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PDM Racing Nissan 240SX - Part 1

    This month's feature car is Don Nimi's street car, a 1991 Nissan 240SX. Purchased in February of 1991 for its sleek looks, rear wheel drive layout and superb handling, this car has seen extreme duty since day one. Used as a daily transporter, the 240sx has also done many racetrack sessions as well as serving as a serious auto-x car.

    Immediately after its purchase, the car was brought out to the slalom circuit with the intent to campaign it through the entire 1991 British Columbia Region Autocross Series. Despite a steep learning curve to understand and overcome the Hicas rear steering system, Don was able to successfully race the car during its inaugural season to a second place in C Stock in the Region's championship. With the addition of sticky Yokohama A008R (225/50/15) tires mouted on wider than stock (15x7) Riken two piece rims and a little help from the latest car data acquisition technology (Valentine Technology G Analyst) he was able to overcome the somewhat quirky active rear steering system that Nissan engineers had cooked up in Japan.

    Don spent many weekends of hard work playing second fiddle to Roger Edgar and his potent Triumph TR8. He was finally able to use technology to his advantage and tie Roger for first place at the Canadian National Autoslalom in August of that same year. With his first place finish, Don put PDM into a first place tie in C Stock. He also earned $400 from Yokohama Canada for using their tires and $1000 from Nissan for being the first Nissan to win its Canadian class title.

    Unknown to Roger, he played a role in Don's success. Roger would drive Don's car during 'Fun Runs,' with the G-Analyst recording his driving inputs. Analyzing the veteran driver's style helped reveal how the most could be squeezed from the 240SX.

    After the black hatchback's solo success, Don concentrated on his Nasport GT racing effort in his tube framed Datsun 510.

    The sleek Hicas-equipped SE almost met its fate on a cloudy September afternoon in 1993. When coming back from lunch, Don was suddenly looking at the front of a speeding van that had crossed the centerline and was heading straight for him.

    The resulting combined head-on impact was in excess of 60 miles per hour. The force from the van moved Don's car over two lanes of traffic, over a curb and into a bus stop bench that was pushed six feet from its anchors.

    Luckily Don swerved hard enough to his right to deflect some of the impact force and was able to walk away from this accident with only minor injuries. (His neck and head injuries did not keep him from racing the 510 at Laguna Seca that weekend. Not comfortably racing, but racing nonetheless.)

    The van driver was not paying attention and looked up to see traffic stopped in from of him. Instead of turning to the right or hitting the stationary cars in front of him he chose to steer into the oncoming lane and smear the 240SX. Even though the total damages exceeded $16,000 Canadian, the car was repaired - a process that lasted over three months.

    With his constant need for speed and improvement, the 240SX went through contant upgrades. First and foremost was the suspension, with the addition of Koni Sport adjustable shocks and Eibach springs in January of 1993. After burning through five sets of sticky R compound tires in three years, Don opted for "regular" street tires, and installed Michelin MXX3 Pilot tires (205/55/16 front, 225/50/16 rear) on lightweight sixteen inch ARE rims.

    Next Don fabricated his own 2 inch mild steel custom exhaust with a Supertrapp stainless muffler and was able to knock off over sixty pounds from the stock exhaust system. This also allowed tunability of the torque curve.

    After the exhaust came a Centerforce Dual Friction clutch and the infamous Nissan 300ZX four piston aluminum calipers and beefy vented rotors. Don's S13 was the first Nissan in Vancouver to sport this popular upgrade. He was one of the pioneers of this upgrade thanks to the ingenuity of Andy Pearson at Specialty Engineering. ( PDM 300ZX Brake Upgrade Kit )

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