Car Spotlight>> Dec Hicks 2010 Jzx81 Cresta

Dec Hicks is not one for following the norm when it comes to drift machinery. He started out his drift career with a MX5 mazda that slowly evolved into a fairly competitive HKS turbo beast then snubbed 'S' body route again with the Z20 Soarer that he has been campaigning for the last few years.

It's a familiar sight to see Dec charging around in a big four door saloon these days so on a recent trip to Germany, my heart sank as he told me that the Z20 was sold. He was considering perhaps going all mainstream with a 180SX or such like for the 2010 season…

However, the idea was a short lived one when a few months later, Dec took delivery of a totally original JZX81 Toyota Cresta N/A auto. Dec had actually seen the car a few years ago being bought at the auctions so when it turned up on Ebay he immediately snapped it up.

… And totally stripped it down. When I say this car is mint, it had to be seen to believed! Not a ding or a spot of rust anywhere – it's a perfect starting point for a competition car.

Out came the old N/A auto lump ready for a new life in Dec's wife's Bedford horsebox..

… And in goes a 1JZ complete with shiny bits and 500hp potential.

In Decs own words "It's a big heavy car and is in such nice condition it'd be criminal to
chop the hell out of it. So I've decided I'm going to build it as a full
on hardcore top spec drift machine but with a few nice comfy bits
thrown in for good measure
". With this in mind the roll cage was designed so the full interior could be retained if need be..

As the car will be road legal the cage design allows wheels and tires to be stowed in the car so driving to and from events is easily possible.

The cage really is a work of art. The more you look the more nice little details you find.

Used as a taxi back in Japan, the Cresta is blessed with 'taxi style' lock as standard.

With the addition of some GTR brakes, Yanak suspension arms/bushes and JIC coilovers the car was pretty much ready for the final touches….

… And here is the 99% finished article.

The paint was so good on the original car that it seemed an almost pointless expense to respray it, so the graphic ideas were rejigged to utilize the original Toyota white.

Comfy bits retained so its still a mile eater as well as a hardcore drift machine.

And of course the 500hp 1JZ  with obligatory sticker.

So with just a few minor tweaks and fiddles Decs 2010 drift car is finished.

He has already scored a 2nd place at the opening round of the Pirelli EDC championship on the cars debut outing so its looking good for the rest of the season.

Its great to see a bit of diversity in UK drifting and to quote Dec again. "Ive created another WTF is that drift car".


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Never found the Crestas particularly attractive. But this one... i want!

And cool fact about the "taxi wheel lock". Is it all JZX81s or only the Cresta?


Not too sure if its only the Cresta Benson. The only down side is the gazillion turns lock to lock.


Wow! That is the sexiest Cresta I have ever had the pleasure to see.


Awesome car, but not as awesome as the Soarer. But very few cars will live up to the awesomeness of that car.


What front knuckles are used to allow coilovers to bolt in? these are great drift cars very slide happy


Wow! wtf..... I like the taxi style lock how do I get that for my cressida. That's insane. I dig the 4 door drift cars. Good Work Man


So sick... but boy do I hate too race car stickers


great build but the end product is kinda fugly..


Only Declan can do a barge with such Flair :)


IMO, just nix that grille and the car would actually look the business. Very nice overall, and props for originality.


That third photo looks exactly like my mother was driving 10+ years ago!

Astounding metamorphosis!


RAD. I'm feelin this. "taxi style" lock?! OMG WTF?! Amazing amount of angle!!! I have been pondering my next car for a while... I think it might be a big Toyota!


like 4 door sedan as a drift car


Saw it on driftworks

Just an epic car!!!


I like these cars. They don't look that good, but they have that typical brute JZX goodness.


I was hoping for a stockish body with minimal vinyl that would go against the norm. Someday drift cars might have a "clean" look


Somewhat disappointed by this spotlight :( A car I'd be REAL interested to read about, but lacking much in the way of substantial information or photos... felt like a "Before, add this, after"... no proper engine bay shots or information about driveline... and it seems that a GZ20 Soarer was referred to as a "big four door saloon"...


Needs more lower


excellent!!!!! any action flicks? video roll?



The finished car looks pretty nice but "the full interior could be retained if need be..". So that's why there's holes all over the dashboard is it. haha


maaaaaaaaan what a car you created.. love it!!

hope you'll take it along to an IDS round this year..?? And hopefully the photographer along with it.. :)

24 completely blown away!!! 4 door v.i.p+1 jz=rockstar...hahhahahah


Soarer as "4-door saloon"? Um... Anyways the Cresta is so much better looking than the USDM Cressida with it's long trunk and different face.


Hi Guys - great to hear the comments on the new, it was some work!

Must say a very big thanks to my sponsors who helped me out along the way, couldnt have done it without these guys! RHD Japan, Universal Turbos, HEL Performance, SJS Design Factory, Rota Wheels, and of course Pirelli Tyres - uber stickyness ;)

Here's a run down on the spec etr

Engine: 1JZ-GTE internally stock (for now)

Turbo: Garrett GT3076r 0.68 rear

Turbonetics external wastegate

Custom downpipe 3"

Japspeed JZX81 exhaust (single box) 3"

650cc Injectors & fuel rail

044 Fuel pump in tank

Greddy Emanage management

Running 1.4-1.6 bar for 450-500bhp+

R154 Transmission

OS Giken Twin Plate Clutch supplied by RHD

Solid engine & gearbox mounts (really bad idea for road use!)

2 Way diff

Hydraulic handbrake

Toyota mechanical handbrake added too (crap left pedal thing normally)

JIC Coilovers - refurbed by JIC courtesy of RHD

Bodykit is made by BIG WIN supplied by RHD

Full Yanak suspension arm set supplied by RHD

Custom modified front knuckles by me

Engine oil cooler & remote filter kit

Power steering Oil cooler

HEL Braided hoses throughout

These have massive lock as standard, but they also have massive ackerman angles too (gay), so I've modified the arms & knucles & moved a few things around to get the uber angle lock out it. Also have widened the front track by about 50mm to do it.

Here's the full build thread on the car which is worth a read


I have the same car in Fiji islands. Looking for a powerful engine for it.


I have the same car in Fiji. Looking for a powerful engine. Any tips where I can find a good one cheap? As currency is low in this country.