Car Feature>> The Pike’s Peak Pink S14

“Racing isn’t just a hobby, it defines who I am.”

These were words that were muttered by Ken Stouffer, owner and driver of this very S14, as we made our way to the shoot location at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was 8am –way later than any of us have slept in that week. We were both beaming with happiness for the fact that we woke up as the sun sat above the horizon. The excitement that exuded from Ken that morning was almost palpable because the following day would be the day that he would make this pink S14 fly up the the mountain at the 88th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

This 1997 Nissan 240sx had racing already bred into its very being when Ken purchased the chassis in 2006. It was originally a Nissan backed Speedvision Touring car which was retired in 2002. After Ken purchased the car, it sat until August 2008 which was when the actual build process started. It took him less than a year to finish the car for its first run up the mountain in 2009.

That year, driver, co-driver, Travis Tollett, and car crossed the finish line at 14,110 feet with a time of 15 minutes and 31 seconds.

After the 2009 hill climb, the car once again went under the knife. The front unibody was modified with a partial tube frame.

This S14 would make any Matt Powers’ fans happy. It is powered by the original 2.4L KA with 1200cc injectors. The engine has been bulletproofed with Kelford 272 Cams, Eagle rods and JE Pistons.

The partial tube frame front end also gave the opportunity to tub out the front wheel wells to fit in bigger wheels and tires!

The car was mostly built on a budget. A set of MOTON suspension is most expensive piece on this car. Ken mentioned that the MOTONS have been worth the every penny. Got to pay to play, right?

Oh, what do we have here? An air duct?

The air duct leads to a metal box that sits directly behind the co-driver’s seat. But what’s inside the box?

In the box sits a remote 60-1 turbo with 0.48 turbine!

The car was tuned by Brice Yingling at Alamo Autosports. He did it all for free just to make sure Ken could make it to Pikes Peak. Without Brice and his crew, there’s no way he could’ve made it to Colorado. Brice was also the reason Ken was able to have MOTUL and Competition Clutch come on board as sponsors.

This is Ken’s office.

And the office from co-driver, Travis Tollett’s, perspective.

Madness, pure electrical wiring madness.

When I saw the hydraulic e-brake system I asked if Ken moonlighted as a drifter. He chuckled and mentioned that it was to get out of sticky situations on the hill.

The stock differential was replaced with an S15 Helical diff with stock 4:08 gear and stock axles.

The car sits pretty with a set of Enkei NT03+M. Stoptech brakes sit just underneath the wheels.

I always knew when the car was coming so I can get ready to take photos because of the distinct sound of the KA turbo.

What surprised me every time the car flew past was just how quickly that car flew past!

It’s amazing to see a car like this plow up the mountainside.

This year, Ken, Travis, and this pink S14 crossed the finish line at 14,110 feet with a time of 13 minutes and 19 seconds. That time landed him just second on the podium which was a minute off from Jeff Zwart’s record breaking time of 11 minutes and 31 seconds in the two-wheel drive time attack class.

The pink livery comes from very humble roots: Ken’s mom survived her battle with br3ast cancer and this car is dedicated to her.

The field of cars that participates in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a very eclectic mix. There’s old muscle cars, tube framed open wheelers, trophy trucks, all manner of motorcycles, various late model imports, and monster built specifically to tackle the Peak. When you spend a week up the mountain seeing all those cars blaze past you, there are a few notable cars that stay with you and this pink S14 is one of them. It’s so radically different from the rest of the field that it is definitely an extremely cool piece of machinery.

When you take the time to walk around the car and take in all the amazing work that went into this car, you can instantly tell that the people who helped make this car possible are not automobile racing hobbyists but people who’s very fiber is racing.

Jeremy Clarkson once said you’d be hard pressed to find any cool Kens but I believe we have one here.


Speedhunters Pikes Peak 2010 coverage



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Great Job Ken!


Good story, although I don't understand the reason behind the remote turbo.

Also; why did you take a pic of the suspension/ control arms and talk about the diff? Wouldn't you want to take a pic of the diff if you want to talk about the diff? (although there is nothing to see).


A second shy of that record braking time..WOW!


he was taking a shot of the stock axles.


