Storyteller: Kevin Lu’s Nissan Silvia
So how on earth did you end up with this???
Kevin Lu is undoubtedly tired of answering this question. You see, every car has a story. Some cars find their owners in traditional ways; a search on Autotrader or an ad on Craigslist, followed a tedious haggle with a suspiciously friendly salesman or an all-to-eager-to-sell previous owner. One call to the bank, another to the insurance company, and the first chapter is over. This tale repeats itself everyday, all around the world. Except for Kevin Lu. After all, one doesn’t simply stumble upon a JDM performance car rotting away in a derelict used car lot. Finding a car like his Nissan Silvia takes time, money, and a of touch legal….”finesse”. Being insane helps too.
Interestingly, Kevin’s story with this S15 begins in a rather unassuming way. He recounts:
I was just browsing [zilvia.net] like I always do during my lunch break. I see this S15 for sale and it looked almost too good to be true. I immediately called the owner and asked him about the car. Luckily, I was the first person to call him. There were several phone calls back and forth to discuss details about the car. Long story short, I flew out to Seattle about a month later to buy the car. The seller was super nice. He even let me stay at his lakehouse for the two nights I was there. His wife cooked us breakfast and lunch which was delicious. I’ve never been to Seattle before so I wanted to make sure I did some sightseeing. I went up to the top of the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the first Starbucks, Niketown, and got to eat some amazing seafood. The weather was amazing so I was pretty lucky to be able to buy my dream car and enjoy such a beautiful city in the same weekend.
To clarify, Kevin lives in Atlanta. When he says that he “flew out”, he means across the country, about as far as you go without a passport. But as one usually discovers, true “car guys”, while often a bit crazy, are almost always incredibly nice, welcoming people. The trip, while obviously centered around a financial transaction, was an experience in friendship and hospitality. You might get cookies and a no-hassle experience at CarMax, but you sure didn’t get breakfast and lunch at cross-country lake house either.
To add to Kevin’s already awesome story, the previous owner informed Kevin that this Silvia had been the model for the digital versions in Forza 1 and 2. This S15 might be the only Canibeat feature car that is available for a virtual test drive to follow up the top-notch photography and on-the-edge-of-your-seat writing.
Admittedly, buying a JDM car is not for everyone. Kevin will tell you that the registration process is a real PITA and that the novelty of daily-driving a RHD car in a LHD world wears off over time. But the negatives always have a funny way of getting lost in the details. You see, when someone asks Kevin how he ended up with a JDM Silvia, he doesn’t tell you what government forms he signed, or how many calls to his insurance agent it took to get everything worked out. He doesn’t even complain about how hard it is to get a drive-thru cheeseburger. He just smiles and goes on about cross-country flights, home-cooked meals, and the feeling of waking up and realizing that the car you dreamed about is is in your garage.
Normal people don’t have car stories like that. Most folks find their “point A to point B”, drive it till the warranty runs out, and trade it in for the next year’s model. But we aren’t those people, and we never will be. The car we want is always too far away, too old, too rare, or too much trouble for Average Joe. In those “too’s” however, is where the enthusiast finds his or her story. Find a way to get your dream car. Push through the paperwork and the naysayers and make it happen. If you don’t think that it’s worth it, give Kevin Lu a call. He has a story that you’ve got to hear.
Kevin Lu’s Nissan Silvia
- JIC Magic catback exhaust
- JIC Magic turbo elbow
- HKS downpipe
- Blitz BOV
- HKS EVC 6 boost controller
- Nismo oil cap
- Nismo radiator cap
- Kenwood double din
- Nismo floormats
- HKS Hipermax 3 coilovers
- SPL Parts RUCA
- SPL Parts toe rods
- Nismo front strut bar
- R33 Skyline GTR brembo brakes
- Volk Racing GTU 18×9 +18 / 18×10 +13
- Falken FK452 215/40/18
- Bridgestone RE760 235/40/18
Editor: Andy Carter