Magazine Blog:nzpc>>rb-powered Rocket Bunny S13

It’s three o’clock in the morning. While people with normal jobs are in bed fast asleep or looking at increasingly weird sh*t on the internet and clearing their browser-history afterwards (don’t pretend like you don’t know what we’re talking about), we, however, are instead standing underneath the bright white lights of a Gull service station, cursing our earlier enthusiasm for our cover-shoot idea.
“We should shoot the Silvia as a tribute to the famous Rocket Bunny photos,” one of us had said earlier in the week. Much to our current regret, we all excitedly agreed and the Performance Car team was decided.

Those inspiring shots are probably some of the best known Silvia photos in the world, and are what made Japanese body-specialist 6666 Customs and it’s Rocket Bunny-look so lusted after.
So here we are, shivering uncontrollably, silently willing photographer Adam Croy to snap the shots of Bruce Tannock’s full Rocket Bunny 1989 Nissan Silvia as quickly as possible, while at the same time still being undeniably impressed by the car’s staunch looks and aggressive stance.

After developing his previous drifter for the last few years – an immaculate A31 Cefiro – into a fire-breathing, street-legal monster of car, Bruce felt he had reached its limits, and went looking for a more competitive chassis. He found it in friend and ex-Kiwi drift champ Victor Chapman’s S13 Silvia. “I don’t regret having started in the Cefiro,” Bruce tells us, “most of the top guys started off in either a Cef or a Laurel, so it was a good base and still is. Once I decided to start competing though, I wanted to have a competitive platform and build on that, not start with something that wasn’t quite right, then decide to swap and change later down the track, so I bought Victor’s old S13 shell.”

Work quickly began on the new platform, which, with its history as a top drifter, was a perfect starting point, already sporting a full homologated cage and some other goodies. Soon, Bruce’s monster RB26DET motor was pulled from the Cefiro and transplanted into the lighter, smaller Silvia. Built up using a host of the finest GReddy gear available, the 2.6 litre straight six is an absolute weapon when combined with a big Garrett GT3582 turbo, making a very healthy 362 kilowatts at the wheels, as tuned by Dave at D-Tech Motorsport using a Link G4 Extreme computer.

When it came to the look of the car, Bruce always had a plan – and it certainly wasn’t going to be something we’d seen in New Zealand before. He explains: “Victor (Chapman) showed me the 6666 Customs website about four years ago. It was well before anyone had really seen the Rocket Bunny kits. He had always wanted to get the kit for his S13 Silvia one day, and as it turned out, I ended up with his car when he retired, so there was always only one kit I wanted.”

With help from Soichi at ST Hi-Tec, Bruce got hold of 6666 Customs and ordered a full – wait for it – ‘TRA Kyoto 6666 Customs GT Rodeo Special Rocket Bunny’ kit – phew. The kit includes a front bumper, rear bumper, front and rear guards, skirts and that beautiful ducktail wing. We can’t get enough of the tough, almost Nascar-style look it gives the Silvia. It’s incredibly aggressive and muscular looking, yet shies well away from the very common BN and Vertex style of kit. The uniqueness and exclusivity didn’t come cheap, however.  “6666 Customs make the kit to order, so it took about two months to get here, and it wasn’t exactly cheap, either,” Bruce tells us.

As the director of Mag & Turbo Hamilton, Bruce knew exactly what he wanted his car to look like when it came out of the paint booth.
“The colour scheme was borrowed from Team Falken USA,” says Bruce. “Mag & Turbo have always used the Falken colours, and the livery itself is a copy of Dai Yoshihara’s (American pro and owner of one of the only other Rocket Bunny Silvia’s outside of Japan) Formula Drift car.”  When it came to applying the graphics, Bruce knew exactly who to turn to – Mad Mike Whiddett and his company CRE8GRPHX. Mike is not only a talented signwriter, but he has also spent a lot of time with Dai’s S13 Stateside when competing in Formula D.