Wow, Motons... I'm not surprised they were the most expensive part of the car.


Interesting, what's the advantage of having the turbo in the back seat? Just less heat in the engine bay? I wonder what the trade off of turbo lag to heat soak is..


Cool Car! Great showing at the Peak!


Very cool indeed!


whats up with the stupid censoring? There are stars everywhere... Also why does a certain disease have to be censored????


.......ass cancer?!........


yeah, im not sure about the remote mount turbo either... there should definitely be enough room in the engine bay..


Why would you go remote turbo for a hill climb car? You want instant response to pull you out of the corners... By the time the exhaust gasses get to the turbo a lot of the heat that actually does the work has been lost so turbo speeds will be well down and the long pipes to the intake will make response even worse. The only advantage of remote turbos is the extra space you have in teh bonnet, but there is heaps of room in that engine bay for a ocnventional turbo setup.


Good luck on next year...


Can somebody can explain me what the FUCK is doin' a turbo system at the rear of this, eer... "thing"???



I got around the censorship! No more butt cancer :)


Thanks Linhbergh!

Great meeting you. See you next year on the Hill.


Why the Silvia have the turbo in the rear part! and, why dont have a SR20!? is more potenciable?


i had been waiting to see this car for a while... now LETS HEAR TTHAT TURBO IN A BOX??


The last pic makes the car look like it's crying, only a second away from the best time D:


this cat is so wrong in all ways.


funny as hell everyone slating the car and slating the rear mount setup from the crap they have heard on the internet that makes it sound like it doesnt work.

it came second in 2wd class with a very basic setup you absolute clowns, how is that a car that doesnt work well, have you seen the awesome cars that compete at pikes peak?



ken! you are a beast of a driver! please explain the purpose of that remote turbo! you could have had the win by 4 seconds with a proper turbo setup.... youre losing a lot of throttle response, your making that turbo work a lot harder than what the engine is receiving for boost, i mean is it because you're so good at hill climbs, that you have to handicap yourself with a remote turbo? did you used to own a mustang or something!? just trying to be different? these are honest questions, i really am inspired by your ability as a driver to make that setup competitive.

the masses deserve to know! why remote turbo!?


I wonder what that turbo sounds like since its INSIDE the car.


Reasons for the turbo in the back: Less heat under the hood, greater pressure differential acrosss the turbine makes it more efficient, cooler turbo operating temps extend life of turbo, remote mount also lete me run a smaller turbo, which spools faster.

There are several reasons for remote mounting a turbo besides just gaining room in the engine bay and these are just a few of them. Bottom line is that the system works remarkably well and makes gobs of power (and right now). If it didn't work I wouldn't have it in there.

The system is always pressurized and the air moves through it at over 400 feet per second, so turbo lag is measured in thousandths of a second. Negligable really. The system is also fully wrapped from the head back to the turbine, so we retain a good portion of the heat needed to do the work.

It's a 240SX, not a Silvia. Also, the KA has all the potential of the SR. If you hear different, you're being mis-led. We had 430hp and tons of torque at only 16psi this year and I can get 525 at only 22psi before I need to go to a bigger turbo. Why did we stop at 430hp when we have 525 on tap? Dirt...and my lack of experience driving this car in it. So we went conservative.



Wow, it has been awhile -- I use to live walking distance from the Garden of Gods; it was in '05, with an RSX-S, tearing that smooth road. Memories! And Pikes Peak is no joke!


Why a KA24? Displacement.

Why a rear mount turbo? weight balance, with proper sizing of the turbo there is no noticeable difference in lag, plus the fact that the IATs are pretty much ambient probably help.


im not sure i follow how a remote turbo contributes to a greater pressure differential across the turbine..wouldn't a hotter turbine/housing cause the exhaust gas to heat up faster as it traveled through?

how does a remote mount allow you to run a smaller turbo? the smaller the better for engine space. and yes the smaller it is, the faster it spools, especially with that undersquare 2.4 beast under the hood hehe. (speaking of which, what kind of head/manifold porting did you do if any?)

