Thursday, May 17, 2018

P'inkymole. It's pink, over-powered, spits flames and is ours!

This is how massive new chapters in your life can start...without you ever intending them to!

In May 2017, while looking for car parts on Yahoo Auctions Japan, we stumbled across a very specific pink Nissan Pao - for sale from the video above.

It's a typically bonkers car on a typically bonkers TV program, made more bonkers by a man who decided to make a "pretty drift car" crossing a low-powered, front wheel drive Nissan Pao with a (relatively) high-powered, rear wheel drive Nissan Silvia S13.

HMM. Well. We couldn't really afford it and certainly didn't need it, but y'know, it's a nice looking car, 'interesting' and it'd match our blue one. So we decided to 'just see how much it would cost' by asking JDM Auction Watch that 'if' they could bid on this random find on our behalf, transport it to a port and ship it to us on the other side of the world...would that be affordable? It seems that it was. Patrick at JDM broke it all down for us, each stage and the cost depending on how much we'd like to bid on it, so we put a reasonable low bid in, expecting to be outbid.

And we won.

Not sure at first whether we'd brought a curse or a blessing on ourselves, thus began months of anticipation, anxiety and investment. It's been a massively fun ride - literally and figuratively - starting in an internet auction window and ending most recently bezzing around the track at Silverstone.

So having bought a car from Japan without ever seeing it in the flesh/metal, we were prepare for both the worst and the most pleasant surprise. We got a bit of both! Below is a broad overview of the what we found when Rich at Dynodaze Customworx's took on this mammoth, 7-month job (in a small space, alongside other multiple projects). Delve in. If the minutiae of restoration and modification aren't your thing, you can just skip to @inkymolesmotors on Instagram where we'll be posting the updates and adventures of the car.

World - we present 'P'inkymole'!

Collecting the new toy from Southampton port:

Amongst the millions of pounds worth of cars being shipped in and out of the port is our new little oddball car, genuinely being 'one of a kind' next to so many mass-manufactured cars all around it.

Rich meeting the Pao for the first time and holding down his excitement or trepidation of what lay ahead!

The Pao was misfiring badly when we collected it from the port, Rich being Rich found out why in about 2 minutes, luckily there were some spare sparks in the glove box.

What Rich found once the Pao was on the ramps:

Interior (what there was of it) stripped out to see what's what.

 Under the sealant and waxoyl equivalent we found a patch work of metal bits from around a Japanese workshop holding the car together, this is the point we knew we were going to go over budget.

Rust holes. Never good to find on your new project.

A good representation of a lot of the welding/patchwork around the car.

The inner arches were found to be not safely welded to the rear panels...

Oh. The first injury of many to come... sorry Rich.

The metalwork commences:

Rich getting stuck straight in.


 Seam welded and safer.

The floor was so bad that most of it ended up being removed.

Cleaned up!



All shiny and new where necessary.

All new steel underneath, built to last.

A worrying amount of steel removed!

Out with the old! 

 In with the new. Shiny new floors from underneath.

Chassis rails and reinforcement welded in!

 Cleaned up and repaired inner sills.

 Both floors done.

Seat positions fixed as well as doubling up as strengthening.

Adapted seat rails.

Onto the engine bay and inner arches:

Cleaned, reinforced/strengthened and very, very shiny chassis arms/inner arches.

Offering up new things!

All the old cut away metal...

Exhaust parts ready to be made (w)hole. 

Exhaust mock-up.

The exhaust coming together.

Weld porn.

Mocking up the extended screamer pipe!

Starting to seal, undercoat and Shutz the bare metal areas:

Sills Shutz'ed and fresh!

A test pot of pink for touch-ups, touching up the pink..

Getting the Paower back in the car:  

Steve of SRL, greasing the wheels of progress since 1989!

Welded up screamer pipe, ready to do its job.

Getting ready to offer up a test-fit of the engine etc to the car.

Just do these bolts up...

Back in!

Starting fresh new pipework, one of Rich's favourite jobs!

Then, engine back out an time for paint:

Uncle Keith gets right in close for the detail.

Looking nice and shiny!

Inside the car is all done.

Quality work Uncle Keith.

So shiny!

Engine bay finished, painted by 'Uncle Keith', put back together by Rich and Steve.

Can't find coolant pipe that fits that particular space, Rich will make one.

Painted by Uncle Keith with Fuel tank and battery fitted centrally.

The noisy fuel pump bastard!

Finished exhaust!

A shiny clean diff back in to get that Paower down!

The tentative first 'steps' off the ramp:

Onto the dyno to check the Paower for the first time!

It's first power run on the dyno and it spits flames!!

 Not bad for a 750-800 KG car!

Stable mates with a Supra turbo conversion also done at Dynodaze Customworx.

P'inkymole's first outing at JapFest, Silverstone:

 Then, straight onto the track at Silverstone with the Dynodaze Customworx 400+ bhp Civic!

It's worth noting that there is absolutely no way we could have even considered buying this car if we hadn't known Rich at Dynodaze Customworx; it was always going to be a tough job to make road-worthy (tougher than any of us thought) and there's no way an average mechanic (and very importantly, a welder!) could have overcome the issues and problems we encountered. Rich eats for breakfast problems that stop other people in their tracks, and anytime anything didn't quite fit or needed a bespoke part for this very bespoke car, he'd get his thinking cap, tools out and just get on with the job, all the time making creative suggestions to help make the car look the best it can within budget and be as safe as possible...while all the time being patient with our whimsical, sometimes impractical ideas and working out a payment system that worked with us, while keeping the project moving, which was our number one priority.

If you want to follow P'inkymole's adventures, follow us on @inkymolesmotors

Special thanks to everyone who helped, contributed, supported, cajouled and just passed the tea: Steve @SRL, Rob and Andy @ Art Fabs, Keith @ Uncle Keith's Paint Shop, Patrick @ JDM Auction Watch, Ashley @ Mira, Casey @ Fyve, Steve @ Gartree Press, Jay @ Jay's Detailing and anyone else who's had to put up with us.


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