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August 2012 - Geordie (W11)

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    Posted: 23 Jul 2012 at 11:26pm

Congratulations on winning August 2012 COTM Chris! The first time we have ever featured a Nissan Primera Wagon!! Good job this W11 144 2.0 SE+ is a cracker too! How does it feel bagging this exclusive award and the awesome COTM trophy as well?

I’m absolutely flabbergasted to be honest Shaun. Getting that Private Message from you with the news was totally unexpected and a wonderful surprise. It feels a bit humbling to be a part of the Car of the Month archives of this club for a second time. I’m not one to air my personal problems on the forums, but a few members know that we have had a rough time in the last month or so, so this has come at a good time (not that there would be a bad time of course!). I’m totally chuffed to own the first wagon to win the award and almost as chuffed to be the first Nissan Primera P11 144 to win since September 2009!! I’ve counted up that sixteen P11’s, seven P10’s and two P12’s have won since “ady_c”s lovely black 144. It’s great to see this version of the Primera in the limelight again.

Another two times winner of COTM as well!! Your 1st win was in April 2010 with your previous Nissan Primera P11 GT - Does it feel any different second time around?

It’s totally different. The first time was a complete shock. With the black GT, I had only been a paying member for just over a year, so although I was totally chuffed to bag the award, I was relatively new to the club. Because of that, I was unaware to a certain extent of the history of the club or the high quality of the cars (and members) which had won the award previously. Now I have that grounding in the history of the club and a greater feel for the ethos and thinking behind this club, believe me, I am truly and deeply honoured to win again.

Before we talk cars, modifications and mechanics, we’d love to find out about you the owner. Any big life changes or anything since we read your original feature in 2010? Please tell us about yourself and what you get up to, away from the NPOC.

Well, I’m now 42 and still working for the same company based up in Morpeth, Northumberland, supplying pipe and fittings to the oil and gas industry. January 2012 saw a massive change though, as we were ‘acquired’ by a huge American company. Obviously we were all concerned, as everyone is in the initial stages of a take-over, about the future of our jobs. However, our worries have so far been put to bed and we are busier than ever, with the backing of a multi-billion dollar wallet, so things are good. Being American owned, I have been re-branded from Stock Manager to Inventory Controller. How impressive does that sound??!!

My personal life has completely turned full circle since my last Car of the Month. Back in April 2010, I was going through a rough time with my partner. Well, not long after that, my wife, Donna and I got back together after nearly 2 years apart. We will celebrate our 10thwedding anniversary in February and things couldn’t be better. Sometimes you need time apart to realise just how good you are as a couple. I love her to bits. The kids are growing up fast too. Abbie is now nearly 16 and will be going into year 11, her GCSE year, in September. She’s already asked me to teach her to drive! Cameron is 12 now and shooting upwards, not outwards like he used too, which is good!! He is a regular at NPOC meets and loves the craik. Being back with Donna means I also have my step-daughter Jessica (also 12) back. She’s another great kid, although we do have regular step-daughter / step-father ups and downs!!

You’re an Elite Member here (our highest level of paying membership) and have been for over 2 years now! Are you still getting value for money with that? And please sell us the reason, why everyone should become Elite.

I became an Elite member to give something back to the club. All the information, laughs and banter has got to be worth £4 a month. On top of that, the savings are amazing. With freebies like entry into Japfest2, catering at JAE, stand passes and the Ace breakfast on top of discounted group buys and entry to JAE, it’s a no brainer to me. For me it’s all about putting something, however small, into the club from which we all take so much.

Those who remember your April 2010 COTM feature, will know this is now your third Nissan Primera. You came to the brand with a P11 144, then moved to the P11 and now we have you back in a W11 144 – How did this happen, was it a size thing?

You’re right Shaun, I did have a base model 1.6E P11 144 about 10 years ago, which I kept for about three years, but found it dull and underpowered. Three or four cars later, I found myself hunting around for a Nissan Primera P11 GT, realising I’d secretly hankered after one since my time (8 years) making Primera front seats at the Sunderland plant. I ended up with a good one, but caught the dreaded ‘modding bug’ after signing up here. After two years with the black GT, and stamping my mark on it, I found myself needing a change and the wagon was enough of a change to make it my next challenge.

It’s well known that you have a love for retro rides / classics.. Surely we would have seen you rocking an early 90’s P10 and repping the Old Skool, did you consider going this in this direction when you were looking to change?

P10? I like retro, but not that retro!!! Haha, just kidding all you P10 guys!! The answer to your question is yes, I did consider a Nissan Primera P10, but finding a good one is getting increasingly hard (just ask Martin “prim-n-proper”!). I’m not sure how many people know this about me, but my favourite Primera / colour combo is a P10 in Cobalt Blue. I did actually agree a price to buy a blue P10 from a member 2 or 3 years ago, but sadly the cost of transporting it up from Cornwall to Newcastle just put the mockers on the whole deal. I would definitely consider a P10 in the future, when the time comes for a change.

