The Pursuit Of Fun: A Boss-Inspired Cefiro

John Toh’s wild SW20 Toyota MR2 wasn’t the only car I took a closer look at in the parking lot of Aylezo race shop when I visited Malaysia in late April.

As I mentioned in the MR2 story, John also owns a pretty crazy A31 Nissan Cefiro which he uses as a drift-spec daily driver.


Before I get stuck into the details, let’s get something cleared up right away. For John, the Cefiro is more of an exercise in fun and seeing what he could create with a little JDM inspiration and Malaysian can-do attitude than anything else.

That being said, you won’t find a fire-breathing monster living underneath the hood churning out huge horsepower and torque figures. In fact, the factory-fitted RB20DET remains mostly stock, save for the usual intake and exhaust modifications and an intercooler upgrade.


The intercooler is a must to combat the extreme temperatures that Malaysia is known for, but mounted right out front like a works-style oil cooler it’s one of the defining features of the A31’s visual aesthetic.


Like the engine, the interior hasn’t seen much change either. John has simply added a half roll-cage, a Sparco driver’s seat, Z33 steering wheel, Bee R rev limiter, and a couple of Defi gauges.


The exterior, however, is anything but original. It’s a true one-of-a-kind.


If you’re looking at the front of the car and thinking it’s more reminiscent of a Rocket Bunny Boss-kitted S14, there’s a good reason why. That’s exactly where John took his inspiration from.


Of course, given that Kei Miura’s kit is for an S14 and not a Cefiro, John had to take matters into his own hands in order to bring the unique look to life.

For the livery, it was not Marlboro this time, but the BRE Datsun 510 that John looked to. JDM-style fender-mounted mirrors then pull the whole nostalgic theme together.


Despite its appearance, this is the car that John uses on a daily basis. A locked diff makes it a lot of fun when it’s taken to the track and drifted, which is often.


Building a car for fun over everything else is a common theme I found in Malaysia, and I’m sure it’s one of the main reasons why car culture is so exciting and varied in this country. I really hope to see more of this sort of thing during my future travels around the world.

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

Special thanks to Aylezo for opening their doors for us to shoot on a busy weekday.

More stories from Malaysia on Speedhunters



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I know, I know. It's all in "good fun". But why fake the funk? Why does SH continue to feature cars that do?
The Watanabe replica wheels (actually Atara Racing with Watanabe center cap stickers) and Michelin-stenciled Toyos blow my mind.


There are big differences how brands and intellectual rights are seen in different cultures. Also the western philosophy is based on rationality where as in the east it's more about aesthetics. I think that could explain a lot.

The oil lines going to the intercooler make absolutely no sense to us. But if you look at the car solely as an aesthetic object (like a sculpture) it hardly matters if it's an oil cooler or an intercooler. I think the same goes with the fake parts


Also, it depends on the car.

On a Lambo or Porsche, yeah - get the "authentic" parts.

This is a Cefiro.

A nice one, but still a Cefiro. You don't need "authentic" parts for it to be cool.


Because not everyone has a budget of $20k, and they might still want to have some fun with their car?


I feel like this article is too much of a 180 degree change from Trevor's article earlier in the week - that article featured a Subaru with replica wheels as a bad thing, and yet this Cefiro has a feature dedicated to it, and is fitted with replica wheels.
I have nothing against his taste and what he chooses to run on his car, but surely there should be a bit of consistency with what is being shown on SpeedHunters? I know I may be looking into this too deeply (as that article was more of a discussion piece than anything) but more consistency would make reading this content even more enjoyable.

Also, that engine bay needs a good cleaning!


I thought Trevor's article earlier this week was crap. The last thing I want on SH is the content providers spouting elitist bullshit that comes with people hating on 'fake parts'. The media shouldn't be taking sides, particularly not a site like SH, which has such a large range of content that they cover.


Sorry that was your takeaway. Maybe you missed where I mentioned I have replica parts myself? Regardless, I think the car in this article is super rad.

Clearly build with an end in site, great attention to detail, and as Ron said an exercise in fun.