"The system is always pressurized" - this has to apply to the air charge half as well, so the throttle plate is never closed? you never let off completely? not to mention the turbo isnt spinning very fast when its freewheeling (short of using an anti-lag system), and even your gauges should tell you the air charge system isn't pressurized when you're off the throttle...if not, that bov isnt working and you're compressor surging every time you let off the throttle (bad for turbo life) lol

what would be the point of using v-mount intercoolers if shortening the piping between the turbo, intercooler, and throttle body wasn't a significant advantage?

im sorry but im just not convinced engine bay temps and turbo life (btw turbos are designed to run inside of engine bays) is enough reason to work that much harder at getting the job done. so much more risk of leaks on both exhaust and charge're climbing a damn dirt mountain...if you're worried about turbo life get a damn ball bearing thats water cooled!

much respect for going the extra mile to make that crazy thing work for you!

p.s. did you do this because you truly believe its superior to engine bay mounting, or is it just to throw its superb successfulness in the faces of jerks like me?


Very cool stuff! Great to see the KA getting some love, "Got Torgue?"

Any one know where there might be video of this car running on any course?

S14 Zenki for life!


Ken and Travis Hauled ass, AND THEY would have WON the class, had it not been for the million dollar Porsche in the class. Any of ya who have not raced Pikes peak and you have stupid comments, it just shows your ignorance... 5 starts 5 finishes for me.... THEIR TIME WAS WAY WAY COOL. I SAY BRING YOUR CAR AND SEE WTF..:)... THE BOYZ WERE BAD ASS, ANY WHO SAY DIFFERENT HAS LOST THEIR MIND!

Emporer martini

martini racing colorado.

ps...even though they have some guard rails etc..this race is NOT EASY...JUST TO FINISH is a BIG DEAL, let alone WINNING! just to clarify is all! :D


haha i knew that this was the car off of nicoclub


@hmmm: Clearly there are fine points in the science of this thing that I can't fully relay the way Rick Squires, of STS Turbo could. He developed the system, and could go through all the benefits and the science behind them. Please get in touch with him and he'll tell you everything you want to know about how the system works.

Here's all I can tell you and and you can either dismiss me, and my experience on the Hill, or you can just trust that, as a serious competitor, I wouldn't have anything on my car I didn't feel could help me win: The STS Remote Mount Turbo system works. It makes incredible power and my engine doesn't have to work any harder than a conventional setup to make it happen. I get instant throttle response, super low under hood temps, and smooth rediculous power all the way through the power band. I have no more lag issues than ANY other turbo car on the hill, and I know this because I am friends with most of them, and we all talk shop. Still not convinced? Get yourself to Dallas and I'll personally strap you in the passenger seat and show you how well it works. Bring your own helmet, I don't have a spare. Wanting to know more about a system that is unconventional doesn't make you a Jerk. Not being open to the idea that it might work better than a conventional system, that would make you a Jerk. There's still hope for you.

I worry about component life on everything in my car. I'm on an exceedingly slim budget and I need stuff to last.

The head and minifold have minimal porting. The head was ported to IMSA specs long ago and they only allow about an inch back, and the combustion chamber work we did was just a bit of mild blending.

The system is always pressurized - Even when you let off completely the air never stops moving...which probably would heve been a better way to state that, so here you go: The air in the system never stops moving, and the air moves at over 400' per second.

Turbo noise in the drivers compartment is noticeable but not overwhelming. The insulated box does quite a bit to reduce noise, and so does my helmet.

Turbos can be run anywhere. I just think that getting that 2000 degree lump of steel and aluminum away from critical engine, ignition, electrical and braking components is an advantage in itself. Guys who run them conventionally blanket them, wrap them and shield them from everything they can. I don't have to worry about that.

Why the KA instead of the SR? I just didn't see an advantage, particularly in a Hill Climb, to cutting off .4 liters of torque producing displacement. I never have to rev my motor over 7000rpm to make all the horsepower I need from my KA. Even at altitude I can short shift and still be in the torque band.

Thanks for the questions!


What a bunch of Spaghetti on the Wiring Harness, Forced Induction with Factory Ignition?Rookies!!!


Ken, please don't waste your time explaining to armchair race car drivers. If they don't understand why it is the way it is and why it works. Then there is no need to educate them. I think the car is awesome and the turbo in the backseat threw me for a loop while following the build thread on freshalloy a few years ago.

