Updated: Aug 18, 2018
Words by Duncan Ward | Photography by CJ Levendal
The story behind this legendary Bic-beige S13 200SX has quite literally written itself…
The owner of this geriatric sex rocket is none other than local PE legend “Gofa”, a phonetic transcription of “Gopher”, the small ground dwelling animal we would refer to as a mole in SA. The nickname, one of the best we’ve heard here at SS, originated in his school days when he used it to torment one of his more diminutive teachers.
Gophers, like moles, are not known for their vision, a trait luckily not shared between mammal and man in this case. Gofa found himself in a familiar position to many car owners, in that he had just sold his beloved W124 Mercedes and found himself longing for a new chunk of steel to fill the gap left by the vintage German land ship.
This itch, in true car guy fashion, could only be scratched by embarking on a quite colossal 2000km round trip to inspect a clean and well-loved S13 that he had seen for sale. He packed lightly on the trip, so lightly in fact that his suitcase contained only 3 things, his good friend Dane, some excitement and a couple of Red Bulls. They arrived safely, inspected the car, offered the owner a figure, he accepted and that was it. Some pennies changed hands and he leapt into his diff-locked rice rocket eager to drive back to PE.
While he missed his Benz, he admits it was built to look good and not much else. It accelerated from 0-100 km/h in just over 45 minutes and had the handling characteristics of a one-bedroom flat. With the Nissan he vowed to create a purpose built weapon that would strike the perfect balance between leaving its driver scared and happy.
Like many folks in SA, Gofa admits he was far from clued up on S-chassis cars, the culture surrounding them and the icon status they are beginning to enjoy globally, not just in the Land of the Rising Sun. This car has even managed to sway him towards an interest in older Jap cars/parts and even the country itself. He told us he used to ‘strongly dislike’ deep-dished, chrome faced wheels on cars with aggressively styled body-kits. Fortunately for us, he found the inner strength to attend a series of self-help seminars in the PE region and was eventually visited by his Doom-spraying pastor who sorted him out and showed him the light with regards to styling his S13.
He started off the build with great enthusiasm by crashing the 200, which eventually led to him opting to rebuild the car in a more complete manner than he originally intended. The car lived its adolescent life as a grocery getter for an elderly gentleman, before its second owner conducted the well-planned and neatly executed conversion to a street-drift car. This fabled second owner is only known to Gofa as “Pieter”, and he has never met the man that put so much work in to his car nor has he been able to track him down. So next time you’re at a bar and you overhear a guy talking about this one time he built up an old man’s S13, ask him for his digits.
The motor, interior and drivetrain had all been taken care of already, thus, all that was left was to make it pretty, which he did an outstanding job of.
As has been documented on the @ho_builds page, the car then went on to receive a new coat of paint sponsored by Bic, new wheels, an air setup by the ‘Mad Zientist’ Zain and his band of hooligans at MZ's garage, bespoke parts supplied by @rb_magic and some general attention to bring it up to par with the rest of the car.
The team at SouthernStance, or at least myself, was under the impression that during his rounds at the local old-age home, Gofa had seen a hot young 84 year-old who offered him her hearing-aid as a paint sample, but we were later informed that the inspiration was actually from the colour found on Bic-lighters. He noticed the silver flame-guard and couldn’t help but think of how good the S13 would look in that colour, especially sitting on high-polished lips bigger than Jay-Z’s.
Speaking of which, let’s get on to the biryani pots that this vintage Nissan cruises around on. The wheels were ordered from the storeroom in Noah’s Ark and as such came 2 at a time, with a big time-gap in between. Jade at @rb-magic helped get Gofa both the work VS-XX (Fronts) and Riverside Zepters (Rears), more importantly managing to scope them in the sought-after and increasingly hard to find 4/114.3 PCD configuration.
Gofa took the phrase “Jumping in the deep end” seriously on his quest for the incredible fitment we see present in nearly every picture of this car, as this was his first encounter with split wheels and their associated joys and tribulations. His Pastor told him that positive offset is the Devil and so he played it safe, running ET0 all the way around, with the final measurements being 10J with a 215/35/R18 up front and a 10.2J wheel at the rear with a 225/40/18.
With the wheels sorted, the arches were then subjected to some heavy pulling, leaving them all kinds of wavy. The Halaal Certifications board of SA then withdrew their sponsorship of the build as they couldn’t accept the amount of bacon he was storing in his fenders. Luckily for the SX, the next area to receive love was the bodywork, and all those waves were tidied up along with the other non-kosher areas such as the front bumper.
The car was sprayed in the @ho_builds garage, quickly re-assembled and hastily bagged in order to see the final product, which was worth waiting for 10 times over. Considering this build only took roughly a year to complete, we can’t see how Gofa could have pulled it off any better than he has.
His favourite memory of building the car was undoubtedly the fact that he built it precisely how he wanted to. As usual, behind every successful car there is a team of gents who never want to see it again, but in the same vein the build wouldn't have been possible without the aforementioned good guys, the Internet and a few bastions who served to remind Gofa why he started in the first place.
Gofa would like to thank Zain, Corbin, Leeroy, Sinaed, Chuck, Dane, Jade, Ash, Eddy, CJ, Gareth, Duane, Bra-Mike, the local S13 guys, Concept Wheels and some boy band called SthrnStnce, and in turn we would like to thank him for carrying through with his vision and giving us something of this calibre to grace our cyberpages.
Take it easy folks and always buy RWD Japanese cars if you get the chance,