Other than a lone track day at Donington in my P10 Primera seven months ago, I haven’t really attended a single track day, drift day or show in one of my cars this year. Although unplanned, I feel like the break was much-needed as it has allowed me to concentrate fully on STREET TRACK LIFE as a company which, amongst other things, resulted in a move into a much larger premises a few months back.
While this move has not only allowed for additional office and storage/warehouse space, it also means I now have somewhere of my own to work on my cars that is both warm and dry. After working on cars on driveways or at the side of the road for the best part of the last ten years, this new luxury has been a very welcome change.
While I never had an issue with working outdoors, more recently the weather always seemed to be either too hot, too cold or too wet to do any meaningful work. Of course, these were all excuses in my mind but with the never-ending workload at the office it was hard to get motivated to put in work on the cars in uncomfortable conditions.
After spending a few weeks moving stock and equipment from the old STREET TRACK LIFE unit to the new location, it was time to start moving cars. The P10 Primera was (and still is) running happily after many months of country lane fun, so this was relatively easy. The Y32 Cedric has been a non-runner for a long time now, but I will touch upon that particular car another day.
Moving the C33 Laurel however, was a little more hectic. After having a pretty massive impact with Tom Shaw at a Rockingham Drift Day late last year I eventually got round to stripping the car down to a shell to find and repair damage, cut out/replace rust and just overhaul the car in general.
That was the plan anyway. As is often the case, after performing the first batch of jobs, the shell sat on axle stands under a cover for many months throughout the summer just gone, with various parts and components scattered around it.
The unit move prompted a healthy dose of motivation, so within a couple of afternoons I was able to get the shell back to a rolling state and moved it to the new location with the help of Dan Rose. Within a few days of the car being in the warm and dry, I had taken care of the majority of the crucial mechanical work, with just a few jobs left to do here and there before the eventual overhaul of the shabby exterior.
It was at this point that resident photographer Laurie stopped by to shoot some new STL product photos and, while we were at it, we managed to get the Laurel involved.
With practice drift days seemingly becoming more and more sporadic nowadays, I was keen to try something else for the foreseeable future with the C33. Having got so much enjoyment out of the P10 Primera as a simple tool for fast-road fun when the mood takes me (along with the occasional last minute track day), I wanted to try and convert the Laurel back to a specification that would leave me able to enjoy it a similar fashion.
I will do a more detailed build update once the majority of the work has been done and the car tested, but the largest changes have been swapping out the drift-spec steering setup (relocated steering rack, extended LCAs, cut knuckles etc.) and replacing it with a complete stock setup (albeit with S14 LCAs and knuckles). If I don’t like it, at least I can put the car back to how it was by changing a few parts.
At the rear of the car, the old and very battered subframe with worn OEM bushes has been replaced with a braced and gusseted item that has also been fitted with polyurethane bushes. The Nismo 2-way diff has also been rebuilt and slackened off slightly, allowing it to be more forgiving on fast sweeping corners (this should hopefully reduce the amount of black flags shown at future track days!).
I am yet to make a decision regarding wheels as my existing URAS NS-01s are bent, battered and also the wrong sizes to use with wider rubber. I picked up a set of Ultralites in the summer, but unfortunately the rears have an offset that is too strong to suit the larger, chunkier tyre size I intend on running.
With the majority of the mechanical work now complete, I intend on getting the car back on the road for testing within the next couple of weeks. If I can get it on a track day before the end of the year that would be a plus, as I’m really excited to see how this pillar-less saloon car handles a circuit. I imagine it’s going to be an absolute handful, but I’m kind of looking forward to that.
Once I’m happy that the mechanics have been taken care of, I will turn my attention to sorting out the aesthetics. I will also be addressing preventative cooling measures, as I’m sure that the current oil and water cooling setups won’t be up to the task during a fast, long track session in the heat next summer. I should also probably consider some brake cooling too…stay tuned!
Also, a quick side note. As you may have noticed, the blog URL has changed within the last few weeks. If you are trying to view an older blog post and are landing on a “404: not found” page, just change the URL to “blog.streettracklife.com” and it should load up!