180SX Reshell – Back to the Streets

Have you ever procrastinated about something for so long you ended up fearing the thought of not doing it?

Well thats pretty much how all my projects go, some are straightforward like a ground up build and others not so, like this 180SX revival.

It’s been heavily documented here on these pages but my love for the 180SX goes back 22 years ago when I first got my licence. It was a time when our phones only made phone calls, there wasn’t any social media and the only outside influences were magazines.

At the time I had a Ford Escort RS2000 coupe (I know right!) and I thought tarmac rally was my thing (I don’t like getting too dirty) until I went on a family vacay to Adeliade and went to Japanese Motorsport and picked up a VHS tape from Japan exposing drifting to me for the very first time.

From that moment on a light tune 180SX drifting Sekia Hills was my dream car and that’s something I will never shake. Think back to your definitive early years and I bet theres something that you still lust for as you get older.

As drifting in Australia and around the world progressed my light tune dream drift car that I had built started getting left for dead. Lack of power and grip made battles difficult and the enjoyment of competitions started wayning. The golden years of drifting were gone and no longer could driving skill and style outplay the guys with fat wallets and tyres.

Then it was demos for maybe one or two times a year and all of a sudden I have had this car for 15 years.

The cars a mix of cool old drift parts that you would typically see on any street drift car in Japan, the chassis however has the first weld in cage I ever made, big front tubs, tubular front end, raised rear subframe and plenty of rear guard damage.

It’s stuck in limbo between a full blown track car and neat street car, the ideal scenario would be to have both but for that to be a reality I needed another chassis and with prices at the moment I couldnt see that being a possibility.

That was until I started scrolling the online marketplace and stumbled apon a rolling chassis that had just been painted and the project shelved. That procrastination I was talking about before probably went on for the last 5 years and now I see a clear path to an outcome I know would give me the results I was looking for.

So cash was exchanged and the rat infested chassis was pulled into my trailer ready for a lot of TLC.

A lot is probably an understatement, I’ll skimp on the details because its all in this video but it was truly a labour of love and something that is well practiced for me being my 7th S chassis.

So how does it feel? I’m here to tell you it feels good, I step inside this car and although its a complete new shell it still has the smell and feel of all those times in the lineup at a drift event, I have drifted every state up and down the east coast, drove this car across to Tasmania and drifted there, met thousands of great people along the way and inspired many to follow the same path.

Now I get to take it out for a sunday drive, do the odd track day here and there and get to understand the smaller quirks that I never really got the seat time to find.

Oh and guess what? The old chassis is now ready to go back to the track, maybe it can be built up to share the driveline with the Hilux, watch this space.

Thanks for reading/ watching

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