We’re continuing our series introducing you to our team and their passion for cars and motorsports. Meet Brandon, located in our Riverside shop.
They say the best things start in a garage
In my case that would be true. I was introduced to the Motorsports world as early as 13/14 years old when my family moved to our new house. While in the process of moving, my older brother Luis noticed a neighbor with his garage open. He seemed to have some rad drift cars and his personal car out front. So my brother walked over to our new neighbor and introduced himself to Juan Vargas, who is now one of the few people I look up to, my brother from another. As my brother’s (Luis) friendship grew with Juan I started tagging along and hanging out in Juan’s garage.
Being an obnoxious 13/14 year old, I was always asking questions trying to understand what exactly they were doing. That’s when my interest in motorsports began. All in Juan’s garage where I became a student of his. In the process of Juan’s builds, he would take the extra time to pause and explain to me the purpose of why he would do something a certain way. The important tedious steps, clearance, clean surfaces, measurements etc. He put it in ways I would understand. Overall his garage was a get away for me. A time of peace and a place of many memories.
My first experience with an engine rebuild
Around 9/10th grade was the point in my life when I figured I should start reading articles, forums, Honda or Nissan manuals and books. I got to watch/participate in my brother’s Honda build of a rebuilt F22 with an Evo3 16g turbo and an air to water setup. During multiple late nights in the garage, my brother and Juan got the car started for the first time, and seeing all the hard work pay off gave me more ambition to have my own project car.
My first drift experience
My addiction to drifting began with my first ride along on a “private” road. The adrenaline instantly hooked me and made me want to figure out how to make a car drift. I started by watching videos, trying to understand the basics, but figured it’s best to go apply and learn. For my 17th birthday, my family pitched in together enough money and gifted my first Nissan 240SX.
I’m currently building my 1989 Nissan 240SX hatchback with a tuned sr20det that was done by Juan. Beginning with the rear subframe, I upgraded my rear subframe bushing to solid SPL bushings, P2M toe arms, camber arms, and upper control arms. I also added energy suspension polyurethane bushings for all my arms and finished up with moog ball joints.