Car Feature>> Southeast Drift S13 In Atlanta

On my last trip to Atlanta, in between visits to get "down south barbecue" at Daddy D'z and getting turnip greens stewed with bacon at Cracker Barrel… I met up with my friends from S3 Magazine, who introduced me to Marcos Ruiz, the owner of this S13. Marcos runs a website called Southeast Drift ( ), which promotes drifting in  southeastern states, like Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In fact, they ran 15 events in 2008, which is quite a feat for a grassroots drifting event promoter!

Anyway, it's incredibly hard not to notice the wide body stance on Marcos's S13, especially with the B-Magic 30mm front fenders and 50mm rear fenders that he got from AIT in Southern California.

If you're like me, then you're probably wondering about the specs on the super wide wheels, so let's address that right now: Weds Kranze 3pc aluminum 18x12J (-5 offset) with 265/35/18 stretched tires and 18×10.5J (+0 offset) with 235/40/18 tires stretched over them. When I asked Marcos what brand of tires he runs, he responded, "hmmm… Federal, Falken, Kumho, Yokohama… actually, anything I can get for free."

To be very honest with you, the interior of this S13 coupe has seen better days, but come on – it's a grassroots drift car. It's very realistic. Marcos's S13 runs without doorpanels, and has a cracked dash, but at least he has the necessary safety equipment, like Sparco bucket seat, harnesses, and this super cool Sparco hub spacer that looks like a coilover sleeve, which is attached to a Mooneyes steering wheel.

The hood on this car is certainly interesting – Marcos had all his friends sign his hood. I think it looks cool! I wouldn't normally think to do this on a hood – maybe something a bit more discreet, like the trunk lid… but I suppose with the montstrous engine under the hood, the huge Weds wheels, and the wide body aero, nothing about this car is discreet.

In case you were wondering about the suspension, this car usesCusco coilovers, JIC S14 tie rods and tie rod ends, steering spacer, S14 lower control arms, JIC TC rods, Moog bushings, 5-lug swap, Z32 brake calipers, and Suspension Techniques sway bars.

Inside the cockpit is a 6 speed transmission, which looks so rough as it sticks out of the transmission tunnel… along with a gauge panel and switch panel for fuel, HIDs, separate brake lights, fans, and a cutoff switch. It's not the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but I suppose it works.

Now here's the big source of power and controversy –  this S13 has an LS1 engine swap underneath the hood. To be honest, most people who know me realize that I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to cars and engine swaps, and I'm not the hugest fan of putting a big American V8 in a Japanese car. However, I felt the need to show this car because people do it, it's just a fact here in the USA that people like the aluminum V8 swaps. They're high on horsepower, high on torque, and easier to drive. No wonder big V8s are getting so popular in drifting these days. This particular LS1 swap uses custom headers (3pc design on driver side, and 2pc on passenger side), custom intake piping, custom tunedand  ECU, 3 inch exhaust, which leads to power output of 368 horsepower, with 372 ft/lbs of torque. Oh yeah, and don't forget the big aluminum radiator for cooling, along with an Apex'i radiator cap.

One last shot of the wheels, which I think are the number one feature that attracted me to this car. Just goes to show, stretch and offset is everything.

Big thanks to my friend Cody Wellons from S3 Magazine for introducing me to Marcos, and for letting me do the shoot with his Canon 30D!!! While shooting Formula D Atlanta this year, my Canon SLR broke from too much use… the shutter collapsed because, apparently, I took too many photos with it. LOL.

Support drifting in the Southeast! Respect to Southeast Drift!

-Antonio Alvendia

Southeast Drift



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I realy liked this car, until i saw the GM V8. I realy hate US engine's in JDM cars, use a nissan VK not a LS!


I love it. Perfect combination. Hard to beat a reliable, torquey V8 right. ;) lol Where's a side shot or a shot of it drifting? Come on, we want it all!


The car is awesome! Its deff a little ragged but it rips tires and does what it's meant for. Thats what grass roots drifting is all about :). That was a perfect day for the photoshoot too...


It is sort of sacrilegious to do a swap like that on an S13 but you would most likely soon forget that as 370 N/A horses in an S13 would be quite the handful. To be honest I wish I could see more N/A tunes in the D1 and on other privateer drifters, it seems like everyone in the world needs to have a big laggy turbo nowadayz.


STJ: think about how prohibitibely expensive a VK swap would be vs the LS1. Having driven an LS1-powered 1980's coupe (third-gen camaro, a bit of a porker but quite brisk) through a T-56 transmission as i'm pretty sure this S13 has, i can only imagine how wild and fast it must be. It's a good thing it has some phat rubbers on there! :D besides, this isn't your daddy's half-ton cast-iron block chugging 450ci, this is a relatively refined and lightweight modern engine, it even has individual coilpacks! lol

F3INT: a big ol' V8 swap is basically the only way you're going to get an effective NA built without laying down serious dollar. The reason people slap on big laggy turbos is precisely because it's the cheap and easy way to get big numbers.


also, imagine just how insane this LS1 would be if it had big laggy turbos slapped onto it. Turbo Aluminum V8 O_o


EHHHHH i dont care for us engine swaps to japanese whips ither.

but i bet that one hella fun ass car to drive.


