What's happening with MOOG's 180SX?
At the end of May 2020 MOOG dropped a new video on the MCM channel showcasing a car he'd wanted to buy for many years: a stock 180SX. You can watch the full reveal HERE but basically the thing is a complete unicorn today, being almost factory-fresh.
However, since then one question the boys are smashed with is "what's happening with MOOG's 180SX?" Well, he still owns it and plans to feature it on the show, so we sat down with Mr MOOG to find out a bit more...
After your history with Taylor Drift, what led you to pick up your Museum Piece 180?
“The reason I bought this one is because I wanted to make the car I never had the ability, funds or skills to make back when I got my first Silvia around 2001.Now is pretty much the perfect time to make a nice, clean, streetable 180SX for me, and I think this feeling is fuelling a lot of what we’re seeing happen in the car scene right now.”
You have a long history with these cars, stretching right back before Mighty Car Mods, don’t you? How were you introduced to 180SXs?
“My journey with these cars started nearly 20 years ago. I’d been driving Camiras and 1980s Holdens for years, so I’d never experienced a nice Japanese car. But then a friend of mine told me about a car called a Nissan Silvia. I ended up buying a non-turbo S13 that had been imported to Australia already, but unfortunately that car was caught in a bushfire and the last I saw of it, it was on the news getting water dropped on it by a fire-fighting helicopter.”
Was that when you got your 180?
“After paying my insurance excess I didn’t have enough to buy another non-turbo Silvia that was already in Australia, but that same friend who put me onto Silvias told me about a car called a 180SX. He told me I could bring one in from Japan cheaper than buying one here, so I found one in Japan, imported it and that was how I got my black 180SX.”
That must have been a bit of a culture shock, coming from Holden Camiras and other cars with 7hp.
“The funny thing about that car is I’d never driven a 180SX, or even driven a turbo car before I bought that car. I turned up at the Sydney port with a trade plate from the workshop who were going to do the compliance work on it and drove it back to them. The first time I put my foot to the floor I was sold on turbo cars.”
That is pretty much exactly what Marty said he wanted to do with his Gemini! How come you haven’t been cruising it around ‘til now?
“It’s still blowing a lot of blue smoke, and white smoke… and grey smoke. So, it definitely needs a new turbo, and maybe some engine work, but we’ll have to see what else is required when we dig into our Carcheology.”
What are the goals for it?
“This might sound funny but I want 180kW at the wheels. Normally they make 110kW at the wheels, but I want to have the power and delivery I wanted back when I had my first 180, and 200kW at the wheels was a huge deal back in the day.”
Any plans for the body, or will this be a bit of a sleeper?
“I think it will end up with some kind of Vertex kit on it, because I had a Vertex bar on my 180. But I don’t exactly know what wheels I want to run, because I don’t really have one particular 180SX that inspired me back in the day, which I want to emulate. I was more into the wider scene itself.”
So you weren’t fanboying over particular Japanese tuning houses or demo cars?
“I was only really interested in what was out there to compete with on the streets of Sydney, like WRXs or 300ZXs, GSR Lancers, and MR2s. Basically I was looking around at the car scene surrounding metro Sydney, and what people did with their cars.”
So, where will you take it for its first drive?
“Galston Gorge, for sure! That was the first public road I ever drove, so I will take it there. It’s like Sydney’s Mount Akina.”