Archive>>back To The ’90s

At this year's Tokyo Auto Salon there was a simple looking red 180SX parked amongst the group of flashy drift cars in Drift Tengoku booth. While this car may not have received a second glance from many show goers, long time drift enthusiasts instantly knew what this car is all about. As current drift car style is seemingly getting wilder and wilder, this car was done in replication of the style seen in the early days of the Japanese drift scene when there was no D1GP or any sort of "pro" drifting for that matter.

You won't find metal flake paintwork, a huge GT wing, or the incredibly wide wheels that are found on many of today's drift cars, but you will find simple modifications that bring back the spirit of the original drift cars. There actually seems to be signs of this simple style coming back as seen by cars like Mark Slide Squad's new S13 that was at All Star Bash 4.

Since I wasn't even old enough to drive in the late '90s I can only speak based on what I have seen in old Japanese magazines and videos, but I do like the idea of this style coming back. What about you guys?

-Mike Garrett



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The 90's ftw!


This was one of my favorite cars at the Dori Ten booth Mike! I was hella jocking it when I was talking to Kawasaki, the editor of Dori Ten. This was Dori-Ten's re-creation of drifting legend Yoshinori Koguchi's famous 180SX... this is the old school setup, back in the early, pure days of drifting. Koguchi was in a crew together with Kumakubo (K-Style) and was actually the shop manager of Kumakubo's shop, K Style as well.

The Caution! stickers are from Kumakubo (his old school team), and Rough World from Tanaka... and Rapid from Hiraoka... etc. These guys have stuck together over the years. Hiraoka has now joined Kumakubo and Tanaka as a member of Team Orange this year. Very cool to see old school friends sticking together.

I like the car alot. Just not the wheels.


Yeah that is pretty cool.

I like the ICBM sticker.

Super basic drift cars.

Coming back in '09!


I'd take the 180SX in the back :)


Basic Style all the way...big wings and over the top sponsors logos plastered all over a drift machine is lame.

Clean and simple, focus on d-spec performance while remaining grass roots is my type of style.


thats funny jeroen, because i'm pretty sure the owner would be down to take your R34! haha u guys could trade. as for me, i'm happy with my AE86 unless someone wants to trade me with an LS460L (long wheelbase) 4 seat version with the shiatsu massager, AC seats, rear power window shades, Mark Levinson sound system and self parking feature.

No problem, I have more 86s where that came from! haha...


I think USA should start building replicas of older Japan cars.

It should be fairly simple.

For example, with my s14, I saw an old S14 in Japan from team SELECTION and basically built my car around that one. Pretty simple idea. Of course, it isn't 100% the same, but the general idea is there.

I'm doing the same thing with my new 180.

I'm just building something that looks like Koguchi would have made.


Since I know drift I've always loved this roots style. I like a big BN Sports Bodykitted wide car, but nothing can beat the old school style.


It's pretty funny, I had a 180SX back in the late 90's that looked almost exactly like that but white. Same wheels and everything.


Nice 180SX. Drift tengoku also had a V35 sedan on thear booth, it was blue, Does any body have any info on that car.


i like this look very much. 2 of my favorite motos/quotes fit this car so much. " So Simple and Clean" "Beauty in Simplicity "


This style never should have left. I'd rather see these two S13s (The Black/Grady two-tone RPS13 behind it) than any machine in D1.

Props for the pics Mike


Form following functions another one/word !


Form Following funtion !, nothink on it, thats not needed, if that makes sense !


Now Antonio, you KNOW you gotta man up! Pls post up a equivalent AE86 reply to this picture! 90's "battle" style is the bomb.. no funny aero, just a front lip and nice stance with some SSR "dori-dori" wheels or even better my fav SSR MK II.


Oh yeah.. and it has to have DEMON CAMBER... consider it a request from one of your old school 86 buddies. LOL


^ JP loves camber. I wish there was a name for this style, it describes my way of doing things 100%


Oh snap Jover... damn do you want me to just shoot a picture of my car then? Oh, but you know my car isn't beat up enough to be considered "battle" style... but stretched tires, fat lip wheels sticking out slightly, oem metal fenders, no sponsor stickers, private japanese drift team stickers, demon camber, rare steering wheel and bucket seat, rather normal 4AG kouki kyu ni engine.... it's all there.

Haha good idea. I think I will post an equivalent AE86 post like this. I'm glad Mike posted this, it sparked a good discussion! I have a photo of this same exact car from TAS this past year also... Koguchi's 180 was the sh!t back then... and I still like his new version red D1 180!!! Super dope.


Yeah Koguchi's D1 180 is one of my favorites on the current roster. I like how you can see the red paint being ripped away to see his old school green and white livery underneath.

STJ, I think the V35 you are talking about is G-Corp's demo car. I have a couple photos of it.



Bring it back!

Stock metal, clean simple aero will always be my fav.

good post


simple and well executed. so nice.


Antonio, how about a feature on Tetsuya Hibino's Trueno or Ueo's Hachi?....those are old skool eh eh...


This car is sooooo sick ! I love it ! I hope I'll see more of these old school replica, or even Old School look-like, cars like this ! But well, I've to admit I'm kinda used to other kind of wheels, a bit more modern I guess... Mark's car, or even Pink Godzira team's cars are just sooooo cute !


looks similar to James Grimsey's EDC 180sx


*sigh* that car is so perfect even down to the home-made vented hood.


Hell yea, clean is key. It's a timeless style! Driving your car to the track, beating on it all day and then driving it back home, I love it. BH, hurry up and get your S13 already. Benson, get some stock aero and let's go to touge like we did back in 1999!


Toilet water Running Free Break. Dori.


Manadu Suzuki from Drift Tengoku drives that 180SX. But it looks a little different now then when this pic was taken. Manabu put some R33 GTR wheels on it and painted them black. But the classic look from the '90's is something a that should be done more often. Though I'm not feeling those wheels that much. I agree with Peter of A, modern wheels, like some TE37's would look nice.


I love this style and would also love for it to somewhat make a comeback. This is such an awesome style because it's not flashy and played out. I love seeing cars like this but I haven't been able to find much from the early days. Also, what wheels are those??