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Street Legal – 1997 Nissan 180sx Type X

26 February 2024

Corey Wellman's absolutely stunning 180SX Type X, tastefully modified to perfection with all the right period-correct Japanese parts.

Photos: Glen McNamara

NZPC: How did you get into modifying cars?

Corey: As a young kid I grew up loving V8s but couldn’t afford one so my second car at 18 was a 1990 200SX and that’s really where my love and obsession grew for these cars. 

Why did you build/buy this car? What’s its history?  

I had a lot of cool memories driving my 200SX around but unfortunately, I crashed it into a tree and so I really wanted to build a similar car and finish what I had started. I was pretty set on building a factory red factory turbo 180SX Type X with only period correct Japanese parts. It took around a year of consistently messaging this guy in hopes he would sell it to me and finally my persistence paid off and he cracked, ha ha.  

In what condition was the 180SX when you bought it? Did it take much work?

It was quite a tidy car to start with so it didn’t take a lot and just really needed some finishing touches. 

What was the hardest part to find for the build, and where did you end up finding it?

The hardest part to find was the factory-optioned mirror rain shields. I ended up finding a pair on the Backshelf Facebook group. 

With how it’s set up now, is it an easy car to slide around?

Yeah, it goes well for a little SR20.

If you had some advice for someone that plans on building a 180SX/S13, what would it be?

Buy a car that is as close as possible to what you want. It’s a whole lot cheaper than building one from scratch. 

Do you have any future plans for the car? 

Yeah, I would like to convert the car back to a more road going car so I can take the family out on Sunday drives down to the beach, and maybe change the wheels. 

Now that it’s done, would you do anything differently? 

Nah, I wouldn’t change a thing!


Thanks for chatting with us, Corey!


This article originally appeared in New Zealand Performance Car issue 304