That wasn’t all Bruce’s Stateside brethren helped out with either. Dai’s chief engineer Mike Kojima has been very helpful, assisting Bruce with all the advice he needed on how to set up the car correctly. With the engine, fuelling, interior and exterior all set up and ready to go, all that was left to do for the rest of the season was to learn the Silvia. “I spent most of this season setting the car up and getting my head around it. It’s a lot lighter, faster and grippier than my last car – but I think I’ve finally got most of the gremlins sorted out.”

After sitting shotgun for a few laps at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, we’d tend to agree. The Silvia is wickedly quick in a straight line, and when Bruce chucks it sideways at high speed, there’s nothing but smoke, big angle and plenty of pace.  Bruce told us exactly why he does it: “I’ve been into the sport for a long time now,” he says. “Drifting is about as much fun as you can have in a car, really. It combines speed, skids, precision driving, style and competition. But probably the best thing is the group of people involved – it’s just a really laid-back environment and everyone’s willing to help each other out.”

Now that the unique car is finally set up right and Bruce has become accustomed to being behind the wheel, it seems a bit of a pity that the season is over for the year, but that doesn’t bother him.
“I think the car is competitive now, it’s just the driver that needs more improvement. That said, I’m sure all the top guys will be making big improvements in the off-season, so I’ll see how it goes.”

Bruce says. “Eventually I’d like to re-power it with a Nascar V8 – to be honest I probably would have gone that way in the first place, but at the time Fanga and Andrew hadn’t shown just how effective they could be yet.”

A Nascar V8 to match the Nascar-style looks would indeed be very cool, but you can’t deny the appeal of one of Japan’s best motors bolted into one of Japan’s best drift chassis, enhanced by one of Japan’s best-looking body kits. JDM at its best.

Tuning menu
1989 Nissan Silvia (S13)

:ENGINE: Nissan RB26DET 2600cc straight six cylinder
BLOCK: GReddy pistons, GReddy rods, GReddy rod bolts, polished crank, GReddy timing belt, Race bearings, ATI engine dampener, Nitto oil pump
HEAD: Ported and polished RB26, GReddy 264 cams, GReddy cam gears, GReddy pulleys, ARP head studs, HKS head gasket
INTAKE: 4-inch custom piping, pod filter, GReddy Plenum, GReddy intercooler
:TURBO: Garrett GT3582, .84 exhaust housing
EXHAUST: X-Force stainless manifold, custom D-Tech 3-inch exhaust system
:WASTEGATE: Synapse 50mm
:BOV: Synapse 50mm
FUEL: Nismo 550cc injectors, x2 Bosch 044 pumps,
Sard regulator
:ECU: Link G4, Race Technologies electronic dash
COOLING: Mishimoto alloy radiator, GReddy oil cooler,
2x electric fans
OTHER: D-Tech catch can, D-Tech radiator expansion, GReddy clear cam cover
:POWER: 363kW at the wheels on 18psi

Drive: Tremec TKO600 5-speed gearbox, custom bellhousing and adapter plate
:CLUTCH: Autoclutch custom single plate, billet flywheel
:DIFF: Kaaz 1.5-way
:OTHER: Custom driveshaft

:STRUTS: Tein Super Drift adjustable coilovers
OTHER: Whiteline front sway bar, GT-R rear sway bar, S15 solid-mounted rear subframe, Tein strut braces, Tein castor arms, Nagisa Auto toe and camber arms, Driftworks rear knuckles
BRAKES: (F) GReddy 6-pot calipers, GReddy 355mm vented/slotted rotors, (R) Wilwood 4-pot calipers Wilwood vented rotors, K-Sport Hydraulic handbrake
WHEELS: (F) 18×9-inch +15 Work Meister S1 3-piece, (R) 19×10.5-inch +10 Work Meister S1 3-piece
TYRES: (F) Goodyear Eagle RS Sport 235/40R18, (R) Achilles ATR 235/35R19

