Daily Driven: low-slung Silvia S15

Posted in Cars, People
  • Name: Alexandra Barrett
  • Location: Hamilton
  • Occupation: Self-employed dog groomer
  • Make/model: 1999 Nissan Silvia (S15)
  • Engine: SR20DE, 2000cc, four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: Factory five-speed, shimmed 4.3:1 LSD
  • Interior: Custom Grip Royal steering wheel, pink dildo shift knob, Recaro SR3 seats
  • Exterior: DC2 Integra front lip on factory bumper, LED high-stop conversion on rear windscreen
  • Suspension: OZ Racing coilovers, GKTech castor arms, camber arms, and traction arms
  • Wheels/Tyres: 17x9-inch (+20) BBS LM wheels, 215/40R17 Falken FK452 tyres

NZ Performance Car: Hey Alexandra, that’s a very nice-looking S15 you’ve got there. Have you always been into cars?
Alexandra Barrett: I sure have — it’s my dad's fault, as I was always out in the shed helping him. At 12 years old, I started karting, then moved onto Mini Stocks at 14 until I turned 17. My dad’s got a saloon that I have a go in every now and then. We used to spend every weekend travelling around the country competing. 

What made you choose the S15 to modify? 
It was the shape of the car that I loved. There weren’t many around when I got it and I wanted to do something different.

How does the S15 drive at its current height; does it make a good daily driver? 
It’s a little bumpy, but you learn to live with, and love it. Yeah it’s good — apart from the dog hair that gets all over my seats.

We understand your partner, Royce, is into Nissans, too. Do you rope him into working on the Silvia? 
I try not to; I’ve always been a hands-on type of girl and love to do all the work myself. Nothing beats the feeling that it’s my own work.

What’s next for your project? 
I really want to start taking her out on the track but I’m looking at getting something else to learn in first — or just use Royce’s, since it’s already had the extra loving.

Thanks for chatting to us, Alexandra. We’re looking forward to seeing what you two come up with next! 

Photos: Arie Stokes

This article was originally published in NZ Performance Car Issue No. 227. You can pick up a print copy or a digital copy of the magazine below:

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.