If you were at the last Thunder Drift skid pad event, you probably noticed this white S13 sliding clean, pressed against the walls, but never touching. The stylish driver behind this S13 is Nick Bayati. I caught up with Nick last weekend to finally shoot his car. The weather was great, not too bright, but perfect. The location was spot on as well, providing a subtle scenery to compliment his S13. Aside from the photo shoot, I was able to interview him about his S13 and drifting.
FL: What was your first experience with the 240sx and among all the drift cars out there, why do you prefer the 240sx?
NB: I remember back when I was 14 and I was researching for my first car. The 240sx came into view, but at the time I knew nothing of S13s. I loved the way S14s looked and then started researching what kind of mods I could do on them. After long nights I realized that the after market for this car was very expensive and small, not to mention its power was low compared to all the front-wheel drive cars I was looking at. Sadly, I decided to move on and look for better cars. It wouldn’t be until 2 years later that I would notice S13 coupes. I fell in love and started my search again eventually ending in the purchase of the coupe you see today.
FL: How did you get started into drifting?
NB: I’m not exactly sure what got me into drifting, but I remember driving a 97′ Civic coupe when I was 16 and showing my friend how I could e-brake slide everywhere. It was so much fun. He owned an MR2, so he was into drifting as well and we would watch Keiichi Tsuchiya’s Drift Bible. When I finally owned my S13, I began auto-crossing it, trying to push it in the turns and eventually kicking out the rear end. I would eventually get a welded and the rest was history.
FL: Speaking of drifting, what’s your driving style? How do you take on the corners: aggressive or smooth and steady?
NB: I usually like to enter a turn I haven’t tried before by simply turning into it and clutch-kicking to initiate. Once I’ve gotten to know the turn I’ll probably weight shift into it and eventually manji the straight before. Since my DD is my track car, I have to remember to take it easy. Kind of sucks, since I can’t go all out.
FL: Top ranked forum searched question: 2-way diff or weldy? Please don’t say use the search button.
NB: Haha. I’m not a douche like that. I would definitely say weldy any day of the week. The pros of having one definitely outweigh the cons. I could never afford a 2-way let alone want to do the maintenance on it. I think if anything, I would only upgrade to a spool unless I was sponsored.
FL: What’s the current setup on the S13 including exterior and interior styling, suspension and engine work?
NB: Right now I’m running Stance Gr+ coilovers with the 8k/6k spring setup with a Cusco OS strut bar up front, Wicked Toe arms and TC sportline RUCAs. I’m rolling on Skyline R33 GTR rims with PBM 25mm spacers and 215/45/17 size tires to give them that flush look. I can’t forget to mention that I have a welded Diff and Stance subframe collars to keep things smooth. To stop the car I have Brembo Rotors all around and Hawk HPS pads. As for the body I’m running Dmax Type 1 side skirts and rear bumper with an Uras style front bumper. I’m trying to get a Dmax Type 1 front bumper to match, but funds have been down for quite a while.
I have also done a full Silvia front with all the OEM metal parts along with highly sought after Brick Headlights. As for the interior I have a Recaro SPG copy seat with Bride rails to sit me down low since I’m a tall guy. For my steering wheel setup I have a BOSS hub with a no name quick release and what I have been told to be an OMP 350mm steering wheel. Currently I have no rear seats so that I don’t get any unwanted passengers haha. My passenger seat is an S14 seat. Normally I run a custom 3″ exhaust but I have switched it for a stock exhaust to keep the cops away since I’ve been pulled over so many times for it. Most of the decals on my car have been provided by Sokodu Designs located in Milpitas.
FL: Ever think about switching out that KA for another motor or do you plan on tweaking the KA?
That was the original plan to swap the KA for an SR, but the fact that I DD my car made that dream go down the drain. I can’t afford to get pulled over with a motor like that so I’ve kept everything stock in the engine bay. Car passes smog every two years.
FL: I heard you’re retiring this particular car from the track, but rumor says you got a top secret track car you’re working on?
After the last Thunder Drift skid pad event, I had to replace the tie rod on the driver side after bending it. I decided then that even though this wasn’t a big deal, it was not worth possibly destroying my car while drifting anymore. So, I decided to retire her for now. I’m not out of the game though, I do have a secret in store, but that will come out later. Maybe in a second feature haha.
FL: Do you see yourself competing in the future, whether it be in Pro-Am or Formula D?
NB: I actually plan to compete in the Thunder Drift Competition Series and if I do ever get good enough, it would be nice to go to Formula D. That is all going to happen with time. Right now I’m just having fun.
FL: Do you believe drifting will still be strong 10 years from now?
NB: I would hope so. If I ever have kids I would want them to continue doing what I love. Hit me up in ten years and we will see haha.
FL: I know you love your S13 to death, but if you had all the cash in the world, any other cars you would like to get?
NB: I have ALWAYS wanted an R34 skyline GTR but I would settle for an R32 GTR. Don’t really care much for the new R35. Not my style…
FL: What’s in store for you and your S13 for 2011?
NB: For this S13, I will most likely get some different rims as I am a huge Wheel Whore. I can never stay satisfied with the wheels on my car. I’m always looking for something different.