Guest Blog: Colin Masterson>> S12’s Around The World

Hey guys.  My name is Colin Masterson from among other places.  I hail from the Pacific Northwest.  The land of endless rain and a severe lack of sunshine.  Oddly enough, right now, where I grew up in SoCal, it is taking more of a beating than we are up here.  Despite location, there are several consistencies and one of which is the love of cars.  I am here not to represent the Pacific Northwest alone though.  I am here to represent a single chassis that has an underground fan base around the world.  It has been noted on Speedhunters a time or two and I know all of you know it from Henry’s car: the Nissan S12 Silvia.

Above: Fresh from a respray and engine overhaul and ready to take to the streets. Will, Australia

Henry Nguyen, US

The popularity of this particular chassis isn’t as diverse as that of the following generations, but there are forums that range not only in the US/Canada, but to Australia, UK, France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Russia.  Those are just a few and the more active ones I have personally been to and discussed aspects of the car and improvements that can be done to them. 

Built FJ
Shaun Ashmore, UK

RB26DETT swap underway
Colin Masterson, US

Despite their age and in many ways their suspension, which is the primary downfall of the S12, they are used quite a bit in current day activities such as autox and drifting.  There is a large following of these cars in Australia where a wide range of S12s stock to modified visit many track events and are just killing it.  Many of those people also own other Silvias of the later generations but still despite the differences, enjoy what the S12 can offer in its own way.

Now being made into a track car, this has an S13 suspension conversion and SR.  There is no mistaking this amongst other cars on the track, S12 or not, as it is a very unusual colour, toxic green.

Matt Castle, Aus

Ever changing, this car is on it’s 3rd engine swap while pushing the boundaries of possibilities known.

Colin Masterson, US

One of the few finished S12s with the reproduced Impul kit.  The Impul kit was produced for the S12 in the 80s and has since been discontinued until a group of Australians gathered pieces together and were able to reproduce the kit in its entirety.

Liz Lang, Aus

Owned since graduating high school and virtually stock in every aspect but a swapped CA18DET, fmic and exhaust, this car is a prime example of a S12 as if it came back through time off the dealership floor.

Keith Locklear, US

Although drifting seems to be the big sport when it comes to imports and especially in Australia, Candellan practices more than that.  Here he is currently on a warm-up lap for his track competition.  Also an avid racer, he enjoys whatever racing the tracks nearby can offer him.

Candellan, Aus

A regular, Brian constantly tunes his FJ powered S12 to ensure he is competitive in the drifting competitions.  Being that he’s in Australia, he has to take on not only S13s, but S15s and Skylines, which is no easy task.

Brian Campbell, Aus

Getting last minute advice from his coach, Markus prepares for a very competitive round in his spec.race. This particular car was built from the ground up and is custom in just about every way.

Markus Martelius, Finland

After some custom fiberglass work, Hessu has changed his car twice and is yet underway for another custom body overhaul.  This SR powered S12 is incredibly intimidating on the road.

Hessu, Finland

It seems that since the car is an odd child of sorts, it attracts a
group of people who are quite willing to tinker with it to no bounds.

-Colin Masterson



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2nd one and markuses


Blue FJ powered S12 = RAAAAAAGE!


cambells and markuses are the bomb, i've been looking for one as a project car for a while now. i love this ft,


always interesting.

like the piazza/cordia/starion/etc; forgetable but good enough 80's sportscars. :)


Yay for exposure! I am sure Colin's car helped quite a bit with getting this posted....btw I now own those clear from parking lights :D

rb26 in s12 looks bigger in person.


these are REAL ugly


its sad none of them have hoshinos on them :(


will never stop loving my S12s!!

great article, Colin!


my boys s12 with the 26!


All these cars look excellent, apart from the ugly red & black s12, that impul kit looks crap!


Thanks for the article Colin. It really showcases some of the best examples of the S12 range.


im kinda embarrassed to say im australian after seeing that one...



I have a soft spot in my heart for S12s, now I know where to go for S12 info, woot!


holy OLD ASS PIC of henry's car!


to the guy who thought the erebuni kit looked fugly.

Liz's color scheme is kind of over the top...this all white version looks much cleaner and proper imho

sorry for the facebook isnt my car and this is the only place the owner has pics. My 85 ka24de s12 daily driven notch is ugly or else i would post pics, wheels, tires, and suspension are coming up soon a long with some paint..very much a project. Ugh. :)


henry's car is the only one that's visually pleasing.

fight me.


some real nice S12's. good read


That swamp donkey and tom are kind of jealous pricks. Penis envy perhaps? The cars looked good and you know it. Quit crying cause it looks better than your bus pass. If you can't contribute then shut up tools.


S12's are dope, i own a sr'd s12

all you douche bags hatin on s12's can go die now


dang these 86s are hella dope =)


Nice to se finnish cars represented! There's also one S12 with RB26DETT over here too!


Love to see the S12's represented! I'm up in Canada with a notch back SR swapped S12, see link for a picture:


Hessu's and Colin Masterson's, beautiful cars. Colin's is incredibly clean and Hessu's widebody kit is just as clean as it is aggressive.


used to own one, a little boost up and you get a car that car startle a bunch of folks, including the lesser knowledgeable "jdm" crouds


I always loved the S12. My high school GF's dad built the SE V6 one up for track/DD in the late 80s but then moved on to an S14 by the 90s leaving the S12 to my GF, which led to a ton of fun for us. I also learned how to drive in that car, so S12s have always held sentimental value for me.


Cool writeup but awesome to see the pics from around the world, I guess it takes a rare breed to love the S12 that much. I think they look great and the widebody red spec.racer from Finland really caught my eye, would be fun to build one like that for trackdays, the chassis' are so cheap nowadays. cool stuff, and I surely NEVER expected to see a RB26DET swappeed S12 thats for damn sure! WOW! Hey anything is possible, so when will someone try an LS1 swap?!


more notchback pics please!! never saw those versions before.. retro coool


"so when will someone try an LS1 swap?!"

You won't believe it, but that is already happening my friend:


An auto CA20 200SX was my first car, and I'd love to have another one. Great post, I enjoyed the pics!


looks badass!

iv never seen a s12 before today so this is really cool :D

it looks like a mix of an s13 and an AE86 to me

like the SR-5 model USDM version tho


[Quote] Greg said:

That swamp donkey and tom are kind of jealous pricks. Penis envy perhaps? The cars looked good and you know it. Quit crying cause it looks better than your bus pass. If you can't contribute then shut up tools.

Nothing to be jelious of m8!

I just know what I dont like.


Great, this post about the s12 is even raising my passion to my fj powered s12, wish i had some money...

I love this car...


Hey what suspension are you running on your S12's front and rear and if someone would like to explain a little bit more you can contact me on my skype: osti_rz since I'm plannig to do some mods to mine


Why are so many s12's dilapidated and well... falling apart?

Most are missing wheel wells, bumpers and such and are ragged out...Which makes them looked upon as trashy when the car line isn't; just that particular examples.

the few in the article are nice...but most are just trash out and about not even suitable for parts cars.

Mine :




my buddy blew mine up one night..... miss it every day


Hey colin u could do a updated version of this. Like a where are they now type of article. And with new owners/cars of note added