Archive>>the Odd Driftmobiles Of Japan

Yesterday I was flipping through the latest issue of Drift Tengoku magazine when I came across the section that regularly features abnormal drift cars from around Japan. This month's issue had some pretty incredible one cars, one was a bitchin' VIP Y34 Gloria built by Supermade that had been swapped with an SR20 and a manual, and the other was an SR20-powered Toyota Platz (the FF econo car that was sold in North America as the Echo) that the owner had converted to rear wheel drive using Silvia parts. Seeing these crazy drift cars got me thinking that it'd be cool to do a little post showing some of the oddball drift cars I've spotted at events in Japan.

You'll probably recognize the car in the opening shot from the post I did a couple weeks ago. This Daihatsu Mira kei car was seen at Honjo Circuit last summer during the MSC event, and the driver was shocking the crowd and the judges with his drifting technique. As I recall, he advanced quite deep into the competition, beating a lot of drivers in more traditional FR cars.

With a potent engine and a rear-drive chasis you'd think the Z32 Fairlady would be a more popular drift car, but the Power's Factory D1 car is the only Z32 I can recall seeing at a drift event in Japan. Kind of a shame because I think the Z's body does lend itself well to the drift car treatment.

OK so this wasn't taken at a drift event, but the driver of this Hakosuka was so content sliding around Tsukuba's first hairpin during the JCCA summer meet that I had to include it here.

The Nissan Y33 chassis is typically reserved for VIP and dress-up style, but every once in a while you'll see someone putting one of these big sedans through their paces on the drift course.

The same goes for this older model Y32, which was actually drifting at the same event.

SR20-powered DR30 Skyline doing the deed at the HKS Premium Day at Fuji Speedway. I'm in love with this car.

I'd be interested to see what the Subaru rally purists think of cars like this. This is one of a few privateer-built drift GC8's I've seen in Japan.

I'd certainly rate this flared B110 Sunny Truck as one of the coolest cars (trucks?) that I've ever seen at a drift event.

The boxy shape of the Nissan Stagea might make it look a bit strange while drifting, but underneath the car shares a ton of parts with other Nissan FR platforms. It also helps that you can buy used Stageas for dirt cheap in Japan – for a while I was even thinking about buying one.

More kei drifting goodness from the Rex Tomokai team during the 2008 D1 Odaiba event. The crowd had just as much fun watching these guys as they did watching the Team Orange drift show that followed.

I'm not sure if you can really call the nana-maru Corolla an odd drift car, but they are certainly much rarer at drift gatherings than their AE86 successors.

Finally, another shot of the Honda NSX that appears at the occasional Kanto area drift event. I could be mistaken, but I can't recall seeing another drift-tuned NSX anywhere in the world.

And now a question. If you could build an off-the-wall drift car, what would it be?

Mine would probably be a van of some sort, a Nissan Elgrand perhaps.

-Mike Garrett



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I love the estima/previa drifters. Its almost like a big kei car, if that makes any sense, you always looks like your gonna roll. I love the stagea and the z32,


wow...i love that small daihatsu, looks really angry! if i could build something, it would be skoda rapid...dirt cheap here, rear engined, rwd and i never seen it drifting..


That stagea looks awesome :)

i would build either a RWD subaru legacy waggon or RWD Evo 4


nissan figaro.... why not?


I would do a Nissan fuga with a 350Z manual swap and twin turbo the VQ35DE to 700bhp!


i would do a RWD conversion on my 2003 toyota camry and drift it all over palos verdes.


I would build a drift limo slammed to the ground! (Maybe use a nice new 2009 Caddy limo)


Hakosuka all the way!!!


Hmm, why not a nice S2000? I suppose it's not exactly an obscure car to tune, but I don't see them being very popular driftwise, which is a shame since they're quite gorgeous.


Dang, thats where the photo was. I've been trying to remember where I saw that pink sunny truck for ages. Malaysia put me off course. Boom, right there.


an '80s monte carlo, lol


Off the wall drift car...... Toyota Previa =D


Any more info on the running gear inthe Y33?? I've always been tempted to merge my s13 and y33 into one car.


MORE CONVERSION DRIFTERS. Especially Hondas, if not, then at least K.Hatakeyama's Civic, or the like!


I would get myself a Suzuki Capuccino. It's cool, it's got a nice engine, it's FR and it's pretty easy to park in the city since it's small ^__^

Pure WIN!



I often got a stiffer when I think about a drift Cappuccino. Then I think about shoving a 13B in there and BAM. Man, dreams without money....


Toyota Tacoma.


Please post more kei cars!

I've got one of the older Daihatsu Mira's for me first car, and love seeing nicely modded jdm one's

shame nobody rep's em lol


rwd converted mazdaspeed6, after owning one of those things, and knowing how tail end happy this fwd chassis is in awd, i think this shit would slide for ages rwd! vehicle has massive prescense, and would be awsome to see a mazda 4 door roasting the rears.


Gillig Phantom!

Subaru Brat!


How about a 2008+ drift STI? A drifting hatch. How about a Datsun 210 or 240Z? Why not?


Mazerati GrandTurismo drift car anyone? Maybe a lotus elise or an slk amg? Both a bit pricy, but so awesome, i would love to see those cars drift tuned!


id probably get an AW11 , or an SW20 although the lotus elise sounds cool its just too pricy for my taste


A rwd Isuzu Impulse aka Piazza. Italian (Giugiaro) 80's wedge styling and a rear live axle like the AE86 would make a unique drift machine. Growing up, I always saw a slammed white one and it looked stunning.


