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.

Oh yeah,

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.Ā  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?

Uh, no..

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!


18 thoughts on “Have I Made a Mistake? – A Little About Me and My Story

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Have I Made a Mistake? ā€“ A Little About Me and My Story Ā« Matt Malcolm -- Topsy.com

  2. The Infamous S14… It’s mint, I recognise it. Reminds me of a sweet S14 that cruised around in CHC a long long time ago. You could do a lot with the E30, saw one going nuts at D1 USA! Ah good old student loan paid for my records (and decks lol).. Have a great trip.

  3. Awesome! a great read. The video is also pretty good considering, a lot of inspiration from Best Motoring coming through which is always a good thing…

  4. You got me realising that I’m goind the same thing as you did, and My E30 spent more time stopped than on the road too (coincidence?). IMO I don’t think you made an error, it is the path of life you chose, just like me, I never have a single regret of having bought the E30, spending every pay on it, cuz i’m 20, I can.
    When i’ll become older, it’ll be too late to ENJOY LIFE that much, you get a good solid job, wife, kids, house and stuff to pay, priorities changes….

    I’m glad you had fun with the S14, you learnt from it, which is far better than expected, there is people that don’t know sh*t about cars so props to you for having done it yourself!

    p.s. Any plans for the E30 or more pics!?

    • Hey dude, cheers for the words. The E30 has sadly been parted out. Looking at another S-chassis when I’m back from my next batch of travels. I’m also probably going too pick up a new Camera to add to my ever increasing love for photography!


  5. It’s all about how much fun you have: now that you are traveling and so or when you were just driving (and even sliding) for the pleasure of it in your 14?
    Think about that šŸ˜‰

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