The Spirit of Going Sideways: Aaron Leavitt 1992 Nissan Silvia

The Spirit of Going Sideways: Aaron Leavitt 1992 Nissan Silvia

Seeing a dream come to life is one of the most fulfilling things that can happen to a person. From the moment Aaron Leavitt saw early-2000s footage of Team Burst of Osaka, Japan, sliding around, that was the dream for him. Specifically, Naoki Nakamura’s pink Silvia struck a chord, and since then, an S13 of his own has been the goal. 

Leavitt’s S-chassis experience quickly evolved from aspirational Forza builds to an IRL 240SX hatch in 2007. After some tinkering and seat time, it was decided to swap the KA for a 1JZ, with a 2JZ bottom following shortly after that for a stellar 1.5JZ build under the hood. In 2018 though, it was time to part out the hatch for the greater good: an S13 Silvia straight from the motherland.

“I bought the car from an auction in Japan and my good friend, Shakeeb Ebrahimi, who lives in Japan, shipped it to his shop and checked it out for me and then drove it two hours to the Yokohama docks to ship to the States,” Leavitt recalls, chuckling. “Once it landed here, I drove it home from the port. It was a fun experience not knowing what you’re going to get or if you will make it home!”

2021 PASMAG BTF Aaron Leavit Nissan S13 002

In its current state, the Silvia’s built SR20, swapped Z32 transmission, and welded 4.6 differential are tested every other week at the track, and then driven home as a registered street car. There’s no way that his dream car would become a missile, especially belonging to the Animal Style drift team, so Leavitt took it upon himself to paint the car in a candy three-stage gradient, from red to tangerine to magenta. It’s Origin Labo aesthetics are finished off in Animal Style’s signature decal style, reminiscent of the drifters that frequent Meihan Sportsland in Japan. 

2021 PASMAG BTF Aaron Leavit Nissan S13 005

“My favorite part of my current chassis is the fact that it takes me back to the roots of it all: a simple build for today’s standards, but able to drive it nearly weekly at the track and progress my driving,” Leavitt says of his creation. “It all goes back to the first cars I ever watched drifting as a kid in the early 2000s.”

Not only can dreams come true, but with the right spirit behind them, they can look and perform super rad as well.

Aaron Leavitt's 1992 Nissan Silvia was featured in PASMAG #165. CLICK HERE to order.

2021 PASMAG 165 Drift Cars Cover Web

Photography by Casey Miller (@casserito), Timothy Newport (@tnewport_photo)


Owner: Aaron Leavitt
Vehicle: 1992 Nissan Silvia
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Engine: Nissan SR20DET 2.0L Turbocharged I4
Horsepower: 300 whp
Torque: 265 lb-ft
Team: Animal Style


Facebook: /aaronleavitt91
Instagram: @sidewayshatch


  • Wiseco pistons
  • BC titanium valve retainers
  • ACL bearings
  • ARP head studs
  • A’PEXi copper-treated head gasket
  • Garrett GTX2863r turbocharger
  • Tomei 740cc injectors
  • HKS intake
  • Nissan S14 valve cover conversion
  • Power By Max high-mount intercooler


  • HPI equal-length manifold
  • Power By Max Cobra down-pipe
  • Custom 3-inch straight-pipe exhaust


  • Nissan (Z32 transmission, Z33 axles)
  • Xcessive Manufacturing transmission swap kit
  • Competition Clutch (clutch, flywheel)
  • 4.6 welded differential
  • TF Works shortened stub axles


  • Work VS-KF wheels - 17x9 -20 (f), 18x10.5 -15 (r)
  • Falken RT600 tires - 235/40/17 (f)
  • Kenda Kaiser KR20 tires - 265/35/18 (r)
  • Nissan S14 Silvia 4-piston front calipers
  • Project Mu D1-spec rear brake pads


  • Stance XR1 coilovers
  • Swift springs (9K/5K)
  • Heatmaker/Naoki Nakamura B-knuckles
  • Nissan S14 240sx (lower control arms, outer tie rods)
  • Maxima inner tie rods w/ slip-on spacers
  • Voodoo13 tension rods
  • Circuit Sports rear suspension links


  • Origin Labo (Aggressive body kit, Type 2 wing, GT wing, roof wing, Type 2 hood, Combat headlight)
  • ChargeSpeed grille
  • Nissan Z33 side-view mirrors
  • AeroWolf mirror visors
  • DMax tinted tail lights


  • Thrash Racing 330-mm steering wheel
  • Street Kreature E-brake boot
  • Flower shift knob
  • Cusco D1 roll cage
  • Recaro bucket seat
  • DMax checkered floor mats
  • Silvia cup holders


  • JVC touchscreen head unit
  • Pioneer speakers


  • AeroWolf
  • DMagic
  • FlashVideoMagazine
  • GarageStar
  • Heatmaker
  • LCMGarage
  • Origin Lab USA
  • P3 Labs
  • Rarespecwheels
  • B-Knuckle
  • Street Kreature
  • Stance Suspension
  • Super D USA
  • Thrash Racing
  • TF Works


2021 PASMAG BTF Aaron Leavit Nissan S13 001

2021 PASMAG BTF Aaron Leavit Nissan S13 003

2021 PASMAG BTF Aaron Leavit Nissan S13 006 

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