Spotlight: The art of the S12

We of Wangan Warriors are all into everything regarding the Japanese automotive culture out here. That means we are no strangers to some of the most classic models and projects. Actually, we adore them! This beautiful Silvia S12 Grand Prix rolled of the lot in 1986. Twentysix years later it is owned by gearhead Mark van den Velden. His life is all about travelling to visit race circuits and drive them. He’s also a Nurburgring addict and thats where we did this photoshoot back in August at the annual nissan Silvia meeting in a small village near the famous Nürburgring.

Mark changed quite a bit on the Silvia since he imported it. In February 2011he picked it up with a trailer in Stützengrun in Germany which is near the Czech border.

After a few months the engine blew up because of a coolant failure so Mark needed to fix that with an engineswap.

The FJ20e under the bonnet runs about 145 hp with 184,4 Nm of torque. In the interiour there are Recaro recliner seats with a 4 point QSP safety harness.

When I took a further look at the interior I was expecting a sport steering wheel as well but the Swiss edition S12 comes with special Grand Prix steering wheel, German ones just got the stock S12 steering wheel like these.

Because driving on a circuit is no joy without some handling modifications, Mark installed a BC racing coilover setup on his car. And on the front there is also a s13 strutbrace customized to fit the S12. There are also S13 facelift brakes with DS2500 brake pads mounted instead of the stock brakes.

Mark didn’t do anything fancy with new wheels but is running on OE Grand Prix Edition Gotti 3- piece rims. With 7j on the frond and 8j at the back.

As you can see Mark is not scared to drive overseas. Some people would be paranoid after some big engine failure and would only go to places or meetings near their hometown in case anything happens. Mark is almost a regular at JAE.

The GP edition Silvia is quite exclusive. However the exact numbers today are unknown. Nissan Germany says that there are 4.400 sold in total. Most people doubt these are all Grand Prix’s, others say only 50.

Mark has been an active forummember of ours for a long time and off course he’s got one of our stickers on his ride. In fact it’s an honour to see it next to the Japan support sticker which were designed after the tsunami in 2011.

Another cool detail about this car is that even the models in 1986 had headlight rain wipers. Even the later Silvia models don’t have those, how cool is that!

Mark made me open my eyes for these classic Silvias and this will sure as hell not be the last feature we will share of a cool classic JDM car. I would also want to say to all the classic owners out there that if you read this, feel free to drop by our end of year meeting. We’re not only fond of performance and stance orientated cars but we love classics as well!!

I know for certain that Mark will visit some tracks in the future and if I spot him out there I will try to capture him! Thanks to Mark for his enthousiasm and activity on our forum. I had a lot of fun at the Silvia meeting in august! Hope you appreciate the spotlight blog.

– Rens Adams