Import Alliance car show

Listen Up folks.

I don’t care what you drive. I don’t care how you drive it. But if you’re not smirking when you drive it, giddy behind the wheel, solo on a back road… if you don’t look back after you park it… you’re doing it all wrong man. It’s that simple.

If you’re building for likes and followers, it’s not even yours anymore. You’re making your happiness & satisfaction dependent on others. Others who could honestly care less about you and the hundreds of other cars they’ll double-tap on today.

Why surrender that? Why let go of your control? Why should anyone else have a say in what’s going to inevitably piss you off one day… and give you goosebumps the next? After all, you’re the only one slapping the gears on a parkway bank. You’re the only one chucking wrenches trying to figure out wtf is keeping it from starting up.

This Guy likes to Party

Well Toolin’s got this figured out. When I first saw John Toolin’s rat Nissan Hardbody, I thought, “Ok this guy likes to party.” And I was damn right. Almost every mod, replacement part, ding, polish, sticker, and license plate on this brown baller was put on by John or his homie Kevin. It serves as a reflection of his attitude and personality. And it comes together so naturally. The humble nature of someone who just wants to enjoy the build as it unfolds.

In its early years, this original LHD Nissan Hardbody was slinging parts for Harry at Firestone. Once it reached its angsty teen years, the pickup left the shop, and was nearly junked thrice by previous owners… including John’s brother. But John saw the heap as an opportunity to go nuts for donuts.

Finding replacement steering parts added up quick, but Toolin came across the opportunity to get a half-cut RHD Silvia.

“Why the f**k not.”

The D21 became one pain in the ass after the other, but Toolin made sure each fix became an upgrade in some way… with in-house fabrication, and/or by any means necessary. With a glass half full mentality – Toolin turned headaches into fun garage time with homies. I think that’s the key element that gives anything it’s rat style.  

To me, the rat style build has always been about working with what you’ve got… to build what you want. This Hardbody is no exception. S13 SR20DET, 180SX front subframe, S14 Silvia rear subframe, Mustang Cobra rear rotors, S50 Skyline mirrors, Jack Daniels coolant reservoir… the vicious list goes on. And while on paper, it seems like a Frankenstein machine (pronounced fronkensteen), the custom tubed front and back brings everything together so fluidly.

I hope this kind of mindset carries on throughout our scene. That “I’m gonna build for me and not for likes” attitude. And I hope it stays authentic. Fuel your creativity, by not limiting yourself to what you see. And push beyond your own creativity, if by nothing else, just out of morbid curiosity & pure determination. After all, that’s the mindset that built this community from Day 1… and it’s what will keep it alive long after any of us. In the words of Sir Toolin himself, “It’s dope, does burnouts, and shoots flames. The End.”



Nissan SR20DET

ARP head studs

APEXi .8mm headgasket

GSC S1 cams

SP 3-row intercooler

Custom stainless intercooler piping

Dual NGR Type S blow off valves


Turbosmart manual boost controller

ISR radiator, fans, shroud, and hoses

CD009 transmission

Autotech motoring adapter plate

Competition Clutch stage-4 clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel

CBF top mount Tremec with reverse lockout

Nismo shift knob with extension

Carbon 1-piece drive shaft

10-gallon fuel cell, foam, and extended neck

Quantum 380lph pump and filter

Five-0 1000cc injectors

Circuit Sport fuel rail

8an braided feed and return fuel line

Twisted Motion iron man exhaust manifold

Twisted Motion GT2871/t3 hybrid turbo

Precision 46mm wastegate on 24psi

Freddy intake manifold

Custom low mount power steering bracket

Custom fender exit exhaust

Jack Daniels coolant reservoir

Circuit sports oil pan

New OEM harness

New rear main seal

New timing chain tensioner

New gaskets throughout

Lightweight alternator, power steering, and water pump pulleys

Nismotronics ECU

GM map sensor

GM idle-air-temp sensor

Tuned for e85


Custom frame front and rear

180SX front subframe

BC extreme drop coilovers 16k/14k

Strut tower tow hook

S14 Silvia rear subframe

S14 Silvia vlsd

Megan tension rods

Gktech bump steer tie rod ends

Gktech S14 inner tie rods

Kazama rear upper control arms

Kazama toe arms

Nismo rear sway bar

Solid subframe bushings

New OEM front/rear 5-lug hubs

Remanufactured Z32 brakes

Maverick Motor Sports dual caliper bracket

Mustang Cobra rear rotors

Wilwood 3/4” hydro e-brake

OBP floor mount pedal box

Wilwood brake bias adjustment knob

Tilton clutch reservoir

All new 3/16” brake lines to ISR braided lines

ChaseBays power steering kit

17×9 +20 BBS RS wheels

RHD conversion with 180SX column and re-sealed rack

180SX key

Boss hub and Sparco spline quick release

Nardi wheel

Custom aluminum dash

New black front end and S10 lip

S50 skyline mirrors

Custom hood struts

Aerocatch hood pins

Rust painted with vinyl door lettering

Tubed front and back

License plate tailgate duck bill

Custom aluminum door cards

Subway ring door handles

4×4 “widebody”



DEFI advance zd with working speedo & odometer

VDO fuel level gauge

Prosport fuel pressure gauge

AEM x wideband

Switch panel for lights, turn signals, wipers, etc


Text by Jesse Rivera    Photos by GP Media