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May 2015 - Criteria

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Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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    Posted: 30 Apr 2015 at 9:51pm

Congratulations on winning May 2015 MOTM Stephen! How does it feel to be our exclusive Member Of The Month and having your name up in lights?

It was a total, but very pleasant, surprise to receive your message telling me I’d won MOTM. As you know, it wasn’t the greatest timing, but we managed to get it sorted in the end and I’m very happy to be featured on NPOC.

We’d love to find out about you the person. Please tell us about yourself and what you get up to, away from the NPOC.

Well, I’m 33 and from Hertfordshire. I’m a full time Prototype Engineer and run the development workshop for a well known lighting company, where I’ve worked for over 15 years now.

Outside of work my main interests are cars, music, games and all things Japanese. I watch a lot of Japanese movies and anime, I also listen to quite a lot of Japanese music – mainly J-rock / metal. Musically my tastes are quite diverse. Im a Junglist at heart though and still like to attend the occasional DnB rave or jungle night when I can, but am far more active going to rock / metal gigs these days.

I’m mostly only interested in various forms of motorsport, but I am an Arsenal supporter and I also like to do a bit of archery in the fields out back of where I live, when the weather is decent.

I know it’s been a while now but can you remember how you found the NPOC forums and are we any good? Would you happily recommend the club to other Nissan Primera owners?

I found the NPOC forums through an online search and would gladly recommend the club to anyone. It’s easily the best club I’ve been a part of. Whenever I buy a new car I head straight for the owners club forums, as they’re always indispensable for advice, info and just for meeting like-minded people in general I guess. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed with what I found here.

You’ve now racked up 3 years of membership here at NPOC - Massive respect and well done! What keeps you coming back and signing in every day here?

In a nutshell, great people and great cars. I love catching up with other member’s project threads in particular. My eyes are always on the for sale section too, as you never know when something interesting will pop up.

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

I’m definitely getting my money’s worth. The Elite discounts for Japfest, JAE and the Ace Café more than cover my costs of Elite Membership. Then there’s other little bits and pieces throughout the year like last year’s trip to watch the BTCC at Thruxton. I always look to support any club I’m a part of, as these things ultimately cost money to run. The benefits almost always outweigh the costs though too. Hell, I’m still using a Halfords trade card I picked up as a member of a Vauxhall owners club many years ago!

Bottom line, if you’re an active member and want to get out to meet like-minded people at the various meets and shows, then the Elite Membership is an absolute steal.

I’m gonna ask you a question that I rarely get to ask haha.. Only me and you know, that in 2013 I invited you to become COTM but due to work schedules and timings, we never got it on sadly. I know you were gutted! So does it feel any different being asked a 2nd time, or was it still an awesome Private Message to read regardless?

Actually, it was the last ever COTM feature. I was gutted, but at the same time still happy with the knowledge I’d been selected. The GT was way off from being finished back then though, so I’m much happier doing a feature with where it’s at right now.

So let’s get onto cars.. Give us your car ownership history from the day you passed please and I’d love you to accompany this lot with some olde photos if you have them?

Vauxhall Nova 1.0

Ford Escort MK4 1.4

Ford Fiesta MK3 1.1

Ford Escort MK5 1.6

Rover 200vi

Vauxhall Vectra 2.5 V6 SRI

Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0 SRI

Rover 220 Coupe

Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 TS – With optional GTA spoiler!

Nissan Primera GT Hatch

What was your favourite out of all of them and why and any you really regretted letting go?

The Primera GT is easily my favorite of the bunch. The SR20 is a solid engine and the handling is great. It makes a great base car for modding, even with the challenges of finding parts and the costs involved. I genuinely can’t believe how it never took off with UK tuning companies, given how good it is and the world wide success it had in motorsport.

The Rover 200vi would be a close second. It was rapid, just a couple of tenths slower to 60mph than a MK4 RS Turbo. The engine was later used in the MG ZR I believe and had 150bhp, which in a little 200 body meant it really flew. It handled great too. It was the first car I did more than alloys and audio to. It was prone to head gasket failure though, so it got chopped in for the V6.

Special mention goes to the Nova. It was shit but it was my first car and I ragged the hell out of it and ran it into the ground. A genuine bonafide death trap in the end, but it has so many good memories attached to it!

Now most of us know you from your sexy silver Nissan Primera GT whilst you’ve been a member and thankfully we have seen you out and about at Club Meets over the years too but 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?

Back in 1997 I used to pass a shiny new P11 Mystic pretty much every day, in the village I grew up in. It was always kept immaculate by the owner and as a 15 year old car mad boy I was just drawn to it and knew I had to have one someday.

