Jonathan Kernen’s 240sx

Words and photos by: Kent Foster

Last summer I was new to San Antonio’s car scene and was on the hunt for another Southrnfresh feature. I heard local car crew Squirrel Squad was having their 2nd annual bbq/meet. And some of San Antonio’s best cars would be there. The day of the meet the parking lot quickly filled to capacity. The meet had a mixture of cars however Jonathan Kernen’s iconic 1993 Nissan 240 was the diamond in the rough.

The Nissan 240Sx was introduced into the North American market back in 1988 and was marketed as a sports car. Its part of the Nissan S-Platform, Its sloped front with pop up headlights make it stylish. Rear wheel drive, plenty of room under the hood and it being relatively light made it a popular car, and the 240 has taken on a cult following all over the world.

To me owning and modifying a 240 seems to be a hard task.  I always felt a car that has a following like this, it has to be hard to find a happy medium with everything that you want to do.  Jonathan has owned his 240 since he was 16. He told me that its been through its share of paint jobs, engine and interior configurations.  Its all part of the process of a solid build.

Body | Paint

Glacier Frost Mica paint | Version Select body kit with wide fenders | JDM tail lights | Nismo center panel | VIS Racing carbon hood | Carbon hatch/roof spoilers

Jonathan stayed with the proper parts for the overall build of the car.  We all have different ideas, and different goals with our builds.  We just do not agree when people decide to take shortcuts on what they want, and settle for a knockoff part, when they really want the authentic piece.  If you want those specific high part for your vehicle save up and get them, no need to settle for less, if you have the chance to work a little harder and get what you really want.

Wheel – Suspension 

Volk Racing TE-37 wheels painted Daytona Blue | 18×9.5 +24 front, 18×10.5 +24 rear | 255/35 front tires, 275/35 rears | Tein Flex coilovers with EDFC | Tie rods/strut bars | Nismo power bar | JIC Magic rear control arms | Toe rods | Traction rods | JDM 180SX brakes.

The goods get even better in the engine bay, where quality is the most important.  If you want to spend thousands of dollars on that swap.  It has to be backed up by the correct supporting mods that will last.  I always appreciate a cleanly shaved bay.  But I also have a soft spot for bays that are coordinated in a colorful way.  Everything serves a purpose, and flows together.  The blue cold pipe stood out to me for a bit, but as I starred at the bay more and more, it all meshed together.


Blacktop S13 SR20DET | HKS 264 cams | Blow off valve | Greddy intake manifold | Intercooler | Aftermarket oil pan, radiator, down pipe, rocker arm stopper | Full Race divided top mount turbo manifold | Garrett GT3076r twin scroll turbo | Tial external wastegate | Apexi Power FC ecu | N1 Titanium exhaust | Metal head gasket | BC valve springs/titanium retainers | Hummingbird Racing port and polish. Nismo 740cc injectors | SplitFire coilpacks/ignition amplifier | Walbro 255 fuel pump. Jonathan said this was the short list.

We typically see these cars in rare form, beaten up, in progress or just being parted out.  But we applaud Jonathan for taking his time, and putting time and effort into the old S13.

That is all the photos of Jonathan’s 240sx that I got for the day.  As always we will continue to follow Jonathan with his build.  To see the whole gallery click here.

“I would like to thank my Dad, Joe, and all of my friends that have motivated me along the way and put in long hours building this car. Jimmy, Whiting, Robbie, Jeremy, Bob, Neil, and my wife Liz” – Jonathan Kernen