Little Red Riding In The Hood

  1. The Roots
  2. Peas In A Pod
  3. Tuning, You Know?
  4. On Its Own Way
1. The Roots
We met Eliza at our Ladies & Engines event, back in summer, and she was scheduled to appear on the website instantly, seeing what passion stood behind her story. Also, in regards to the fact that the JDM community is a small one, here in Romania, we want to feature as many cars and projects as we can, in order to promote this side of the auto culture, that many people still know nothing about.
Upon growing up, around 5 or 6 years old, she began playing car-related video games, fantasizing about having a steering wheel in the backseat, on the family road trips, and learning all about road signs. It was only natural that she applied to get her driver’s license on the very day she turned 18. What followed next was her first car, an orange VW Polo, which became her home in a way, since she moved around a lot and driving was the best escape from her daily routines. It also taught her the basics of mechanics, how cars work and enhanced her love for all things automotive.
Eliza’s next car came in 2018, a Honda Del Sol, bought while she was looking for a home to rent. During this time, she also got involved in the JDM community, while doing photo work for the Romanian National Drift Championship. The Del Sol will most likely feature on Tunedside since a lot of money and time were invested to make it work as well as possible, and it also holds a cool story behind it.
2. Peas In A Pod
In 2020, enter the Nissan 200SX. Again, during some rough times, while scrolling the web for something else than a JDM car, she noticed the little red wonder and instantly knew she had to at least see it. Although outside her price range, she began negotiating for the Nissan, up until the point when she was able to come over for a test drive.
The very minute Eliza got into the SX, she knew that was a car meant for her. Everything felt easy and natural, the two clicked instantly, and so began a wonderful love story, between a small Japanese sportscar and a girl with automotive culture in her heart. The Nissan was bought and on their way, they went…
3. Tuning, You Know?
The first drive with the newly acquired car didn’t last long, though. After only 75 kilometers, the SX broke down and it wouldn’t start anymore. Shock soon followed, but Eliza didn’t panic. Everything was analyzed until the issues were found and then the work began. By hand, in her boyfriend’s backyard, piece by piece, until the Nissan was fully functional again.
The S13 is a 1993 production model, sporting a 1.8L CA18DET engine. Simple, yet effective mods were added to the car, like a bigger turbo, a bigger intercooler, and a stage 2 chip tuning. The current output goes all the way to 280 hp, which is a pretty decent number for a car that’s almost 30 years old.
4. On Its Own Way
Interesting times await the little red coupe, as 2022 could be the year when the engine will be rebuilt. Some parts will also be upgraded and some added, to make the car more reliable and to enhance the performance. What better way to spend yet another pandemic year, than working in your backyard on a JDM icon?
Eliza told us that she intended for her cars to see professional mechanics as little as possible. That was achieved, through self-education, and a huge passion for DIY. She fixes everything by herself and with every mistake comes new knowledge, so her cars will always be taken care of properly.
True love is grand and rare nowadays, but Eliza has plenty of it. The only issues seem to be time and space, as her collection has grown to three cars and one motorcycle, and since she can’t let go of any of her beloved treasures, she fears she’ll soon add another piece to the family. We actually wish she did, since we’d like to do a full feature on what lies in the aforementioned backyard. Until then, we’re glad we had an exclusive insight into her amazing story and that JDM history and culture are still driven by passion, above all.
For more info on Eliza’s projects, you can follow her on Instagram.
Written by: Mihai Dumitrescu - Instagram
Photographed by: Anna Dumitrescu - Instagram