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March 2014 - Ant-Dat

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    Posted: 21 Feb 2014 at 12:39am

Congratulations on winning March 2014 MOTM Ant! How does it feel to be our exclusive Member Of The Month and having your name up in lights?

You finally got me! After me declining the COTM for so long, I had no excuse to decline this one. Really happy and honoured to accept the new MOTM.

So I have finally bagged myself the Touring Car Legend, Mr Anthony Reid for NPOC MOTM YAY!! How does this compare with all your many victories behind the wheel of a race car?

It’s good to add another award to my collection. This has to be the best one to date!

OK, so now I’ve done my Anthony Reid joke and I will try not to do any more hahaha! We’d love to find out about you the person behind the computer. Please tell us about yourself and what you get up to, away from the NPOC.

I work for HP as part of a Network Management service team, basically I help develop, install and maintain applications / tools that manage network devices for accounts / customers, (some I can tell you, but then I’d really have to kill you LOL). We have global accounts but I’m part of a dedicated / leverage UK public sector instance, that I was part of designing and creating, for the whole of the UK.

In case you didn’t know I am a Datsun / Prince / Nissan nut and probably know more about the cars than Nissan UK.

I’ve been married for 13 years to Nicky and we have a lovely and mad, Bearded Collie called Layla, no she’s not modded but she has changed a lot. Layla does try and help when I’m working on cars, usually getting in the way! Just don’t show her a football.

I love watching movies and walks with Nicky and Layla and the odd bit of car work LOL and computers, gadgets etc.

How did you find the NPOC forums and are we any good? Would you happily recommend the club to other Nissan Primera owners?

It’s so long ago I can’t remember. I think I was doing research on Primeras at the time (which I do with any car I buy) and stumbled across the forum purely by chance. I sat in the background reading a lot of the forums at that time, gathering data before I bought the Nissan Primera P11 GT. Once I had the GT, I started posting and getting involved. I even helped in the background as a Forum Moderator for some of the technical forums and had my name down as one of the potential buyers of NPOC but I was a little too late on that one. 

If you own, or have an interest in a family club, then any Primera (unless it’s a P10, 144 or P12 only kidding) is welcome, you would be raving mad not to join!

You’re an NPOC Legend Member here, our absolute highest award we can give any member and the very fact that there are only a handful of Legend Members, should point out just how exclusive this group is! You were awarded NPOC Legend status, for all your hard work and commitment to the Club. NPOC Legend status comes with FREE and full membership for life BUT you choose to still pay £4 per month for your membership, hence why you are an NPOC Legend Elite Member. Why do you pay for membership, when you have been given free lifetime membership?

I have a really bad addiction and that’s helping people. When I was awarded the Legend status and was told I didn’t have to pay anymore, I was over the moon. But as time went by, I noticed that the members paying £4 were getting so much back from the club, at club meets and discounts etc. So they where helping keeping the club alive and getting something back as a thank you. It was logical for me to do the same (damn I sound like a Vulcan), to help the club and get some thanks back, it’s an easy win win.

So we know you're an NPOC Legend Member and a 10 year time served NPOC’r too! Let’s get talking about cars.. You’ve probably owned more cars than most of us around here LOL and a pretty varied bag too (thankfully mostly Japanese). Let’s devote this first look at the fleet, past and present, by starting with any previous cars you’ve owned / currently own please. Give us all a chronological break down, with a lashing of photos and specs:

This is going to be a big list! I’ll keep it mainly to the Jap stuff but in the early 90’s I owned a few other odd balls.. Opel Kadetts, Lotus Sunbeam, Fords etc.

