Have I Made a Mistake? – A Little About Me and My Story
Hi, I’m Matt Malcolm.
And I used to own a S14 Silvia.
I purchased it stock standard from an New Zealand auction house as my first car. I worked 7 days a week once I finished school and even convinced my parents to pay for half of it. Purchased for $6000 earth dollars an untouched example of the Nissan FR flagship quietly rolled into my driveway late one summer afternoon. It was the poverty-pack model; non turbo, 4 stud, non LSD, auto, you know the deal… Basically the lowest of the low in terms of the option’s list.
But it was mine.
4 Months into ownership I purchased some 2nd hand RSR springs. Which at the time I thought were awesome, mostly because I had seen video’s of that RSR s14 totally ripping on Youtube. And I like to think as a result of this, not long after installing the springs, with the mindset that I was an invincible driving god, or a direct descendant of Tsuchiya’s blood line I put the my S14 straight through a tree.
Now I mean, straight though. I continued to plow through the tree, leaves, branches and shit flying over the roof, it was hilariously embarrassing and quite sobering at the same time. A large dent in the bumper and a broken headlight bracket became permanent reminders that even monkeys can fall from trees (haha see what i did there..)
About a 8 months into my Silvia ownership I converted it to manual. Damn, what an experience. My first ever real mechanical work was done after work hours before the sun went down on the cold concrete of my parents driveway. No garage’s for me. Having little prior experience the learning curve was fairly sharp but after much cursing and some spilled blood the auto to manual conversion was ultimately successful and I was rolling down the road with my new 5puk clutch and manual box in no time.
Not long after the conversion I ditched the RSR springs and bought some 2nd hand BC coilovers. The difference was immediate and electric. The car felt alive, it pointed where I wanted it to go and when it rained it made sliding infinitely more controllable.
Did I mention that I would spend hours and hours during the evenings just driving? I’d take the long way home every day, and by long way I mean LONG way. I was obsessed, bitten by the apex bug, a crack whore addition to the other kind of speed.
I was driving for the love of driving.
I’d spend all my money on tires, gas and energy drinks. And it’s safe to say I had an unhealthy obsession. I would scour the internet for hours, looking for tips on hand placement, seating position, anything and everything that could help me improve my driving. For driving is where my love for cars really stemmed from. Local roads like Lonley Track and Ridge Road became quick favourites, with hours spent tracing corner entries and exits.
It was if driving had become my hobby.
Other kids collected crap, or played sports, or painted shit. While I drove my NA, ugly as crap, high as fuck Nissan Silvia through the local Backroads.
How fuckin’ weird is that?..
Anyway, a 5stud conversion, S14 K’s calipers, braided lines and race pads quickly followed suit. Then came some Trust aero and Sparco wheels. As my driving started to slowly improve I started to foster an addiction to putting the car sideways. Spins in traffic and several stupid near misses ultimately followed.
Which is about when I started drifting local industrial areas because it was much quieter and there was less chance of me sliding into some Soccer mum’s Rav4. It was back then when I was 17-18 years old that a friend and I put together a small clip when old of my Silvia sliding around. I’ve just stumbled back onto it and it’s inspired me to write this piece.
Some of the scene’s are when it’s auto, some are when it’s non LSD, all are from when it was naturally aspirated. Occasionally I had the odd crash, my exhaust and underbody were never the same after I spun and went backwards into a curb and my sideskirts never quite fitted after they took flight on the motorway.
But I got away with about 12 months of solid street work with only a few minor run in’s with Johnny Law. Eventually though, Johnny and the boys caught up with me and they impounded my car for 28 days and revoked my license for 6 months. I had it coming, and definitely harbour no ill feelings to the boys in blue.
However I like to argue they took my car because it was too awesome to be on the road.
Anyway, you’d like to think that I would have learned my lesson. Maybe stuck with a sensible NA car and just kept the Silvia as it was?
During the 6months, I worked hard, parts were acquired and at the end of the 6 month license suspension my car rolled out into the daylight sporting a black top SR20DET heart, a 3″ exhaust and all the other standard bolt on’s. The addiction continued to grow and it wasn’t belong before I had a dazzle pink half cage, a wing I had made from the top of a GTR spoiler, some Cusco castor rods and a HUGE ass URA’s Monkey Magic kit that I picked up for $250.
Then something happened.
I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, I’d spent so much on my car but needed the cash. I wanted to travel and start DJ’ing (Dammit, I wish I had cheap hobbies!) so I reluctantly I put my Silvia up for sale and paid off a small bank loan I had acquired. I bought turntables and went traveling. Quickly the money ran short and upon my return from traveling I purchased my E30 for $800. Which to be honest has spent more time in the garage than on the road.
So writing this has got me thinking, have I made a huge mistake?
Should I have just kept the Silvia?
Should I buy another when I get back from my next bout of travels?
Oh no.. here we go again!