Right Hand Drive Guys

We Love you, Silvia - EP.55

January 27, 2024 RHDGUYS Season 1 Episode 55
We Love you, Silvia - EP.55
Right Hand Drive Guys
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Right Hand Drive Guys
We Love you, Silvia - EP.55
Jan 27, 2024 Season 1 Episode 55
RHDGUYS

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In this episode we discuss the Nissan Silvia, its history, and the cars that made us fall in love with the S Chassis. 

Follow us on Socials - @RHDGUYS

Merch - http://RHDGUYS.COM

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode we discuss the Nissan Silvia, its history, and the cars that made us fall in love with the S Chassis. 

Follow us on Socials - @RHDGUYS

Merch - http://RHDGUYS.COM

Welcome back to right hand drive guys. I'm Bobby. This is Aaron.-K.O. -And we are live from the S14. Why? Why are we live from the S14 today?-Why not? -Really, yeah. Why not? It's sitting in the garage. It's got nice recarrows. Kind of more comfortable than our normal seats to be honest.-Yeah. -For me at least. -You're not lying. I'm not like tipping back and falling forward. But no, for real, we decided we really haven't shown much love to the Soviet. We have done a lot on the GTRs, the Skylines, you know, whatever else. But the Soviet is like the little brother that doesn't get the love from us so far at least. Yeah, yeah. No, we haven't given it any love, you know. And we've done a lot on the Skylines. So why not touch on the Soviet because it is just as popular as the Skyline I would think in its own.-Yeah, it's just around. -So, yeah, why not?-Yeah. So we kind of figured, hey, let's go through a little bit of the history of the Soviet. And then kind of just go through our experiences, you know, our feelings about it and just kind of chop it up about the S chassis. -Yeah. -So you want to start out? I know you are a little more versed with the Soviet than I am, but I'll do my best to keep up. -Yeah, it's all good. So, yeah, starting out, everyone knows the S13, the S14, S15. Those are like the three like ones that are sought after. We did have a S12, which was a 200 SX in the States or a Silvia overseas. So we did have that as well, but those are kind of weird. They didn't come with a cool engine or nothing like that. -Standard like 80's car. -Right. But before that one was an S110 Silvia. -S110. -And the only reason I'm bringing this one up is because there is actually a homologation special for rally that Nissan made. And it was the Nissan 240 RS. -240 RS. -Yeah. And this was the only homologation special that came out of the Silvia between all the generations. So it's special in that, right? But, you know, looking at it on paper and it's not really that impressive. You know, it doesn't have an SR20 in it. I guess it was what I'm saying. -Right, right. -It was a, right, it's still it was an 80's car, right?-Yeah, 100%. It was definitely from the 80's. Yeah, I mean, it was decent. It was made from 83 to 85. Only 200 road going examples were built. So very special car. But it definitely has that early 80's. -Let's feel to it. -Yeah, that feel, that look. It's just not as refined as, you know, the later S13. -Right. And feels. -Of course. That was the stepping stone to get to that point. -Right. -So did you know that the Silvia is derived from the name of the Roman goddess of the hunt in Chastee? -Wow. -Wow, so they really went deep with it. -It was meant to slay. -Did I guess so? -It was meant to slay. So you get the S110 and then what's next? -After that was the S12, which, I mean, they can be cool. I know Japan got some really cool models, including an RSX Turbo model. -Wow. -Which, it has... -RSX Turbo. -Yeah, you know, it has like a two-tone, some cool graphics on the side. -K series. -Wait a minute. But yeah, like I said, those don't have quite the following that the later models have. So, yeah, moving on to the S13. -Which like started in like 88, right? -88 in Japan, 89 in the States. So these are the ones that, I don't know, I guess that are sought after for drifting and any type of motor sport because they're a super light front engine, rear-wheel drive car that has a very good suspension setup from the factory. Just a very well-balanced car that makes it fun to drive. And, you know, pretty easy. The S13 is probably one of my favorites. Personally, I had an S13 for my first car and, you know, being in a drifting and everything, I loved it. -So those come with an SR20, right? -Well, in the beginning, they came with a CA-18 DET, which is a 1.8 liter turbo for a cylinder. A lot of people say that's like a baby RB because they have some of the same technology and like the way the valve cover is bolt on, everything is kind of similar to the RB. But, you know, it's in its own right. It's all right. -Yeah, I've heard of that one before. -Yeah, it's okay at best. But then later models came with the SR20 DET, the red top. -That's where the red top comes from.