If you asked me why I sold off my S-chassis, I’d probably give you any number of reasons ranging from capitalizing on the bandwagon prices at their peak (I did), to not having to deal with the “community,” which in reality wasn’t all that bad. The real reason at the time was that I was trying to go in two directions with one car that wasn’t perfectly suited for either. Today I think it had something to do with my volatile personality at the time. I was looking for change, lacking in patience and discouraged by the status quo. I wanted something “different,” and I was stuck in the middle of a fad. It was getting too comfortable, even with an almost-stock daily driver and a slowly progressing project on blocks in the back yard. The latter is where I want to start today.

I wish I had more pictures of the coupe project than I do, but a defunct image host claimed almost all of them. So it goes.

I bought this thing as a clean but not running shell for a few hundred bucks, I think it was $400 from what I remember. I think it came from Arizona or New Mexico, so there was the obligatory dark tint and oxidized paint, dry-rotted tires and the smell of having sat for years. The smell is the one thing about any car that sticks with me over all the others, I guess because that sense has the strongest ties to memory. It’s a visceral connection that instantly places me behind the wheel.

I was living in a nicer apartment complex at the time, and they frowned on the occupation of valuable parking spaces by some dude’s work in progress. So I rented a storage unit, just big enough to contain the car and close enough to my residence to ward off procrastination. Within a couple months, I had the engine out, a 5-speed swap ready to go in and a pieced-together Silvia front – all metal – on the car. I was entertaining the idea of a 1JZ swap. I was every dickriding bandwagon kid incarnate.

I met a lot of people involved with the Nissan and drift community around this time, some cool and some not so much. I lent a hand when I could and received a lot of invaluable help, but things were changing. I was re-evaluating my goals and seeing prices on S-chassis and parts rising relative to their popularity. I decided that continuing to build the cars the way I wanted involved too many compromises and wouldn’t yield the return I’d been hoping for, and then I drove my first Cressida. It wasn’t long before I made the decision to ditch Nissan altogether.

I rounded up all my stuff and began selling parts left and right. The Silvia front, minus hood, was boxed and shipped to California (one big custom box, arrived safe and sound!). The 5-speed box went to a guy building a competitive road racer, the engine to a kid building a car with his dad. The roller itself was loaded onto a trailer, destined to become a drift project or some lawn art, I never found out which.

Today was the first day I ever thought about what I could have done with the car if I hadn’t sold it. But like the title says:

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