And as an update, do you have any idea what happened to your old Nissan Primera P11 GT in lovely Kuro Black?

It’s a shame it didn’t stay in the club when I sold it, even though it was for sale on the forum for a few weeks. I saw the old Black & Green GT for sale on Pistonheads once, about a year ago, but not since. How cool would it be to see it in the club again one day!

What keeps you with the Nissan Primera as a car, when most people sell up, we don’t see them back again in another Primera?

I’ve had a love for the Primera for a long time, even before I spent all those years making the seats. I remember when I worked in a hotel in the early 1990’s and it was used as the location for the press launch for the P10. There was a long line of them in the staff car park and I admired them even then. I ended up with a freebie bit of memorabilia – a Nissan clipboard with promo literature in it, plus a map of the route the press guys took on the day. Before Borja “schwen” asks if I still have it, sorry, but much to my regret, I don’t know what happened to it. This deep down admiration for the marque, combined with the reliability, practicality and power when needed mean I will probably stick with a Primera for a long while yet.  

Since your last feature, there have been some car additions to your family.. Honda’s / Rovers and some old Datties.. Keeping track of what you own should be a category for someone on Mastermind! What’s the current state of play with the fleet Chris?

The current fleet currently lines up like this:

2000 W11 144 Primera

1995 Rover ‘Tomcat’ Coupe

1987 N13 Sunny

1985 B11 Sunny

I’ve said goodbye to the B12 Sunny Coupe and a 3rd Generation Honda Prelude as well in the last 12 months.

The purchase of the Tomcat has a story behind it. I was on the lookout for a good one in the same Nightfire Red as the one I used to have when we got married in 2003. It’s the only car that Donna has loved in all our time together and I wanted to surprise her with another. The long and the short of it is that I saw this one in Liverpool, but lost the auction for it by 99p. After about 3 weeks, the seller got back in touch with me to say the auction winner hadn’t bothered to collect and was I still interested? So I ended up with it after all. The wedding anniversary went better than I could have imagined, with Donna loving this one as well and a surprise trip over to Gretna (where we got married) in the Tomcat, topped things off nicely. Oh what an old romantic!! Do you reckon I could get into JAE one year with it, seeing as it has a Honda engine?!?!

On to the modifications, now would be a great time to tell us all about your Nissan Primera W11 144 SE+ so please list your full spec and all modifications, inside and out:


Carbon fibre wrap to gear surround (over the SE+ ‘wood’ surround!)

Black leather gear knob (to replace more wood!)

P11 144 fascia adaptor to fit JVC head unit

NPOC Tax disc holder

Nissan badge behind armrest

Re-carpeted boot


“Gaz1972” / “Yogi” Pete’s old one off modified front bumper

De-barred and meshed bonnet grille vents

Colour coded outer door handles

Tinted headlight protectors

Tinted side repeaters

17” Black Toora alloys

Painted brake calipers

JDM Clear Rear Tail light clusters

JDM full set of Wind deflectors

JDM rear boot spoiler

Rear bumper corner spats

Carbon fibre vinyl on door pillars

NPOC stickers

SMD bulbs in sidelights and rear number plate lights

Red Rising Sun design on sunroof

David Leslie sticker

De-‘Primera’ badged the boot-lid

Black sunstrip with 3D NPOC detail

I hope to fit “Nippon1971”s old plasma dials and get the twin tail lights sorted in the JDM tails before JAE.

What’s the most enjoyable change you’ve made so far?

A tough one this. On a day to day basis, spending as much time in the car as I do (20K+ miles a year), I must say that having 10 hours of music on a memory stick, which I can bang in the JVC unit, probably means that the fascia adaptor is up there with my favourite mods. However, as my favourite mod, I can’t really choose between the JDM clear rears and JDM boot spoiler. The difference the light clusters made when I fitted them was unbelievable, giving a much more modern look. The boot spoiler finished off the rear end, giving it a much more sportier, touring look, which I also love.

If I gave £500 right now and told you it had to be spent on the car, what would you buy?

Full stainless exhaust system, from manifold to backbox.

If money was no object and you could do anything you wanted to the Wagon, what would you do?

If I couldn’t rent Myleene Klass for the day to sit in the passenger seat, I would have to turn my attention to a 4 wheel drive + VVL conversion!

If it wasn’t hard enough already to find aftermarket or nice parts for a normal shaped Nissan Primera, you had to take on a Wagon! As we have seen from your spec list above, you have sourced some nice JDM goodies.. We all know that can be a bit pricey too! Any regrets as yet, with taking this path?

As I’ve had a lot of help from member Tan “GT786” sourcing the JDM bits and pieces, it hasn’t been that pricey and I love the fact that I have some genuine JDM goodness on the wagon. So in answer to your question, je ne regret rien!!

Time for the quick fire question round!

How long have you been an NPOC Member? 

3 ½ years

What makes you smile? 

Abbie doing her Australian accent!

What makes you sad? 

Other people crying

Tell us something we don't know about you..
I was a county athlete as a young ’un and Northern Colleges Triple Jump Champion 1988!!

