This S14.5 and I first met at Formula Drift: Road Atlanta while she was pitted next door to our friend Chris Ward. I had already been oogling over the super clean S15 headlights that were staring me in the face. All day I had been wondering who owned it, drove it, built it. I eventually met Nick Thomas, and he expressed that he was a fan of Southrnfresh which was a humbling experience on its own. And he even volunteered a spot on the car for a SF decal. That whole weekend in Atlanta had a lot of things going on with our local drift scene. It was when news just broke about the city banning any drifting events in the city limits, a ban that eventually passed, but not without a fight from every major internet media site, and even WSBTV Channel 2 news covering the story. Nick Thomas is one of the locals from Tennessee that has been making his way up to the level of Formula D. And he is a perfect example of why the grassroots events are so important to drifting as a whole.
When we finally got an opportunity to get some photo time in with Nick, the sky was at its prime and fading quickly so the car was unloaded and we got right to work.
Nick started off learning how to slide in a 99 Corvette and upon realizing there was an actual sport for that, he was instantly hooked. Learning that the raw power of the Corvette wouldn’t be enough alone, he looked for a lighter more balanced chassis in a Nissan 240sx. After some testing, rebuilding, and more testing, Nick is finally getting used to his current setup in the vehicle you see before you. a 199x 240sx with an S15 front end.
Even though Formula D is known as the top level of drivers, I am always impressed how down to earth the drivers seem to be. And its always a treat to see their development from local events to the big screen in Formula D!
During a shoot, I always ask car owners what their favorite part of their car is. For Nick, it’s the Silvia S15 headlights.
Nick’s car is powered by a stroked 383 LS1 sitting in an engine bay that could give any hard-parking show car a run for it’s money.
When I first looked inside the car, i hadn’t noticed how much attention to detail there was. I was impressed to find every bit of the paint has metallic flake in it. Even down to the interior roll cage and the black painted floor panels.
Every driver seems to have their own way of personalizing their dash. Some guys have pictures, Some guys have certain sayings. Nick’s sticker is simple yet effective. “Don’t Suck.”
A centerpiece worthy of mentioning is the Holley LCD touchscreen that Nick has in place of a gauge cluster. not only does this device tell all while Nick is behind the wheel, it also controls the Dominator ECU so tuning adjustments can be made on the spot if necessary.
Sometimes the trunk can still be one of the most fun looking areas on a car. Elaborate fuel setups are fairly common in the racing world, and Nick & crew still make sure to add a splash of neon green in the mix for good measure.
As the sun disappeared, we were forced to try some alternative lighting approaches, but to be honest, The car just seemed to glow in the dark!
When we shoot in this area the cops always come by and see what we are up to, so this time was no different. Sometimes they even check out the car, most of them are car lovers themselves so they always let us continue since no one really drives around the area.
Nick Thomas Racing will be heading to Formula Drift RD4: The Gauntlet @ Wall, NJ next and we look forward to bringing more coverage of their progress. One thing for certain is that this team is just getting started and there is lots of promise in their career.
Check out more from the set here!
That was our last photos of Nick’s car before going off to New Jersey for Round 4, and unfortunately The Wall claimed the car and did some catastrophic damage. Nick was not hurt thankfully but the car is done Nick said on his facebook page. So the process begins to rebuild another chassis and get back on it as soon as possible. We will be following Nick’s new chassis when we get word!