-That's where the red top comes from is from the S13 SR20. -And those come with a 5-speed or...-Yep, yep. They come with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. So in the S13s and the 14s as well, you just got the 5-speed. But, you know, no hay there. It was...it's a good transmission.-So that was until like 93, right? And so was there... So all S chassis were rear-wheel drive, right?-Yeah, correct. They were all rear-wheel drive only. Never got an all-wheel drive one.-Seen some people do some crazy stuff with like RB26 swapping and doing the whole... -Yeah.-But that's the whole different thing. No, they were just rear-wheel drive, had an independent rear suspension. Like very good setup for motorsports, I guess you could say. So it's a very great car. And that's what made them so popular, you know, on the mountains of the Togay, you know, going drifting. 100% that was one of the cars starting out like that was sought after for that.-Especially that people could afford at that time because they weren't really pulling a premium.-Yeah, no. I mean, you could...whenever the prices hit like rock bottom, you could get a Silvia for pretty cheap.-Yeah. -You know, I mean, I can't imagine how many of these cars were just smashed into walls at Ebusoo. Like over the years, how many, you know, pristine S13s were just... -Completely destroyed.-Completely destroyed because they were the bottom of the barrel, you know, they were the cheap car.-Right. -The thrash cars, you know.-The newer models were coming out, they became less in demand. I mean, it makes sense.-Right.-I mean, after that, so S13, right, like we said, 'Til 93'. And then they immediately dropped the S14. -Yep.-In Japan in October of '93. -Yeah.-In '94, you know, for the international models.-Yeah, so again, Japan got it a year earlier than we did in the States, which is understandable. Also, I'd like to add, with the S13s and the S14s, they had two trim levels, being a Q's or a K's. The Q's, as like, you know, the Queen, was usually in a, didn't have maybe all the options, but was a very well put together car. The K or the K's was the King, that was the top level. That was the turbo, the power, everything. Like, that was the premium model. And the model that, you know, was more sought after, I guess you could say, just because it had the full array of options and had the turbo motor, obviously.-Of course, yeah. And so, from the factory, people weren't buying these to take them out, make them a drift missile. They were actually buying them to be in sometimes even like a family car.-Yeah. -Gradity, I know it's a coupe, but like, you know, obviously in the '90s, it wasn't all about the biggest vehicle you could get. And so, some people were actually using these as just a family car, you know, like they run on the middle car type thing.-Right, right. -And had no clue the demand that would come later on.-No clue the demand. And, you know, you can kind of see it. Like, when you're in the car, like, it's not like this raw machine, you know, it's got, you know, these creature comforts, it's got cool fabric on the door panels and seats. Like, it's a very, you know, very nice car, you know, for the factory. -Yeah, for the '90s.-When these things rolled off the assembly line, like, they were, you know, a pre-plush car, I would imagine.-Yeah. -And I remember reading this article back in the day talking about the S14 specifically that they designed S14s to be geared more towards women.-Oh, really? -Yeah, it's kind of weird.-I mean, just the way the shapes of things are and just the way they're laid out.-More attractive to the female audience. -Yeah, that's what they say.-Do you hear that, ladies? The S14s for you. -Exactly. So go ahead and go ahead and get one. -Yeah.-So, in, so the '14 went, like we said, until '98 in Japan. -Yeah.-And until 2000 internationally. And so that's where the S chassis stops internationally, right?-With the S14? -Yeah.-Well, they did have a few Euro models and Australian models of the S15.-Oh, okay. -But, of course, everyone else gets the S15 and where stuff goes.-Exactly. I mean, in the States, that is where it stopped for us in '98 with the Kookie facelift version.-Yeah. I feel like these Japanese manufacturers do a good job of like, or at least in the '90s, they did a good job of doing like these facelift models.