A close-up view of the new...
A close-up view of the new TWM intake manifold. From right to left, you can see the edge of the billet airbox, then the fuel rail, injectors, vacuum balance bar housing, and wiring harness housing. Attention to detail is high.
The next phase of the 510's build-up began only six months later with an episode the car's owner would undoubtedly like to forget. He was visiting his mother one day in the San Jose mountains, and when he was ready to leave, he came back to his car to find it sitting on two big boulders with the wheels gone and the hood thrown open. It was being stripped!
"One of the thieves was still there trying to remove the carburetors," Nuenke recalled. "I chased him down and tackled him, waved down a passing car and told the driver to call the police."
When the cops showed up, they were able to talk him into admitting where the wheels and tires were hidden so Nuenke could reassemble his car. He even told them where the other thief was staying, just a short way down the road at a relative's house.
"They had damaged the paint pretty badly with the crowbar they used to get the door open," Nuenke continues. "The court had them pay me $2,000 in restitution for the damage to my car. I used this money to buy body work tools and a new, candy apple red paint job."
Nuenke drove the car for another 13 years, in which time he installed an L22 engine with a single Weber side-draft carb, modified with a split shaft to be progressive, and an old Cartech turbo kit. The increased performance of this new set-up gave Nuenke the highly addictive hunger for more power, and accordingly he upgraded the engine to the configuration you see in the photos.
As mentioned, the basis for this plant is an L22 block fitted with a modified L70B head. Compression is achieved using Total Seal rings and forged JE 7.5:1 pistons that link to factory-spec connecting rods, which are in turn secured to a stock crankshaft using ARP rod bolts. The head was modified by Rebello in Pacheco, Calif., and features a full street port and oversized stainless intake and high-temp exhaust valves, sized 44mm and 38mm respectively. An Elgin Turbo cam replaces the single overhead unit. The valves return to their seats via doubled-up springs, but the rockers, keepers and retainers remain factory-spec.
The Japanese-spec Bluebird...
The Japanese-spec Bluebird (as the 510 is known across the sea) and Super Sport Sedan badges aren't cheap knock-offs. They're the real deal; Nuenke says he has yet to see their equal here on American soil.
The 16x7 Panasport wheels...
The 16x7 Panasport wheels and Yokohama rubber will soon be swapped out for bigger meats in the interest of better off-the-line traction-and hopefully lower e.t.s.