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August 2008 - Lurch (P11)

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    Posted: 18 Jul 2008 at 6:14am

Congratulations on winning August 2008 COTM Darren, you are our latest member to have your story and fantastic Nissan Primera written into the NPOC Hall Of Fame. How does it feel?


Pretty darn good. Never really entered my head that I'd ever be in the running for the award. It's one of those surprising things to think that people appreciate the car and my efforts around the forum. I am very honoured to be one of the privileged few to receive the coveted award and will display it with pride.


We should all know about your car (and if we don't, we will shortly!) but let's talk about you the owner. Tell us a bit about yourself Darren.


I am a 23 year old graduate engineer from Loughborough University just about to start my new job as a project engineer for BAE systems working on the Astute submarine programme. I love cars, been around and tinkering on them pretty much my whole life. Also love a good game of rugby. Nice and single at the moment which makes spending money on the car so much easier. Other than that, I just like to have lots of fun in life!


Soon you'll be moving to a new location and starting out on an excellent career path (we wish you all the luck with this), are you excited / nervous and ready for it?


I honestly cannot wait. After working for Tesco for so long being treated like a complete moron, It is going to be an incredibly positive step in my life and hopefully one that leads to a fulfilling and happy career.


How did your Nissan Primera ownership start out? Were you looking specifically to buy a Nissan Primera, or was it a spur of the moment purchase?


I wanted a Nissan Primera ever since the BTCC days, when I was about 12 and my dad was bringing home company cars which were Primera GTs. I loved them from day one. I was around on the forum for about 8 months before I actually managed to get my hands on a Primera. Only because I needed a 1.6 (for insurance purposes) but wanted the GT looks. When one popped up I snapped it up.


You've been an NPOC member for well over 4 years now, how did you find us and what keeps you here?


When I was young and dumber and read Max Power (ahem) I was trying to look for bodykits for a friend who had just inherited a P10 slx. Found the forum and instantly fell in love with the place. Low and behold, 4 years later I'm still here. Can't get away from this place even if I tried. The community spirit here on the forum is amazing and I love it. OK we are passionate about our cars but it's the bits aside from that, which keep me coming back for more.


Before we talk about your current car, we saw your previous creation and it was of an incredibly high standard. It broke the barriers and proved that GA16DE powered cars can hold their own, both on performance and styling. Can we see a photo or two and a quick description, to remind us just how good it was?


Oh dear. Yeah the old 1.6. Still love that car even now. It had everything you could possibly want on it. Full GT kit with mudflaps, Hotshot Header, Powerflow catback, decat, custom intake, advanced timing, 17" BKs, Apexi suspension, full leather interior, custom doorcards, Skymeras old boot install oh the list goes on. Sounded great, looked great and was incredibly quick for a 1.6 even holding its own in acceleration with heavily modified 2.0s. Here's 2 photos of the 1.6:



So following on from that, you ended up with the car we all see you in today. A super rare 'W' plated silver GTLE and she's a stunner! Please do tell us the full spec and mod list.


Yup she is a rare one, and has some very very rare modifications on too. Actually so rare I have never seen or heard of anyone else owning some of the bits I have on this car:


HKS Header
HKS Superdragger Exhaust
JWT S3R Cams
Enlarged Throttle Body and Matched Plenum
Custom intake with K&N Filter
EBC Clutch
Nismo Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator
HKS Adjustable AFR

Magnecor Leads
17o Timing

Tein SuperStreet Coilovers
16" ROTA Slipstreams
Black Diamond Grooved and Cross Drilled Brakes all round with mintex pads
Goodrich Stainless Brake hoses
Hand Crafted (by me and my mother) Custom Alacantra Interior
HID conversion kit
R34 Clear Side Repeaters


What's your favourite modification to date?


It has to be the seats. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into those and for £40 worth of materials they came out pretty good. The odd wonky line here or there but I liked doing it as it proved that it wasn't something that was out of the reach of the average modifier and can be done on a budget, to a high standard.


Is your mission with the GTLE finished (are they ever!), or have you got any plans for the future? Anything you can tell us about?


Yeah, she is pretty much finished to be honest, little bits here and there but nothing huge in the pipeline. I love her just as she is and it is just a case of maintaining her, sorting out the problems that always crop up with these cars (spoiler rust and rear caliper at this very second in time!)


If a stranger knocked on your door right now and gave you £500 cash on the condition you had to spend it on your car within 7 days, what would you do with it?


Take it to the bodyshop and get all the little dings, dents and scratches sorted out as well as the spoiler rust. Nothing better than a beautifully straight, shiny car with lovely paintwork.


If your car burst into flames and you had could rescue just one part, which would it be?


Because of the rarity of it, the exhaust system. Everything else can be replaced basically off of the shelf - That can't. I like having the unique item on my car which is so hard to do, especially with this marque of car which has limited parts available anyway.


Looking back over the years you've been an NPOC member, what has been your highlight moment?


That is a very tough one. There have been a lot to be honest. A couple that really stick out in my head is the generosity that Simon (Pandamedic) showed me all those years ago, to let me pay for the 1.6 in installments. Probably wouldn't be here today if It wasn't for him. Being made a staff member was also a huge honour  and lastly is designing those memorial stickers for David Leslies passing and seeing all the cars around the country and now the world, sporting these as marks of respect. Makes me proud to be a part of the community when you see things like that.


To finish with (and keeping with the awesome idea you brought to the table), a quick fire question round!


Love or War? - Bit of both really. Both necessary in there own rights sometimes.

Marmite or Jam? - I like both 'dammit', Marmite with Cheese, Jam with toast.

Your dream car (should your lotto numbers come up)? - Eleanor from gone in 60 seconds.

Nordic or Mystic? - Nordic

4WD / RWD / FWD? - RWD

Tell us your favourite NPOC car - Stuferg25s Nordic at the moment.  But of all time it had to be Kev Sheks original Primera GT turbo before it became the Skymera.


Many thanks for taking the time to let us know all about you and your car Darren. Congratulations once again for winning this Car Of The Month for August 2008! Please take the spotlight and light up anyone who has helped you on your journey.


Yikes there are far too many but some special thanks have to go out to all the staff team: Shaun, Ade, G, Stevie, Matty and Gaz for keeping this place as great as it is. Simon from way back then for all his help, Sihayton for reasons he knows and all the guys that have supported me through my troubles in the past. You all know who you are!

August 2008 COTM - Lurch
Written by essNchill
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