That moment when you realize the rumbling V8 you hear isn’t the lifted truck, but the slammed Nissan Silvia in front of it, and your whole perspective changes. Half a second earlier, it was just another pickup truck. Another generic short-wide with tacky, chrome 22s from Pep Boys. Now it’s a relatively rare, V8-converted S13 on meticulously selected rollingstock.
Potato pictures taken with Nexus 5 in holster streaming Pandora. Gold sunrise seemed fitting.
KIND OF SPECIAL
As a gearhead, I think one of the sweetest sounds in the world is a big, American V8 complemented by a quality, dual exhaust. Ford + Flowmasters = Winning in my book, but let’s be honest. Full-sized, American V8s with exhausts are everywhere these days. The muscle car guys have more exhaust configurations for V8s than Honda guys have B-series engines. Hop in the car, roll the windows down and go for a drive anywhere in America. I guarantee you’ll hear a V8 with exhaust within 30 minutes.
V8 swaps are a popular mod, though. You find them in Miatas, Foci, Jaguars, Volvos – just about any fun platform made moreso through the gratuitous addition of ridiculous horsepower and torque. Still, it’s not something you see everyday, so spotting a conversion – especially on your morning commute – is kind of special in my book.
A MOMENT OF ZEN?
I had all but tuned out the exhaust note as belonging to something common and maybe a little irritating until I realized it was coming from a 240SX – a 240SX without front fenders or interior trim, with a crazy, red digital dash, a couple race buckets, and a shifter made of what appeared to be a 2ft length of metal bar stock wrapped in a towel. It was a beat-ass, slammed, tofu delivery sled, but it was awesome and I respect it and the gearhead who built it.
The zen part comes in realizing those generic, see-them-everyday mods like dual exhausts still represent something important. They represent others who, though they may not be full-time gearheads like us, still view their vehicles as more than just a commuter appliance with iPod connectivity and a place for $6 coffees. Enthusiasts aren’t necessarily gearheads, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. We should respect the effort and be a little more generous in supporting each other on the street.
BUILD ZEN THIS WEEKEND
Make eye contact with someone driving a clean machine this weekend. Give ’em a thumb’s up, a peace sign, the horns, whatever. For just a moment, one gearhead to another, show someone who obviously puts in the wrench time you know what’s up. You’ll probably feel as good as they do.