This bright pink Rocket Bunny-clad 180SX is one of those instantly recognised examples, yet most aren’t quite sure how and why it seems so familiar. Now owned locally by NZPC regular offender Jared Croft, this particular car was built long before the Rocket Bunny name became the international sensation that it is now — this was a time when TRA Kyoto’s aero line was know as 6666 Customs and the 6666 GT Rodeo body kits were actually fashioned for the S13 Silvias. Owned then by Siro Watanabe, it became the face of Work Wheels Japan’s 2013 campaign and gained local notoriety in its native country
Of course, with the way the internet works nowadays, it wasn’t long before it was slingshotted into fame the world over thanks to super clean styling unseen beyond Japan’s shores. It still houses the same components found on the car back then, and those that it arrived without, Jared spent considerable time hunting down and fitting — including a new set of 18×9.5-inch (-20) and 18×11-inch (-30) Work Meister M1 3P, matched to those it became famous on. Under the bonnet you’ll find a SR20DET fitted with an IHI RX6 snail, HKS cams, GReddy intake manifold, A’PEXi exhaust manifold, Denso 850cc injectors, and controlled by a Power FC.
Siro took that extra step to swap out the factory five-speed in favor of a Nismo six-speed close-geared box, making use of a Nismo clutch and flywheel combo, and fitting a Nismo two-way LSD down back. We’re unsure what lead Siro to put it up for sale, but we’re glad to see such an iconic make its way to our shores, and better yet, getting driven hard.
This piece appeared as a vehicle spotlight in the NZ Performance Car coverage of the 2017 V 4 & Rotary South Island Champs — grab a copy of issue No. 254 for the full event