Spotlight: Shooting beauty

Car aficionados can be found everywhere. Even if you live in the smallest village, the guy you see once a month who lives at the end of your street might be building something serious. Paul and I travelled down to the very south of our little country to meet Joep, a modest guy who lives in a picturesque and serene village close to where The Netherlands meet Germany and Belgium. This area is known for its winding roads with steep slopes and tricky corners. An ideal environment for cyclists, motorcyclists and people who bought their exotic cars for touring only. Every now and then though, the still scenery is abruptly awoken; Joep decided to let his car out.

As you might have already seen on the Flickr page, this car still looks quite stock but it isn’t, not even close. I’ve always had a lot of respect for people who are able to make their cars stand out by only doing minor changes. When you see those cars, you know right away that they’re not stock, but it will take you a little bit of time to figure out what exactly has been left standard and what hasn’t.

This car has got quite some history to it as well. In fact, when Paul and I were taking shots, Joep was doing his first couple of kilometres with this engine, it had just run about 900 kilometres. What’s even more cool is that Joep rebuilt the engine himself, talk about craftsmanship! Not only does it look stunning, being programmed with Nistune it produces somewhere around 300 hp! A very nice number for a “simple” 1.8 litre engine.

Joep has always had an eye for detail and it shows in this picture. From freshly painted valve covers to resprayed heat shields and even shiney new bolts.

The cars appearance is very subtle and very delicate. The only thing that one will notice directly are the amazing wheels. They are Ultralite Nürburgring and are being stopped by Z32 calipers with Brembo brake discs both front and rear.

Another cool detail are the taillights. They are Lexus-look taillights, which are not much appreciated in the S13-scene, but by spraying them red, Joep has managed to give it a clean, sexy and modern look.

Perfect combination, being photographed while running in your new engine.

Have a look inside and you’ll see more of the fine detailing. In the glove box you won’t find old petrol station receipts or empty water bottles, that’s been replaced by an Apex’i multichecker and Phormula knock-analyser which have been built in very nicely.

“If I need fresh air, I’ll open a window.” Is what Joep must have thought when replacing the fan outlets by gauges that show boost, oil pressure and oil temperature.

I wonder if anyone is able to spot what is different to stock in this picture, other than the gauges and the steering wheel. Hint: Another very fine and delicate detail.

As I’m typing the repo, my respect for this car is growing even bigger. The longer you spend on analysing the details, the more you get to appreciate it. Who needs aftermarket bodykits and extremely powerfull engines when standing out can be this easy. You’ve done a great job on your S13, Joep. Definitely an icon on the Dutch highways.

Thanks for having us and please keep us updated with any progress!

– Noud Fieten

Photos by Paul Krauth and Noud Fieten