Car Feature>> A Recessionary Tale

This story and this car mean an awful lot to me.

I hope you can bear with me as I try to convey the full story for you. It won't be easy but I'll try.

Recession is defined as a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced. It's a pretty cold way of looking at what the economies of the world have been experiencing for the last few years and it is especially cold if you've been hit harder than others. I suppose I don't really need to mention the sort of financial mess Ireland is in, no thanks to a small group of society who lived beyond their means for so long with no thought as to where the repayments would come from. Banks freely giving money away and people willingly taking it was a sure fire recipe for an eventual financial meltdown.

This crisis may have taken hold some two years ago, but it still literally feels yesterday that we woke up and somehow everything had changed. Panic and fear creeped in and people began to face up to the fact they were living in a class beyond their means with no ways of repaying their debt.

People stopped spending money and in turn businesses stopped making money. Businesses then had to leave people go and those let go had to stop spending and so on, so forth the vicious circle continued.

The motoring trade took a particularly hard hit. Where people were once obsessed with keeping up with their neighbors, they soon realized that a car was no longer a statement of social status but had become a utilitarian means of transport.

People were literally running their cars into the ground, affording only to pay for the absolute minimum amount of maintenance to keep their cars' on the road. Garages all around this little green island were shutting down by the dozen, with main dealers letting staff go in their droves.

Small operations with big ambitions were forced to abandon their dreams and instead concentrate on survival. Martin Ffrench was one of those small operations.

Some of you may know the name or be familiar with it, but for those of you who don't let me introduce him to you. Martin is a very close friend of mine and up to even September 2009, things were going pretty good for him. Plans were afoot to build not one, not two but three separate Toyota Altezzas to contest drifting and time attack events across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

You might think that was ambitious and you'd be right. Only those close to Martin would understand the man's determination to show what could be done by such a small organization. Only those of us close to him had no doubt that he could complete these projects.

We all knew first hand his dedication and how he was willing to go to any lengths to make things happen. However, shortly after unveiling his full carbon bodied SXE10 Touring Car things hit a downturn and Martin knew that to survive, he had to walk away from his dreams. The three projects were dead.

It's one of the hardest things I can remember from the last few years, to be unable to help a friend. I could see the effect the times were having on him and was powerless to help. Through no fault of his own he was struggling to survive and the Ffrench that I knew was slowly starting to disappear.

To see a guy with such talent and passion starting to fade away was bad enough but to know that an entire generation of people were suffering the same fate is almost impossible to comprehend. How the f*ck did those with power stand by and let the country drive itself into the ground ?

As the weeks rolled by and no further updates on any of the three cars were forthcoming, criticism began to mount and it was something that Martin took to heart. Although powerless to do anything I could see in him, just how upset and angered he was that he had no control over the situation.

As 2010 progressed,  we had regular chats about how to approach things and I'd quite often get a phone call where he just needed to bounce ideas off of someone before hanging up and ringing back later with a slightly adapted version of his previous idea.

It took a long time for him to drop his dreams but not after fighting tooth and nail in every direction to try and salvage them. Eventually he moved on and inspired by another colleague he excitedly rang me to tell me what they had come up with.

To summarize this idea in the simplest possible terms is this; a quality built drift car that could be re-shelled in a single weekend on a minimum budget.

A car built with thought and and skill but that he would have no qualms to bounce it off another car should the need arise.

Some two years (and sixteen paragraphs) in the making, it is my absolute pleasure to bring you a Speedhunters world exclusive, the Wexican Motorsport SR20 DET SXE10 Toyota Altezza.

Let me detail some of the highlights of the build : 450BHP SR20 DET, TD06 20G, Works wheels and the best bit, it's all road legal.

What Martin lacked in the financial means he more than made up for with talent, ingenuity and raw passion.

Most would consider a 'budget' build to have as many corners cut as possible but not Martin. Being a bit of a perfectionist, everything had to be done right from the off. No short cuts, no half-assing.

As he often tells me, it's as easy to do something right and tidy than to it rough and wrong.

Having stripped the wiring loom completely from the car, the car still features fully working heaters, wipers, indicators, headlights, dips, parking lights and brake lights. It might sound obvious but it's amazing how many competition cars don't have working heaters or anything else except brake lights.