-Yeah. -So, you know, when the S14 came out, it had these more rounder headlights. I mean, everyone knows the Zenke. Like, they had that out for a couple of years. And then they do a facelift where, you know, they change the headlights, change the front end a little bit, do a little bit different tail lights, and do a little bit different interior. And it's pretty much like a brand new model.-Right. It's like the cheater. -Right. Like, kind of, I don't know, I guess you could say, gets everyone re-interested in it. And again, without having to design a whole new car.-That's a great idea, I think.-Me personally, I like the cookie way more than the Zenke. Like, the Zenke, to me, just looks like way more basic and less like, kind of aggressive. -Right.-And the cookie. So, this car that we're sitting in is a '94. So, it was originally a Zenke. The guy who had it before me clearly felt the same way as I did, because he changed out the Zenke to a cookie. So, this car has all the cookie parts. Probably the only reason why I bought it, to be honest, because I wouldn't have bought a Zenke. So, there definitely, but there are people who really, really like the Zenke.-I like the Zenke.-But, yeah, I mean, and that's just interesting how that is. You know, that you just have some people that can't stand the Zenke and some people that would automatically pass on the cookie.-Yeah, yeah. I mean, a lot of people have the argument, well, for the Zenke, that the Zenke front end matches the rest of the body so much better, because the way the body is shaped is kind of bubbly and round, and that kind of matches the shape of the headlights with it being bubbly and round.-I can see that.-Yeah, I mean, I can totally get that the cookie. The cookie is definitely cool.-It really is.-Also what's really cool is, like, all this stuff just bolts on. Like, you don't have to do any kind of crazy modifications to do a facelift. You know, you just get some fenders, you know, bumper, pretty much the whole front end, and you're good to go.-Just bolt, get them painted and bolt them on, yeah. I mean, that was smart, not just for the consumer, but for manufacturing and maintenance, having interchangeable parts, period is always like a good call.-Yeah, yeah. And also, to touch on the engine of these S14s, they did have an updated SR20 DET, or SR20 DE as well, if you got the NA. So, with that being said, it had variable valve timing. It had a bigger turbo, different intake manifold design. It was just more refined along the way to, you know, match the new model. So, I thought that was pretty cool. They took a few of the pieces that were lacking in the S13s, as far as the engine goes, and they made them right in the S14, which...-Unless you happen to get an American version with the KHA.-Yeah, yeah. Then it's tough. It's tough on you.-We really got shafted in the States, man, because like, with the S13 and S14, they both came with what everyone considers the truck motor, the KAA 24.-The truck motor.-The truck motor, because it was the same engine that they had in the Frontier trucks. And it was a 2.4 liter, four-cylinder dude, and it was just a dog, no turbo. But they definitely made decent power. They could take a boost, but you had to do some work to get them there.-I'd love to talk to somebody from Nissan who knows why that happened.-Why we had to get this motor, why it wasn't... Didn't just make sense to send the SR all the way through.-Right.-Like, what was the regulations that stopped them from doing that?-Right.-It'd be really nice to know, because you maybe just feel a little bit better about like, what we got over here.-Right, yeah.-Oh, we had to give that to you because of these emissions. Let's just pretend it's that.-Yeah, let's just say it's that, man, because that could have changed the course of these cars completely. Like, if it was more of like a... You could just buy it and go, type thing, and you didn't have to buy the car, then buy the SR swap, then buy all the stuff to go along with the swap. And then blowing it up, because you were running a stock ECU and running 91 gas.-Yeah. That would be tough, yeah, then.-It's a whole thing. Like, they could have changed the course of history.-Well, at least their sales volume in the 90s, you know, for these cars.-And resale. Resale would have been probably way better.-It would have been great, but I don't know. Does resale matter to a manufacturer too much?-Yeah.-I mean, it obviously pumps the brand, but obviously their bottom dollar does not get affected by that. But regardless, it would have created more fandom.