:PAINT: Mag & Turbo Blue
ENHANCEMENTS: Full TRA Kyoto 6666 Customs GT Rodeo Special Rocket Bunny kit (front bumper, rear bumper, guards, skirts, wing), X-Racing tail lights, clear head lights, clear side repeaters, Team Falken livery

:SEATS: Bride replicas, Takata harnesses
:STEERING WHEEL: Momo suede deep dish
:INSTRUMENTATION: Race Technologies digital dash, Tein EDFC controller
:ROLLCAGE: Cage FX 6-point
:OTHER: Flocked dash, passenger kick pad

:0-400: 11.4 @ 204 kph

Driver profile
Bruce Tannock
:Age: 38
:Location: Hamilton
:Occupation: Director
:Build time: 4 months
:Length of ownership: 1 year
Thanks: Dave, Paul & Jade @ D-Tech Motorsport, David @ Work Wheels NZ, Mike @ CRE8GRAFX, Bevan @ YHI, Dave Matehaere, James Macdonald, Victor Chapman, Darren MacDonald, Soichi @ ST Hitech, Kyle Jackways, Craig @ Mag & Turbo, Cookie, Mike Kojima

Words: Peter Kelly
Photos: Adam Croy



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Absolutley the best drift car in NZ, stoked to see the rocket bunny kit down under (glad that it hasnt been ruined with a s15 front conversion or anything like that).

Great job with the shoot at the gas station it helps get the true JDM theme of the car across.

P.S Nice touch with the speedhunters stickers on the side mirrors and keep it japanese with the RB!


Best. S13. Ever.


These 100% JDM cars are a rare breed outside of Japan these days, very nice car!


have to agree such a nice car


Rocketbunny = Late 80s early 90s NASCAR


rocket bunny and GP sports make the best S chassis body kits around!


For the love of god, no more v8's!


"A Nascar V8 to match the Nascar-style looks would indeed be very cool,..."

If that was the case then Bruce might as well not drift the damn car but put it on an oval. Any bloody nascar v8 can powerslide everywhere.

" but you can’t deny the appeal of one of Japan’s best motors bolted into one of Japan’s best drift chassis, enhanced by one of Japan’s best-looking body kits. JDM at its best."

I agree 2/3. However the looks can be very subjective to the eye of the beholder, and to me this thing looks hideous.


Love it!


pure awesomeness, I would say stick with the RB, i am not at all against V8's but that RB is a beast.

sick car +++++


ive seen alot of nice s13s, and i think this is by far the nicest s13 ive ever seen. adding the nascar v8 would make it full of even more win :)


Yes it's great to see they havent just shoehorned a v8 into it, cant go wrong with a RB motor.. Mint!


very nice...., just last week, i try to search more information about this car throughout the internet, and fail!!

thank you bring it here..., love the bunny :D


That is the most unreal spec list ever!


Got to see the rocket bunny kitted ajc drift car in WA this year and it was sick in person. This kit is the sickness.


I love it.


Pretty beefy and amazing! Love every part of the build from the engine and drivetrain to the the lug nuts,lol

Very well built car.


V8s will never hit NZ in the same way they did the U.S, we have real cars and motors, although the moment i see a V8 of any sort in the majority of the competition of D1NZ is the moment i cease to watch it.


Bruce you are the BOSS! haha


any chance for getting a couple of desktops?




Yeah BRUCE!!!


Too cool! One of the best Sil's I've seen.


i think im in love


I love the way the story is opened. Wish I could've been there ha.

Beautiful S13


"While people with normal jobs are in bed fast asleep or looking at increasingly weird sh*t on the internet and clearing their browser-history afterwards (don’t pretend like you don’t know what we’re talking about)"

LOL im reading this article at 3:08AM!! o_O

and the car's graphics look sicck! and so does the rest of the car! nice work man!


cool sled. would be ice cold if it was as low on the track as the hardparked photos


Sweet. People in NZ make cool drift cars.