1991 – Present: Datsun 200B GLX (VG30E engine from the 300zx fitted)

1992 – 1998: Ford Sierra

1998 – 1999: Ford Mondeo GLX, had it 9 months and found it too slow
1999 – 2001: Ford Mondeo ST with the rally sport add on pack 

2000 – 2001: Datsun 180B SSS

2000 – 2001: Datsun 160B (Silvia Turbo conversion)

2000 – 2001: Nissan Silvia 1.8 Turbo (black) parts car for 160B conversion

2001 – 2001: Nissan Laurel 2.4 Auto SGX (red)

2001 – Present: Nissan Laurel 2.4 SGX (silver), took full ownership when dad passed

2001 – Present: Datsun 180B (Skyline powered)

2002 – Present: (sort of) Nissan Primera P11 GT

2002 – 2008: Nissan Laurel 2.4 Auto SGX parts car

2002 – 2005: Datsun 1200 Coupe, sold to fund 510 purchase

2003 – 2003: Nissan Silvia 2.0 DOHC, bought for spare engine

2003 Datsun 180B (green), only a few parts saved rest went to scrap
2004 – 2007: Nissan Primera P10 1.6 LX (fully loaded Nissan special) saved this from the scrappy

2005 – Present: Datsun 1400 Deluxe
2007 – 2010: Nissan Almera 1.5 (silver)

2008 – 2009: Nissan Primera P11 SLX (modded) sold to PNP

2009 – Present: Datsun Cherry 1.0 DX (still only got 26k miles on the clock)

2009 – 2009: Nissan Primera P11 GT, bought to fix and sell on, it had a broken timing chain

2009 – 2009: Nissan Primera P11 GT saloon, bought as spares

2010 – 2012: Nissan 300 ZX T-Bar

2010 – Present: Nissan Almera N16 2.2 DCi SXE

2010 – 2010: Datsun Cherry 1.3 GX, parts car for DX

2011 – 2013: Nissan Primera P12 2.0 SE wagon

2012 – Present: Both Datsun 1200’s
2013 – Present: Nissan Primera P11 GT (green), new shell for Silver GT

To give a list of specs would need a small book LOL!

What was your favourite out of all of them and why?

It has to be the Datsun 200B, I bought this car in 1991 (yes that’s correct, no typo – 1991). My dad helped when he could, with the original restoration in 1993. I’m planning a full nut and bolt restoration to concourse level on this car. It will keep the VG30, as it’s the only one in the UK and who’s to know it never left the factory / country with that engine and in my usual style, it will look right at home in there.

Now I wanted to raise this point really early (here it is).. You and your old silver Nissan Primera P11 GT, won several trophies at our annual member judging event (held as part of the JAE weekender) and a question I have been asked a few times over the years is, “Why hasn’t Ant ever been awarded COTM based on his club trophies bagged at JAE?”. Simply answered as, “Because you are a sneaky nut smuggling squirrel!”! For all the times I was always going to send you the invite, I got a sniff from either yourself or someone else, that the silver GT was transforming into this or that, so we never got round to you because we were always waiting for the “finished article”. With the changes I have made to all of this, going from COTM > MOTM, I got you now and it’s been a long time on the cards but thankfully the wait is over! Ending this one with a question too, how many trophies did you win at JAE over the years with the old GT?

It’s true, I know you wanted the silver GT for COTM for years and a little confession, the silver GT hadn’t really changed much but I always have idea’s to improve my cars! So waiting for a “finished article”, that’s going to be a long wait LOL. I have a shelf full of trophies won at JAE, “best modified”, “best improved” “furthest traveled” etc. The silver GT won 2 years in a row for “best OEM / standard” and runner up god knows how many times. If the voters only really new the truth, the silver GT was modded out of its head, 209 HP at the wheels, ever wondered why the bonnet wasn’t opened till the Sunday!?!?

What got you into a Nissan Primera to start with, was it on the list of cars to own back in the day, or a chance encounter?

At the time we had a Nissan Laurel Auto, just after we managed to get Ford to take back Satan’s Mondeo. We needed an Auto due to Nicky’s car crash but once Nicky was starting to get better, I started looking for a replacement to try and save some money (19 MPG was a killer). I looked at the Mitsubishi Galant but finding out that the model I wanted was 99.9% only available as an automatic and the power from a V6 was disappointing, I started to look at other models and found the Nissan Primera P11 GT ticked all the boxes for me. I spent months looking for a nordic hatch but alas it wasn’t meant to be. In 2002 I found the really low mileage silver P11 GT, so the deal was struck and I had many years trouble free motoring. In fact the GT broke down once less that 300 yards from home, the dreaded drive shaft snap and that left the GT off the road for about 45 minutes LOL. The silver GT lives on in its new green jacket and it’s soon to be fully resprayed too, with further modifications planned.