-Right, for sure.-And I wonder what that would have done to the Sylvia market overseas.-What have pumped it up, or would it have...-I mean, just...-Do you just think of all those front clips that would have been saved that people were buying in the early 2000s for the engine?-Yeah, the car would have made me still be here.-Yeah, yeah. There would still be around if they weren't, you know, had the front end cut off for...-To be shipped across the Crosseys for an SR swap.-Yeah.-Because that's how a lot of people did it back in the day. They just did it. Whole front cut, that way you would have all the wiring, all the accessories. Everything you would need to make it run.-Like, I wonder how many motors or other things got scrapped. Like, that didn't get caught by the exporters that didn't get caught by an enthusiast. Like, how many of those just like got crushed or got scrapped or whatever, that's...-There's no talent.-Yeah, it's kind of crazy. So, the final model, like my personal favorite, I'm sure a lot of people's personal favorites. Everybody's heard of this. The S15.-The S15 Sylvia.-In my opinion, the most beautiful version of the car, that's just my opinion. I've always since, you know, a younger kid, right? Like, the S15 was the one, you know, because...-Do you remember where you first saw one?-D1GP.-Yeah, for sure.-Like, yeah, I'm like, dude, what is this car? Like, the headlights remind me of a teardrop on the side, and like, I had no clue what the car even was. And I'm like, 12 or something, you know, and I just call it like, the car with the teardrop headlights. You know, that one? That one, to like my buddy, right?-Yeah.-So, yeah, I mean, maybe if I hadn't seen it in such an iconic version of itself, maybe I wouldn't have been so attracted to it. But, yeah, dude, I just, I love that car. And I hate that they had it in too fast, too furious with the livery that they did.-Yeah.-Because, in my opinion, it just made it like, the opposite, right?-No, it was Tokyo drift, right?-Yeah, Tokyo drift, right?-Yeah, Mona Lisa.-Mona Lisa, yeah, like, I just personally think that livery was ugly, and especially compared to seeing it, like, done so well so many times.-Right, right.-It was like, dude, you guys.-Like, yeah, they let the wrong, like, Craig, I'm sorry.-Track.-If that was you, shoot, come on.-I messed it up.-I don't think it was him though.-No, it wasn't. We're saying it wasn't.-Yeah, we're saying Craig, Craig wanted to feel that way about it.-Craig would do that.-So, I mean, this car was directly after the S14 again.-I mean, kind of almost an overlap, right?-Yeah.-They probably, I was told that you could find an Nissan dealership in 1999. You could find both cars in the dealership at one time.-100% S14 and S15.-And on top of that, S13, the one ADSX, S13, you could find also the dealership up until now.-At the same time.-Yes.-So, there's a leftover of the 180.-Yeah.-You could find all three generations.-That would be crazy. Imagine walking into a dealership in Japan in 1999, let's say. And there's all three in white.-Yeah.-That would be wild, dude.-Right, dude. The one ADSX, type X, the S14, Kookie, and then the S15 spec R.-Yeah.-Just to that over off the side is the R34.-Yeah, that would be crazy.-Just imagine walking into a Nissan dealership and just seeing that lineup.-Develop those pictures because I want to see them, dude.-See, see, see.-That's almost tented to ask AI to make me one of those just to see it. Even though it'd be like messed up because AI still kind of sucks.-These went until August of 2002 around the same time that the 34 was discontinued. And it seems like there was a lot of changes period in Nissan and sports cars alike.-Right.-There was one really cool thing about the S15 and I'm not sure that everybody even knows about it. The Verietta.-Oh, yes, dude. The Verietta.-Seeing those in Japan was so cool. We were driving by this random little dealership and we're like, "Oh, what's that?" You're like, "Oh, dude, that's a freaking Verietta."-Yeah.-And I'm like, "Holy shit, that's an S15 with the top down."-Yes, dude.-Yeah, they were sick. I mean, they were commissioned by Aotec.-So that's almost like the S15's version of an Aotec car.-Well, S15's did have an Aotec version. But Aotec was the one behind the design and the making the...-Making it possible.-Yes, yes.-So...-Because I think it's like an electric rear that it folds.-Yes.-That's pretty legit for the year 2000.-Yeah, yeah. From what I understand and from what I've gathered because I've definitely looked into these cars because I'm like, "S15, dropped up." Yeah, that would be cool. I could see myself in that.