Rocket Bunny is so much more stylish and better on the eyes than GP sports, that crap is HIDEOUS. This car particularly is an absolute monster, and if Mike Kojima helped with the balance and tuning? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...


eat ur heart out dai. lol.... those two shld do battle


lol i like it how it says borrowed from the falken usa car haha so you just gonna give it back when your done bro?? good joke really hahahaha

its mean thou,has all the good parts to drift just need to learn how to drift properly now in other words a better driver


@F20c I'd love to know whats hideous about this S13, its got clean lines, great stance, gets used how it should be, and sticks to its JDM roots. But maybe ur a Honda lover, nuff said.

Great car all round.


love the front end, the look from the side is very 'chinny' as we say up North. - good choice of kit including the wheels. - Thanks for th run-down.


Finally a nice feature car without ROTA wheels and bootleg parts. Nice job, it looks great.


The captain approves!!


Interesting tribute to Dai's car. The difference is that Dai's suspension is set up correctly and isn't this "hellaflush" crap.


@ Riddler

I never said that the car was not fuctional in anyway, or that it doesn't get used for what it is meant for. Yes it does stick to its JDM roots. So you call me a Honda lover, yes I am. But let's not forget where Honda originates. Like this car, it originates from JAPAN.

As I've stated in the post above, looks are subjective and to me this car is just plain hideous in my eyes. As an example, I prefer the Porche 911 over the Porche Cayman in terms of looks. I like the looks of the S14 and S15 Silvas over this.


@ Sky Render--I think you will find that in the track photos the car isnt sitting at the same height as it is for a photoshoot, in fact may even be a fraction higher than Dai's car. Probably also to do with the NZ tracks having grass runoffs, rumble strips etc. And you must be a genius to know what someones suspension settings are from looking at a car. Did you notice it runs driftworks parts? Allowing correct suspension alignment at a lower height, much the same as Matt powers car? Isnt the internet great!


Wicked stance. love the style. No more excuses this season. just go hard and drive it how it's meant to be driven.. full tit. Don't want to here any more excuses bruce. Want to see some hard runs with no care.


@F20c---Maybe your honda tinted glasses are warping your brain, far better looking than any S14 EVER!

Some S15s may come close, but still all time Silvia, Rocket Bunny S13.


awesome car, love the rocket bunny kits.

nascar v8- do it!

youll get a lotta power out of it- carbed, no oil bathing the crankshaft- like 15-20% power increase right there


That is 1 ballistic S13 with RB26 rage.

Rocket Bunny kit makes it look so tough!


sexy as fuuuuuuug plz no more v8s *shakes head* so lame. IF you are going to be lame like all the other Formula D shitheads then plz send that RB over to me I will give it a new home in my Nissan D21. If this is the permanent direction of pro drifting count me out. I'd rather keep it real in grass roots forever.


really cool S13... and I love the motor!



enough of that V8 bullshit...this car is boss.


I think what guys NEED to do is explore more JDM options instead of just going V8. That's quickly becoming a worldwide trend in drifting...something I wouldn't mind dying out, either. Like, NOW. What about RB30s? Stroked RB30s? TWIN-CHARGED CA18s (yes, I've seen them, one gets 700WHP) VG30DETTs, VQ35DE with a TT option? Heck, even 2JZs or 1JZs. There are so many different swaps to consider that can give you just as much power as a V8, what makes a drifter is the way he drives, not how much smoke he can make. "Nascar engine" would KILL this car.


Something different out there I guess but still not as cool as Mad Mikes or Fangas cars.

In my top 5, still heaps of crap cars in D1 though. Peace


This is what I'm talking about! In the right hands, that cast iron block can take anything you throw at it. Period.


So phat! Great to see the car is still a S13 underneath too, nuthing cut and hacked, just a caged weapon! Clean and stylish, pure JDM.