Do you think the Nissan Primera modification scene has changed much in the last 10 years, what are we all doing different now?

It depends on what you mean by modifications, everyones idea is different. Personally I think the Primera looks great in OEM / factory form and that’s the way mine will remain. But on the underside where all the magic happens, is the modification area for me and I don’t mean banging on a turbo / super charger or crap like that! True modification is getting the most out of the NA engine and keeping the car reliable.

Why is it the Americans have always been so far ahead of us when it comes to tuning and especially the performance side? I always used to think it was because they have so many different models of cars running either an SR20 or GA16 but then half of me thinks it may be down to cost too. What’s your take on this one?

I have to agree that I think part is down to cost, but also getting parts from Japan and such like, are a lot easier for the Americans. We do have a few modded cars in the club, some well known and some not quite so well known. Another reason is here in the UK, we tend to get the “crap models” or less tricked out models and as such, people just tend to leave them as they are and go with the flow. The other thing is there is actually legislation in the UK about modified cars, I have read that there are talks about starting to force the point system for modified cars, I know it’s already started when the car goes for an MOT! It should be interesting and worth watching.

So moving on.. On your vast and epic (how jealous am I?!) driveway and garage, you have more than just the odd Primera parked up. What’s the actual fleet consisting of now Ant? And I mean just the ones you can get in and legally drive!

At the moment the current count is 9 (I think LOL) and all insured. The only road legal cars at the moment are the GT, SXE and the good old trusty Laurel but that’s only down to the time of the year. All being well come April, the 180B and the Cherry will be taxed and coming out of hibernation.

So, projects.. What’s in pieces and why? Tell us about the ones that are being done up, or ones that will be done up and you know we love photos too!

Starting with the oldest, a 1971 Datsun 1400 (510), this one I really want to get done as its tax free! I have plans to modify it but all old skool modifications.

1972 Datsun 1200 2 door (B110), it was bought to be cut up to aid the repairs of the race car to be but plans have maybe changed and this might be restored, as it’s a very very rare car with only three remaining in uk and at the time it was a special order only.

1972 Datsun 1200 Coupe (KB110) – Race car to be.

1978 Datsun 200B (810), this is the Primera’s great great great grandad LOL and it’s awaiting concourse restoration.

But I also have projects on the go for other people too, Trumph Stag, Nissan Figaro, Vauxhall Cresta and a Primera GT to list a few. Oh and I can’t forget my own GT with it’s ever growing changes!

We have also seen you look after / fix / maintain the odd race car.. How did that come about, still doing it?

A good friend that I met actually through the Datsun scene, asked me if I would be interested in helping him with a race car, competing in the Scottish Motor Racing Club. I agreed as I thought it would be a lot of fun. We are coming up on our 4th season and car prep is well under way.

The First season was a nightmare with a lot of the races that we didn’t even finish due to a fault with the car in some form, it did get better towards the end thankfully.

The last 2 seasons we have come in 2 / 1 in class and in the top 3 of the championship. In 2012 we also won the best presented race car!

Ever fancied building your own race car (ideally a nice Primera!) and taking it to regular track events?

I used to do quite a bit of track time many years ago in my old modified (sorry have to say) Ford Sierra, with a 198HP normally aspirated engine.

Currently if I get a break in the weather, I do have a race car to build – It’s a 1972 Datsun 1200 Coupe (aka Datsun Sunny), I’m planning on a full race spec A14 with close ratio 5 speed gearbox, all being well it should be pushing out around 170HP.I know that doesn’t sound much but the actual road weight of the car was 848 KG’s fully trimmed, which will be much less when it goes on a diet.

You’re very well known throughout the world (respect) for some of your cars and also your very extensive knowledge of most things Datsun related. Where did the actual Jap / Datsun passion originally come from?

I’m not really sure to be honest as my Dad only ever had one Datsun / Nissan.

I used to love Fords and have had a few but after a bad spell with a Mondeo ST (first ever new car I bought) and the service from Ford, I said that I would never own another Ford as long as I live, well maybe a GT500 or some 1966 Mustang LOL.

