At The Wheel: Sneezan and Pete
My name: Pete
My age: 19
My profession: Student, Electrical Engineering
City/town: Santa Cruz
Relationship status: Single
My Ride: 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R - powered by a 140 hp, 7500 RPM 2.0 liter SR20 engine
What is the best thing that you like about your ride?
It's much faster than it looks. It's got one of Nissan's most notorious engines in it – an SR20. Powerful (140 hp, a lot on such a light car) and strong (370,000 miles on the car, and I swear it's just breaking in).
Do you have a nickname for your car?
I'm not sure where it came from, but I call it my Sneezan.
Have you upgraded the car stereo? What is your "dream" sound system?
It's got an aftermarket head unit and Kicker component speakers in the front, but it's mostly (all) salvaged equipment. Sounds pretty good for $0 though.
What aspect of your ride most attracted you when you decided to own and drive it?
It was $200 and had SR20 power.
Do you like to take road trips in your car? Describe your favorite road trip -- where did you go? What did you do?
Yeah! I made a cannonball run to Vancouver from North California. It was during the summer before I went to college, and I didn't have a job or really anything to do. I was on a super low budget, so I slept in the car and ate mostly Taco Bell. Classy, I know. I got to Vancouver and turned around because I was almost out of money. I drove 15 hours through the night and just passed out in my bed when I got home. It was really great.
What is the most you’ve ever paid for a car? What is the most you would ever pay for a car?
I think a better question would be what's the least I've payed for a car - $200 for my Nissan.
Do you have a great memory of a date that relates to you car?
No - my car must not be sexy enough.
Do you like tinkering under the hood, or do you leave repairs and routine maintenance to your mechanic?
I do everything myself! My Nissan needed a new transmission when I bought it, so I got a used one through an internet forum for really cheap and swapped it in myself. I love working on cars, getting entirely covered in dirt and grease is somehow really satisfying. Plus when I'm done I get to drive it!
Do you find yourself more attracted to people with similar car tastes to your own? Or doesn’t it matter?
I'm not sure if it matters, but yeah, I'm definitely more interested in someone who understand cars and can work on them. Anyone who can do that has good taste in cars!
What special touches have you added to your car that reflect your personality and individuality?
I painted red racing stripes onto it. They're kind of ugly, but they definitely represent my budget and sloppy/aggressive driving style. I also laser-engraved the valve cover, you can bet no one else has one like that.
If you had an unlimited budget and could change anything you wanted on your car, what modifications or accessories would you add?
A fresh JDM SR20 engine, a T28 turbo setup, slammed to the ground and JDM bumpers and lights. That would make for one sexy Nissan Sentra.
Do you think your car has a personality or soul? What kind of sound or behavior does it have that makes it unmistakably your car?
It definitely has a soul! Every time I launch or hit redline I pat it on the dash and say, “Good job, Nissan!” This keeps it going. If it didn't have a soul it wouldn't have lasted this long.
Have you ever pushed your car to its performance limit? What was the fastest speed?
Time and time again! It probably has something to do with being a teenager, but I can't resist taking it over a twisty road as fast as it can go without flying off the road. It's not a supercar, but I have gotten it up to 120 mph, and it still had more to go :-D.
Are you a member of any car clubs or other auto related organizations?
Nothing major. SR20forum and the UCSC Society of Automotive Engineers club, but that really only existed for a moment.
What was the first car you ever had? Do you ever get nostalgic for it?
I bought a 1966 Volkswagen Bug when I was 12. I put a straightpipe exhaust on it and installed a tremendous stereo that blew out the rear window. It topped out at 74 mph and got 12 mpg, but it was so loud it was worth it. I sold it and bought a Miata when I was 17, though, and I do miss it from time to time.
If you could trade your ride in for any other car, what would it be, regardless of the price?
Probably a Lotus Elise. It's the size of a go-cart and handles really well. But to be honest, I'm pretty happy with what I have.
If you share a burning passion for your car like thousands of other gays, now you have a chance to let the world know. We don't just want to see your auto obsession, we want to hear all about it!