Flocks of shrieking seagulls loomed overhead as the fog horn from a nearby container ship blared into the salty sea air of Long Beach Harbor. The soft patter of waves hitting the break water was rather soothing as we nervously started backing Josh Rozsa’s Nissan S13 into place. The glimmer of the marvelous fresh black paint was reflecting the hundreds of shipping containers surrounding our shoot location that day. We were mostly worried about being stopped by the Port Police as it’s rare to be allowed into a spot so close to the water and the busy hustle and bustle of the port workers. I started snapping away immediately in hopes of catching a few good shots before the authorities inevitably rolled in.
I’ve known Josh for a very long time. We used to go drifting every two weeks or so when there were a plethora of drift events to choose from at Socal’s Willow Springs Int’l and spent all of the time in between wrenching and chatting about cool drift cars. We both had very different cars at the time; Josh had a really clean red S13 hatchback that was always spick and span, and I had an S13 coupe at the time. We both had bone stock single overhead cam KA24s and 15s and had a blast doing tsuiso runs at the Balcony in our dreadfully slow cars. SO SLOW, but man, we really had a blast.
After years of our KA brotherhood, I eventually went on to sell my coupe and bought a red S13 hatchback exactly like Josh’s. Unfortunately, this was around the same time Josh got into an accident on the freeway with his beloved car and decided to part it out and scrap it. I’ve always been bitter about that decision (I think Josh has been too) only because the car meant a lot to us sentimentally, but a tear in the chassis at the wheel well was enough reason to move on. I ended up recovering a lot of parts from this car since our cars were the same color; a clean wingless trunk, doors and a crackless dashboard.
He spent quite a while rigorously scouring the internet for a new car, but these days it’s getting tougher and tougher to find a clean chassis that hasn’t been tempered with. His persistence and stubbornness to find the perfect car ended up paying off as he found a perfect condition 93 S13 coupe being offered by a lady; the original owner. The automatic transmission it came with didn’t phase him too much as it was a great opportunity for a new upgraded clutch and flywheel. It had a perfect jet black paint job with chuki front bumper which he immediately traded for a pignose bumper.
He was pretty slow to start modifying the car which I commend him for, because no part on the car was a part he didn’t dream of having. No corners were cut, no part cheeped out on. Initially buying a set of DMAX coilovers which are a great coilover to begin with, he would eventually sell those to purchase a like new set of DG5s paired with neon yellow Rays Gramlights 57D in 17×9 +12.
Ever since I’d known Josh, he had always had a burning passion for OEM aero as opposed to any fiberglass body kit. He was a major advocate of “simple is best”. It was no surprise that he would eventually spend an arm and a leg on a full Silvia front face conversion with brick headlights and a K’s front bumper. By now his 57Ds had been powder coated white and re-stickered, giving the half two-tone green, half black car a pretty badass look. Unfortunately, several weeks later he was hit by a teenage driver, damaging the front end severely.
The accident was in fact a blessing in disguise as it was en excuse to upgrade the front bumper to the glorious and rare “aero” bumper some Silvias ran in Japan. Most people could agree that this is really the best looking S13 bumper when going for that OEM clean look. This would also lead to obtaining the Japanese Silvia sidekirts, rear bumper valences and Aero Marker mirrors completing the exterior package.
From the inside, the car is really a pleasure to ride in. Full of traditional goodies, it makes for ultimate happiness and comfort even on a long drive to the race track. The red Bride Zeta II cushions are so plump and fresh you’d almost think the seat just rolled out of the Bride headquarters even though it was probably manufactured in 2002. An S14 passenger seat leaves plenty of room for activities however I know Josh is on the prowl for a red Brix 1.5 to complete the pair. A fully functioning digital climate control keeps the car cool on hot summer days and to pass D1SL tech inspection he’s got a D1 regulation Safety 21 7 point roll cage with mandatory dash escape for the extra street cred and respect. To some people that’s more important.
What I think might be the coolest part of the whole car (and Josh disagrees with me here) is the cherry condition dual cam KA24 under the hood. This is the original engine for the chassis and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a cleaner engine bay that wasn’t an engine swap. Even though it’s just a KA pushing out a measly 120hp, just like the rest of the car, the engine bay stays spotless. My favorite part of the engine bay is definitely his Shakkito plates adding extra strength between the shock towers and the firewall and improving overall brake and stability.
Future plans for the car are uncertain as Josh admits he’s rather content with how the car is now, but his next major upgrade will undeniably be an SR20DET that I’m sure will sit marvelously in his very clean engine bay. I’m convinced that once this swap happens, it will easily be a crowd favorite at the local drifting events.
Your initial thought when looking at this car may be, “Oh great, another garage queen 240 that’s too clean to ever see any more action than a stance showoff in a parking lot,” but this car has been built with the intention of running it into the ground at grassroots events. Josh is yet another fine example of drifter who wants to drift a car that he is proud of building and proud of showing off to friends, quite the opposite of the growing “it doesn’t matter what it looks like, it’s a functional drift car” plague that has been negatively affecting the overall appeal of drifting. Perhaps if more people spent more time working on building nice cars with attention to detail and styling, less people would complain about the current state of drifting here in the States. That being said, it’s always important to reflect your personal style when building a car, and Josh has definitely blown me away with his flawless demonstration of his preference for timeless OEM styling Ω