Took me a while to get here and granted it’s not a Mystic, but it was worth the wait!

Was it always your plan to take on a P11 GT and modify it, to how she is today – Or did you just join NPOC and the magic happened?

It was always going to be modified and I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do straight away. The only part of the original plan I’ve deviated from is the engine, but if the money is there I’ll be properly sorting that next year.

All this talk about your Nissan Primera, let’s find out more please matey! Tell us all about the spec and goodies she has:

Engine.

JWT S3 cams.

VMS Racing 10.2mm HT leads.

Forge Motorsport carbon air canister with Pipercross filter.

HKS AFR.

Ebay S/S Manifold.

2.5 inch Stainless cat back system with 3 inch tail pipe.

Silicon coolant hoses.

Custom radiator plate.

Millers Nano drive oil.

Fuse and relay covers.

Chassis.

17” Lenso RS5 – sprayed white.

BC coil overs.

Carbing type 2 aluminium strut bar.

Energy suspension ARB link poly bushes.

Brakes.

MTEC drilled & grooved discs.

Standard GT calipers painted red.

Styling.

Wide mouthed GT bumper with EVO 6 splitter cut, shut and blended in.

JDM duals

JDM grills

Diamond plastic mesh in bumper to match JDM grills.

Tinted windows side and back.

Carbon sill plates.

Black vinyl removed from doors.

Interior.

GTLE leather interior.

Momo steering wheel – it’s only ever fitted for summer so not in the pics.

Stainless dial surround.

Polished bezels.

NPOC air freshener.

Audio.

Sony DAB head unit.

Genesis S3 5 channel amp.

Rockford Fosgate Prime 6.5” components.

Rockford Fosgate Punch 4” 2 way.

Rockford Fosgate 12” 2 ohm DVC sub – run in 1 ohm configuration.

Custom shelf mounted sub box with sub firing into the interior.

What’s your favourite thing / part about the GT?

I’m obviously quite proud of the bumper, it was a lot of work but totally worth it in the end to have exactly what I want. The new strut bar is another highlight for me. It’s quite a rare part, so I had to research it and then have a company source it for me, but now they list it permanently on their website so other P11 owners can get it too, which puts a little smile on my face whenever I’m on there looking for parts.

All of the bespoke and personal changes you have made to this car, are so well thought out and they just work so well, this car is a credit to you! So what’s left on the list for this one, until you can finally sit back and look at the car and say “Hell yeah!”?

S14 4 pot conversion.

Wing mirrors.

Rear diffuser.

Rear valance.

144 sport + spoiler

More chassis mods from Japan.

More engine mods, UR pulleys, lightened flywheel, Nistune.

Silicone hoses and braided fuel lines.

Custom undertray.

Paint.

I’ve already got parts for half of the above and if I can get everything up to paint done I’ll be happy. Beyond that I’d like to turn my attention to the interior and some extensive engine work. It’s all money though, so we’ll see how it goes.

So imagine this.. Money is no object and you can build yaself the ultimate Nissan Primera, you can do anything you want here Stephen – What would you create?

If money were truly no object then I’d just get a full BTCC spec car and make it road legal. I’m still at a point in life where I think I could live with a road going race car.

A little more realistic would be a supercharged SR20, custom JTCC style body kit, tints, dropped on coil overs and rolling on 18” forged alloys, big brakes, with every chassis upgrade under the sun. Roll cage and 4 bucket seats in the interior with a high end SQ audio set up.

Let’s talk spanner ratings, I know you’re a “hands on” type of guy. On a 1 – 5 scale, where are you on the scale?

I’d give myself a solid 4. I can turn my hand to anything. As a former trainee mechanic and experienced prototype engineer I’m pretty confident of most things, from engine to bodywork and even custom parts. If I were a little more experienced with getting deep into the engine I’d be a 5 I think.

Is there anything you’d never take on or attempt, when it comes to car mechanics or repairs?

No, not really. As long as I have the tools and the time to get the job done I’ll give anything a go.

Time for the quick fire question round!

What makes you smile? 

Good things happening to good people.

What makes you sad? 

Those stupid eyelash headlight brows and bonnet bras.

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

I’m learning Japanese one night a week at college. I’m only a beginner though, so many, many years to go yet.

Your favourite colour? 

Purple.

Your lucky number? 

Don’t have one.

What will it say on your gravestone?

Last of a dying breed.

Your favourite drink (any)? 

Yamazaki 12yr / Hibiki 17yr. Also Courvoisier and JD honey are “go to” drinks.

