Last weekend at the Formula Drift awards banquet, an award for "Best Looking Car" was given out. I'm not exactly sure what criteria was used in the judging, but I don't disagree with the results. As part of our Driver's Month features on Speedhunters, we figured it'd be the perfect time to do a feature on the "Rossta" S15. On Saturday morning I took a short drive over to Garage Boso in Gardena where co-owner Frank Siharath showed me around the shop and rolled out the infamous multicolored S15 for some photos.
Drifting is all about making an impression, and unfortunately a lot of pro drift cars these days lose character in the name of improved performance or pleasing sponsors. Now you can't expect all pro drift cars to be slammed on the ground tucking 19's, but it's a breath of fresh air to a see a car that's built to pro level, yet overflows with personality. Enter the Garage Boso S15.
Naturally us Americans should be curious how this "exotic" Japanese
machine made its way onto US shores. One of Ross' friends from Okinawa accidentally wrecked a borrowed drift car while in the states, and gave Ross an S15 shell as a way of apologizing. After a
full month of dealing with customs, the Silvia was finally on its way
to California (along with a container's worth of JDM parts). Ross used
the car for a few events here and there, including the Formula D event in
Mexico last year. In preparation for the '09 season, the car went under the knife for a full a makeover.
When the first pictures of the car surfaced before the start of the
season, people's opinions were split on the rasta-themed
paintwork and the over the top style. The haters were made be believers
when the finished car showed up in Long Beach for the start of the
season ready to roll. After running a full season of Formula D
competition, the car has brought nothing but good exposure for both
Ross Petty as a driver and for Garage Boso as a business. Unlike most pro drift cars, all the work on this car was done in-house at Garage Boso – the paint and body work, the fabrication, the engine, the tuning, and everything else.
There's no better place to start than with the car's graphics scheme. The giant demon on the hood was designed and drawn by a friend of Frank's at Angry Guy Art Studios in San Francisco. In case you are wondering about the hood itself, it's from M-Sports in Japan.
The symbol of Okinawa is also featured in the car's graphics scheme, as Ross has spent a lot of his life on the island.
The bumpers and the side skirts on the car are all from D-Max…
…as are the fat over-fenders in both the front and rear, improving on the already muscular looks of the S15.
Nope, no V8 here. Under the hood is an SR20DET displacing 2.4 liters thanks to a Brian Crower stroker kit. Other engine work includes a high end Escort intake manifold, titanium rods, and a custom-ported head. Frank says that this particular engine setup was in development for over a year.
The turbine is a twinscroll Garrett 3071R, which helps the SR make over 560 horsepower. Even with the addition of multiple fans, high engine temps are the only thing preventing the car from making even more power.
Cooling is handled by Griffin, who designed an intercooler, radiator, and oil cooler all to custom spec for Ross and Frank. In this photo you can also see the "bash bars" that can be found under the front bumper. Fortunately the bars have yet to be tested…
The rear view shows the Apexi exhaust system that's been modified for "off-road" use. The drivetrain work on this car includes an OS Giken gear set in the transmission, an OS twin plate clutch, and a beefier R34 Skyline rear differential and axles with a Kaaz LSD.
The inside of the car is just as stylish as the outside. How many other cars in Formula D have double DIN navi units, stock door panels, and a full center console complete with cupholders?
Here you can see the custom roll cage that Frank built, and the pair of Bride bucket seats with one-off "Garage Boso Edition" seatbelt harnesses.
One more view of the cockpit, complete with Sparco steering wheel and a whole catalog's worth of Apexi gauges.
The wheels on the car are Work XSA-03C's in the classy-looking "WBC" finish – sized 18×9 in the front and 18×10 out back. Tires are Falken Azenis RT615's 235/40/18 front and 255/40/18 in the back.
The car's suspension setup is basic, yet functional. There are Apexi Drift Spec coilovers, GP Sports knuckles, and TEIN tie rods, while everything else remains factory-spec.
So far the car has proved itself on the track, helping Ross drive to a 13th place finish in the '09 Formula D standings. One of the most memorable events for the Garage Boso team was in Seattle. An engine blow during practice forced an all-night wrenching session before Ross went on to win a tandem round with a stock SR replacement engine under the hood!
Both Ross and Frank have been very satisfied with the car this year, and the only changes they are planning for the offseason is redoing the paint and graphics with higher end materials. It's been so much fun watching this car compete this year, and I'm already pumped to see how Ross, Frank, and crew will do next year.
Stay tuned for some more photos from my trip to Garage Boso!