Artem Valitov’s cherry-colored 1990 Nissan PS13 build didn’t happen overnight.
As soon as he purchased it in 2014, the Nissan was rolled into Artem’s garage where it remained for a few years, stripped right back to an absolute bare shell and then completely restored and rebuilt. Every last centimeter of the chassis was checked and refreshed, and then stiffened right up for its new purpose in life – one that involved a low, wide stance and the heart of a Mazda RX-7.
For Artem, who calls in Ufa, Russia home, his ever-since-childhood love for the PS13 comes from its angular body lines and that distinctive front end appearance; in Artem’s mind all of the S13’s features are exactly where they should be. The only thing he finds boring are the engines Nissan bestowed the model with.
Before anyone takes that the wrong way, by ‘boring’ Artem is solely referring to the conventional nature of inline-four cylinder engine like the CA18 and SR20. Quite simply, four pistons were never going to cut it in this custom build; but two rotors in an engine inspired by that of Mazda’s 1991 Le Mans winner would.
At last year’s Raceism show in Poland, Artem’s Silvia placed in the top four overall, which is a huge achievement in anyone’s books. In the midst of such high quality competition, even making the top 16 is a dream, but one look at this build and it’s easy to see why it was scored so high. It’s clean in every respect.
It wasn’t easy to get a close look at the car while at Raceism though, because the Nissan/Mazda mash-up always seemed to have a crowd gathered around it.
The sound of a naturally aspirated and race-ported 13B will have that effect, and it’s the same sound that attracted Artem to this engine swap in the first place.
The fact that rotary-powered cars of any description are very uncommon in Russia only cemented the idea to 13B-swap the Nissan, but a factory-spec engine or one even mildly modified would never do. What’s residing in the space once reserved for a CA18 is something pretty cool.
Nicon Rotary – a business Artem is personally involved – took care of the engine build, which is centered on a 13B-REW unit from an FD3S RX-7.
Of course, if Artem had wanted to truly capture the sound of Mazda’s 787B racer he’d have needed twice the amount of rotors and a custom eccentric shaft among other things, but there’s nothing wrong with the twin-rotor 13B, especially now that’s it naturally aspirated, peripheral ported and fitted with slide throttle fuel injection on a custom Nicon manifold.
To convert the side-port 13B to peripheral-port, the factory intake ports in the side housings were sealed up completely, and new intake ports formed straight through the rotor housings. A 13B-MSP (RX-8) eccentric shaft is used along with clearanced high-compression rotors from the same Renesis engine, but now fitted with Rotary Aviation apex seals. The 13B-REW’s factory exhaust ports were also modified using a Pineapple Racing template as a start point.
Other upgrades include a custom-fitted RX-8 oil pump, a one-off oil pan, full detailing of the engine block itself, and a custom stainless steel exhaust system. After tuning, Artem says the engine is producing over 300hp, and as mentioned earlier, it sounds every bit as impressive as that number – especially as the revs climb closer to 10,000rpm. Couple that with the car’s light weight – 2,335lb (or 1060kg) – it’s the recipe for a hell of a good time.
The power is then transfered through an RX-8 6-speed gearbox via a QuarterMaster clutch and custom flywheel. There’s also a carbon fiber driveshaft in the mix.
Aside from the rotary setup, Artem had a clear vision for the PS13’s end look – he wanted it very low and very clean. To achieve the desired ride height, plenty of custom work went on around the bodywork, including large front wheel tubs visible in the engine bay, while the front subframe and suspension was raised in order to maintain correct geometry.
The chassis sits on Kei Office coilovers with a custom StaticMotion air-cup kit built using a Wabco compressor, Airlift valves, custom cylinders, and a genuine USSR-period pressure gauge to finish things off. Artem has also added Cusco arms for more adjustability.
The whole body, like every other part of the car, has had unnecessary elements removed or shaven off, making it the smoothest PS13 I’ve ever seen – something only accentuated by the deep candy-red-over-black-base paint.
Iconic OZ Futura wheels in 17×10.5-inch up front and 17×12-inch out back sit tight under the modified front and rear fenders to pull the whole look together. Look closely and you’ll see BNR34 Skyline GT-R Brembo brakes between the spokes.
You definitely won’t find anything that’s not needed inside the cabin; Artem has taken a spartan, race-themed approach here with Sparco Ultra seats, a suede Gamma steering wheel, a chromed Cusco half cage and not much else.
The fact that this car was pieced together in a garage, yet emerged five years later looking like this is testament to the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. We know that it’s always the little details that make a build, and Artem is easily proving the point with his dream 13B-PP PS13 project.