-I screen-pane job.-I screen-pane job, dude. Why not?-The whole mechanism and everything is all electric. It's not like these weird hydraulics and it's almost like window motors is what I've gathered that it works off of. So it's all electric, but I mean, as they age, who knows?-25-year-old electric hardtop, where's softtop?-Yeah, and I'm not sure how many they made. They were pretty rare. I want to say it was under a thousand, but I'm not totally positive on that number. But, yeah, I mean, how many spare parts can there be out there for these?-Yeah, now you almost---That's the only thing that's kind of scary about them is I mean, and I've seen in real life, I've seen like two of them. And then online, I've seen an additional four or five.-Yeah.-I mean, they're definitely out there somewhere.-Yeah.-Could be in a garage somewhere in Japan, just collecting dust.-Yeah, 100% and probably low mileage. Because it's probably someone's Sunday driver.-Like, you know.-Yeah, no, you're right. So, basically beyond the variata, it was only spec S and spec R.-Right, right. That's what kind of took place of the queues in case.-Oh, yeah.-The spec S would be the non-turbo, spec R would be the turbo model. And each of those had arrow models. So you could get a spec S arrow that was, you know, had the arrow front bumper, side skirts, rear wing, rear bumper, spats, all that. And then you could also get that spec R turbo six speed, all that with all the arrow as well.-Yeah, that was probably a pretty cool setup. So the SR20 and the S15 had about 250 base horsepower.-Yeah, yeah. I mean, it wasn't too much different from the S14. The only thing that really got a facelift on that is the turbo on the manual models only. So on the spec R manuals, the turbo was a little bit bigger, had a little bit different design with the exhaust. And it made decent power. You can get over 300 horsepower out of a stock. Basically stock SR20, you know, just by turning up the boost and maybe playing with the tune a little bit. But that's pretty stout.-Yeah, for late 90s.-For a light rear wheel drive car.-Yeah, I mean, 300 horsepower, that's plenty of fun.-And so you were mostly right. So it says this generation of Soviet was only sold in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. And it was called the 200 SX in Australia in New Zealand. Which is interesting how Nissan did this quite a few times with different cars. They would have, you know, their Australian New Zealand market would get something but no one else would. I wonder what, like, because I mean, it's kind of close to Japan, right? Kind of. I wonder just what that relationship was to provoke them to do business in New Zealand and Australia, but not go to England or, you know, not come over to the United States. Must have just been really strong there or something like that.-Must have been. I mean, I'm not sure. Like, I'd be interested to know, like, why Australia do, we're cool too.-Yeah, no doubt. So, yeah, I mean, so these are the 13, 14, 15 are basically as most of you guys know. Those are the models, right? Like, those are the ones that have created a following and almost a cult like following, you know, as far as there are some people who love these cars and this is all they want. Like, as you said, just like there are guys that like love Skylines or love GTRs or guys that love spec cars or love the Ks and so it's kind of interesting, you know, because a lot of people will call the S chassis, the, you know, the R chassis or whatever is little brother. You know, so it's like, is that just because of the four cylinder, is that just because of the size of the car, like what ended up making the Sylvia the little.-The lesser model, I guess you could say.-Yeah, yeah, I mean, probably the budget put into it.-Right, yeah, true. The original cost of the car compared to the cost of the other cars.-Right, right, and I feel like in that time, Nissan themselves pushed the Skyline as like the upper tier model.-Right, well, I mean, it is six cylinder, it is twin turbo, you know, the high models. So I guess I can see that, right, you know, like, um, ultimate maxima, you know, like there's, you know, it's like, you can kind of see him as the same car, but really there is these differences.-Yeah, and it's kind of wild, you know, once I got into the Skyline, I started taking a part. It is pretty wild how many parts do swap over. Like, for instance, my R32 has a complete rear subframe and suspension out of an S13.-Wild.