Nov 2008 04

My book at the HPBooks booth at SEMA

My book “How to Build a Performance Nissan Sport Compact Car” has just been released and you should own it so I can support my “two tracks a day” habit.  It is comprehensive guide to modifying the 1991 – 2006 Nissan Sentra, NX, and 200sx and Infiniti G20 for street and racing performance. The book includes chapters on models and engines, engine theory, bolt-on performance components, cylinder heads and bottom end modifications, forced induction, engine swaps, brakes, suspension, wheels and tires, cosmetic and aerodynamics, and safety.

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Nov 2008 10

SEMA 2008

Posted In Cars

img_7643-1The 2008 SEMA show was held November 4th-7th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In case you were just born yesterday, the SEMA show is the world’s largest professional trade show for the racing and aftermarket parts industry. It is the biggest, baddest, and craziest car show there is in existence. The first week of each November over a hundred thousand car industry leaders descend into the City of Sin for 4 days of automotive heaven.

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Nov 2008 20

With a small fleet of Nissan/Infiniti cars occupying the 4 car garage and much of the parking lot (uh hem, driveway), I could possibly qualify for a fleet discount with my state’s department of transportation, but inherently, having to maintain all the cars is almost a full time job. Some fluid always has to be changed, some rubber rotated, something washed, inspected, jump started… For the most part, these chores are pretty spread out through much of the year, although I do buy fuel filters in bulk and oil by the gallons. But not a single car has gone to a shop or dealership for anything other than the required yearly inspection or warranty work, so there’s always a long list of car projects.

Turbo paperweight

My B14 Sentra is a turbo paperweight. It was the first new car I bought and was more suitable for grocery getting or my hour long commute to college with a yawn-enducing 1.6L automatic. After many a time and dime, I swapped in a panty-wetting turbocharged JDM 2.0L with manual tranny that makes close to 500 wheel horsepower on a stock bottom end. It is also most likely home to many a small creature that has ventured in the cobweb infested wheel wells and undercarraige. This car has never seen salt, snow, or any winter weather and never will. And with that much horsepower, it’s not exactly a daily driver anymore either.

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Dec 2008 23

Road Trip

Posted In Cars

My family occupies much of the lower 48, so most holidays involve some travel either in the air or by car, to celebrate with my family.  My normal 30 minute workday commute is already long enough to evoke higher blood pressures and the toot of a horn now and again (to draw attention to my one finger wave), so it’s no surprise a longer road trip can cause some stress.  I love driving- it’s the other drivers that annoy me.  If the roads were perfectly clear and paved with elevation changes and chicanes similar to a nice road course, a 6 hour journey would feel like a jaunt.  But having driven through most of the country, I dread some road trips simply because I’ll have to pass through states where driver’s licenses are offered as prizes in Cracker Jack boxes.

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Godzilla’s Kin
Jan 2009 18

If you’re anything like me, you’ve fantasized about Godzilla quite often. Not the kaiju (Japanese monster) that graced 2009_gt-r048the screens, video games, and comic books worshipped by so many sci-fi aficionados, but the Nissan Skyline (R32) coined Godzilla by the Australian motoring press after dominating the Bathurst 1000 Classic in 1991 and 1992. I fell in love with the Skyline GTR before it was nearly unobtainable in the United States. I can remember the first one I sat in- a gunmetal R32 imported by a friend through Motorex. I loved the aggressive body lines with widebody fenders and large intercooler peering through the open-mouthed front bumper. The seats were designed to hold the front passengers in like a straightjacket and I giggled at the disturbed reactions from unsuspecting neighboring drivers as they realized the left side passenger had both arms and legs out the window; the concerned look on their faces as they mouthed, “Who’s driving the car???” Oh yeah, that’d be the right side passenger using his or her “stranger hand.” Motorex helped popularize the Skyline in the US, giving many people the chance to see in person what they dreamed about in magazines, especially on the West Coast.

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