1999 Nissan Laurel C35 – The J-Side Connection – 128
I’m going to hang a slightly controversial limb out the side of the good ship NZPC here and say that in our industry, it is often not that difficult to work out what kind of person has built a car, and even where it has been built. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but, for the most part, automotive stereotypes ring true. You know what they are: a DX Corolla bouncing down the street on bump stops, a Forrester rolling on massive chrome rims, and hell, let’s not even get into fluffy toys lining the back parcel tray of a Mitsubishi FTO.
I feel at this point I should be very clear here: there is nothing wrong with these sorts of cars and their owners. People have their own tastes and styles that seem to come from the groups they associate with. Of course, there are always people who will buck the trend.
“Look under the hood and you will find the GReddy name everywhere, including the large TD06-20G turbo”
The owner of this month’s cover car, Jordan Mayall, is one such person. His 1999 Nissan Laurel is a car that looks like it has rolled straight off the streets of Japan and onto a boat headed for our shores. But that couldn’t be further from the truth; this car is 100 per cent Kiwi built. “I wanted to create a car that looked like it had been built by a tuning shop in Japan, instead of here in Hamilton,” says Jordan. “That means there is nothing but Japanese parts in this car; it’s all genuine gear from the best Japan’s tuners have to offer.”
At this point, readers might be wondering where they recognise Jordan’s name from. Going for the coveted 'Most Cars Featured’ crown, Jordy is a seasoned import enthusiast, and has had two cars splashed across the pages of NZPC, plus one other ripping up the tarmac on our NZPC TV show. It is with the TV-featured car that we begin our journey. You may well remember the very cool deep red C35 Laurel from the show. Sporting an RB26DETT motor, the C35 was a beast of a machine and was destined for these very pages until one unfortunate day last summer. A friend of Jordan’s — who I can only assume is no longer that much of a mate — decided to take the Laurel down the road for a spin, and promptly put the beautiful car off the road and into a tree. I can only imagine the shock of seeing your latest pride and joy wedged into a tree trunk, a complete write-off.
Of course, the lads here at NZPC Towers were also greatly pained by the loss of such a cool car, which was pencilled in for a photoshoot at the time. Thankfully for Jordan, his mate did the honourable thing and bought the totalled car from him. Once the money had turned up in his bank account, Jordan set about getting a replacement vehicle, and as he was a big fan of the C35 shape, he found himself another example in Japan, this time in fridge white.
When the Laurel arrived in New Zealand it was sporting a naturally aspirated RB25DE six-cylinder motor, backed by a 4-speed automatic trans. Obviously this had to go, and although most would naturally assume that Jordan would have opted for a turbo six-cylinder replacement like that in his previous GT-R-powered C35, Jordan had other plans. Having a lot of experience with all types of Nissan engines, he made the interesting decision to go for a smaller, four-cylinder, 2-litre SR20DET motor ripped out of an S13 Silvia shell. I can guess what many of you will be thinking: big car + small motor = disaster. But in this particular case, although the motor is a little smaller when compared with, say, an RB26, it has seen a healthy amount of modification, resulting in a hefty 275kW at the rear treads. That’s more than enough wick to get the 1400kg Nissan moving.
Remembering that Jordan has used all high-end Japanese-made gear in the car, I would hate to see the bill for this particular engine build. A set of 87mm GReddy forged pistons was slotted into the block next to Nismo bearings and an enlarged GReddy sump. A 1.4mm GReddy head gasket separates the block from a ported and flowed head, complete with a set of Tomei 264-degree cams. The head gets its fair share of air via a GReddy intake manifold and custom intercooler piping. In fact, it appears Jordy has gone through a large portion of the Trust/GReddy catalogue with his credit card, buying and installing nearly everything he could.
“To fit the wide 18×9.5-inch Work Meister rims, the front and rear guards have been pumped out a good 30mm, making for a very tough-looking ride”
Look under the hood and you will find the GReddy name everywhere, including the large TD06-20G turbo, Type S intercooler, Type R blow-off valve, and 48mm external wastegate mounted on a GReddy stainless exhaust manifold. The manifold dumps into a 3-inch GReddy stainless exhaust pipe, which in turn sends gasses out into the atmosphere through an interestingly named 'Boyz Co’ 82.5mm (3.25-inch) cat-back system. Going from a naturally aspirated setup to hard-tuned turbo meant that Jordan needed to pull the rest of the car up to standard to support the new system.
The stock RB25 fuel pump has been replaced by a high flowing and somewhat noisy Sard item. This feeds a set of four Nismo 720cc injectors, which sit on the standard fuel rail. Anticipating some high RPM antics, Jordan headed off any potential heat problems at the pass by mounting a triple core GReddy alloy radiator, complete with twin electric fans, as the stock coolers are notoriously bad at keeping engine temps under control.
