Iconic Nissan 200SX Auto Salon show car reborn

One of the stars of the Auto Salon scene is reborn to once again wow the show crowds

Photographers: Chaddo

From the late 90s through to around 2010, Hot4s magazine, Auto Salon and ‘sex-spec’ were at the height of their popularity. Sex-spec was all about decking out predominantly four-cylinder cars in lurid colours and wild airbrushing, extreme bodykits, massive wings, over-the-top bling, full leather interiors, massive-diameter chrome wheels with low-profile tyres, mega-slammed suspension, and stereo systems that could be heard two suburbs away.

First published in the May 2022 issue of Street Machine

Like a shooting star, the scene burned incredibly brightly before dying out just as quickly as it had emerged. While many of these cars might look trashy to some, there were a number of iconic sex-spec rides that stood out from the rest, and Bady Moussa’s Green Ghost (GGHO5T) was one of them.

This wild Nissan 200SX featured a custom one-off bodykit by Wanted, intricate Big D graphics, Master Auto Trim interior and a boosted SR20 mill stroked out to 2.2 litres. It was a serious trophy magnet, Auto Salon champion and magazine cover car, and in 2000 it won the inaugural Hot4s Car of the Year.

Unlike many sex-spec machines, Green Ghost backed up the over-the-top looks with stout performance. Thanks to its Turbonetics turbo, monster intercooler, stroker crank, forged pistons, custom intake and exhaust, EMS ECU and a 100-shot of nitrous, the CV Performance-built mill was good for around 600hp and 10.2s down the quarter. At the time, it was Australia’s quickest 200SX.

To put the power down, it ran a built C4 auto with a 4500rpm stall, and a Cusco LSD diff. The chassis was upgraded with coil-overs, A’PEXi brakes and 19-inch AME wheels – massive rims for the era. It all combined to make GGHO5T one of the better-remembered sex-spec cars.

Sydney-based Bady kept the car for many years before eventually selling it off – by which point the heavy-hitting SR20 had destroyed itself. After changing hands a few times, it was again up for sale when Kristie and Craig McKenzie entered the picture.

“I was an apprentice spray painter with Mat Egan when Big D painted that car,” says Craig. “As a young guy, GGHO5T made a big impression on me. So, when I spotted it on Gumtree, I had to have it. I wanted to resurrect it.

“It was a little bit rough; it had obviously been sitting around for a very long time,” Craig continues. “It had no motor or gearbox, and there were a few small dings along with some nicks and scratches in the paint.”

“Since I bought it, Big D [now back in the US] has reached out, and he couldn’t believe the car was still around. Danny Makdessi at Custom Bodyworks cleared the car after Big D airbrushed it, and he too has reached out to us to talk about the car.”

At the time, Craig was in the middle of re-doing his ex-Ditch Jones HR ute (SM, Apr ’07), so the idea was to leave GGHO5T in the corner until the HR was finished.

Kristie, however, had other ideas. “I wanted it so much,” she says. “I’ve had heaps of Japanese cars – four Skylines, EVOs, WRXs and S14s.”

“I said to Kristie, ‘If you want it, you have to put in the hard work,’” Craig says. “And she did.”

“When it was raced, a lot of electrical and other stuff was ripped out and was missing,” says Kristie. “A girlfriend of mine had a running S14 that had been rear-ended, which was perfect for us, so we bought it as a parts car.”

Kristie refused to have an auto transmission in the car like it had before. “Luckily, the donor car was a five-speed manual,” she says. “By using a donor engine, gearbox and fuel system, along with some of the wiring and a heap of small parts, it made getting Green Ghost going again a lot easier.”

“The wheels had also gone missing and are not available anymore,” Craig chimes in. “I had to buy a whole other car just for the wheels – a blue Toyota Soarer out of Queensland. These wheels are three-piece with proper 24-carat gold-plated centres – not fake gold like the originals.”

Another big issue was the paint. Big D used DuPont ChromaLusion, which isn’t made anymore. Kristie and Craig reached out to Summernats paint judge Rachael ‘Durbz’ Durbidge, who managed to track down some old stock.

“We had to paint pretty much the whole back of the car,” says Craig. “Also, I couldn’t believe the engine bay was just black. Kristie cleaned it all up and prepped it, and I painted it body colour. We did that, as well as adding a host of
billet and chromed parts, to give the car a better chance of making the Meguiar’s Top 60 Hall at Summernats 34 – which it did!”

Both Kristie and Craig agree that revamping the interior was one of the tougher jobs. They pulled it all out and spent considerable time scrubbing away 20 years of built-up dirt and grime. “The trim is one of my favourite parts of the car,” says Kristie. “Open the door and it just pops.”

Sanding the engine bay was no picnic, either. “I wore thick latex gloves so that I could keep my fingerprints,” Kristie laughs. “But the messiest job by far was the underside. Our hoist was broken, so I had to do all the prep and spray all the
proof-coat flat on my back with the car up on stands – I got stuck to the underside a couple of times.”

Now the hard work is done, there’s nothing Kristie would change about the new, improved GGHOST. Well, almost nothing. “The gauges are all different colours; I can’t stand that,” she says. “I’d like to change them so they all look the same. I’d also like to upgrade the turbo and maybe add a MicroTech.”

As the revamped Green Ghost’s debut at Summernats 34 approached, Craig was worried about how the car would be received. “I kept warning Kristie, ‘Get ready to cop it from the vocal Summernats crowd,’” he says. “But it was just the opposite; everyone seemed to love it. We even got a number of crazy offers to buy the car – but it’s staying put.”

As for Kristie, she’s all smiles. “To make the Summernats Top 60 and pick up the High Impact award, I couldn’t be happier,” she beams.

1995 NISSAN 200SX (S14 SILVIA)

Paint: DuPont ChromaLusion Jade Green Prizm, Candy Apple Green, Mexican Fire Prizm (flames), lime-green pinstriping
Engine: 2.2L SR20DET four-cylinder
Gearbox: Nissan five-speed manual
Diff: Cusco LSD
Seats: Recaro
Gauges: Auto Meter, A’PEXi and Blitz
Wheels: AME Modelart; 20×8 (f), 20×10 (r)
Tyres: 225/30R20 (f), 255/30R20 (r)