*shipping not included *prices in $CAD

    Our Feature this month is the personal racecar of Don Nimi. It's a full tube frame GT4 Nissan 510 built by Andy Pearson of Specialty Engineering (New Westminster, B.C., Canada 604-521-9232) in 1989/1990 for the original owner, Brian Richards.

Danny Welding     Life for the ground-up race car began with a metal tube-frame chassis built to fit under a Datsun 510 body shell. This new chassis replaces the unibody on which the 510 rode out of the factory. The new frame adds stiffness over the original as well as providing a much needed safety cage to protect the driver. All that remains of the original 510 are the roof, windshield and pillars. Remaining parts were crafted by Specialty to comply with SCCA GT rules. As you can tell from the photos, this is a serious race car, designed and built from scratch.
Gary and Shell

    Now that the frame is set, construction of the exterior body can begin. The process will result in a custom built race-only vehicle, that is still recognizeable as a Datsun 510. This is where Andy's high committment to quality shows. The exterior panels are mocked up to mimic the factory lines of the original Datsun 510, however the panels must also fit over the much wider-than-stock track of the racing chassis. After the car is sculpted with wood, fiberglass, and body filler, molds are taken from these mocked-up panels. From these molds, new lightweight finished body panels are then hand laid up in fiberglass; These are the pieces used on the finished car.

    These are not the actual panels. These are the plugs. Fiberglass is laid over the plugs to make a mold and finally the panel is made from the mold. This procedure was repeated for every single body piece on the car, except the roof. In total, there are 10 different fiberglass panels that "pop" off the finished car.

Interior Panels     Attention to detail? The frame of this car has a deeper finish than the exteriors of most cars. Here Brian Berg and Collin Jackson attach the inner panels of the car, also finished in the same red.

Dust Covers Rotors     You can't stop a racecar with any old brakes. Here Andy taps the dust covers onto the massive custom rotors. Note the wrapping on the frame tubes to prevent them from getting scratched. These rotors are obviously a custom application, about twice as wide as the stock vented rotors of some cars. In the final setup they will be clamped by an equally impressive pair of four piston calipers.

Hub/Strut L18     Here are the start and end points of this car's power. The first motor installed under the hood of the new racer was this dry-sumped SOHC L18 (1.8 Litre) motor. The power was transferred through the transmission, driveshaft and rear end to these hubs. The rear suspension is modified from the 510's stock semi-trailing arm setup.
Car Before Decals
Now that the car's built, let's see what it can do Outside of the shop.
Part 2