Preserving Roots With A Spirit Rei 180SX

I’ve never been a big fan of modified 180SXs, but I think there’s a simple explanation for that: I just haven’t seen enough decent examples.

When I was wandering around StanceNation NorCal a couple weeks back, there was one S13 in particular that I kept returning to. It was a car Sara noticed as well, and I was intrigued by the Nissan’s unique look. The harder I tried, the less I understood what I was seeing, but it was just so cool. I left the show without a complete answer, finding myself staring at the photos of this 180SX over the following days.

Luckily, all it took was a few DMs and I found myself chatting with the owner a couple days back about what exactly is going on with his car.


After Jimmy Nguyen explained the bodywork he’s running on the car, I felt less bad that I couldn’t quite figure it out. The front is clearly Spirit Rei Miyabi, and he says the Spirit Rei kit was used in its entirety around the rest of the car as well.

But the front fenders and rear overfenders are part of a full Car Modify Wonder kit, which was shipped to him from a workshop missing some parts. Actually, he only received the overfenders initially.

At the same time, Jimmy found out that a full Spirit Rei kit was available from Superwow Factory, so he went ahead and pulled the trigger.


Over the next year Jimmy sourced the front fenders, spoiler, canards, and front diffuser from the Car Modify Wonder kit to add to his existing rear overfenders, and ultimately mashed it all up with the Spirit Rei bodywork.

Jimmy said he’s been a huge fan of Spirit Rei, and that Motohiro Taniguchi’s 180SX was a real inspiration for many years. While this car is a good bit busier than the Miyabi kit on its own, the end result sprayed in Lexus Eminent White Pearl comes together fantastically well.


Jimmy achieved the ultra-low stance the car has thanks to TruHart air struts managed by an Air Lift Performance 3P setup.


Tucked into the widened bodywork, you’ll find SSR GTX01 wheels in an 18×10.5-inch -15 fitment at all four corners.


Something tells me Jimmy’s S13 hides a few more tricks up its sleeve, especially as I wasn’t able to get a look under the hood. But this saves room for a full feature in the future.


For now, I’m just glad to see a 180SX that I really enjoyed; a car that completely caught me off guard.

Jimmy says his goal with the Nissan was to build a fun street car with an emphasis on Japanese styling to stay true to the roots of chassis. With enough hard work sourcing parts and putting it all together in his garage, he’s done exactly that.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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That is incredible!


vents to cool the rear airbags


If I drive this car, I'd smile like that front bumper


I really like how the two bodykits work together so well that it looks like one kit.

Only constructive criticism would be to get rid of that bolt-in roll-cage.


Bolt in roll cages have worked fine for decades. Also they have higher quality control vs diy fab for someone on a budget. My only criticism would be the rear fender air inlets, goes against all aero logic, fill those in.


"Bolt in roll cages have worked fine for decades."

Except when they havent, like in a roll over where the s bend in the A pillar will crumple as it is significantly weaker with those bends than a straight piece of tube that would go through the dash. I mean there is a reason that bolt in roll cages are typically not allowed in any actual racing series. Hint, it has things to do with the extra degree of freedom that a bolted connection has over a welded connection, like in the top of the windshield bar where there is nothing stopping that bar from rotating with respect to the A-pillar bar.

Well unless your idea of "worked" is that they look good and provide little to no actual saftey.

"Also they have higher quality control vs diy fab for someone on a budget."

Fine, then get a bolt in roll bar and leave out the A pillar tubes that are a safety hazard. At least bolt in roll bars are fully welded together and the bolts only mount it to the car thus are less of a safety risk in a crash.

IMO, there is nothing worse than someone trying to get the look of being safety minded while actually increasing the risk of injury. Not only does it give a false sense of confidence to the driver, it will make it worse for emergency personnel when they have to extract someone from the car. I am also against fully welded cages in road cars, unless the occupants will be wearing helmets in the car at all points in time it is an unacceptable risk.

Marius Engen Skinnes

Back in 2007 I rolled my S13 that had a Cusco Bolt-in cage. The cage worked just like it was supposed to.


that's just confirmation bias, there is a reason that most racing rule books dont allow bolt in roll cages or more than 2 bends in the a pillar bar.

Safety first!


Show me an example of this actually happening. Then I can show you endless pictures of drift cars rolled over in Japan with their bolt-in cages leaving the roof completely intact. Also, I can show you many links of sub-1:00 Tsukuba time attack cars that have no cage at all, their drivers walking around, living. You seem to be infected by the USA litigation nanny mindset. The bolt in cages (with proper padding) are definitely good for street driven S chassis, where our lowered 25 year old cars have to face giant lifted bro dozers and suburban driving soccer moms and such.


You seem to be infected by the USA litigation nanny mindset.

Funny how you jumped to that right there. Its also amusing how saftey isnt a first concern for you. Safety is my first concern and the more bends that are in ANY bar in a rollcage are just more points of failure.

Also, you have just displayed a clear cars of confirmation bias, Sure you can show me many cars that have rolled over and the occupants been fine but does that cover every possible permutation of a crash? the things about crashes is that they are chaotic messes and there is no actual way to fully demonstrate every type of impact or crash on a rollcage. This means that rollcage installation is meant to be insurance for the inevitable impact, so every instance you could show me are just people who are on the lucky side of the coin as all it takes is a youtube search to show you all sorts of race car crashes where the occupant would have not survived if it was not for a stout and well designed roll-cage.

If you want to increase your risk of injury with a substandard safety system in your vehicle then by all means go right ahead, but for me Safety is my first concern. It has nothing to do with litigation and everything to do with protection from the inevitable big crash.

As for on the street, well that a pillar bar not only will slow down an extraction team from pulling occupants from the car but it really isnt going to do anything about protecting you from an impact with a brodoser or minivan.


It’d also be nice if they got rid of that dumb license plate.

Just sayin’


Do you by any chance own a just kidding