I just read the Subaru article by Trevor
*Paging Paddy*
So what will the future hold for SH? A mix of "fun" builds with anything goes for parts, or as Trevor opines, builds that command "respect"?

Inquiring minds want to know!


I think it's worth remembering that Speedhunters isn't one voice, but a collection of people who all have their own take on things. I'm not going to force the guys to follow one line of thinking, nor am I going to prevent anyone from having their thoughts shared. Not all of us agree on everything, and I think that's an important quality to retain.


Excellent response Paddy!


Love it. Prepare for the 'fake parts are ruining my fun' crap that everyone is going to vomit into this comment section.


Where do you draw the line? I mean the owner could have just run the Atara Racing center caps and been proud of it. End of story. Instead, he blatantly stuck a Watanabe sticker on it.
Is that "fun"?
And if so, I like others, just want clarity from SH that they are endorsing this kind of "fun". Totally cool with me if they do.
Or, was this an oversight by the author, like the use of "Malay" in the owner's SW20 feature?


i'm with you there. that's FAKE ond not FUN. i don't know as well why they keep featuring this kind of cars


Maybe its got more to do with the authors of the stories. Ron lives in Japan and seems to have a fun loving Jap take when it comes to builds. Everyone has different opinions and budgets and he just respects what people try to create.

Trevor seems to have a very distinctive VAG or American attitude where if you haven't spent $50k in parts and your car doesn't meet his exacting taste then your build just outright sucks!!

I might not agree with the stenciled tyres and the overuse of stickers and vinyl on both these cars but I can appreciate the time, effort and money this guy has put into HIS cars. Maybe in Malaysia it's just 'their' thing.

Great article Ron keep up the great work


I have some rep & cheap parts myself, which I mentioned, so maybe your takeaway from my other story was entirely what you wanted it to be.

I think this car at hand is awesome. Not to everyone's taste but that wasn't the point and the final result looks cool and complete.


Not my cup of tea. Not the Cefiro, and not the MR-2. I respect the enthusiasm that guy has, but the execution is not my style, 200%...


So what was the front made of? WEAK article with nice pictures.


Basically Rice


Fair play, at the end of the day, some kid who sees this won't know what's real or fake and will love it. If that gets another person into cars them I'm all for it!


Love this car! I'm stoked to see people put together what they can with the resources they have available to them. Only a tiny percentage of the world cares or notices the details being argued here....It's awesome that Speedhunters is giving opportunities to project owners in countries such as Malaysia.



this site has been lacking on the content lately


rice (and FALSE parts)
Wdf men?


Anytime someone cuts down someone elses’s project car they should be required to post detailed pictures of their cars.

Thank you, good day


Are people calling this thing rice, just because rep wheels, wrong tire stickers and dirty engine bay?!
it's just a daily drift car. I like the idea and custom bumper too, and hey! a turbocharged RB20 is a powerful engine for a light sedan.
Thumbs up for the owner!

Jose Manuel Suarez

The exterior looks pretty awesome, but need work in the interior and gosh... Clean the engine.


I love the Cefiro because it's like a 3/4-scale Impala SS.

I love this one for the tunneled front end.


These things are gangsta.


Straight up, player.


Malaysian fake part culture

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

The amount of hate here is too damn high. LOO!


I don't usually comment but given then high number of negative comments I thought I should pipe up this time.

This looks cool. It's unique. It stands out. It gets attention. I like it.

As far as all the talk about "fake parts"....what now? Replica parts are just that. Replicas of an original that might be 10 times the price. This isn't a show car. This isn't a $100,000 build. This is a guy in Malaysia who wanted a cool car to cruise around in and he has built just that. Guys like this are keeping the scene alive and better yet, fresh. It's innovation. Which is more than can be said for most of the builds you see coming out in the west. 86 with a wide body. Miata with lots of tire civic with a bicycle on the roof...... at least this is something new and something fun.

In conclusion, fuck the haters, lets see more content like this! Oh and before you reply about how wrong I am. Don't waste your time, I'm never going to read it.


speedhunters was keep reporting fake or imitation their mechandise selling on ebay. After this article, speedhunters please stop reporting as you teaching us on having imitation products.