In ’98, the cauldron was lit at the opening ceremony of the 18th Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. The world was glued to their television sets for two weeks, however, for one Nagano native, figure skating and curling just didn’t quite get him excited. This young man, Yuichi Seki, declined watching downhill skiing to go out and purchase a new project car, a car that would become an integral part of his life for much longer than he would have ever predicted.
Yuichi had been looking for a new car to drift in the mountains surrounding his hometown. Already familiar with the Nissan S-chassis having owned an S13 before, he knew he couldn’t go wrong with the more curvaceous 180SX. With its sleek lines and retractable headlights, the 180 met his requirements of “looking cool” and “being turbo.”
This particular car has been with Yuichi for more than 18 years. Over that period, the car has gone through several iterations, which include being “built for drift,” however, its most recent configuration is a Time Attack machine. Thanks to a full Garage Mak aero package in addition to wide fenders and a GT wing, the S13 definitely looks the part, too.
Everyone wonders if Yuichi actually runs on the track and the answer is, “Yes!” Together with his friends from Fun Ride Sharing, he regularly attends lapping days at Tsukuba Circuit, the birthplace of Time Attack. With 582 hp propelling him around a 1.27-mile-long course, Yuichi has made a personal best time of 1:06. For comparison’s sake, cars like the R34 Skyline GT-R, Porsche 997 Carrera and BMW E90 M3 have clocked the same times as Yuichi. He points out that his car was set up for drift when he ran his fastest lap and is confident that with a bit of suspension tuning, he can shave off a few seconds.
While not a Time Attack record breaker by any means, Yuichi has received several car show awards he’s proud of, including Best Nissan at the ’14 and ’15 Offset Kings shows put on by Fatlace. His proudest achievement, however, is appearing on the Work Wheels website as the main featured vehicle showing off a staggered set of Meister S1Rs, the wheels still on the car today.
Other nice touches that shouldn’t be left out include the execution of the cockpit. The carbon-fiber dash is a thing of beauty and serves as a platform for a plethora of gauges. The center console leads us to an unassuming gear lever, which is in fact attached to a quick-shifting HKS six-speed dogbox.
Committing to a project car for as long as Yuichi has to his 180SX is a rarity. A lot can happen in 18 years, for example, different jobs and countless family obligations. Yuichi admits he doesn’t have as much time as he used to when he was younger to do car-related activities, but he still attends events and meets up with his car buddies when he can. He’s even started a small business called Se★ki Motorsports that makes car-related T-shirts, stickers, and even some aero parts.