UP IN SMOKE

 It is not often you see a Nissan 1 tonner modded to the max. It is not something most petrol heads would look at and think “what a trick cab”.


Words by Shaun Thorndike // Photography by MS Photo

So you might be wondering why Zaine, the current owner, decided to use this 1991 van as a base.

Well it goes a lot deeper than just a metal frame or dream and vision of a build. Zaine’s dad, Nelson, unfortunately
passed 8 years ago.



This van was his work van and Zaine saw it fit to keep the memory of his old man going through the build and showcase his love and pride for him. It is one thing building your car yourself, but to build it for your late dad is something special. It is as if he is still with you, by your side every night, wrenching until the early hours of the morning.


Things have changed a fair amount in the last 8 years. The original 2.4l petrol engine has been replaced with a hefty Lexus v8 luzfe vvti 4.0i, tuned by Autotrix to make a healthy 182kw and 347nm. As you can imagine the rear does get a little happy especially with the 60/40 LSD Diff fitted and smaller wheels.


The v8 sounds unbelievable but unfortunately there were a few issues on the day of the shoot and we were not able to take it for a proper drive as only the first two gears where working properly.

We did however SMOKE the sh*t out of Durban Used Spares!!!


With the van being a ’91 model the paint work was in dire need of some love and has had a custom re-spray done. It sits on a set of 22 in rims and has had the springs slightly compressed to fill those wheel gaps! The interior has seen its fair share of updates.


The old bench seats have been replaced with some modern and fully electric BMW e46 330ci two door seats, and electric windows have been installed. Sound was also a priority and has a list longer than my arm.



Two 15inch targa venom 4d’s sit happily behind the seats, powered by a Crossfire 2000 watt amp. A bunch of Pioneer 6in mids and 6×9’s with a Pioneer 4 channel amp runs the mid range. Zaine has also fitted a 22 inch dvd screen which is connected to a reverse camera to help maneuver this bad boy!!!

Zaine would like to thank all his mates that have helped and supported this build over the years.

All the work was done at home with the help of his friends who knew his dad very well.

Keep an eye out for this smoke machine and let me know what you think of that exhaust noise!!!

We are the voice of KZN, a magazine that was created for the people by the people.

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