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Misadventures of a Drift Newbie. Part 2: Chizuru Arrives.

So in my last post, I talked about how I fell in love with drifting in the not-so-distant past, and how I planned to start doing it myself. The crucial component is a car in which to drift, so here we are! The fine folks at Roscoe’s had this forlorn 1985 Nissan 300ZX in the corner of the lot, and I knew it was the pile car for me the moment I saw it! It’s the all-important rear wheel drive layout with a manual transmission. It’s a non-turbo 2+2 model, which is actually a good thing. the longer wheelbase apparently makes them drift better than the 2 seaters, and the NA cars came with lower gearing in the rear end. It’s also not as desirable to restorers, so hopefully I won’t piss too many people off by turning it into a drift missile. It didn’t even come with keys, but it does have t-tops, and most importantly of all, it was well within my meager budget!

Love at first sight?

Last Saturday Roscoe’s delivered the hulk of a z31 to my house so I could get started with the reanimation process. I started out by changing wheels around so it would hold air at all 4 corners. Then came my favorite part of the getting to know your new old car routine, the first scrubdown! It’s amazing how much better a car looks after just knocking the years of filth off of it. It was during bathtime that I learned her name was Chizuru.

Looking better already!

After the scrubdown I cleaned out all the garbage to assess the rest of the car. The interior is nasty, so at least I won’t feel bad yanking it out and throwing it away. I took out the back seats and started stripping out the other interior panels, but the trash can filled up so I called it quits. I’m really looking forward to getting that gross moldy carpet out! Overall the car isn’t in terrible shape, but it does have a little rust and some other bumps & bruises. I’m not too concerned, I’m sure I’ll end up smacking it into a wall a time or twelve as I’m learning to drift! For now though I can knock a lot of the ugly off, and I’m working on the itasha graphics that she’ll eventually be wrapped with! It’ll be good bodywork practice for my 66 VW project.

interior stripping begins. Also repainted the area between the taillights.

Next on the agenda was that missing key. I called AAA, and they sent out a mobile locksmith to make a replacement for the long-lost original. $10.50 and 45 minutes later, I had a brand new key! As expected, the battery was completely dead. My battery charger didn’t make any difference even after several hours, so on Monday I borrowed the big one with the engine start setting from work. As soon as I plugged it in the headlights popped up and things starting beeping inside. It’s like she was jolted awake after a long slumber! I let it charge up for awhile, then tried to start the engine for the first time. It turned over, but wouldn’t fire. Then she told me that the fuel was low (yes, she actually talks!) I dumped the gallon from the lawnmower jug in the tank, but still wouldn’t even bark. I’m not too concerned though, a new weekend is upon us, and my teammate Nate will be here to help! He will be taking point on the mechanical side of things.

after the first weekend of ownership

All in all I think I’ve got a pretty solid starting point here, and I’m hoping Nate and I will be able to get her running soon. Huge thanks to Roscoe’s for providing this beauty! With any luck, my next post will be about the first time ripping her around the block. Until next time!

Hopefully we’ll hear that VG30E sing soon

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