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

A 240Z to restore.

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

Hmm, either a 240Z to restore and modify, or an R35 GTR. I always fancied an Escort RS Cosworth too.

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

Probably “Mad Maru’s turbo’d Nordic. It’s easily one of the most complete cars in the club and a bit of a monster to boot. “Zed”s turbo P10, “Sprint”s eGT VE track car and “Japsniper”s track car are also on the list.

“Mad Maru”s car pictured below:

You’ve shown up at a loads of club meets over the years (respect!), do you have a “best meet ever” out of those, tell us which one was memorable and why?

My first JAE in 2013 was probably the most memorable. It’s why JAE is now the show I look forward to most and time is booked off well in advance for it. Great people and cars and it was a good turnout of Primeras. I was flying solo, but everyone was so welcoming it really didn’t matter. The weather was awful but when it came to grub time there was a real siege mentality among all that were present, to make sure the BBQ was covered and operational, the tent didn’t blow away and the masses were fed! Random renditions of R. Kelly “Bump N Grind” were a prominent feature of the weekend too if I remember correctly!?! To summarize, contrary to popular belief, cars + alcohol is actually a winner.

Now as I mentioned in the above question, you are a regular at club meets all over the place but you’re always one of our quieter members at these events! Your GT always draws crowds but you generally keep out of the spotlight, are you naturally a quiet person by nature and please tell me you do have fun at our meets?

I always have a laugh at the meets I attend, but I am by nature slightly quiet until I get to know people. I tend to sit back, listen and survey my surroundings first. I can - and do - chat shit for hours with people I know well though, particularly once the alcohol starts flowing. The issue has been compounded over my time on NPOC by suffering anxiety as a side effect of a medical issue. Not ideal when meeting complete strangers in large crowds and unfamiliar settings LOL. It’s nothing serious though and I’m very much on the mend.

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

If you’ve not attended a meet or show with us then you’re missing out. I’ve never met an NPOC member I didn’t like, everyone’s friendly and more than happy to help with problems. There’s great banter among the members too. Above all we’re all car people, whether it’s heavily modified or mint and standard, even a rusty daily driver, all are welcome.

So 3 years of NPOC membership Stephen, is there a defining club memory in that lot somewhere?

Not so much a defining memory this, but being a drunken spectator to a bunch of drunk guys trying to get a picture of (for want of a better description) an engine through a ‘ghost bonnet’ by dropping the bonnet on “Ant-Dat”s Datsun – repeatedly – mid exposure in the dark at last year’s JAE sticks in my mind, as it was both very cool and slightly geeky and was utterly comical at points. I have to wonder how many attempts it would have taken were everyone sober? In any case, it was a great pic in the end.

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

NPOC for life regardless! Although I will inevitably join other forums as well when I finally move on to a different car, because you can’t beat the experience of a car specific community when it comes to info, repairs, etc.

Tell Carlos Ghosn why he needs to bring back the Nissan Primera brand:

Because there is a clear Primera shaped gap in the Nissan line up and in various touring car series around the world. With Nissans new design language there is the scope to make something rather special, to take on not just the Mondeos of this world but the BMW and Audi brigade too. I think with the successes of other cars in the current Nissan line up, now is the time to capitalize and give us a new sporty saloon. Just make sure the UK version has bigger spuds this time sir!

A new question coming into the MOTM Q&A and you’re the first to answer.. Most petrol heads have a nick name / pet name for their cars. What’s yours and why?

None of my cars has ever had a name. I do refer to the GT as ‘her’ though so she’s definitely female, all my cars are actually. I guess it’s because when they’re going well it’s all love, but they can also be a real bitch sometimes too.

Member Of The Month is all about highlighting the unsung / unknown heroes around this club and also their cars, should they be driving a Nissan Primera. You’ve been here for years now and you always line up with the club cars at all our big events. Any member showing out and representing the NPOC always makes me proud - Thank you Stephen! With my thanks out of the way, it’s over to you to see us out.. Congratulations once again for winning Member Of The Month for May 2015! Please end this feature, in your own words and feel free to thank anyone who’s made this one possible.

Firstly, a big thanks to yourself and all the guys behind the scenes for running the club and arranging the meets and events.

A big thank you to anyone who’s offered me advice or sold me parts over the past 3 years. Special mention to Grim who’s not only sorted me loads of parts but also a couple of engines that have helped to keep the GT on the road.

And finally a big thanks to my Dad for always helping me out with the GT when I need a second pair of hands.

Congratulations once again to Stephen!

May 2015 MOTM - Criteria

Written by essNchill

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