I found some footage of drift events from the early 90s till the late 90s. They really show that drifting is something new and something that could only be done by practically anyone! If you hear the amount applause for every one of the drivers you really start to wonder why on earth we have a judging system for D1GP!
First video is covering 1990/1991:
Big LOL @1:18. Saw that one coming from miles away!
And @1:32 a Carina AA63 Policecar replica!
As you can see, the 180SX @2:25 is brand new and doing a great job. Really skillfully drifted around the corners and way above the rest of the drivers. Note that this is Orido Manabu’s 180SX! You can see the young Orido start to cry when he wins his first victory ever! Shortly after this victory he leaves drifting and enters serious racing in Fuji freshman class.
Second video is covering 1991/1992/1993:
In this video you see the drift events getting bigger and getting more and more professional. Cars are not old clunckers anymore and are getting nice and fresh aerodynamic performance parts.
Then the third video fast forwards to the late 90s, 1997-1999:
All of a sudden all drivers are more skilled than before: they won’t make big mistakes anymore. Their entry speeds are much higher and their lines are much better! And now it makes much more sense to have a judging system to determine which drivers are better than others…
Earlier this week I read on Mari’s blog that the Dutch town called Scheveningen is a very funny name in Japanese: Scheveningen sounds like sukebe ningen, which means depraved human being. Somehow that fits the town itself: it is one of the most well known seaside resorts and then there must be a lot of perverted people over there!
So if you see a Japanese posing in front of a sign reading Scheveningen: now you know why!
Funnier is the fact that a Dutch town called Goor got renamed to Swaffelo. Goor is located near Almelo and Hengelo and well known for its funnyt name: Goor literally means dirty, filthy or could even mean perverted. Swaffelen is Dutch slang for dickslap, so Swaffelo means something like dickslaptown!
The name got replaced for just one day as a ludicrous action. This was done during the school festivities to celebrate the ending of the past school year.
The fun part is that the town was elected to have the worst townname of the Netherlands. It is also well known for producing asbestos, so that doesn’t help their reputation either. Its inhabitants are struggling to either rename the town or to return it to its original name Gaore (which means swamp) but they can’t agree upon this decision. IMO Swaffelo is a very good compromise!
The styling of this 180SX is a grancha version of the 180SX: you can’t even recognize it except by its roofline. It looks a bit more like a successor of the super silhouette formula Nissan Silvia Turbo S12!
When the Nissan S platform got into its fourth generation in March 1989 it created the Nissan 180SX (aka 200SX and 240SX abroad). The Nissan 180SX S13 was basically the successor in looks of the Nissan Silvia S12. The Nissan Silvia 180SX was a trim level of the Silvia S110 and the Silvia S12 was already well known in the US as the 200SX (without Silvia badging). It was quite naturally for Nissan to name the car with the SX badge when they decided to split up the Nissan S platform into two seperate models. This created the Nissan Silvia S13 and the Nissan 180SX S13.
In Japan the Silvia got a coupe bodytype with fixed headlights while the 180SX got a fastback (aka hatchback) bodytype with popup lights. It didn’t take long before the first combinations of those two started to appear in the streets: street racers who wrecked their 180SX frontends mated that with the lighter and cheaper Silvia frontend and created the Sileighty (aka Sil80) this way. The other way around wasn’t popular since it was heavier and required changes in the wiring. When Nissan spotted these conversions they decided to have an “official” Sileigthy as well. They had them produced by Kids Heart and sold some of those cars through the official Nissan dealer network. Also different combinations exist: S13.4 (S13 mated with Silvia S14 frontend) and S13.5 (S13 mated with Silvia S15 frontend, aka strawberry face) since the S platform remained the same.
The 180SX initially got a 1.8 liter CA18DET, hence the 180SX designation, but in 1991 it got upgraded with the SR20DET engine and later on in 1996 with the SR20DE engine. It remained badged as the 180SX and not as the 200SX. Funny enough the 180SX was badged as the 200SX in Europe with the CA18DET engine and never got the SR20DET engine. In the US it was badged as the 240SX since it was powered by the KA24E and KA24DE engine: Nissan thought the US needed displacement instead of smaller turbo engines.
At first the 180SX was available as two versions: the Type I and Type II. The Type I was targeted for performance while the Type II was targeted for luxury. After the first facelift in 1991 the 180SX Type I got the SR20DET engine and got bigger brakes and a limited slip differential factory installed to handle the car better after this power increase. The Type II got the four wheel steering system HICAS II which got improved after the first facelift with the Super HICAS. After the second facelift in 1992 the Type III became available which was even more luxurious than the Type II: it got climate control and a cd player factory installed. After the third facelift in 1994 the Type I and Type II trim levels were renamed to Type R and Type X and the fourth facelift in 1995 only added a driverside airbag. The final facelift in 1996 had a lot of visual changes and added the cheaper Type S trim which offered the non turbocharged SR20DE and lacked the four wheel steering system. Production of the 180SX finally ceased in December 1998.
A great video of Ken Nomura (Nomuken) visiting the 180SX Type X assembly line in the Nissan factory somewhere late 90s:
The 180SX still remains very popular nowadays: it is a cheap mass produced rear wheel drive sportscar. Both its engine types have big potentials: both CA18DET and SR20DET can easily be tuned over 300HP and figures end somewhere between 500 and 700HP! Since the platform itself remained roughly the same almost all suspension upgrades for the newer S15 can be used on the S13 as well. Most people use the 180SX for drifting nowadays and it is often seen at MSC drift events!
In case you are wondering about the S13 designations you see at your average drift coverage: R stands for fastback/hatchback, P stands for SR20DE(T) and K for HICAS II/Super HICAS. That last designation will most probably be disabled on that car I guess… But of the time you will see either RPS13 (180SX with SR20), or RS13 (180SX with CA18), PS13 (Silvia with SR20) or plain S13 (Silvia).
I can imagine why the 180SX never got to be a popular bosozoku style car: it is too new to be popular in the 90s, it is too flashy and it is too modern styled. The examples above don’t leave much detail of the 180SX to be seen, so can we actually account them for a bosozoku styled 180SX?