Sometimes it’s really hard to choose. Your heart tells you that ready-to-touge Japanese performance cars are the way to go, but your mind can’t see past best-in-class German engineering. This RPS13 Nissan 200SX from Poland proves that you don’t need to choose – you can have both.
Szymon Stanny purchased the Nissan a few years ago. Back then it had a rough spray-can camo paint job, sat high, and had terrible-fitting wheels. The plan was simple – reimagine it as a good-looking drift warrior.
The first move was to sort the bodywork, and Szymon didn’t have to think twice about an Origin Lab Aggressive Type II kit. Getting the FRP to fit right was left to the Style Bangers and Musk Customs, before fresh blood-red paint was applied.
In this initial guise, the 200SX sat on ISC coilovers and widened Opel Insignia steelies – a common wheel choice for Polish drift cars – but the latter were soon swapped out for Work Emotion XT7s on the front axle. With the original CA18DET still up front, Szymon was ready to rock at the 2019 Next Level Drift Matsuri.
But his event didn’t last long. After a few hours driving, the Nissan turbo four-cylinder blew its head gasket; it was game over.
Now Szymon had a choice: repair or replace the damaged CA engine, or fit something entirely new. With reliability and budget at the top of his mind, he took a leaf out of many Polish drifters and opted for something tried and tested: a naturally aspirated 3.0L M54B30 from a BMW E46. With the help of Szorstki Garage, it was quickly married to the RPS13.
Despite the straight six being stock, Szymon definitely isn’t hiding the fact that all is not stock under the hood – the straight-piped exhaust with its double ‘shotgun’ outlets at the rear take care of that. The system has been shortened by about half a meter since it was installed, but it’s still loud.
While the engine swap was taking place, Szymon had some time to complete the Nissan’s visual image, and he did that with 18×10-inch Cosmis Racing XT-206R wheels on the front end and classic deep-dish 18×11-inch SSR Minervas out back.
Although there’s a German heart in play, the theme here is obvious. The interior features TAKATA Racing harness belts and a bubble shift knob, plus a number of other small JDM accessories, and Szymon is currently waiting on a red Thrash Racing seat to arrive from Japan to complete the picture.
You might be wondering if Szymon’s Nissan is road legal here in Poland, and the answer is yes. The 200SX has had every technical examination and road test completed and passed, so driving it around on the street is not a problem. In fact, Szymon recently drove it to an event, where it was drifted for two full days before being driven home again.
“There is still a lot to do with the car, but since it’s working, I want to finally have fun driving it,” he says. “I can enjoy it completely now, and sleep well away from engine problems.”
JDM and Nissan purists probably won’t be able to get on board with what Szymon has done with his RPS13, but from a practical perspective, the M54 swap was a good way to keep this one alive for a long time to come.
We also can’t forget that this is a grassroots drift car. There is no need to keep things in the family for the sake of it; cars like this just need to slide well and look good. Szymon’s ‘RPS46′ ticks both boxes.
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