The car still has the performance to keep it competitive, 450BHP is more than enough for any European series and with lots of custom designed and built components the car will have no problems keeping up with the best Europe can offer.

It's small things like retaining a full dash, centre console and door cards that keep things looking civilised on the inside.

The shell is that of a 1999 Altezza RS200 which was originally to be Martin's road car. The car is currently fitted with a Cusco bolt-in cage which will meet the requirements of most series here.

Although not ideal as far as chassis rigidity goes, it does at least
mean the car can be reshelled quickly and easily should the worst
happen. However, a fully prepared shell with a full competition weld-in
cage is almost complete should Martin find the standard chassis is not
up to spec.

Extra steering lock has been achieved by using his own designs for modified hubs, inner and outer tie rods, lower wishbones, tension rods and Cusco top front camber arms.

The kit is a bit of a bastardisation; a modified vertex front bumper with modified Hippo Sleek sideskirts, Wexican Motorsport arches and an Origin GT wing. The doors and boot lid are Wexican designed and were created by Carbon Fusion.

The front wheels are Work CR Kai's in 17×9 ET-5 and the rears are Rota Torques in 18×9.5 ET5 painted in Wexican Motorsport blue. I know the age-old hate of Rota wheels will inevitably pop up in the comments but think of it this way, spend the extra money on wheels that do the same thing or use the same money for more tires and extra seat time? It's pretty simple once you remove brand loyalty.

You'll probably have noticed the fact there is no exhaust exiting beside the rear diffuser. This is because the exhaust exits under the car to avoid it being damaged in a rear end in collision.

The front canards are also Wexican in design and Martin asked me could I put this question to those of you who've made it this far : Leave them white or re-create them in carbon fibre ?

Shooting this car was such a surreal experience for me. I've dreamt about this shoot for so, so long. To see the car moving under it's own power was in it's own way a little bit emotional. Isn't it amazing how big lumps of metal can hold such a place in our hearts' ?

So the journey begins for Martin once more.

Having fought his way back from the brink, it'll be baby steps, just one at a time as the car develops over the course of the next while. I can honestly say that I don't think many people will be as happy as me to see him back on track as he brings an incredible level of natural talent to any event he competes in. Anyone who has seen the guy drive will testify to the fact that the boy has some serious skills.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Martin Ffrench is back.


Paddy McGrath

Wexican Motorsport Toyota Altezza with SR20-DET Specification

1999 Toyota Altezza RS200
Wexican Motorsport Arches – made by
Wexican Motorsport Rear Diffuser – made by
Standard Rear Altezza Bumper with Lip
Vertex front bumper modified to Wexican Motorsport specification
Hippo Sleek sideskirts modified to Wexican Motorsport specification
Hippo Sleek rear spoiler lip
Wexican Motorsport carbon fibre front door skins – made by
Wexican Motorsport boot skin – made by
Origin GT Wing
Wexican Motorsport canards – made by
Wexican Motorsport tubs – made by
Universal carbon fibre mirrors
Lexan Marguard windows – made by Plastics4Performance
Late Japanese spec rear lights
Work CR Kai front wheels in 17×9 ET-5
Rota Torque rear wheels in 18×9.5 ET-5
Toyo T1R 225/45/17
Toyota Supra front brakes with Project Mu brake pads
Standard rear brakes with Project Mu pads
Braided brake lines
Wexican Motorsport rear adjustable lower wishbones
Wexican Motorsport rear adjustable traction arms
Wexican Motorsport rear adjustable toe arms
Wexican Motorsport rear modified top wishbones
4.1 final drive with Cusco 2-way LSD
Wexican Motorsport front lower wishbones
Wexican Motorsport inner and outer tie rods
Wexican Motorsport modified front hubs
Wexican Motorsport front tension rods and brackets
Wexican Motorsport front roll centre adjusters
Cusco top front camber arms
Wexican Motorsport modified front subframe
HSD Coilovers supplied by Driftworks
Cusco anti-roll bars (front & rear)
Cusco under-body bracing (front&rear)
Standard fuel tank with uprated Altezza fuel pump feeding swirlpot and Wexican Motorsport fuel return.
Five litre swirl pot in boot
Bosch 044 fuel pump in swirl pot
Braided fuel lines
FSE Bullet fuel filter
Greddy TD06-20G turbo
87mm Greddy pistons
Uprated rods
Unknown camshafts
Greddy fuel pressure regulator
1.2mm steel head gasket
850cc injectors
Uprated throttle body
OS Giken twin plate clutch
RB25 gearbox
Wexican Motorsport one piece steel propshaft
Wexican Motorsport wiring loom
Cusco bolt-in rollcage
Race Technology digital dash display
Greddy gauges (oil temperature, oil pressure, boost, water temperature, fuel pressure, exhaust temperature) and controller
Greddy boost controller
Sparco steering wheel
Sparco harnesses
Thrash Racing seats
Upright hydraulic handbrake
Factory heaters
Custom switch panel and light controls.

