THIS ROCKET BUNNY-KITTED S15 HAS MORE GO THAN SHOW
If Carlsberg made Nissan S15s, they still wouldn’t be as good as this 2JZ-powered, Rocket Bunny-kitted beast.
Let’s not beat around the bush here, the idea of running a Rocket Bunny kit or the likes is starting to get a little bit stale. There was a time, which feels like an eternity ago, when we would have first spied these amazing wide arched cars from Japan on the internet and completely lost our collective shit. Their almost crude riveted-on panels were the perfect rebellion against the smooth bodywork that had come to be the norm. Today, I’m sure you’ve already scrolled past countless examples on your social media feeds, without even as much as a second look. The problem is that so many of these builds lack substance. Sure, they look good, but there’s not really much under the surface. David Coleman is one of the rare few who was aware of this when he started this project and it certainly shows in the finished article. There’s definitely no shortage of substance here.
This isn’t David’s first rodeo. His last car, an aggressively styled V8 powered AE86 Corolla, caused quite a stir when it hit the streets for the first time. It broke away from a lot of the typical AE86 conventions and most impressively was street legal. It might not sound like a big achievement, but in Ireland, it really is. The struggle to perfect a build and re-engineer things just to get it on the street is one that a lot choose to forego and instead commit their own projects to being for the track only. Not, David. His cars have always been about their street performance, although he’s been known to take in the odd trackday too. This is what makes his cars and this Nissan Silvia S15 all the more interesting. Building a track car is one thing, building a street-car is a whole other proposition.
As we rolled to the photo location, I did have to laugh to myself at the exaggerated width of the car on the narrow Irish roads behind me in my mirror. The S15 is so wide that it needs to hug the ditch in order not to cross the centre line of the road. While the Rocket Bunny kit and aggressive stance are the strongest visual points on it, it’s what lies beneath that really impresses. There’s nothing wrong with the SR20DET this S15 would have original been equipped with. With a little tuning, the two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine can even make respectable power numbers. It wasn’t enough for David, though. He had his sights set on something far impressive.
The compact inline-four has long since been removed. In its place, in the tidied and smooth engine bay, now resides arguably the greatest inline-six engine ever built: Toyota’s 2JZ-GTE.
For diehard Nissan fans, this would obviously be a problem, in that he chose the 2JZ over Nissan’s own RB26 GT-R motor. For the
rest of us, it’s less of an issue and probably the better decision. The 2JZ is far from stock – a single T88 turbocharger replaces the original twin-turbo setup. Larger Precision 840cc injectors provide increased fuelling while a GReddy intake manifold and a custom three-inch exhaust amongst other modifications all play their role in helping the 2JZ to a healthy – and reliable – 550hp.
When the car comes on boost, there’s no mistaking it for anything other than a 2JZ, with the T88 dumping into the atmosphere via the screamer pipe located just below the driver’s door. It is glorious.
The wide-body conversion hasn’t just been a case of riveting on some over-fenders either, it’s received the same amount of thought and consideration as the rest of the car. The car was brought back to bare metal before the rear was tubbed, allowing plenty of room
for the 295-section rear tyres on the 12x18-inch ET-17 SSR Professor MS3 wheels. The front required a similar amount of modification to accommodate the narrower – but still very wide – 10.5x18-inch ET-35 wheels, this time with a 265-section tyre.
Needless to say, that’s a lot of rubber hiding within those arches. This gives the car an impressive amount of traction and grip, although the rears can still be vaporised on demand. A custom green, which has become David’s signature, was sprayed over and inside the finished bodywork, with a matt equivalent being used for the engine bay.
In some ways, David has built the complete car. It has the looks, the power and the ability to be driven hard when the mood takes him. It’s not a show pony either, as he uses it regularly going to, from and during work.
Most of all though, there’s so much more to this car than first meets the eye. It has both style and substance in spades.
A GReddy intake manifold and a custom three-inch exhaust help the 2JZ to 550hp There’s a lot of rubber hiding under those arches
The car was brought back to bare metal before the rear was tubbed,