Words and Photography: Jonny Smith
"As my Mother always says, I came out of the womb driving"
Sammy Deiwert, where do I start. Sammy is one of the easiest going people. Always full of energy and having one happy, positive outlook on everything. He's such a chill person to be around and no matter your mood, hanging out and goofing about with him, it will always add a spark of joy to your day.
Before I get into the car side of things, I will go back many many years. Sammy and I met through Alex Bednarik, I'm sure many of you will know of his Jetta, we covered years back. Tumblr was the start of many friendships across the pond for myself. All based upon the simple love for VWs and, well cars in general. Me and Sammy spend time texting away over Instagram messages and speaking on Xbox live chat getting to know each other.
After talking and debating of a US trip and attending H20i, 2016 would be the year I finally went, one year after Alex had flown over here to the UK. I made the commitment and booked a flight across the pond. I had planned most of the trip with a few parts needing to be worked out. We'd always planned when I would fly into the US, Alex would pick me up, but he had recently started his move from Baltimore to Seattle and he was arriving on the East Coast a few days after me. So I needed a way to get from the airport to Ocean City.
I spoke with Sammy and he was more than happy offering to pick me up and we road trip down. So the first time I'd fly solo to the US, I would get into a strangers car owned by someone I'd met off the internet and just drive away. I'm sure when I was younger I was told to never do that but there I was. Sammy arrived and we made a quick stop off below the Brooklyn Bridge so I could get a quick glance at New York City from across the East River before traveling a few hours down to Ocean City. Leaving NYC I had just one request, stop off at a Wendy's. Supersize was a bad but brilliant idea and with a few hours of fun conversations, fantastic music choices and a great experience traveling on the American Highways, we made it to Ocean City
I made it home safe and sound. It one hell of a trip which has resulted into many more, and now it's not even trips based around the cars and shows, but actually about friendships and hanging out with people I'm lucky to call friends.
With all that said, today I shall present to you Sammy's current build that he's been working on for the past few years. But looking back over time this isn't the first car where he's created a masterpiece.
"As my mother always says, I came out of the womb driving" It all started with a very early fascination with Hot Wheels cars, something we can relate to. From there video games took over exposing Sammy to more types of cars and Motorsport. Drifting came into play around the times we would all brick our laptops on Limewire, downloading music, and in Sammy's case Video Option Videos.
Coming from a VW based background, It started a good decade ago. Owning to my eyes one of the best MK5 Golfs. Being his first car, the MK5 "Rabbit" went through many different phases over the years and ending on one I'm sure many people Stateside remember and one I'm sad I never got to see in person. It taught Sammy a lot and gave him a canvas to express himself. Paired with Timbo's Purple MK3, another East Coast car I'm still yet to witness, they stole the show back in 2014 at H2Oi for me and both influenced the route I took with my Polo over here.
Once the MK5 sadly went Sammy dabbled into the SUV world. An area I feel doesn't get a lot of love and attention. He bought a Tiguan dropping it on a set of Fifteen52s. A simple but effective build. After that venture a MK7 Golf GTI was purchased and the first of his cars I got to see in person. A new Beetle was purchased just before my 2019 visit. Bought on wheels and air already, Sammy added a few touches to make it his, mainly a set of fifteen52s. When he told me about it, I was quite unsure but after seeing it and riding down to Rhode Island on a day trip, it was something that grew on me quick and I came to enjoy it too. It's a good daily in Sammy's words.
It was interesting to look at this guy, heavily influenced by many different styles. The stereotypical American inside of him was always apparent. Moon-eyes special edition merchandise in his home and old classic American cars being reblogged by him on his Tumblr feed. This was mixed with a love for the Japanese culture. But then here he was, always driving around in German Automobiles. It was interesting guessing what he might buy next. Well one day a different car came about. He always had the itch to own a drift car. It took many years to get to that goal but a sweet 240sx finally placed itself on his driveway.
This has been a ground up build. It was a very rough vehicle to start with. Many hours have been put into this car, and the car I saw back in 2019 you could tell this was being built with love and passion. The shell was treated to some rust repairs and a full respray in a lush Porsche Vielchenblau Metallic Purple. Sammy has sourced as many cool and rarer parts for the build. The bumpers and skirts come from Spirit Rei. Car Modify Wonder Glare bonnet and rear wing. GP Sports roof wing. Eastbear Mirrors. The classic Type X tails and Raybrig Headlights. Over the entire car Sammy has attempted to replace every nut or bolt for a new one if possible.
Under the flared and rolled fenders quite a bit is going on. GP Sport Coilovers bring the car closer to the ground. A full set of GK Tech arms and rods connect everything. Villains knuckles have been installed ready for the days Sammy takes the 240 sideways. Finally a set of Enkei RP03s fit themselves with a staggered step up but not in just one way. With 17x8.5s upfront and 18x10.5s on the rear they complete the exterior. It almost feels like it has been pick out from a Daikoku Parking Area Friday night meet and dropped in Connecticut.
Sammy has attacked this build with one main objective, to build the car he's always wanted to build. 100% his way with just his many influences guiding him. I honestly think this is the best way to go about builds these days. From my photos they car looks close to "finished" but a car is never finished. Since I took these photos countless more hours have gone into the car.
Inside the 240 it is a very pleasant place to sit. The drivers and passengers sit in a pair of Recaro RS-GS seats. Nardi wheel is placed in front of you with a Tommy Kiera gearstick. Since my visit a Link Digital Dash has paired up with the mentioned Link ECU.
More time was taken under the hood too. Brian Hall whom I briefly spoke about in Jimmy Oakes feature 2 weeks ago, did a full engine bay overhaul. Placed inside this perfect bay Sammy put the Black Top SR20 in. With help from the SR god, Jimmy Oakes and his best friend Luke it now runs beautifully. It runs a Garrett 2871 Turbo, Nismo 555c injectors, PDM Cobra downpipe, Tomei Expreme TI catback, Tarks power steering relocation kit and A GK Tech catch can.
To keep everything cool it has a Koyorad radiator and PBM mid-mount intercooler. Sammy purchased a Link Standalone ECU off Jimmy too making it easy to get running and tune.
Not to long ago the 240 has seen the track at Lock City Drift events and the smile says it all on Sammys face. For me, knowing all the background work, that very second of building this car with the help of many many friends will be cherished forever and it's built exactly how Sammy wants it to be, makes the build it that extra bit special. Special Feel! you could say!