This Ex-D1 Nissan Silvia Replaced an R32 Skyline
Ask Super Street fans for their list of top five dream cars and 95 percent will have Nissan’s R32 Skyline somewhere in the mix, but the S14 Silvia doesn’t trail far behind. Ask Alan Castro, owner of this S14 and a guy who has had the pleasure of owning and building both vehicle types, and he’ll tell you the S-chassis platform sits well above that of its legendary cousin.
Change of Heart
Alan thought that his previous build, a 1990 Skyline that you saw in Super Street back in 2018, was the keeper that he’d grow old with, but Lady Silvia was just too much to resist. He states, “I love the S-chassis, it’s as simple as that. The Skyline was cool but just didn’t have the same aura as an S-chassis.” Having owned multiple S13s in the past, he was ready for a return to the platform, this time focused on finding an S15 project to start on. That is, until an overseas opportunity quickly changed that plan.
As fate would have it, a friend and owner of Keis JDM Auto Kerry in Japan had a lead on this S14. Admittedly, it was very rough, having served as the previous owner’s D1 S1 Ebisu car, and it had the scars to prove it. Interested, a bid was put in and not long after, in the middle of the night as a matter of fact, Alan got the call that he was the proud owner of a not-so-shiny or new S14. “After he got the vehicle, it was still in Japan at the time, and he was sending me pictures and videos. I was super excited and ready to bring it over.” That confirmation was in October, but the car wouldn’t be legalized for its new life in the U.S. until the following July – a lifetime for a car guy.
Once it finally arrived stateside, the parts that Alan had already started bringing in from overseas with help from his friend Jesse Streeter were unboxed and installed. The list of aesthetic changes reads like a JDM parts catalog and other than the doors and roof, every part of the Silvia’s body has been treated to some sort of aftermarket addition or replacement.
Dressed in Japanese Armor
Car Modify Wonder GLARE front and rear bumpers with matching side skirts were fitted and installed, as were Origin front and rear over fenders, and a massive 1,650-mm GT wing. The front end was also converted to Kouki status and topped with a vented DMAX hood. Alan adds, “I wanted to capture the soul of that 1990s/2000s era. Best way to build something from that era inside and out is by getting ideas from old drift Tengoku magazines and Option2 videos.”
To get the fashion and the function, a complete suspension makeover was in order. Like the exterior, not much of the factory components are still in service. The springs and shocks replaced by Silvers NA coilovers, the knuckles cut and modified, and a full array of replacement arms and various rods grant complete adjustability to dial in the suspension. Flashy old-school Veilside Andrew V wheels in 18×9.5 front/11 rear complete the updated footwork combination.
Alan reached out to his friend Adam Cheung to lend a hand in a much-needed engine refresh. An SR20DET from an S15 was freshened up and swapped in place. Under its polished valvecover are HKS 254/265 cams, and attached to the outside you’ll spot the Silkroad Type1 turbo manifold that hangs an S15-spec turbo. Adamcs14 custom intake piping and HPI intercooler piping replace the low-flowing factory pieces, and those additions, along with the Weld coil pack cover, intake manifold, and a few choice pieces were handed off to Nifty Built Wheels for a chrome treatment. The glitz under the hood was the goal according to Alan, who explains, “I knew I wanted to have a flashy engine bay and chrome everything out, just like the WELD S14 from back in the day.”
Built to Abuse
With all the hard work completed, the car was officially ready to hit the road on a Wednesday, and by that following Saturday, was headed to its first track day without any shakedown testing. If you were assuming that a car this wild was only built to limp to local cars and coffee gatherings, think again. At that event, which included drag, drift, and Time Attack sessions, Alan would go on to push the rebuilt Silvia in both the Time Attack and drift portions of the day. He proudly adds, “The Silvia ran flawlessly. Definitely a simple set up with great power and response. I have to give a huge thanks to Adam for all his help working on this thing during the wintertime.”
Some enthusiasts embark on a major build and aim to keep it forever, while others, like Alan, like to change things up from time to time and experience a different build with its own set of challenges. Some might not agree with giving up an R32 for an S-chassis or any other car for that matter, but with his history of S13s, it was almost inevitable. Don’t assume he’s done yet, there’s still some more work to do on this build, as Alan notes, “I do eventually want to switch to a GT2871R, bigger injectors, EMU Black stand-alone with flex-fuel, and a good tune.”
Photos courtesy of hvh.media
Car 1994 Nissan Silvia
Owner Alan Castro
Engine S15 SR20DET swap; HKS 254/265 cams, V1 SSQ blow-off valve; DMAX exhaust Nismo 550cc injectors; braided turbo lines; Silkroad Type 1 manifold; Moonface downpipe; Blitz intake filter, intercooler, radiator; Adamcs14 custom intake piping, intercooler piping, turbo heat shield; HPI intercooler piping kit; WELD Japan coilpack cover; GK Tech oil catch can, clear cam cover; custom braided turbo lines; P2M coil packs; English Tune exhaust manifold heat shield; chrome plated valve cover, intake manifold, intercooler piping by NIFTY Built Wheels
Drivetrain Competition Clutch “Red Bunny” 6-puck unsprung clutch; GK Tech bronze solid bushing, the shifter, solid pivot ball, shifter return springs, braided transmission line; NISMO transmission mounts, slave cylinder
Suspension JDM cut knuckles; NISMO power brace; Silvers NA coilovers; Sparky BUILT stage 3 power steering rack; Silkroad tension rods; Zepka custom extended LCA; GK Tech tie rods, solid power steering rack offset bushings; Tf works max angle tie rods; DMAX rear upper control arms, toe arms, traction rods, solid subframe bushings; NISMO 2-way diff
Brakes Project MU B-spec front pads, D1-spec rear pads, slotted rotors; 350Z rear rotors; GK Tech braided line tuck kit
Wheels & Tires 18×9.5 +0 front, 18×11 -20 rear Veilside Andrew V; 225/35 front Federal 595; 255/35 rear GT Radial Champiro
Interior Bride Zeta 1 bucket seat; S15 passenger seat; Cusco 6-pt. roll cage; Vertex 10 star steering wheel; Naruto Akatsuki door cards, glove box, center console; NRG short hub, quick-release; Blitz touch brain; GReddy boost controller, turbo timer; DEFI boost, water temp, oil pressure gauges; Kenwood double-din; Rockford Fosgate front/rear speakers
Thank you To my mom and dad for dealing with me and building cars all the time. Adam Cheung for literally helping me with this build, without him this wouldn’t have happened. Jesse Streeter for getting me parts from Japan, especially the Car Modify Wonder kit. Nick and Leo from Wax On Wax Off Autobody for fixing the kit and painting the Silvia. Nifty Built Wheels for all the wheel work and chrome work. Phil at threepiecwheels for helping with the wheels. Josh at Sparky Built for rebuilding the rack and TF works for all the help and random parts I needed. Also, Chicago for always having the best style, always!
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