The videos you posted testing the car would lead me to believe people just need to shut up or nut up.

and you sir have nutted up.



ken i gotta start by thanking you for responding, and especially for doing so in a straightforward and dignified manner.

i don't doubt the setup makes incredible power, and whether or not im convinced its better than an engine bay mounted turbo system; i must say it does have its pros, and its very interesting. doubt i'd use it in any of my vehicles, nor sell the kits...but if a customer brought one to me, i'd love to see how it performed. (sorry flight to dallas is not on my checklist, but if you're planning on competing in rally america at NJMP ill be there to shake your hand haha!)

does the kit include an external oil pump? thats a whole lotta extra volume to pump back there and forward again...

there is another function of turbocharging that is rather critical...not the velocity of exhaust gasses pushing the turbine but the expansion of those gasses due to heat. although heatwrap and blankets are great for keeping heat out, they're also useful for keeping heat in. if the gas is expanding, it wants to move towards the exhaust exit faster. im skeptical that the "more dense" cooler exhaust gasses o the remote mount provide an advantage over the hotter gasses travelling through an engine bay mounted turbo...i'd love to see an unbiased comparison. same motor, same turbo.

After visiting the sight, i do understand the advantages in certain applications. big v8s in vettes have cramped engine bays, so remote mount makes sense because there would likely be a big difference in IATs (still the throttle response cannot be comparable to bay mounting, i mean no air is moving passed a closed throttle plate at any feet per second. no air, no fuel, no exhaust, turbo slows down. = some manner of lag when back on the gas, regardless of turbo location, noticeable or otherwise. another problem is that turbo is spooling several pounds more boost than you're receiving at the engine every foot of piping equates to some amount of pressure drop, something in the area of 1.5 lbs every 1-3 ft i forget the actual number, either way, bad for turbo)

however inline 4 and 6 cylinders are setup well for bay mounting, and can retain the many advantages the bay mount has to offer. without the worry of toasty IATs nor fried electronics or whatever sillyness sts was on about. (unless of course, its put together by a hack, then anything is possible)

i will say its can be the less expensive way to go, especially if you do all the body modification and fabrication yourself. if not though....probably not

the biggest advantage i see from this setup on an s14 is some well placed weight...

om1kron....nutting up or shutting up has little to do with deciding which setup provides the overall advantage. as for armchair racecar drivers, im better at a track day than gran tourismo, and ive had nothing but praises for ken's driving. this is about the car. although it seems ken does need someone to be snobby for him, he's far too modest, way to step up to the plate


Did you have any trouble fitting the S15 Helical diff into the S14 Crown Wheel? Iv just picked me up a S15 Helical centre to put into my S14 with the same 4.08 ratio you have and wondering if its a bolt in job. Thanks


@om1kron - Thank you, Sir.

@ignition guy - who said it's a factory ignition? Spaghetti-ish...yep. I've even called it that. Still a work in progress, but good enough to make the summit.


i lol'd at the turbo in a box comment someone posted...

and i wanna ride in this beast, looks fast.

also congrats on the time


@sil80sr20 - Thanks!

@hmmm , et al: humble...maybe. I don't see any reason to get upset about parts and racing! :) These kinds of discussions about who's junk can do what are timeless, and will continue long after we stop fooling with this sillyness!

Probably the best thing about the STS system is that it essentially lets you put a turbo on any car. Is it 100% practical for every race situation? I have no idea. I love how it works for us. Maybe some day we'll try a conventional setup to see what it'll do, but as long as my budget is wafer thin, as it always is, we'll just stick with what we have.

The kit has a return pump. The oil pressure from the engine is enough to get it there. but the return pump gets it back and keeps you from blowing oil through your seals.

I would still encourage you to speak with Rick Squires about the lag debate. He gave me some insight on it once and it made sense, though it was a bit over my head.

We won't be in NJ for any Rallies anytime soon. Perhaps someday we'll meet in the middle somewhere! Maybe a Time Attack event somewhere. If that day comes, you're more than welcome to a ride!


Sixty percent oxygen is what you have to live on when you're standing on the top of Pikes Peak at