Story and Photography by Matthew Everingham
For most of us, ticking the box ‘Project Car Complete’ is a massive feat. In fact, some of us will never completely achieve this goal. It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dollars. Dale, the owner of this insane S15, understands what it takes to complete a project more so than most. See, his ultimate S15 is actually the third incarnation of the ‘perfect build’ on the same chassis! Since taking delivery from the dealership in 2001, the very same car has been the base for three very different builds, with different functions in mind. The other builds were all quite impressive, the last major incarnation of the vehicle was quite well known. Remember ‘MY S15′, you’re looking at the ‘NEW S15′.
‘MY S15′ started its journey as most cars with the almost standard mods that the vast majority of us apply to a new ride. An exhaust, some wheels and a bit of extra boost. For most of us it ends here. Fortunately for us, this was just the beginning of over 10 years of continual additions and refinements to the package. After a little homework, a bit of planning and lot of time, Dale had built one of Australia’s first real show stopper S15′s. When it arrived on the scene with its silky smooth paint, full aero kit and an erection-inducing parts list under the hood, it was responsible for many a sore neck of awe inspired onlookers.
The parts fitted on the car weren’t just for show, either. Dale and his S15 spent quite a bit of time at track days, a passion that was ignited through days organised by the Nissan Sports Car Club back in the day. Although the car was initially set up for a street/part-time track machine, it was still primarily a street car. Over the next couple of years a number of small tweaks and changes happened as the driving priorities changed. Eventually, the amount of small changes took it up to the point where Dale was no longer sure if the car was still a street machine or a dedicated track weapon. A decision about the direction of the car had to be made.
It was an easy choice to make. The car was pulled off the road, anything not essential to going faster or turning harder was ripped out and replaced. A 5-point cage and some more aggressive suspension geometry were dialed in and the power was jacked up with the help of a HKS GT-RS. The added power and abusive driving saw the car chew up and destroy several 6 speed boxes. A PPG Helical cut dog box was thrown in for good measure and did a great job of transferring killerwasps to the rear wheels.
The car was reliable for a longer run than most track cars get, putting up with years of abuse on the original build. The car even managed to clock up over 100 laps of Oran Park during a Circuit Club event back in the day! MY S15 was entered into the 2010 World Time Attack Challenge, but unfortunately never got to record a time. Fifth gear, the only standard gear left in the box, decided to go to pieces during Dale’s first lap out. PPG strengthened the box during the rebuild, adding 5th and even reverse to the dog list. After WTAC 2010 the car just sat around and collected dust. Work and family commitments took priority.
A trip to SEMA in to 2011 was the fuel needed to reignite Dale’s “inner-modifier.” The impression the Yank Scene had left was solid. It was time to give the Silvia a bit of a clean up. However, this time a new direction was needed. It was time to create something new, different and bold. The initial plan was to fuse Australian/Japanese and his new found U.S.A styles into one project and build something completely original.
Phone calls were made, and build number #3 was underway.
The very first call in regards to build #3 was made, and Pete from Bodyform Motorsports was on the job. This project was going to be epic, everyone involved could sense the potential in the plans, and most importantly, in the plan to do something completely new and fresh for the scene. During the planning stage conversations, Pete made the mistake of telling Dale “get whatever wheels you want.” Dale had a set of dream rims built from scratch! The final rim in the size/offset/width ended up running a full 90mm past the standard guards! Sure the final curves of the car are smoking hot, but trust us when we say that a LOT of work went into modifying the original panels to fit and keep everything clean. The front quarters were replaced, but the rear quarters underwent some massive surgery to make it all fit!
The shape of the car was coming along quite nicely, it was less Silvia and more Jet Fighter (which is a good thing). It was time to sit down and talk paint options, a choice that would have most of us “umming and ahhing” for weeks on end. For this particular project though, the decision was made back at SEMA in 2011. ‘I’ve seen a tonne of matte black rides over here, but not one matte white, let’s do something out of the ordinary.’ Taking inspiration from an insane Veyron, the car ended up being sprayed SEM Hot Rod White. The matte white finish worked a treat, really emphasising every aggressive angle, line and kick in the panels and it adds immensely to the stealth fighter feel.
Working with the Built to Order guys, Dale ordered a set of the COR Forged Encore rims in 19×10 and 19×12 with 0 offset all around and a straight lip. The rims were custom made and finished in a unique style, a hand brushed titanium clear. The clear coat and surface of the rim work together to change the finish depending on where you’re standing in relation to the surrounding light source.
You’ve probably noticed the track spec braking package is still installed on the car. Don’t worry – even though its new function is more of a cruiser/head turner, it’s still got the nuts from its previous life. Most of the track-inspired additions have made their way across to Build #3. Some things had to be adjusted and toned down for legal street use, but rest assured, this fat-arse Silvia has what it takes to leave its slimmer rivals in the rear view mirror. The roll cage was removed and a new interior was fitted, complete with a baby seat for bringing the little one along to meets and shows.
Apart from refitting a few parts removed for the paint and panel work in the engine bay, the car is a done deal and as far as we’re concerned an amazing all round package! With killer looks, driver comfort and the ability to hit the track with nothing more than a change of wheels, we’re ready to call this Sydney’s BEST S15.
Not only is the car immaculate, well built and well thought out, it scores massive points for being original and turning its back to the traditional mods. Hopefully this build has opened up a whole new world of ideas and energy into the mod scene of Australia. We’re betting that Build #3 will impress and inspire others to forge new paths, to try new ideas and not limit their builds to the tried and tested formulas that run deep. Personally, I’m excited to see where this fusion of scenes will take us and I’m already looking forward to the inspired builds that are sure to follow in Dale’s footsteps.
Dale would like to send out a special thanks to his beautiful wife Natalie (MISSR) for supporting him every step along the way, Peter @ Bodyform Motorsports, Tarik @ Built To Order, Steve, Louise & Warren @ Juice Polishes and also Jason for doing such an amazing job with the paint work!