With the engine bay looking like it had come straight out of the Tokyo Auto Salon, Jordan set about making the rest of the car appear that way too. In terms of the exterior, he was able to save some cash, as this particular Laurel came into the country with a tremendously named full 'Car Modify Wonder’ body kit already fitted up. Pulling the car out of his garage on the day of the photoshoot, the aggressive body glistened in the sun thanks to a custom House of Kolor brown with gold pearl and ice gold flake paint that Jordan mixed up himself. To fit the wide 18×9.5-inch Work Meister rims, the front and rear guards have also been pumped out a good 30mm, making for a very tough-looking ride.
As Jordy manoeuvred the car into position, a nice rattle could be heard coming from the ORC twin-plate clutch that is mated to an S14 5-speed gearbox, which in turn feeds power out to a Nismo two-way limited slip diff. Another less recognisable noise also accompanied the rattle of the clutch. “Oh, that’s third gear,” Jordan told us. “It’s less!well!attached than it was a few days ago.” Suffice it to say, he has since replaced the box. Unfortunately it meant we weren’t able to experience the C35 at its best, although we did take the car for a quick spin around the block.
Sitting in an amazingly comfortable pair of Bride Brix seats, the Laurel is an infinitely comfortable machine, despite the Tein Super Drift coil-overs and myriad of Kazama suspension parts. Jordan shifts through the available gears using a hilarious J-style crystal shifter and pilots the car gripping a Momo Mod7 steering wheel. In terms of braking, things have been taken care of with the addition of awesome Wilwood discs and callipers at the front, and R32 Skyline GT-R callipers clamping onto Brembo discs at the rear.
As Jordan already has plenty of fun on the track with his drift-spec S14 Silvia dubbed STUFIT, he saw no need to cage this car, and built it purely as a fun, daily drivable machine he could fit all the boys in and take for a cruise down the beach during summer. With a daily driver that most drifters would love to have as a competition car, Jordan is on form, and has hit the nail right on the head in terms of an authentic J-style street drift machine. Although there are currently very few C35s in the country, we can’t help but wonder whether these Laurels will become as popular as the previous C33 shape has become. One can only hope there will be a whole lot more cool examples like Jordan Mayall’s rolling around our streets sometime soon, whether they be built in Japan, or here on our own turf, like this particular head turner.
Occupation: Self employed
Previously owned cars: 2x GT Starlet, RX3, 3x RWD 323, Evo, R33 GT-R Skyline, AE111 Levin, RS4 Stagea, 2x turbo Altezza, RB26DETT-powered C35 Laurel, S14 Silvia K’s
Dream Car: Ferrari 355
Build time: 2 months
Length of ownership: 1 year
Jordan thanks: Ian Spicer, Glenn Harrop, Speed-Tech Hamilton, PJ’s Panel & Paint, Capital Car Court, John @ Top Town, Bruce @ Mag & Turbo Manukau
1999 Nissan Laurel C35
Engine: Nissan SR20DET 2.0-litre DOHC 16V, 87mm forged GReddy pistons, Nismo bearings, GReddy sump extension, ported head, 264-degree Tomei cams, 1.4mm GReddy metal head gasket, GReddy intake manifold, HKS Super Power Flow filter & hard pipe kit, Z32 airflow meter, GReddy TD06-20G turbo, GReddy exhaust manifold, GReddy 48mm wastegate, GReddy Type R blow-off valve, GReddy Type S intercooler, GReddy alloy intercooler pipe kit, Sard Racing fuel pump, Nismo 550cc injectors, Boyz Co titanium 3.25-inch cat back system, GReddy stainless 3-inch front pipe, GReddy alloy radiator, Samco radiator top and bottom hoses, 2x 12-inch thermo fans, Protech-tuned ECU, GReddy Profec-S boost controller, GReddy alloy pulley kit, WELD heat sink shield, HPI engine damper
Driveline: Nissan S14 5-speed gearbox, ORC twin-plate clutch, ORC flywheel, Nismo 2 way LSD
Suspension: Tein Super Drift coil-overs, R33 GT-R rear sway bar, Kazama front tension bar, Kazama rear subframe lock bushes, Kazama rear camber arms, Kazama caster arms, Kazama tie rod ends, Cusco toe arms
Brakes: Front — Wilwood 2-piece discs, Wilwood callipers & pads, Rear — Brembo discs, R32 GT-R callipers, Endless pads
Wheels/Tyres: 18×9.5-inch Work Meister S1 2-piece alloys, Goodyear F1 front tyres, Nankang rear tyres
Interior: Bride Brix II front seats, Momo Mod7 steering wheel, crystal gear knob, Cusco spin turn handbrake knob, R34 Skyline centre console, plastic palm trees
Exterior: Custom House of Kolor brown with gold pearl and ice gold flake paint, 30mm pumped guards, full Car Modify Wonder body kit — front bar, rear bar, side skirts, front eyelids, rear eyelids
Performance: Dyno Power — 275kW @ wheels