Titan Autoworks
Plastics 4 Performance
WKD Imports



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I forgot about this one... Glad to see the finished product.


very nice article + images Paddy, I enjoyed reading every word.


Awesome story + pics. Wd.


I don't approve of the engine


Wonderful pictures and car, but that story was a joke. Someone going from building 3 top end track cars, and being forced to do the humiliating choice of ONLY 1 carbon fibered full on track build because he's "Feeling the recession"? I live in Detroit, this is almost insulting... this guy doesn't even remotely know what an automotive recession feels like.


Great story.




At least he finished the project....

Nice article & image Paddy!


I say go with the carbon fiber front canards, it would make the carbon fiber look more balanced on the car.


Keep them white, understated and functional

Nice article keep em coming


Great read mate, fantastic photos picking out defined details.

Well done.


Rad. I say leave the canards white


Rad. I say leave the canards white


Awesome read! I don't approve of the motor but who cares! White canards. It looks natural.


fair play lad savage build


Im in love, this car considering what it went through to become what it is turned out perfect..clean..functional...perfection. Very well done, the photography matches perfect aswell, this is by far my favorite post on speedhunters to date


what an awesome looking car glad you got it finished and the very best of luck with it,and the canards well i think better white x


glad to see french back on track with his project, and didnt let set backs keep him from his passions, cant wait to see him compete in ireland next year,


Again great pics and writeup Paddy! Love the creation m has made! Keep em white


Leave 'em white. It looks cleaner that way.


haha wexican..... Aiva la rasa.


Your write up was BRILLIANT purely because I'm sure so many of us have and are still feeling the pinch of the recession and the dreams it has killed or that have been put on the back burner.

I remember when a post was made with his scheme of having 3 different Altezzas with their wild varations in engines. Great to see at least one of them made it through. Thumbs up!!!


Paddy - good to see your photos improving exponentially! Keep up the good work


This car is legend.


Great article & pictures, but you guys seriously need to hire a grammar checker. Unforgivable mistakes for a blog of this caliber.


best article yet (in my opinion) ! like the story, love the car


I never knew ireland was suffering the pain of a third world famine..


make them carbon.


In regards to the canards, I say go carbon. A: nothing quite does it like raw carbon, and it would also balance the carbon on the sides and rear.


I actually liked reading the background story, and leave the canards white.


wasnt this supposed to be 13b powered?


Veery nice, I'm usually not a fan of bright coloured rims but along with the doors it gives this car the perfect amount of presence without overdoing it. I say CF the front canards to break up the front end a bit.


canards should stay white.

I also think he might want to consider painting the trunk and possibly the doors to match the car.


Recreate them in Carbon :)


Err, what's wrong with Rota wheels can someone tell me?

Thanks : )


absolutely mint mate!

Love the crash-friendly prep and i definately think that the car should remain untouched-aesthetically at least.

No worries about the recession, dont think that will be over any time soon, so plant or raise your food and keep up with building cars in order to forget about money. It's the only way!(and I live in Greece)


Amazing car, amazing article, amazing pictures! :D Nice!




Thanks for the info.. And nice pictures too..


