Time waits for no man, and when putting together a project, things tend to, more often than not, drag on a little longer than expected. And the budget? Well that often gets blown time and time again. For Daniel Jones it's been five years of hard graft to get his time attack build to a point where the end of the tunnel is tantalizingly close.
I stopped into Quest Fabrication where the boys were completing the last bits of fabrication needed ahead of panel, paint, and wiring. The goal is a mid-Feb shakedown, so it's full steam ahead over the first few months of summer.
Daniel intends to run the 180 in Superlap's Open Class once its completed — nope, it's not a 180sx built to drift, shock-horror! The suspension package is a mix of Hardrace and GK Tech adjustable and rose-jointed arms with GReddy coilovers. You will also note the rather long dry-sump pan, which is, in fact, part of a Ross Performance four-stage kit.
The engine itself is an RB26 that Daniel is aiming to make 500kW with. He has put together the block himself using a new R33 N1 crank, Wossner pistons, Carrillo rods, Cosworth race bearings, and ARP hardware. The head is an all Tomei affair with Tomei dual valve springs, Tomei retainers, Tomei valve sleeves, and Tomei 260 intake and 270 exhaust pro cams. The head was also ported and polished. The factory ITB manifold has been retained in the name of boost response.
Boost will come from a Garrett T04Z with a .8 rear housing, and the manifold is an Invisible Man Racing equal length with dual wastegate ports. These maniifolds are Kiwi-made and nothing short of weld porn. The gates are twin 38mm TiAL. Quest Fabrication have built the stainless steel exhaust along with handling all the pressure side of the fabrication.
A TTi five-speed sequential and Tilton triple plate back the RB, and have been solid-mounted by Quest. These are becoming very popular gearbox choices, with more and more cars coming across my desk running them in both street and circuit application.
Like the front, the rear suspension is a mix of GK Tech and Hardrace. The rear also features GK Tech rear drop knuckles. When Daniel purchased the car, in all its house-paint camo glory, it had been shunted and the subframe was bent. This has been replaced with a R33 item complete with R200 with Cusco two-way head.
The roll cage was built by Quest a few years back. Its a pretty extensive eight-point. An alloy false floor hides the RCI fuel cell.
The best things about extensive builds like this are the little brackets, etc., that you find when looking it over. These lightweight alloy pre-pump filter mounts are a perfect example. They actually tie off the fuel-cell brackets.
Daniel has opted to run a full Rocket Bunny V1 kit that was sourced through Dodson Performance. But that was not wide enough for what he wanted, so he has also added 80mm wide rear fenders. His custom Work Wheels are currently on their way to New Zealand, measuring 18x10.5 inches with a ridiculous -57 offset — some serious dish!
With 90 per cent of the project now completed, NZ Performance Car will make sure to check in with Daniel once it's on the track. From what I've seen so far, it's shaping up to be a little bit of a monster — but a very good-looking one at that. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, you need to look good doing it!