Your favourite colour? 

Your lucky number? 

What will it say on your gravestone?

“Really?………He never did?……….Did he?”

Your favourite drink (any)? 
Stella Cidre

If you could steal the keys to someone else’s car (on NPOC) for 1 day, which car would you steal and why? 

Toss up between ‘Supertourer’ Marks silver P11 and ‘Shadow’ Vinces black P11. Both just so…. right! "essNchill" Shauns Pink P11 "Pinky" also floats my boat!

What’s been your favourite ever club meet, “of all time” so far and why?

Of course, JAE 2009, my first, was special. JAE 2010 when I won best P11 144 was also special. However, it may surprise people when I say that my favourite ever meet ‘in the world…..EVER…….’ was the Scottish meet in the spring (I think) of 2010. There were only five of us (“peetee”, “Darwin”, “Marc T”, “TheStigP11GT” and myself), but the company, weather and location (Loch Venechar) were perfect and it is a day I will treasure in the memories. For those of us that were there, we will never forget the Clampetts with their dog in the Loch… Quality laugh out loud stuff!!

NPOC for life (regardless of what car you own and drive) or leg it when you change car?

NPOC for life, without a doubt. There is something about this club and the firm friendships you make, that keep people signing in long after they have ever owned a Nissan Primera. That says a lot!

Last year at JAE 2011, you bagged an epic club trophy: “Best Nissan Primera P11 144” on the NPOC stand, as voted for by the members (well done!).. That must have been a moment to remember! How does it rate in your achievements as an NPOC multi trophy winning member so far?

It was a very humbling moment to be sure. To know that your motor has been voted for by friends and fellow members, above other top quality 144’s, was a special moment. I was literally almost speechless and I’m sure people can remember my rubbish ‘speech’ and hopefully understand. Each award I have been given is special and I cherish each one.

JAE 2012 in a 6 ish weeks… Are you gonna bring it home again?

This year has been hard and things I had planned to get sorted just haven’t happened. The wagon isn’t perfect, which I suppose is because it’s a 12 year old daily driver with 160K on the clock! Of course, a trophy at JAE is special and I would be lying if I said it wouldn’t be a lovely thing, but there have been some awesome P11 144’s come into the club this year and the longer owned ones have been improved also, so we’ll have to see what happens. Just being at JAE is great for me (and Cam of course!). Anything else is a bonus. Retaining the quiz trophy with the other Northern chaps would be good enough for me!!

Your son Cameron has been a regular at our big club meets for the last couple of years and he’s a cracking lad and a credit to you.. He is only 5 years off driving himself.. Is he going to carry on the Nissan Primera / NPOC tradition and be rolling in a Nissan Primera?

As I said earlier in the feature, I can’t believe how quick these small, snotty nosed, smelly kids have grown up into large, snotty nosed, smelly kids!! Abbie can learn to drive in 2013 and as you say, the Camster won’t be far behind her. I would like to think that I’ve given him a good grounding into looking at things from all angles and appreciating reliability, practicality and power when choosing a car – taking that into account and the fact he loves NPOC meets, I reckon there’s a chance he’ll be in a Primera at some point!!

I know I already asked you this one in your previous feature LOL but tell Carlos Ghosn (again) why he needs to bring back the Nissan Primera brand and what would the new Nissan Primera be like in your eyes:

I stick with my previous answer from 2010!! Returning brands like the Mini, Scirocco, Beetle etc have proved there is a demand for the older names. There is an inbred loyalty from drivers of the original car, so there is a guaranteed market there to tap into, along with the next generation down from these guys who hear nothing but “ahhhh, I remember my first Primera blah blah blah”!!!

So… A winning Wagon at last (YAY!)… Now tell everyone why we need to be selling up our loons and hatchbacks and buying one.

I don’t think you should. I like to be driving something different haha!

Many thanks for telling us all about yourself and the Nissan Primera W11 144 SE+ we see featured here - 2 times winner now and with 2 fantastic cars!! Congratulations once again for winning Car Of The Month for August 2012 Chris! Please end this feature, in your own words and feel free to thank anyone who’s made this one possible.

Massive thanks to the club owners first. Shaun “essNchill”, G “ragt20” and Ade “shade”, along with the moderators who run a great club here and all their hard work is thoroughly appreciated. Well done guys.

Specifically for the Wagon, I appreciate the bits and help that Martin “prim-n-proper”, Tan “GT786”, Jimes “Jim”, Paul “crazy taxi”, Dave “trigg51”, Shaun “essNchill”, Graham “Grim”, Chris “chrisrobot” and Pete “yogi” have sorted for me, plus all the advice from members who tell me when one of my little ideas has failed in an epic way. The truth hurts sometimes.

I have made some true friends through this club. Friendships that will last. Truly fine people, who I am proud to know. You all know who you are. Thanks to you all.

Lastly and most importantly too, a big thanks to Donna and the kids for their love and support.

Long Live NPOC!!

Congratulations once again to Chris!

August 2012 COTM - Geordie
Written by essNchill

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