The Fan Favorite S14 6/20
A few years back I came a cross a gem in an Offer Up post. A Cobalt Green S14 Kouki. The photos revealed that there’d been some damage to the rear end but staring back at me was the almost gnarling kouki front end in that perfect blue green two tone. I took a buddy with me to check it out and aside from an unknown accident that the previous owner had little details of, the car was practically perfect for its age. Kouki seats, proper vins matching from the dashboard to the fenders, the glass Kouki headlights giving me side eye as if I had stolen a candy bar from the corner store and returned the next day as if nothing had happened. The icing on the cake was fully functioning air conditioning, a rarity in a Schassis. At the right price I knew I’d never find anything like this again.
So I took her home and on the journey to my cars new home it had been apparent that this Schassis needed new suspension not to mention I had found out that the check engine light works.
This S14 despite expectations has gone on road trips with out skipping a beat. Honestly it’s trustworthy enough for a trip across the country.
But just because it glitters it doesn’t mean it’s gold. Now before everyone goes raging about the car guys deal of a lifetime, you have to realize that this car was purchased with one purpose in mind: a fun, reliable daily driver. Coming from a BMW background I was fully aware that a S14 (in the practicality and luxury department) is a downgrade but seeing as a perfectly non modified KA24DE was under the hood I was assured that it would be more fuel efficient than a modified inline 6 from a aforementioned brand. And it was but the cut in power was detrimental, obviously. It felt as if i didn’t have a chance to eat breakfast before going to work, going on throughout the day without a single bite until I had a chance to punch out for lunch. Remember this is still supposed to be a fun daily.
Then, there is the tuner car culture. Now granted I can’t even begin to emphasize the aftermarket support of an Schassis. The possibilities are endless and consist of so many options I’m not even going to begin to name them because you know what you can do. My vehicle through the years of ownership (in mostly stock form) always raised questions like “When are you going to do something with it?” which is honestly quite understandable but despite its reputation to be modified beyond recognition I only saw it to serve one purpose: get me from point a to b whilst looking good along the way. I had already had a project I had deemed worth of sinking my hard earned money into.
Granted the S14 platform has potential. The seldom trip up to the mountainside was lack luster. Climbing up the hill with a low torque figure is like watch a snail slide across a sidewalk. But downhill it sailed like seed blown from a dandelion and it just wasn’t enough for me.
Experiences like that led me to the cars short comings. Now granted, this S14 only has one modification and that being mismatch coil overs, you can say that there’s room for improvement. Even still there’s that old phrase if you’ve ever owned an Schassis. “It’s just a 240.”
If you’ve ever owned a 240sx you know it’s not practical, in stock form it’s power is enough to entertain your inner teenager, and with the right amount of money it can be great but that’s the catch. For the money you can buy a platform that’s much better.
Don’t get me wrong I love my S14 and even though I bought the car for commuting purposes and the occasional spirited drive, I’m left wanting more. My dream Schassis (and a dream for many others) makes me feel as though it hasn’t lived up to its expectation. Although I haven’t put my best foot forward I know that there is better out there. During ownership I realized that the best dreams are lucid ones and it hard to take control of a day dream.