Sometimes it takes a great deal of courage to take a leap of faith into the unknown. We all take those steps at some point in life and some are more drastic than others. It’s no secret for the average petrolhead that such leaps are business as usual when you’re building a car. Spending your savings on parts, taking the gamble of importing a car, buying an engine from a stranger – all of these things take some courage to go through in my opinion.
We wouldn’t be the people we are today without taking some risk every now and then I guess. I can’t say I know how it feels to spend buckets of money on a project because all of that money has somehow disappeared in my camera bag. But still that allows me to capture the stories of those who do know the risks, pleasures and uncertainties of building a project.
At Wangan Warriors there are plenty of guys who have a history with their car(s). Even though we’re not the kind to put ourselves in the spotlight all the time, we do think it’s good to share a Wangan project when it’s finished.
No doubt that I don’t have to introduce this car but allow me to elaborate a little more on the project and the people behind it. Every car has an owner and every owner has a story to tell about his or her project.
This is Rob Meulenbroeks, let’s say the figurative bucket of money behind the project and of course the creator and inventor of this RB25DET C-West GT Silvia S15 Spec-GTS. Rob is not only a club member but also the mastermind behind the website and graphic designs you see here on WW.
Rob has a history with Nissan Silvia’s because he used to own one of the cleanest S14a’s I have ever seen. He decided to take one of his leaps of faith back in late 2011 by importing his current Nissan Silva S15 Spec S and start his second project after he sold the S14.
He was ready for a new adventure, a fresh start and it was time for him to step up his game with this new project. Obviously everything starts with creating ideas and making a draft in your mind, and one thing was certain – with this project, everything would be transformed into the vision that Rob had in mind.
Rob went for the Spec S S15 because he knew it would get a complete transformation, so why spend money on a Spec R when he would be intending to replace some of the cars most vital components? His main reason was that he already had an RB25DET swap in mind. He chose to drop off the S over at Sky-Engineering who did all the engine mapping and wiring after the swap was completed.
Rob initially found the RB25 for sale on the Driftworks forum and thought it was a pretty reasonable deal. Unfortunately he learned the hard way that not everybody is to be trusted on the internet. When the engine came from somewhere in Scotland it wasn’t delivered with the right parts, and some important parts weren’t even sent over at all. A lesson learnt I guess?
Rob made the decision to go for premium quality parts for his project. That’s not an easy decision for your bank account and it’s also not easy to find many parts for a fair price on the internet. The Garrett GT3071R does look quite sexy of course IRL.
Another reason to go for the more premium brands was because of the fact that Rob had quite a few issues with his previous project and replica parts. I’m sure everybody has their own thoughts about the matter, but I personally believe Rob chose the right route.
Every little square inch of the Silvia has been upgraded, modified or restored from the original. Of course handling is a major part of the project, especially with around 480bhp on tap – you need some decent brakes and suspension parts. This would see the front brakes replaced with Brembo R33 GTR brakes with 324mm Nismo Big Brake Discs and the rear with a complete R33 GTST brake conversion.
Rob chose to use the BC-Racing comfort coilovers from his S14a project because they were still in good condition and never gave any problems. Along with plenty other handling upgrades such as Whiteline sway-bars and Apex Performance parts, I think the car drives extremely comfortably now. After all, this was the point of the build – a no nonsense, reliable and comfortable GT Silvia for the road.
The S15 has a fair few GTR influences in the interior. I can’t call myself a connoisseur, so Rob had to inform me that he had switched to R34 GTR seats in the front…
…and the back seat is draped in R34 GTR fabric as well. Great taste and attention to detail is what makes this car interesting.
That still has to bring us to one of the sexiest parts of the car, the wheels. I love them. The 18″ Koenig Special KG-IMP were purchased from a Japanese online auction which Rob won. The wheels were offered as scrap because they were in quite bad shape, but Rob had them refurbished and got them coated in black – it’s a perfect fit if you ask me.
It’s been a long time since we’ve last featured a Wangan Ride and I believe we’ve waited too long with this. Busy lives, career changes, winter or general bad weather stood in our ways many times while we tried to get together. We didn’t prepare this photoshoot at all to be honest. We picked a date a couple of days in advance because I wanted to see how Rob and his girlfriend Elina were doing. The weather was great so we ended up driving to Nijmegen in the S15.
We found a couple of photo locations on this industrial complex and for me the light was just perfect so we ended up doing the whole shoot in the same place. It was also nice to catch up because we hadn’t seen each other since our end of year meet in Oosterhout in November, which is a pretty damn long time.
As the sun was also slowly setting we had to wrap up the shoot pretty quick because I wanted to use a particular bridge for rolling shots and that was still another 20 minute drive away. It’s fun to push your camera settings with a setting sun.
With a clear sky and a bright sun you get the best results from a shoot in my opinion. It obliges and motivates me to get the best possible picture so that I don’t have to create or stress my highlights and shadows too much in post process.
