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SP Rides: Just Cruising

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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name: Kalae Sylva
Age: 34
Occupation: Tattoo, hair stylist, mechanic
Hobbies: Surfing, sports
Year, Make, Model: 1972 Datsun 510
Color: Electric Blue
Engine: L20B bored +30, custom-wrapped headers and exhaust, 4-barrel carbs, with external oil cooler kit
Exterior: BRE style front lip, hood lock pins, sticker-bombed surf rack, custom halo style lights with multi-color LEDs
Interior: Sticker-bombed headliner, NRG quick release steering wheel and hub, interior LED lights, blue bubble shift knob, hanging grab handles, red chrome floor mats, new interior carpet, push-button start, toggle switches, red chrome door handles, BRIDE seat belt cushions, Rising Sun door liners, rear window venetian blinds, one hula girl
Suspension: Engine and trunk strut bars, custom air-bagged S13 Tein suspension
Wheels, Tires: 15-inch color-matched JNC wheels on Federal low profile tires sized at 165/50R15

Kalae Sylva is a classic import fanatic. He has owned many and has several in various states of repair and modification. The Datsun 510 holds a special place in Sylva’s heart — to him, they’re so unique that there’s nothing else he’d rather cruise in. In any condition, they’re worth “bank” but in the right hands, they can be modified into a unique creation that is special for the owner.

“Unique” is a good word to describe Sylva’s 510. I’ve never seen a car with so much character.  It’s almost like a spiritual travel for him and he’s modified it much the same way he’s changed himself over the years. “In a way, my car is just like me,” said Sylva. “I’m tatted up, I’m on this journey and in the end, I’m gonna be built in much the same way.” 

This 510 is like an infusion of Japanese bosozuku– (Japan motorcycle gangs) style mixed with Hawaiian Punch flavor done from a budget standpoint. For Sylva, it’s a process that he enjoys: get it all together, and then take each piece apart to rework to perfection.

The exterior is all flavor boasting an Electric Blue paint job mixed with chrome fittings, sticker bombs and red accents aplenty. The external oil cooler kit stands out amongst the shiny grill and headlights. A BRE-style front lip mixes and matches with the chrome bumpers front and rear. Hawaiian Punch features prominently alongside the untamed exterior while multi-color change LEDs glow from underneath and within the custom halo headlamps. With Sylva being an avid surfer, this ride — of course — comes with racks to support his lifestyle.

Then, one can’t help but notice the squat drop provided by a custom S13 Tein airbag suspension onto the 15-inch custom color-matched wheels equipped with low profile tiles. It all tucks nicely amidst the insane exterior additions. From a distance and up close, this car definitely catches the eyes. 

The engine is an L20B bored +30 over with goodies here and there and sits locked away under some stylish hood lock pins. The 5-speed dogleg transmission allows this thing to really get away with some pep when it wants to. A titanium-tipped exhaust sits in back to help provide some additional low-end group.

The interior is straight bonkers. One can easily go blind at first from the information overload, but as it all comes into focus the method to the madness becomes clear. The Rising Sun features prominently amidst an interior with practically nothing untouched. Red chrome floor mats intermingle with Aloha flavored seats. Grab handles grace every window corner while a massive blue bubble shift knob graces the center console. The switches have been swapped to toggles and this forty-five year old car features a push-start ignition. Man, it is absolutely wild.

All of this eclectic glory comes together for one sole purpose: Cruising. Just like Sylva’s life, his car is a mirror of himself. He just wants to cruise with his family and friends all while skipping the drama and the static.

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