I think for me the passion for Datsun came from their reliability, I know all the old jokes! I believe that Datsun rusted so badly in those days due to 2 factors, the fact they used recycled metal (a little on the thin side) and the fact the cars spend 3 – 4 months surrounded by salt water, during transport to the UK.

I actually passed my driving test in my Dad’s 1984 Nissan Laurel.

One I’ve been dying to ask you.. You’re not actually a mechanic by trade or anything, so how the hell did you ever become so spanner handy?

I’m a world winning BTCC driver LOL but by trade I’m a fabricator / welder and I bet you didn’t know that!

It’s true I’m not a mechanic but it’s something that comes natural and I have been fixing cars even before I could actually pick up a spanner, those pesky pedal cars always broke down.

When I was younger everyone thought I’d end up as a mechanic, maybe that’s why I didn’t just to prove them all wrong.

Old Skool / New Skool.. As above, the older cars are generally accepted as being easier to work on, due to basic technology and mechanics. What’s your view? Or is a car just a car and the basics remain the same regardless?

Very interesting question, personally a car is a car, it doesn’t matter what it is really, the principles of fixing them are still the same.

The more technology they cram into them, the more they are going to break.

With the engines getting smaller due to the emission and running costs, I think cars are becoming disposable and will require more visits to garages, for engine issues etc.

However the new Nissan engine has got my interest – 44 KG’s in weight, 3 cylinders with 1500 CC and a massive 400 BHP!

Time for the quick fire question round!

What makes you smile? 

Driving a sleeper, the looks on people faces when you up and leave is priceless.

What makes you sad? 

People giving wrong or dangerous technical and mechanical advice.

Tell us something we don't know about you..

I’ll give you guys 2 things you (or many) don’t know. I helped built my first modified car when I was just 12 years old, it was a full 1740cc race spec MK1 Escort and I first met Nicky at the age of 5 and we are sitting side by side in the primary schools 1st photo.

Your favourite colour? 

I don’t really have one.

Your lucky number? 

Again, I don’t really have one.

What will it say on your gravestone?

I’m sure my gravestone will be modded in some way LOL.

Your favourite drink (any)? 

Pepsi Max.

Your sub £10K second hand dream car would be? 

A challenge this one, maybe a Datsun 1600 SSS Coupe.

Your sub £30K second hand dream car would be? 

Finding one for that price would be hard but I’d love a Hakosuka GTR (you do know Skyline isn’t a Nissan design?).

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

I’d have to say G’s Mystic, always have had a soft spot for that car, even more after G and myself did the conversion on it. Someone has to get some miles under its belt LOL, here's a photo of his car to prove it does exist!

Now living where you do, you haggis scoffing, Irn-Bru slurping, kilty wearing, ginger bearded person (he lives in Scotland for all of ya who don’t get it LOL!), for every club meet you do get out to, it’s generally one hell of a drive to get there (thank you sir!).. So what’s been your favourite Club Meet (Regional or National) of all time and why?

I can’t stand Irn-Bru and dislike haggis too haha!.It is a bit of a trek sometimes and I have attended some of the meets as day trips (usually in the region of 600 - 700 miles round trip)! It’s just like driving out to the shops for some milk or bread.

I think for me, it has to be JAE as the best meet. I have been attending this meet from the start (1997) and some changes to this meet (by the organizers) haven’t always been for the best. The meet for me has lost a lot of its character but I still attend, to spend the weekend with my friends of NPOC.

Tell everyone who has never come out and joined us at a Club Meet, why they should..

Simple - Get away from the keyboard and get face to face. It’s much easier to understand people away from the keyboard and the Club Meets are the best place to meet like minded people, with a passion for the Nissan Primera. Even if you can only make one meet a year, it has to be the JAE weekender!

I’ve spent the last few years writing these features and generally ask the winner, if they could build it, what would their dream Nissan Primera be and how and we’ve had some interesting answers.. But.. For you I’m gonna ask the same question but your answer has to be based entirely on your mechanical knowledge and experience and therefore has to be an actual reality and not a dream.. No asking your mates at RML, who helped you with the Super Tourers you drove in the 90’s either! Go for it, the best Nissan Primera you could create would be..