It might not be the cleanest picture but I was trying out ways to create a little silhouette in order to expose the lines of the Silvia as best possible, I also quite like the height of the car in this photo. The ‘wheel gap’ which is so feared by our hardcore stance-brothers is quite clear but I’m positive Rob will not touch a single speedbump or wheelarch on the road which is a luxury these days.
We drove to another place at the industrial area but the sun was too low for my taste so I couldn’t continue with the natural light contrast I had been working with the hour before – I wish the golden hour lasts longer than it does. Is there any way we can make that happen?!
Enough with the crazy Christmas wishes. We were wrapping up at this spot and drove a couple hundred meters to the next place to finish up the static part of the photoshoot.
The choice to go for the C-West GT body kit was probably the best decision Rob could make during the visualisation process of this project. Rob had a lot of help during the build from his project buddy Peter and other WW members. Kevin welded Rob’s arches to fit the wide fenders and wheels. Rob and Peter also did the paintjob together in Rob’s garage. Keep in mind that it’s a way too small garage for such a job, but they pulled it off pretty well.
I also like the fact that the interior was kept pretty sober. No countless gauges that make some car cockpits look like a space shuttle, but everything is nicely tucked away. Rob chose to put back the original steering wheel with airbag for the strict RDW road testings for his registration certificate. He has a Nardi Deep Corn Leather wheel laying around waiting to be put back in.
We finished the static part of the photoshoot just as the sun was almost completely gone so we drove back to Wijchen to do most fun part of the photoshoot. I love doing rolling shots and I try to find ways to get them as interesting as possible.
The John S. Thompson bridge has been on my radar for quite some time to use for rollers. As the sun had nearly set I was hanging out the rear window of Rob’s daily BMW, using the most shitty settings, and trying to find a good spot on the bridge that wasn’t bumpy as hell. We managed to pull off a couple of shots with the fading light and crappy circumstances but I’m happy we were finally able to wrap up the shoot.
Here we are; another Warriors Ride featured, built by a guy who I’m happy to call a good friend and club member of Wangan Warriors. I know that our blog wouldn’t be what it is now without him and I’m thankful we’re able to have a cool platform to share our work with the world. I know you kept yourself on the background a little lately because of your career and all your other pursuits but we finally did it Rob. I’ve been saying that I would be the first to do a shoot of this car since you showed it first ‘in progress’ at DMPD13. We finally did it, it took a little while but here you are. It’s time to enjoy this monster now!
– R33 GTST RB25DET Spec 2 swap
– Garrett GT3071R + .82a/r twinscroll v-band housing
– 6Boost T3 divided exhaust manifold
– TiAL MV-R 44mm wastegate + custom dump pipe
– TiAL Q 50MM Blowoff valve
– GReddy Intake Manifold
– Siemens Deka 4 875cc injectors
– Fuelab 525 Series In-line Fuel Pressure Regulators
– Aeromotive 340lph Stealth fuel pump
– Custom fuel lines (EARLS fittings and lines)
– Custom turbo lines (heat insulated)
– Powerhouse racing fuelrail
– Custom downpipe (heatwrapped)
– Kakimoto Catback exhaust
– Catalytic converter delete pipe
– Greddy Timing belt
– K&N Airfilter
– LINK G4 Ecu (mapped by Sky-Engineering)
– Innovate wideband sensor + gauge
– Oil pressure sensor
– Oil temp. sensor
– Fuelpressure sensor
– RB25DET gearbox swap on custom mount
– OS Giken SRT2CD Twinplate clutch
– Custom propshaft
– HKS Type S intercooler
– MOCAL 19 row oil cooler
– MOCAL Thermostatic sandwich plate
– Carbon cooling panel
– Apex-Performance 54mm Radiator
– 2x Spal VA09-AP12/C54S Fans + thermal switch
– Brembo R33 GTR front calipers
– 324mm Nismo Big Brake Discs (grooved, front)
– EBC Redstuff front brake pads
– R33 GTST Rear break conversion
– Goodridge Braided brakelines front
– Z32 BM-57 Brake master cylinder
– BC-Racing Type-BR 5/4kg.cm coilovers
– Whiteline Swaybar 27mm-h/duty Blade adjustable (front)
– Whiteline Swaybar 22mm-X h/duty Blade adjustable (rear)
– Apex Performance Rear Camber arms
– Apex Performance Rear Toe arms
– Apex Performance Rear Traction arms
– Apex Performance Tension rods
– C-West GT widebody kit
– C-West Carbon canards
– FRP OEM style bonnet
– Rear boot lip
– R34 GTR front seats
– Back seat re-trimmed in R34 GTR fabric
– Nardi Deep Corn Leather steering wheel
– Nardi steering wheel boss
– 18″ (SSR) Koenig Special KG-IMP 9J ET19.3 / 11.25J ET21.125
– 17″ (SSR) Hasemi Prot-s 7,5J ET29 / 8J ET38 (spare set)