Ben Sopra 380SX

The Nardo Special 380SX is one of the wildest yet simplest projects I have ever seen. Built to take on the Nardo high speed ring, this little guy has been almost completely remodeled, it’s a mystery why the 180SX was even chosen in the first place! To me, the car seems more like a fashion statement from Miura-san at TRA Kyoto than a speed trial car. Let’s see what makes this one so special!

It looks like a Nissan RPS13 but it has been completely gutted except for the frame and body panels (even the rear windows aren’t present). But what is important here is the engine! The engine is sourced from an R35 GTR and is shoehorned into the little SX with custom transmission mounts and a R34 GTR rear end.

Ben Sopra, 380sx, Nissan RPS13, R35GTR, Nardo, engine

The V6 is enlarged with a Trust 4.0L stroker kit and force fed through two TD06-25G turbos and a V mount intercooler. All the piping is custom, which includes the massive wastegates, and doesn’t look simple! Overall, the engine bay looks really clean.

Ben Sopra, 380sx, Nissan RPS13, R35GTR, Nardo, engine

The throttle is controlled by Billet 90mm mechanical throttles for good response and the engine has an enlarged Trust intake manifold. A VI-PEC V88 ECU handles the engine’s electronics which has been custom mapped. Fuel to the engine comes from a fuel safe cell and is pumped to the thirsty engine by two Bosch 044 pumps. The straight exhaust is also custom by Trust and exits right at the middle of the rear end.

Ben Sopra, 380sx, Nissan RPS13, R35GTR, Nardo, Drivetrain

All the power is directed through a Hollinger 6-speed sequential and OCR triple plate clutch to the R34 GTR rear end and on to the floor with an ATS carbon LSD. With over 1000hp, the setup was built very seriously.

 Ben Sopra, 380sx, Nissan RPS13, R35GTR, Nardo, suspension and brakes

The suspension is where I begin to think this car is not built for a speed run, but rather for the showroom floor! The SX has Roberuta air cups to easily lower the car and it certainly gives it a great stance. Wheels of choice are 18inch Enkei RS05RRs wrapped in Advan’s A050 semi-slicks for grip at high speeds.

Ben Sopra, 380sx, Nissan RPS13, R35GTR, Nardo, exterior, interior

The showroom look continues with the aero. Most of it was designed by Miura-san who created the Rocket Bunny kit for the new Toyota 86. This time a custom hood is also fitted to hide the monstrous engine. The R35 GTR rear wing works really well on the little Nissan and should also perform well at over 300km/h!

Ben Sopra, 380sx, Nissan RPS13, R35GTR, Nardo,

On the inside there is a Saito custom roll cage for safety and Bride Zeta III bucket seats to hold whoever drives this beast. There is also a hydraulic E-brake (do I hear drifting??) and an AIM digital dash unit to display some big numbers. Other than that, the interior is bare to reduce weight.


This car may not be for everyone, I for one don’t like the look of the front and the hood, but you have to appreciate the effort put into making a speed demon. I can’t wait to see this car at speed!!

And for those who don't know what the Nardò Ring is all about, here is an aerial shot of the 12.5 kilometer beast (with a cloud for size comparison)!

Ben Sopra, 380sx, Nissan RPS13, R35GTR, Nardo ring

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