While waiting at the airport in Japan to head back home to little New Zealand, I checked my plane tickets and realized I had a massive stop over in the beautiful city of Brisbane in Australia. Around ten hours or so of waiting at the airport with absolutely nothing to do. So I took it upon myself to be proactive and kill that boredom before it started. What better way to kill boredom than with car activities and photoshoots?

With that in mind I went straight on my phone and opened up the FB app. In January 2015 I actually attended a 180SX meet in Brisbane, so I thought that’s where I’d start. I hadn’t kept in contact with any of them, only the odd FB message, and it was really short notice plus being on a weekday I didn’t expect much to come of it. I messaged a few people from the initial 180SX meet to see who was keen, and got a response from Brent.

At the start of 2015 Brent’s 180SX looked nothing like this, it had a standard black paint job with no American police theme whatsoever. When he told me that he’d gone the way of a not so forgettable theme such as this, I started to get excited. Only now the car was no longer road legal, and I had no transport for the duration of my short stay in Brisbane.

Being the good guy that Brent was, he took the day off work to help me out and drove over an hour to get to the Airport terminal. The sight of a policed themed 180SX drift car on a trailer outside the terminal was an enjoyable visual for sure. I even heard a little child whisper to his dad “whaw – look at that police car daddy”.

Now with transport and a car to shoot we were off. In typical Brisbane fashion and what seems to happen every time I’m there, the rain came – and wouldn’t leave. As I had limited gear and no rain protection we were forced to find a shielded place to shoot. You can clearly see that did not happen. With a few other places to visit we had limited time and spent most of it looking for a better location than what we found.

Brent tells me that the idea for this theme came to him after watching the movie ‘Let’s be Cops’. Where two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. Brent said this was also a cost effective theme and one that would definitely make him stand out at track days.

The car has all the bells and whistles of a police car. The stickers, the number, the slogans, the American black and white theme. It even has flashing blue and red lights along with a rainbow horn to mimic the real life police sirens. 

Brent wanted to learn how to drift in this car. So the idea wasn’t to build a crazy ground up competition car, it was to build a reliable car with a few mods that would see him drifting around tracks in Australia without running into too much trouble.

The basics had been done on the car to ensure this. Like the full 3” custom exhaust by Macs Mufflers in Strathpine, Queensland. This is usually the first modification that anyone does on a drift car, creating a better exhaust flow which in turn (hopefully) leads to more horsepower.

Well I’m all for big brand names and purchasing quality products where the company spends their own money on research and development, sometimes it’s alright not to follow in these footsteps. Especially when your budget is limited. Brent has purchased your typical Ebay coilovers to give the car a stiff and firm ride, not too low to make it a hassle to drive, but not too high so that it looks like a tractor either.

The only modification body wise that Brent has added to the car is the new overhanging wing. That’s probably a sensible choice when talking about a drift car that will be used to learn in. You’re bound to hit cones, walls, or tyres at some point and doing so with nice aero and a fancy paint job would sure bring a tear to the eye.

To make the car sit nice, and handle better on the track. A full set-up of Nismo adjustable arms in the front and rear have been added as well as a 1.5 way differential, and to give just that little bit of extra steering angle a set of lock spacers has been added. Not a bad set-up for a car that you’d be learning in, that’s for sure.

Under the hood you’ll find a standard red top SR20DET with a front mount intercooler and a Apexi Power FC. In addition to that Brent has stuck with the nismo theme and installed 740cc Nismo injectors as well as rocker stoppers. Sitting next to the engine is a nice HKS2540 turbo to add some responsive power to the standard red top engine.

Sure, it’s not the tidiest car in the world. It’s the idea behind it that I like. Brent’s taken his clean and tidy 180SX and is using it how he wants to, while some of you may think of it as a sin to take a tidy 180SX off the road, I’m not on your side in this situation. It’s an owner’s car, it has been modified to his liking and is put to use much more than a car that would see daylight once every few months.


  • Red Top SR20DET
  • Apexi Power FC
  • FMIC
  • 740cc Nismo Injectors
  • HKS2540 Turbo
  • Rocker Stoppers
  • Full 3” Custom Exhaust


  • Ebay Coilovers
  • Nismo Adjustable Arms front and rear


  • 1.5 Way Differential
  • Lock Spacers

Figures: 281rwhp at 15psi Tuned by East Coast Customs

While some parts of the car may be showing their age, and have mud sprinkled in the engine bay. The interior is actually still in rather good condition. With Australian sun, you’d usually have cracks all over the dash by now, not here though. All parts were nicely wired up and installed to a professional level.

As we were pushed for time it was only a quick shoot. We loaded everything up in the rain and headed back to the airport so I could catch my flight back to New Zealand. 

It’s a nice community I think, when you can meet someone once and they’ll go out of their way to help you out. I also think that people should take a step back and stop looking at what other people are doing and focus on themselves. Just go out there and enjoy your car, don’t worry about that little scratch on the bumper or if your wheels don’t stick out far enough. At the end of the day ask yourself, does that really matter?

Words and Photos by Shaun Constable

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