This isn't a Ferrari, it's a Nissan 200SX Faux-rarri

By Guest Writer
Aug 26, 2023 | Ferrari, 24 Hours of Lemons, Low-Buck Tech, Low-Buck Racing, Fauxrarri | Posted in News and Notes | From the June 2023 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: Eric Rood

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In the nearly 300 races held by the 24 Hours of Lemons, dozens of teams have entered Faux-rraris of varying quality. However, nobody has disguised their car under Ferarri-ish bodywork and called it a Scuderia Fartari.

Like many of the best Lemons cars, its constituent parts look vaguely familiar, but the whole of it looks … wrong. Yes, that’s a Triumph nose. And yes, that’s the flap section of a Cessna for a rear wing. And the flying buttresses are indeed propped up with spray foam and smoothed over with 3 gallons of body filler. Underneath all that is a 1990s Nissan 200SX, the forgettable coupe version of the homely B14 Sentra. 

The Fartari guys all work for Polyvance, best known for plastic repairs on dashboards and bumpers. Their base-model 200SX had lived a yeoman’s life before its second stint as a Fartari. A tornado had dropped a tree on its roof, but the owner had bashed it roughly back into shape and continued driving it for another half-decade. The team bought it for a couple hundred bucks with 225,000 miles on it.

Their original theme incorporated Polyvance’s company mascot–Sticky Man–on the roof of the base-model 200SX, but that reference was perhaps a little too obscure for Lemons. As team captain Kurt Lammon said, “We finished the 2018 Barber race and the engine hadn’t broken, so we needed a project before the next race: Why not turn our Nissan into a Fartari?”

You might say they fixed some of the aesthetic problems Nissan had created with the B14 platform. Mechanically, the Fartari evolved over several years with some eBay-sourced coil-overs and upgraded Nissan Maxima brakes. 

The original base-model, 1.6-liter engine proved insufficient for Fartari panache. The team briefly upgraded to the SR20DE from the SE-R trim before finding a (very tired) JDM-market Nissan Primera 2.0-liter engine that’s rated for 187 horsepower but only puts 130 to the tires. 

All told, the team tends to drive it somewhere in the middle of a given field, regretting only that they deleted the heater during winter races in Georgia and Alabama. And given that the Fartari survived its last race at Barber Motorsports Park unscathed, we can expect more Faux-rarri-ness next time we see it.

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