Anyone that knows me personally knows that I have an unhealthy love for my S15.
“If you could pick any car that…”
“You haven’t even heard what for”
“Doesn’t matter, I’d choose an S15”
It didn’t start out that way. Unlike many other young people, I didn’t care too much about standing out from the crowd. I just wanted to drive. I loved nothing more than to have my hands on a steering wheel.
I started thinking about what sort of car I was going to want. It had to be versatile, I mostly wanted to track it, but it also had to be ok for drags, and able to drift. I wanted something straight forward to modify with plenty of cheap parts to choose from and a fuck tonne of information available on the intarwebnets, so I could spend less time fucking around and more time driving. Eventually I was drawn to the Nissan S chassis, you’d be hard pressed to find a less whore-ish JDM car. Sure, there are Supras, Skylines, EVOs, WRXs, the list goes on, but there is no other chassis thrashed as hard, as often, in such large quantities, as Nissan’s tractor.
I ended up buying an S15 in December 2008, as I was fairly cashed up, and it was the newest S chassis available. I was the first Australian owner and it was nearly stock, it had a Jap Spec cat-back exhaust with a cannon muffler and silencer, and Work Emotion CR Kai rims. It even still had the Jap Spec radio with mini-disc player. For a good while it stayed this way.
I’d never driven a fast car before, I had just come from a ’96 Corolla with a 7AFE, with its imposing 85 flywheel kilowatts housed in an 1100kg body. So I still remember the first time I floored it in the S15. It was second gear, I was doing about 30kms/hr and I shit myself before the stock T28 had even finished coming onto its monstrous 8ish psi of boosts. Fast forward a few days (and over 1000kms of driving), and 2nd gear was where it was at.
For a long time I simply enjoyed the car as it was. Then when I’d had the car for a few months, I hit a gutter. I’d damaged the front left lower control arm, strut and associated bushes. At this point I thought the standard suspension was plenty stiff, so the S15 ended up getting basic Pedders springs to replace the OEM ones, new OEM lower control arms, and polyurethane bushes. The rest of 2009 was generally uneventful, and I went back to just enjoying the car.
In mid 2010, the dump pipe split. After many hours spent on the internet, I’d decided that the best option was a CES Racing front/dump pipe. Terrible bang for buck, but an absolutely brilliant piece of pipe if you ignore the price tag. I was still fairly cashed up at the time and bought one regardless of the price, as well as a high flow metal cat. That front/dump pipe changed everything for me. The S15 came on to boost quicker and at earlier rpm, and it now made 11 psi. My car was quicker!!
By this point, the S15 was pretty much the only thing I ever talked about. With car mates, with work mates, with family, with the missus. I’d talk about to it anyone who would listen. I’d talk about it to anyone who didn’t want to listen. I’d talk about it to anyone who wouldn’t listen. The car had changed from a means to an end, to MY S15. I was completely and utterly obsessed. As a result, for Christmas 2010 the missus bought me the number plates ’08SSD’.
It was around about then I started planning what I wanted to do to my S15…..