed, sprouting Uras aero parts and R33 Skyline GT-R wheels. The original coilover suspension had gotten pretty tired and was replaced with a set of D-Drug 8kg/6kg units. But the main thing money was being spent on was a regular supply of gasoline, oil and tyres. The low boost on the stock Nissan t25g turbo and a very close eye on the temperature gauges and lots of cooling breaks meant that the car was being looked after mechanically, but one or two scrapes with the kerb meant the Uras aero parts were starting to look a bit second hand. Rather surprisingly the aero was only replaced when a young girl on a scooter rammed straight into the back of the car, destroying the rear bumper, trunk and the rear window! The trunk lid was changed to a lighter FRP item and after returning from the panel shop a program of lightening began where the seats and insulation were removed from the rear of the car. A slightly damaged carbon bonnet from a rolled car was installed. Weight removal was decided as being a cheaper route to higher performance through power upgrades.
Eventually power became an issue and constant AE86 style clutch flaring was not being kind to the transmission. The search for a turbo began. The weapon of choice for the street is either the S15 Silvia stock turbo or the Trust T517/T518 turbos, which despite using plain bearings, offer great response with a good usable spread of power. Finally a cheap T517 came along and after a high speed “expressway” tune (which is quite an exciting experience in a car which is set up to drift!) the car was ready to run again. Unfortunately soon after this the police were making more and more frequent appearances, arriving soon after any sort of drifting began. Many nights were spent moving from place to place only to return home having had very little practice. Finally one night while putting the silencers into the exhausts, Streeter got a tap on the shoulder from two men who showed him police badges. They said they had seen him drifting and warned him that if he went back again that he would be in big trouble.
There was a much higher risk from then on, and soon after news came through that friends of his had been given large fines and repeat offenders had been sent to jail. Some months later he was asked back to the police station and interrogated for eight hours but fortunately was let off. Paradise it seems, was lost. It was then that the car went through its third evolution to the state you see it in today. Fast is the current fashion in drift, and sliding fast needs grip so the GT-R wheels were put aside for a set of WORK VS-KFs with wider tyres. Clearance issues with the wider wheels and tyres meant that the fenders had to be massaged with that most delicate of panel beating tools, the jack handle. The car was lowered further and driven off to Meihan Sportsland where the rear bar, left tail light and rear fender all take a regular beating against the pit wall.
Future plans for the car include some FRP rear overfenders (which will be able to stand the wall beating much better than the stock metal panels), a lot of tyres, a lot of gasoline and hopefully not too many repairs. Future plans for Streeter are very simple: when it stops being fun he will stop doing it.
*Streeter also runs his own performance parts export business, buying direct from Japanese companies and shipping them straight to your door. If you’d like more information or to place an order, email Streeter at: email@example.com
1992 S13 Nissan Silvia Q’s
Engine and Driveline Tune:
Red Rocker Cover SR20DET (sump has been removed, changes unknown)
Trust T517G (1.0kg/cm boost)
Stainless Exhaust Manifold
HKS 256 Ex and In camshafts
Rocker Arm Stopper kit
Nismo 550cc Injectors
Apexi Power FC
2 core Radiator
HKS type R Oil cooler kit
Cusco Oil Catch Can
GTR fuel pump
Chinese Aftermarket Intercooler
Standard Nissan 5 speed manual transmission
Nismo 2-way LSD
3 Puck Clutch
Suspension, Brake, Wheel and Tire Tune:
6 R33 GT-R 17″ x 9″ +30 rims with 215/45/17 tyres (25mm bolt on spacers)
1 x 18″ x 9.5 +12 Work Emotion CR Kai with 235/40/18 tires
1 x 18″ x 9.5 +12 Work Emontion XT7 with 235/40/18 tires
2 x 18″ x 10 +20 Work Vs KF with 235/40/18 tires (5mm slip on spacers)
2 x 17″ x 9 +5 Work Vs KF with 235/40/17 tires
Slotted stock S13 rear rotors with stock S13 calipers (stock Nissan brake pads)
R33 Skyline GTS25t front brakes with C34 5 stud hubs
D-Drug Coilovers with camber adjustment
R32 Skyline tie rods and tie rod ends with 6mm spacers
Tein Tension Rods
Nismo front lower control arms
Cusco rear upper control arms
HICAS Lock system
6-Point bolt in Rollcage
330mm Nardi Steering wheel
pod filter (type unknown)
Racing Full Bucket Seat (type unknown)
Dump pipe into straight 3″ system
Hand brake button
Strut Brace (type unknown)
HKS Boost Gauge
HKS Oil pressure Gauge
HKS Oil Temp Gauge
Pivot Water Temp Gauge
Square (non-projector) headlights
Uras full aero kit
Garage S carbon bonnet
FRP trunk lid
Photos, Row 1: Streeter
Photos, Rows 2 to 5: Justin Karow
Words: Laurence/Justin Karow