COVID-19 hasn't been easy for anybody. Some have experienced hardship in job losses, the restrictions on social interaction and community gatherings. Others have been pushed to the limit professionally, those in essential services and the medical fields have had their hands full.
Nathaniel from Adelaide has been in the thick of the action, but despite this he took the time to read last week's piece on Michael. Having enjoyed the read, we reached out to him and learn his story, already appreciating his investment with us to build his MINT(!) Varis-inspired Evo VII.
With our interactions, we thought it would be best if we let Nathaniel speak for himself, it's a great story. Some edits and a little paraphrasing were made to make this flow better and provide better context, enjoy...
Photos by Saint Media.
My name is Nathaniel Velasquez. I am 27 years old, living in Adelaide, South Australia, working in the Intensive Care Unit.
COVID-19 has kept me busy in the ICU, but this isolation period has given me a bit of spare time to fix up bits and pieces of the Evo. I've actually switched my fuelling from E85 back to 98 so that the spare time can be spent on long drives, while avoiding the anxiety of small range, and also interaction with any communal facilities!
Good fitment does wonders for a CT9A...
I am fortunate to have a stable job and live close to the hills. Sometimes I run, sometimes I drive, both are forms of therapy for me. What I do is intense (pun unintended), and the drives allow me to switch off.
The Evo is my dream car, I first saw it in 2 Fast 2 Furious with Paul Walker and his VII. However, I was born and raised in the Phillipines, and where I lived JDM car culture wasn't a part of life, so I wasn't exposed to the scene. It was only when we migrated when I was 17, that I started seeing Skylines, Supras, STIs and other classic JDM cars.
It was so cool, and I made it a goal of mine to build something that I could be proud of. This VII is what you can call a dream accomplished, through years of hard work, graft and lots of overtime...
Bonnet, bar and lip. Put them together with a nice blue...
I've owned my Evo for just over a year, and my philosophy was to build a sleeper. A car that looked stock, but performed like nothing else in the hills. This was straightforward with my purchase, the VIIs have the stronger 5-speed, plus my example already had modifications, with the highlight piece being a 2.3L stroker kit built by Techsport. Under my ownership, in went an FP Red, supporting engine mods and I also dialled in the suspension to make the best experience possible on track, and in the hills while remaining drivable on the street.
This sleeper philosophy was changed, because of my planned wedding. I thought it would be memorable to have my dream car, as the wedding car, a goal that my soon-to-be wife was incredibly supportive of. She knew that I worked hard for it!
Scouring the forums and Facebook groups, I turned to Carbonetics for the Varis-inspired kit. It flows incredibly well with the stock body lines, which I preferred to keep instead of going widebody. With all the additional parts going onto the car cosmetically, it made sense for a full respray, and to keep things OEM, I went with Electric Blue.
What an incredible colour, Nathaniel didn't talk much about the reveal at the wedding but the whole team went nuts when he shared it with us! Photo credit to Johnst Photography.
I built the car to look great without compromising on performance. It needed to be able to make an impact at car shows and meets, but also be able to handle abuse on the track and beat most vehicles on the same piece of tarmac!
It's built to be driven, and since the build finished I have tried to take it up and around Adelaide Hills at least twice a week. It's not driven everyday, but I'm not the type of person that can lounge and pass time in front of a screen, I need to be experiencing real, visceral moments.
Happy wife, happy life...
I'm done with the mods, and as soon as life becomes "normal" again I'll be taking the Evo back onto the track. A flex fuel set up will probably be optimal, great for peak performance on track, while keeping better range when on the street.
I would like to thank Carbonetics for the bodykit, Spike's Auto in Adelaide for the respray and the fitment of all the new parts, Street Tuned Racing for my turbo set up, Mike Dale for the safe tune and Autolinc for general maintenance.
This is why we work in this field, to help people build their dreams...
I married my wife on our 7th anniversary, with my Evo VII as the wedding car. Definitely a great coincidence!
Having spoken with Nathaniel for this piece, we feel that his story is one that so many enthusiasts can take a lesson from. Work hard, plan smartly and think about your priorities! It's great to know that Carbonetics has played a part in one of Nathaniel's biggest moments in his life.
Munching Adelaide Hills tarmac is where this Evo is happiest!
More importantly however, his story serves a point on the escape that cars provide, just like Michael in his ability to express himself on our last feature. We're proud to know that the car that we helped build, brings Nathaniel happiness, particularly in a time like this, while he's under pressure, stressed and at the forefront of fighting a national crisis.
Big respect to you Nathaniel, congratulations on your wedding, the completion of your build and for being part of the team of amazing humans who dedicate their lives to preventing harm in our country.
- 2.3L Stroker Kit
- FP Red turbo and intake
- Hypertune manifold
- Dual mapped safe tune
- Plazmaman full intercooler kit
- 321kw on E85
- 270 on 98