Friday, 30 January 2015

4A-GE again..

Get ready for a world of excitement here..
..Yep, its another post with just pics of my cars enginebay! Its not filler, I swear..

For reference, here is was in September 2012. High-end, no-compormise, 100% performance modifications added since include - and limited to - a litle air ducting from the factory plumbing, some sweet red leads, and... uhh..

The engine's love of massive amounts of air, is met with a equally hilarious diet of fuel; we're talking a solid 10-11L/100km.. but hey, its consistent. Overfuelling at very light throttle doesnt help economy either; so giving it a bootful before resting my foot on the accelerator.. just to hear it burble, pop, backfire.. constantly.. isn't ideal.
..and as you can see in the pictures, my headers are less than impressed with this too..

But the noise, etc. The noise!

Its all a bit of fun.

Monday, 26 January 2015


Southern Ways, Aero Sports.
15x10.5" -18

Along the same lines as the 1982 Southern Ways Epsilon I posted here.. except even at 10.5" wide its well and truly shown up..!

A lonely valve on the edge on the lip..

...and in the distance..



The small flag-shaped logo in front of the text is very.. Ronal. Interesting to know if this was (shamefully) intentional..

Original sizes..

.. from way back in 1983.
And used.
I can only imagine the awesomeness they were originally fitted to. A wide skyline? Maybe a Fairlady Z?

Definite signs of use and age; with a  healthy dose of corrosion and marks. But nice and original.. and chuffed to have the original paint and decals survive.

Just a nice old (rare) design; deserving of a couple 'glamour' (ha..) shots to prevent fading into obscurity...

Friday, 23 January 2015

Exa Canopy - again - the 80's Nomad-esque Targa dream-machine!

Damn I love these.

1988 N13 Nissan Exa Canopy.
I posted about of these not long ago, here; but had to again when I saw this really nice example pop up at a dealer in Japan...

The Exa on its own always seems to cop a bit of flack, essentially for being little more than a dressed up Pulsar - what a Capri is to a Laser/323 - front drive, a bit soft, and hefty dose of 'girlyness'. But I struggle to care about any of that noise! The essence of sportyness means well, and I love the quirky design details.  I can absolutely - and happily - live with the fact its conceded a bit of practicality to a Pulsar..

 I love the popup headlights with Nissan subtlety marked into the left passenger headlight cover..

 .. those fantastic slatted taillights..

 ..and the T-top/targa top..! Yes. The man's convertible.

But an Exa with the Canopy rear hatch option, in lieu of the regular fastback/liftback? Oh yes.. next level awesome here..

Gorgeous. Stunning. Delicious. Exacanopyliftbackroofoption.
For what almost reminds me of - in essence - a 50's Chevrolet Nomad reimagined into the 80's. A two-door Wagon; but one that also has a Targa roof... and want to put something into the back? well half the rear end opens up..!

That's just fantastic.

Looking at an exceptionally tidy, 25year old Nissan; which leads to an exceptionally tidy rear compartment..

...and through to a similarly spotless interior.
Black-on-black looks brilliant for 1988; with a handful of tasteful additions - Momo Race wheel, Nismo knob, and a pair of Confetti Recaro SR3/D's.
The 5spd shifts gears for the standard twin-cam CA16DE.. a long-stroke, 16V, 1.6litre four.. and on through to the front wheels.

That's all for now.
Again.. againagain.. (wether I've written it here, or just harassing people when drunk at parties..) The Exa needs more love. It deserves it. And not just for the tremendously innocent targa-top second generation car.. the first generation Turbo cars are a hilariously epic bit of kit..

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Finally re-registered, and driving on the roads again for the first time in over two years..

Its everything I remembered and more. So stoked. :)

Saturday, 17 January 2015


I shed a small tear when I came across this little thing at the wreckers the other day - a 1987/88 DA Mazda 121 Fun Top.
I wrote about these 18months ago here.. which if you've read, you'd know I have a *bit* of a soft spot for them. They're just so sweet and innocent.. and unpretentious like only an old economy car can be...

