Sophomore finds pride in doing work himself

Story by John David Goins

Sophomore Matthew Cantin leans back in the seat of his blue 1982 Datsun 280ZX. He places the keys in the ignition and turns them to hear the sweet roar of the engine. This is one of his proudest moments.

“When I finally rebuilt the engine and fired it up that was a really great moment for me,” Cantin said.

Over the past six months he’s been restoring the car, adding a 2.8 liter engine with 128ET inline six cylinders, a new inner cooler, and a T5 five speed transmission. And it’s fast, topping out at about 170 miles per hour.

“We managed to get it up to 170 miles per hour on the Dyno,” Cantin said.

The car has cost Cantin about $6,000 to restore, and one of its most distinguishing features is the vertical doors.

“Someone once told me that  vertical doors are what distinguishes a nice car from an [awesome] car,” Cantin said.

When Cantin lived in Canada, he raced motorcross and worked on bikes. This eventually translated into work on cars. He hopes to become an automotive designer, working for a Japanese corporation.

The best part about this car is that he’s done the work by himself.

“I’ve had help from a couple of buddy’s, but most of it has been me.”

But most of all, he can’t wait to drive it by himself. “Being able to drive it on my own will feel pretty good.”