-But the front end, the front end is wildly different. It has a double wishbone, I believe is what they call it, where it's got an upper control arm and all that. Whereas the Silvia's, they had a McPherson type strut, which is a lot more simple, probably cheaper to manufacture.-Right, Nissan.-And it's a little bit different on how you can adjust the camber and stuff like that.-Right, right.-Yeah, because you'll see them promote the double wishbone as the upgraded suspension.-Right, right.-But a lot of the guys in the drifting, the R chassis will convert the front suspension to S13 or S14 as well.-So, okay, we got a few minutes left here, our last episode went real long. So, shout out your top three S chassis that have been built that you have always admired.-Man, you're putting me on the spot.-Top three S chassis. Well, one for sure is the Blue Toyotaire's RPS 13. I guess that's a 180SX, is that count?-I don't know, you tell me you're the Dess chassis guys.-Well, I'll just go out of stock one. The two-tone S13s, the C-phone green with the gray bottom, those are iconic to me.-C-phone green, yeah, I mean, that's your tone.-That specific two-tone with this man. It's perfect. Any two-tone S13 period, going to be my favorite. But, yeah, beyond that one, there's plenty of S14s and S15s. The HKS S15 drift car, that one was a favorite. Also, one of my favorite sets of wheels, the AdVen S83Rs. So, that one's the definite favorite.-One more.-Let's see, an S14.-Oh, yes, the weld engineering S14. It was made for, I don't know if it was made for Tokyo Audis Alon, but it definitely debuted there. It had this insane SR20 that was pushed way back. It had this whole front end that folded forward, or tilted forward. And the headlights and everything were still attached and ton of custom work on it. Super sick car. I remember seeing it for sale on one of the forums back in the day, and it was only like $15,000. For this fully built insane...-While the hell that stuff was.-Yes. And, you know, nowadays that car is probably priceless, and ain't no telling where it is. So, this is my three.-I'm not going to have three because I was never like a S chassis guy. But, like, for sure, iconic ones, I can remember is the top secret, S15. But then also, there was also gold. And they were like a super popular company, and they kind of went out of business when drifting fell off. I cannot remember what that garage was called now. And I'm sure if we looked, we'd find it immediately and be like, "Oh!" But, yeah, it was gold, and they always had gold cars kind of like top secret, but it was a little bit different gold. But any of those drifting, S15s, like the S15, the S14, the S chassis period is for sure what helped drifting become. Like larger, right?-Yeah.-The utilization of those chassis really propelled drifting in an affordable way.-Right, right. 100%. And they, I don't know. I don't know if drifting would be what it is today without these S chassis and its turbo cars. I mean, yeah, everyone had an 8/6 before that.-Right.-But, like, you can only get so far with the NA.-Yeah, yeah.-I mean, some people used RX-7s, but they had a bunch of problems with them, right? Super was too big body.-Yeah.-You know, like this S chassis was almost like the perfect concoction of different pieces that really propelled it. You know, because you could, let's just say in Japan back in 2006, could go get like an S15 or an S14 or shoot your first S13.-For really cheap money.-Yeah.-Crank up the boost, do your little mods, and then get out on the track.-For sure. I mean, yeah, I mean, drifting wouldn't be what it is today without these affordable platforms to start out with.-Yeah.-Because, I mean, if you're priced out of the platform from the RIP, then you, it's impossible to get into.-That's kind of the issue that they're running into today.-Right, right. Which is why probably you're seeing a lot more 90s Camaros and Mustangs in America.-Yeah, you know.-Yeah, that is whatever.-That is whatever.-Yeah, I think if it weren't for the S chassis, the entry-level drift car would never have came down.-Yeah. And so even though now the S chassis is way more expensive.-Oh, yeah, it is.-It's insane.-You know, it's still started that often, really gave some guys that now are staple in the community, their start. So, yeah, this episode's just been all about the Soviet, why we love the Soviet, why the Soviet got popular. If we miss anything, hit us in the comments, hit us in the DMs, let us know, because it's all about the education. We're just, we're figuring it out too. So, yeah, make sure you hit us up on IG at RHD, GUIS. He's at Blunk Garage. If you want to check out the merch, check out the merch on RHD, GUIS.com. And for episode 55, I'm Bobby, this is Aaron. See ya.