That’s an easy one to answer but without giving anything away in my usual style, watch this space!

So 10 years of NPOC life WOW!! There's been some very good club memories and moments in the last decade. Do you have a defining one?

Sorry to correct you but I joined NPOC in 2001, so my count is nearly 14 years, do I get extra holidays for length of service?

Defining a good moment is a very hard one and sadly I don’t think I can, because 99.9% of the time with NPOC, they are all memorable! But things that stick out are that NPOC members will always try and help their own family.

A few good examples of this, In 2009 I lost my Dad to a very rare illness called PSP (progressive Supernuclear Palsy) and to try and raise awareness and help funding, I did a car tune up session over the JAE weekend and as a club we raised £640 but Nicky and myself rounded it up to £700. Then there was the charity drive you guys did from Lands End to John O Groats (and back again, non stop), again the club members got behind and helped where they could, with donations and moral support all throughout the journey. Final example and a recent one too, someone paying membership fees for a fellow member, that’s hit hard times financially and could no longer pay for their membership.

Stupid question I know, given the fact that you are an NPOC Legend and die hard NPOC'r but NPOC for life, regardless of what car you ever find yourself owning?

I’ll always have a Nissan Primera(s) somewhere in my collection and I’ll always be around the NPOC family.

Over the years, your house and driveway have entertained many of NPOC’s members cars and the members themselves, you’ve helped so many of us with our cars.. Does Nicola (your fantastic wife) ever threaten you with divorce or take up a kitchen knife in anger?

Nicky killed one of my Datsuns just 2 months after a full year long restoration / modification was completed. I think she decided if she can’t beat them, might as well join them.

All the people that visit for car work usually end having lunch or dinner (sometimes both) and all sorted out by Nicky. I’m still trying to get Nicky to come back to JAE maybe one year.

We all read the debate in the December 2013 COTM about my decision to change the name of our monthly feature to "Member Of The Month" and also change the criteria and so on.. Did I make the right call in changing things around here? Or should I have left it as it was?

I understand the reason for the change and think it has good and point points. The club has to evolve due to the decline of Primera’s, not just in the club but in the UK (probably partly down to the grim reaper LOL) and with the club being not just about Nissan Primera’s but about its members (“members 1st cars 2nd”), it’s a logical progression. Do I agree with it? In some ways yes and in some ways no but I’m happy to see how it pans out, if you don’t try you don’t know and you can never please everyone regardless.

So here we are, right at the end of your feature and I wanted to take the time to say a BIG thank you from me and the Club, for all you have done over the last 10 years. You’ve been a good personal friend of mine and helped me out many many times, you’ve been a wealth of knowledge with your technical and mechanical support to all our members and you’ve personally got your hands dirty and fixed our cars, when we’ve managed to break them! Yourself (plus Andy and Paul) also played a vital part in keeping the Club’s epic LEJOG charity drive on track, when we ran into issues and I don’t think I could ever thank you enough for just that one! Congratulations once again for winning Member Of The Month for March 2014 Ant! Please end this feature, in your own words and feel free to thank anyone who’s made this one possible.

Thanks to all the friends and people I have met on and through NPOC and as most of you know, I’m usually only a Private Message away for (usually good sound) help and advice.

Thanks to all of you who helped me during the time when we lost my Dad, you guys know who you are, the odd phone call here and there, to check I was coping as well as I could was appreciated and to all the members at JAE that year that helped raise the £640 towards supporting other people with PSP.

Over the years people have often said I should move down south, so I’m closer to help with their cars, you all should thank G as he did try. When I went down to his for a weekend to help with his engine conversion, he was joking all weekend about trying to keep me down there, unknown to us both it was true.. The return flight he had booked was for a month after the Sunday I was due to return home, Nice try dude LOL!

Thanks to Andy for spending a couple hours with me prepping the car on Sunday.

I have met a lot of good friends during my time so far with NPOC and I do hope to meet and make a lot more, in the coming years.

Thanks to the Club for giving me this award, it does mean a lot and I haven’t bored you guys too much with this feature!

Take care,

Congratulations once again to Ant!

March 2014 MOTM - Ant-Dat

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