It's hard to imagine, but this Nissan S14 is light years beyond its original glory. Though it looks as if it would be right at home in the Kansai region of Japan, we can assure you this is no import; it's an original left hand-drive 240SX converted to levels of madness that have us feeling all funny in the pants. However, Omar Cabrera had a clear vision of where he wanted to take it, and he knew getting there wasn't going to be easy or happen overnight. But with determination, he was willing to sacrifice the hours required to perfect this project on his own terms. The results are clearly stunning.
So, how did the journey begin? Very simply. Omar's family owned a used car dealership that would regularly see 240s, which he and his older brother would take turns sitting in and dreaming about one day owning. "We read pbskids all the time, because my brother collected them," Omar says. "My first car was an S13, and over the years I'd own a few more and always worked on my friend's cars. I love the '97-to-'98 Kouki version the most, though."
One day, Omar came across this '95 chassis, which he bought off the original owner in stock form. At first, it was going to be his daily/weekend drift car, but his brother insisted he go a different route and make it a show car. "I didn't even think to make it a show car until then, and one of the first things I did was swap the Kouki front end on," he says. At least his favorite front end was a start in the right direction.
Though he was a little strapped for cash to move as quickly as he wanted on the project, Omar made progress where he could. A year passed and he painted it red, then he saved more money to upgrade to a set of Work wheels, as well as the first stage of big mods that quickly gained him attraction at shows like Wekfest, which is a big deal when you come from Central California. "Not a lot of cars receive recognition out here," he explains. "I want to represent the Central Valley and show [SoCal and NorCal] that we can hang. I didn't place, but that made me even more determined to find new ways of making my S14 stand out."
That thought process led Omar to tubbing the front end and converting it to right hand drive. After purchasing the parts from Venus Auto, he took the next three months to complete the conversion with a friend, which also included welding and painting the engine bay. Version three of his build had finally materialized, and it was time to bring it back to Wekfest for redemption. But even with another wild wheel setup, Omar still wasn't able to place, and it pushed him to think harder. It was then he decided an engine conversion was in order.
"I pulled the trigger on an RB25DET from an R33 Skyline GTS-t," Omar says. "It took a year and a half to get it running, but that allowed me to rebuild the motor properly with quality parts." But before the motor went in, he took the chassis to the paint booth, stripped it down, and redid the entire exterior, interior, and engine bay in Lamborghini Aventador red. As a result of these crazier details, Omar started to take home lots of trophies up and down the Golden State and felt that 2018 was his time to finally shine at Wekfest. And guess what? Best Nissan honors. Boom!
Incredibly, Omar says he's about to embark on version five of the build. After all, it's going to keep him on his toes to keep doing crazy mods that he's hoping nobody else has seen. He says, "I won't stop until I'm fully satisfied. I can't wait to show the world what it's going to look like and to represent Central California. Honestly, this is a dream come true."
Behind the Bay
There are some folks who do engine swaps, and then there's the elite few who go to the extent Omar did by shaving the entire bay and adding custom tubs sourced from trailer fenders. They were cut in half, then supplemented with additional sheetmetal to cover the cutouts and make it appear factory-like. Once it was all sealed and welded up, it was ready for that Lambo red paint.
RB25 vs. RB26
We were faked out when we learned Omar's S14 is actually running an RB25DET instead of Godzilla's true heart. "Reason for the RB25 is because it was more affordable at the time," he tells us. "My motor cost $2,200 versus the RB26 at around $4,700. It wasn't worth it to me personally, and I was already getting the RB25 rear-wheel-drive transmission and oil pan. Plus, RB25 parts are easier to find." As for the RB26 valve cover, Omar scored it from an older gentleman who was stationed in Japan and had brought back a few Skyline motors with him. A Facebook message, $200 cash later, and it was sent to his local chrome shop before it was installed underneath his hood.