Amongst hundreds of slammed cars, it’s funny how one man’s style can be so easily recognized. But Ishikawa Body’s offerings were hard to miss at Wekfest Japan a couple of weeks ago.
Masaru Ishikawa certainly has a talent for visually enhancing the looks of Nissans. Back in 2018 when I was first introduced to his 180SX build, I couldn’t stop looking at the thing. The smooth metal work on the fenders, the spot-on fitment with the Z33 wheels, the Type X rear wing and the S15 dash swap all culminated into something truly epic. Performance wasn’t overlooked either, and under-hood sat a lightly-tuned SR20DET between the tubbed wheel arches. To me, the build represented the perfect street/drift car, but it’s been even further evolved in the time since, prompting Toby to another take a look last month.
For Wekfest Japan 2021, Ishikawa-san brought two fresh builds along – a certain Nissan Vanette Largo I’ll get to in a moment, and this Nissan Silvia S13.
This is a car I’ve been following on Ishikawa-san’s Instagram account as he put on the finishing touches in the weeks leading up to the show.
Once again it’s a black car, which at first glance makes it even harder to understand how Ishikawa-san achieved such a sweet look.
In a world of FRP overfenders, Ishikawa-san’s metal fabrication work sends tingles through my body. You really have to appreciate the gentle blistering and also the time that would have gone in to get the fender edges looking so stock. These custom mods allow the oversized BBS mesh wheels to tuck when the car is dropped on its air suspension.
Inside, a tidy S15 dash swap gives a slightly more modern touch to the 30-year-old S13 cabin.
I’m glad Ishikawa-san opted for smaller gold stripes to go with the ‘4VALVE DOHC’ graphics on lower sections of the car’s sides as opposed to the taller ones he was toying with, as I think they finish it off perfectly.
I also have to say that before I saw this car finished in gloss black, I never noticed how good the stock S13 front bumper with the vents next to the turn signals looks, although this is possibly due to how well the lower lip is integrated here.A Stanced Vanette Largo
While shooting the aforementioned Ishikawa Body 180SX, Toby also took a look at their 1992 C22 Vanette Largo project, which at the time was deep under the knife. I’m glad to report that the finished van is so much more impressive in person than any of these photos will convey.
Again, the custom fender work is flawless, and in this case allows the deep-dish BBS RS wheels to tuck deep inside the wheel wells once the Air Lift Performance system is aired out.
Getting the old van to do this was no easy feat. It took a complete redesign of the rear, notching the frame, and laying out independent suspension with an S15 rear end.
Embellishing the underlying chassis and suspension work are custom wheel tubs and a sheet metal section that highlights the insane amount of work that went into the transformation. Behind it all sits the air tank and the Air Lift Performance management that controls the entire system.
Chunkier USDM Nissan Van front and rear bumpers were also sourced and fitted, something that’s really changed up the overall look of the exterior. Ishikawa-san also fitted the American headlights and corner lights, which look far better than those that came standard on the JDM Vanette Largo.
But of course it doesn’t end there.
The once seven-seater is now set up to carry just three – two passengers and the driver. The rear bench seat was removed in order to accommodate the custom rear end, leaving a pair of plush ‘captain’s chairs’ in what used to be the middle row.
It might be possible to refit the front passenger seat, but at Wekfest it was removed to showcase the front mid-mount SR20DET swap. And don’t think that’s a stock engine either; it’s armed with 272-degree duration/high-lift cams, an HKS GT-RS turbo on stainless steel headers and a Link ECU to manage it all. That’s good enough to send anywhere between 350 to 400hp to the rear end via an S15 gearbox.
I’d love to take a look at the linkage that connects the stock shifter to the transmission. All I know is, this is not one of those ‘Bluetooth’ connections we often come across on SEMA Show builds – the Ishikawa Body C22 moves under its own power.
I won’t lie, on the train back to Tokyo after Wekfest I was on Car Sensor looking at how much these C22s sell for. That and checking out the prices of unmolested S13s… Thanks Ishikawa-san!
Dino Dalle Carbonare
Oops, I've just spent 2hrs down a C22 rabbit hole............ Back to work.
so, how much are unmolested S13's nowadays in japan?
My God are they so clean!
Thanks for a great article Dino!
Idiot question I know, but I am dying to know. When you say "bluetooth" shifter, you mean that there isn't a way to shift the car right? There isn't such a thing as a bluetooth transmission...... right?......
"All I know is, this is not one of those ‘Bluetooth’ connections we often come across on SEMA Show builds"
While there are a few at SEMA, the cast majority leave under their own power. The Friday afternoon rollout is one of my favorite events to attend. Whenever you have a show that size, with cars from all over the planet, there are bound to be a few that missed a deadline or that have parts that unfortunitly didn't show up in time.
Ishikawa’s YouTube covers both builds... well worth a watch. =)
That Van is SWEET! Not are about the usdm front bumper as I think they stick out too far, but each to their own I guess:) Interested in the exhaust set up, is it straight pipe? the side exit is certainly very cool and a subtle feature that actually fits the style very well! Also wonder the heat management with a turbo engine under the seat, though it is a show car so it's not a huge concert I suppose. Oh and does it still have factory steering system and brakes?
Sorry about bombarding you with questions, just really intrigued;)