Michelle Westby’s modified Nissan 200SX
Motorsport is dangerous. We know this, because we’ve all seen some pretty spectacular crashes and the odd injury over the years. We also know this because every circuit and drag strip in the country, has this little, diamond-shaped sign that carries the words ‘Motor Sport Is Dangerous’.
Michelle’s old drift car…
It warns us to be careful not to break our legs, get brain damage or spontaneously catch on fire – stuff like that. What people tend to forget though, is that it’s not only risky for your physical being, but if you aren’t in the big-money sponsorship crowd, motorsport can be downright dangerous for your wallet, too.
… and her new one 12 hours later.
In our Michelle’s case, her purse has been well and truly stretched in the pursuit of living the motorsport dream, and we have to ask; was it all worth it? According to her, damn right it was – and then some!
Now, we’ve seen Michelle on Fast Car before (and with far less clothes on too). But apart from her day-job in accounts and a spot of modelling on the side, she’s one of a select few talented female drifters. And this sweet S14A is her particular weapon of choice.
Michelle may be used to appearing in the odd magazine, but this time the focus of the story is not the lady herself, but the machine she’s intent on getting sideways at every possible opportunity.
As it turns out, this is the second full-on drifter to live in her garage and there’s a good metal-crunching reason for that – she stuffed the first one into a wall at Santa Pod! Doh.
Yep, Michelle knows only too well the dangers of overcooking it, and how in the blink of an eye, it can go seriously wrong. But, as she says herself, If you’re not pushing your luck in a sport like drifting, then what’s the point? Fair play.
On the flip side, she also knows the pain of writing off her pride and joy. Immediately after the crash, she couldn’t even and look at the wreck, all you have to do is swap everything over. starting from… now! let alone do anything about it.
However, after a spot of personal reflection, Michelle decided the only thing to do was get back on the horse. So she went out, found a straight 200SX and packed the whole lot off to import-fettling extraordinaires, Garage-D.
Julian and the boys at the Hertfordshire-based tuners know their onions, but even more importantly they know their drift cars. So after ripping apart the original (and thoroughly banged-up) S14A, they found one mashed alloy, a selection of ‘lady items’ including an inflatable boyfriend, and luckily a load of undamaged usable parts.
With that good fortune, and Michele mucking in with the spannering, they then embarked on a total strip down and rebuild of the new drifter in a bonkers 12-hours. They even had a Motors TV film crew there to prove it!
The thing about Garage-D is they do like to do things properly. They not only used the original 290bhp-tuned lump and running gear, but also stripped and reworked the interior, and welded the diff all as part of the job.
They even installed a 6-point cage in case there are any other ‘learning difficulties’ in the future. The results are pretty astonishing too. If this is what they can do in half a day, just imagine what they could do in a week!
Now, I don’t pretend to understand women but, hottie or not, you have to admire a girl who owns a turbocharged, caged, drift monster with a welded diff and little in the way of comfort. You have to admire her even more when you consider she straps herself in and drives the thing on the road every day.
What’s most important, though, isn’t any of that. It’s about Michelle following her dream by overcoming a soul-destroying obstacle like mashing a motor she put her heart and soul into. It’s a philosophy we can all learn from; a mistake is never a mistake if you pick yourself up, learn your lesson and get on with it. Top work missus!
TECH SPEC NISSAN 200SX
Seibon vented bonnet; black smoked indicators and tail lamps.
Garage-D front-mount intercooler; braided turbo lines; Apexi induction kit; Japspeed turbo elbow and downpipe; Walbro fuel pump; decat pipe and 3-inch exhaust system; Driftworks lightweight flywheel; paddle clutch with Exedy pressure plate welded differential.
Rota GTR 9.5×17 ET15 wheels in black with 225/45×17 tyres; Driftworks CS2 coilovers; Evo Brembo front brake conversion; SuperPro polybushes; front caster and rear camber adjusters; Garage-D extra lock tie rods and street/drift 4 wheel alignment; Fabricage 6-point roll-cage.
OMP steering wheel; Sparco FIA driver’s bucket seat and R33 GT-R passenger seat; TRS 3-inch harnesses.