This S13 is not my cup of tea.

@BlueSlug: I thought "big laggy turbo" tend to be big? Big turbo cost more than smaller turbo. I don't see how they could be cheap....


good point, but my argument was that a turbo is often cheaper than an NA build to get the same power, especially if you're looking at something like the KA24 the 240sx came with in north america


Yes! Now that is a good example of a purpose built vehicle. I appreciate the LS1 swap, as it takes a decent amount of skill/fabrication work to get this to fit/work properly. If there were a plentiful (and cheap) supply of Japanese V8s that could produce this kind of power for the cost, perhaps that would have been in play. Anything that allows for decent track experience with a decent sense of reliability, I'm all in!


Marocs coupe was very nice and he tracked it on the weds all this season. He recently sold it with a fresh coat of black paint. Car looked awesome. Cant wait to see his next build.


The car is awesome along with the driver. Yeah it may not be the best looking car around in the inside but that just shows you how awesome the driver is. He means business and he drives like it. That car will tear up the track and that's just that.


oh yea for more updated southeast drift coverage and events check out


I ADORE these grassroots drift and race cars sooo much. My favorite posts are on these types of cars for sure.


Where is the comment I posted this morning?



LOL@ you car nerds. Marcos' car was awesome!


Marcos is the #1 reason legal drifting didn't TOTALLY DIE OUT in Atlanta. He is committed to drifting with his heart, and wants to see people in it for the right reasons. He helped step everyone's game up locally... and for that, Atlanta is forever in debt.



I can still remeber the sound of that beast. I miss it. :(


I really like this story Antonio. It's the first attainable car to be seen in months on here. I'm not one to hate but I think this is really a prime example of the Grassroots or "Normal People" cars that should get more play on the Speedhunters site. Like your shots, praying my Camera doesn't hit the Activation number anytime soon, I'm broke!


To STJ: this isn't top secret, this some dudes car, so don't expect the big budget build out of people without sponser stickers all over their cars. the swap wasn't done to impress anyone, it was built to get sideways and do it well. an LS swap is probably the same price or less than the equivalent HP SR20 swap with way more torque. I think this car is bang on, from the cracked ass dash board to the gansta ass wheels


Marcos had a very stout SR in this car for several years prior to the LS.


Re: "at least he has the necessary safety equipment"

Maybe I'm blind, but I do not see a rollbar or rollcage in this car. If this guy is using a fixed back racing seat and 5pt harness without rollover protection, he is a FAR cry from having "proper safety equipment".


DEAD sex, marcos is a really nice guy, too!


Cool! I used to hate American to Japanese car swaps. After riding in an LS2 350z, I think theyre awesome! This car is probably fun as hell.


JamesL third pic shows the though dash cage.


honestly... its what ever... kinda ghetto


I was so impressed by everything, especially the signed hood. That's one of the coolest (and most original) thing I have ever seen. But when I saw the picture of the LS1 engine, I felt bad because it would've been the perfect car. Burn that LS1 and slap on an LS2, kiddin! I mean an SR20DET!


can some one please tell me why this clunky pos was featured


yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!

i was like dang, 265's out back, never mind, it's got an LS1!!!, i dig the car, ridiculous pointless wheels, V8, a few stickers and an autographed meaningful hood. No where near being over built. Strictly FUN


Awesome car and shoot, and no prob on the camera loan! Holler next time you're out here, we gotta throw down on some more Cracker Barrel!


Oh damn, name drop on the daddy d'z. I live walking distance from where this is. It's nice to wake up on Saturday morning and all I hear is tires and motors. I like this cars style, street weapon for sure.


This is a great example of somebody who spends more time worrying about his entry angle into a corner than he does about the next coolest sticker for his rear window.

Its great to see grassroots cars like these getting onto big websites like speedhunters, keep up the good work guys!


Such and awesome car, can't wait till he completes his new project.....


Luv the car

Luv the purpose

can't wait to see the metal in person this weekend

thx for the addiction!


STJ - stop being a jdm fanboi - you wouldn't mind a SR20 in a fox body stang or a E30 BMW for example


love the look of the car
im a JDM purist too, so naturally a LS1 in a S-body doesnt do it for me,
but i can respect the fact he has done it

Dare to be different right??


Congrats Marcos!! The 240 was ganksta!


your a loser.


ego much?

your a fag.


This is a REAL FIGHTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!