The first generation 121/Festiva was introduced in 1987, with the fun top being the final trim level above the Super Deluxe - it was the top of the range. Yep, we're talking such luxuries as cloth trim... a rear wiper/washer.. 4speaker cassette stereo.. and...
..Well, the main attraction here was the LARGE electric slide-back canvas top - and really, that's all I need...

A 'Fun Top' on the Mazda Fun-two-fun. Adorable levels peaking at this point...

Although its far from the cleanest example, my rose-tinted glasses allow me to see right through the grime and vintage supercheap-auto seatcovers. I love the striped pattern on these seats..

.. and another other detail I love on these early 121 interiors? That is one good-looking factory wheel.

SuperDeluxe-based levels of luxury means FunTop's have a Tacho, and the 1.3litre inline-four always shifts through a 5speed manual. No joke; things like this are fun to drive..

I shut the doors, bonnet and hatch to keep the rain out, and snapped one last pic before it is enevitably crushed; leaving it there amongst its 80's/90's Japanese friends - a 626 hatch, second generation 121 (DW Demio), N13 Pulsar, and U12 TRX - that will all soon share an indentical fate. Poor little funzy..

Damnit the wreckers makes me sad. Did I forget to mention there was a 5litre-swapped first generation 4Runner there? urgh... what a waste..

Anyway, I feel bad enough as it is leaving this thing behind. Had it been an aqua, shades-based Funtop though..

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

SSR Hasemi Sport S'5 restoration..

SSR Hasemi Motor Sport S'5
15x6.5" +34

While I already have a nice set of 16" Hasemi Sport S'5's (I wrote about here); I came across this trashed set a while back, and couldnt resist..
Why bother? A set in such poor condition, and what is otherwise a relatively unloved design? Well original 4x100 is rare.. and when wearing a set of 195/50's, these specs work great on the stock AW11 guards!
This is the difference between the *insert far-too-many amount* of wheels I buy because I love them; and the wheels I want to actually use. If I love it as it is, stud pattern and spec is irrelevant; I stick to the very best condition I can find them in. If I plan to put tyres on them, and actually use them..? As long as its not missing a spoke, I'm keen!

These were definitely in that second category...

The listing pictures: 
Flaking paint, rash, dints, and rust; all wrapped in mismatched rock-hard tyres. Nice.
Complete though.. and as I said, those specs..
ooh.. those specs..

Couple pics I took before pulling them apart.

At this point, I wash the hell out of the wheels. This cleans all the parts that need to go off to different people, as well as helps disassembly through 25years of filth..

Faces out. I was doing another set at the same time..

Inner barrels scrubbed clean.

Hasemi Sport S'5 short caps. The colour/decals are obviously specific, but this same cap body gets used on the Bang-Vec wheels, some Hiro, and so on..

All the rear covers removed, and slides out.

Everything is washed thoroughly, and WD40 sprayed into the mechanism to free everything up. cap was sticking though, so needs to come apart for a proper clean.

Locking mechanism pulled apart. I go into a bit of detail on these locks here..

The absolutely tiny springs and magnets. I love these so much..

And all back together again! A lot of parts really need to be re-plated (you can see the corrosion on some of the cap bodies); but I plan to use these wheels.. so just had to be good enough from one step back!

Couple more pics of everything cleaned up.

Faces back from the powder-coater. I've gone with a satin pearl grey..

All the original hardware was re-plated, as well as the crusty lock rear covers.
The bolts were originally a shadow-chrome, but now chrome. It'll look nice against the darker faces...

 Barrels back from the polishers. One wheel has magically re-assembled itself...

Assembly tools...

..and all four done!

Nice contrast between the polish/chrome and the satin faces..

Satin pearl grey; almost a subtle metallic sparkle.. or maybe ISO1600 shenanigans.. haha


Stoked with how they turned out. Not for so much how they look on their own, but compared to what they were before...
Its nice to give them a new lease on life anyway, from something that was otherwise junk. Interestingly, 100% of the original parts were used - I even had the (obviously crusty) nuts re-zinced! haha..

All good fun.