My off-the-wall drift car would have to be a AE101 Toyota Levin


How about a Toyota Prius?


i would have to build a datsun 510. Its squared body with a 13b in it would kill on the track.


I would do a checker cab, painted just like the old new york taxis. It would have to be after tons of work. Second option would be a caterham similar to pfeiffer's locust, funny how different those choices are.


Alfa Romeo 156 GTA Sportwagon, just because it is only right to see a stylish wagon sideways!


love the stagea! i'm building a is300 sportcross right now. wagon love.


Definately a Ford Escort MK1 with a 2.3L N/A Duratec or a Mazda 808.


Nice pic of the KE70 Corolla and the DR30 Skyline!

But no pics of a AA63 Carina then?? :'(


Hehe, well there are more unique drift cars in Malaysia as well. The nana-maru Corolla is a pretty common drift car at grassroot drift events since its cheap and easy to modify.

As for my drift machine, it would definitely be a VW Beetle with a EJ20/25 swap. Just look for it in the near future, hahahahahaha......


What about Renault Laguna II with FR conversion and SR20DET :D What a fantasy :)


If I had to do an off the wall drift car I would make it a Honda Beat.


A bit more of a european touch - I would convert Red Opel Astra Coupe OPC X-Treme 2001from almost DTM car to the real drift mobile. Crazy, but quite possible - 444ps & 530nm is already here; Juxt tune the suspension and put some stickers!


Who said Maserati? XD Why not an FXX?

Seriously... an old Fiat Panda 4WD!


I've wondered that about Z32s as well. My OTW drift car would be a Volvo Amazon estate with the 300hp turbo 5 right outta the new Focus RS (keeping it in the Volvo family)!


my off-the-wall build...

toyota celsior with a 2jz

mazda rx7 (sa22c) with a 20b


The most recent issue of Drift Tengoku as an awesome SR20 Toyota Platz (RWD converted Toyota Echo). It's awesome.


I love that sunny pickup. I would do a 85 Monte Carlo or Buick Regal


there was an nsx drift car in the uk a few years ago but it didnt last very long. I think it was owned by kiki from option motorsport, and appeared in a few uk magazines :)


I would build a 70- 74 Plymouth Cuda. It would have a 650 hp small block hemi supercharged and run a XV Motorsports stage 2 suspension. fiberglass the HELL out of it. The weird part is that I would run a auto trans in it. Won't be able to do clutch kick but it would save the drive train. The only hard part is finding a damn Cuda, they go to hell so fast in Michigan. My 66 Dodge Coronet is gonig to be my solo race car/ starter drift car/ and daily driver when I get it running. Like always keep up the kick ass work guys.BOOOOSH!


any one thinking about a 370z drift cat?


Vauxhall VXR8


Here you go guys.

I got some inspiration from the drift tengoku the other day too.

The Y33 wears a body kit called "INSTANT GENTLEMAN". Awesome!

Runs Black 19" Work Miester as Drift wheels. Yaaaaa!

Super made blog


A subaru SVX/Alcyone with an STI engine and tranny, chopped for RWD goodness. Those cars where quite beautiful. Giugiaro styling, wide, low, sounds like a winner.


i think any car from outside japan that is tuned for drifting is an odd choice. even when i watch vipers and mustangs in FormulaD, it still just feels weird IMO


el caminooooo


caterham rs 500 anyone ??


dont u have photos of the sr20 platz???

i really like to watch it



Where are the MR2's lol those are rare for drifting! I'd like to do a 1st gen Aristo, or maybe a Cresta, those would be sweet:D


s2000 running gear. in a mk1 golf. or maybe a jetta. might look abit more right in a jetta.


i would do a toyota prius with a swapped 1jzgte and a 300 shot of nos


Haha, this is great! Love this kind of features. Is that Mira RWD converted? Any pics or links for the sr20 Platz? Drifting a Stagea must be ... interesting? :) I thought all Stagea's were 4WD. First generation came with 2WD?

I would want to build an RWD Integra with a supercharged F20C, now that would be something to drift for all the Honda fans out there :D Why are there no drifting S2000?


Hillman IMP with a turbocharged EJ20 conversion would be BEST! (already got mine underway! hehe)

I also have a truck like that sittin out the back, but its 4WD! Would it be healthy to run it wit the 4WD box with no front CV's?


a 1991 nissan d21 hardbody pickup with the dropin converstion sr20det


I'd Build an 87' Buick GNX!!!!! V6 AND twin-turbo? Just think of the smoke bellowing from behind this american monster..... Oh the madness!!!!!!!!! LOL


i like to see an amg really drifting

i see them get slide happy in corners

but someone needs to get serious angle in a clk55 or sl55amg

or could u see nomuken in like a s500 benz drifting lol


I would build up a new Mazda Miata and put an FD RX& rotary in it.


I would take a U.S. Postal truck (the small white ones) and put a V6 somewhere in the car, drop it to the ground and drift it like crazy...


How about my dads mid 1980's suzuki sierra (known as the samurai in japan) with a ca18det, rollcage, re-worked suspension....just the stock motor would make enough power to roast the rears all day long as it only weighs 800kg!


Loving the Z32. Satoru Koyama is awesome.