Nice, I remember seeing a shot of a barely finished Altezza with blue Emotions in an old warehouse. Is that the same car/one of the projects? Its great that despite the circumstances, something as sweet as this comes into fruition! The canards would look good in carbon, helps to break the white color in the front of the car (seeing the carbon doors, boot and rear diffuser). And honestly, I couldn't spot the difference between the Emotions and Rotas! Nicely done, well proportioned Altezza this is ;)


I do like the overall car, but I'm a bit of a purist, would have preferred a toyota engine, i.e. the 3SGE.


I don't get the concept of "reshelling" and "bouncing off another car".

Anyone have an explanation?

But so inspirational :)


Re-create the front canard in carbon and that's pure commitmen to car's.


GreY to see this car come alive, I thought that this car was abandoned, awesome pictures and incredible write up, great work and congradulations.

P.s. Canards in carbon, it would bring a little balance to the front since there is so much in the rear and none in the front.


Glad he managed to finish the project..i was wondering what happened to this car after the last feature of the build some long long time a far far away galaxy!!!


One of the best articles in the whole year. Well done!


Absolutly love it and can't wait to skid along side it :D



Always said he was some guy to build quality competitive cars.

That alongside him being probably in the Top 3 Drifters in Europe are the ultimate combo!



Did the recession cuts mean he wasn't able to paint all the car?

Unpainted doors/bootlid looks balls.


great article and its a beautiful lookin car and your rite martin has a great driving talent , i think you should go with the carbon fibre canards , they would give the front end that extra bit of wats the word oomph



this guy knows what a recession feels like. ireland is 300 billion in debt because of certain powers that be. i have seen my friends over there go from happy and carefree to penny pinching everything they possibly can, selling what they can, and holding onto only what is necessary. if you knew martin ffrench like paddy would, im sure you would understand way more


How much of the other shells have survived, Paddy? Will Martin have the option of working on them at a later stage, or has he cannibalized all the best bits for this car?


carbon fibre canards it will m ake them stick out, well done Ffrench, glad to see you back dude ;-)



Holding on to only what is necessary means abandoning everything but the family car. Holding on to only what is necessary means withdrawing your retirement savings to make the mortgage.

.... holding onto only what is necessary does not mean building a full blown drift car.

Ireland is not the only country in debt. I'm sure it may seem that way to many of you unappreciative enthusiasts who think this is a "sacrifice".


Martin Ffrench the living legend, this is a great story amazing car build and this guys deseveres top sponsorship

Best looking Altezza out there

@Tekniq- Have you not seen the news lately Ireland basically got taken over by the european union on monday!! Like USA going under and Canada bailing it out.....


It`s ironic to read all your complaining about how tragic it is to see how an economic recession affects peoples economies and lives, and then go on to read how you defend his choice of wheels.

If you think that the people at Work, Rays, SSR etc haven`t lost money from being ass-raped by ROTA, I think you need to rethink your view on the whole situation. Selling cheap wheels that looks good and works OK is not a problem. Selling cheap wheels that looks good because you stole the design from someone else, that IS a problem in my book. Why can`t ROTA design their own wheels? Does anyone else see a problem with this kind of business ethics?

If your workplace had to cut down on staffing, or even close their doors due to another company ripping off your "unique" design and selling them for 1/3 of the price, do you think you`d see that as fair? Just like todays ROTA-buyers, the customers that buys the stuff you produce for a living saw money that could be saved, money that could be better spent elsewhere, just like you said.

I want put it in another way, just to make sure that everyone understands why this is about MUCH MUCH more than just the "brand loyality" you speak of.

Lets say (just hypothetically) that Martin Ffrench produces a kit for installing a SR20 into an Altezza. To ensure a proper product, he spends a lot of time on testing, and uses manual labour and high quality materials to be 100% sure that the customers get a top product. This leads to the price being a little high, but the people who are willing to pay for such quality are buying this kit all over the world. After a few years, a company in the Philippines copies Martins SR20 kit. By saving massive amounts of money on using lower quality materials and (more or less) no development costs, they are able to sell the kit for under half the price. So now people can swap SR20`s into their Altezzas for a lower price, a company in the Phillipines makes shitloads of money, and Martin Ffrench sells maybe 5% of the kits he used to. Who is the winner and who is the loser in this case?

The winner isn`t all the people who gets access to cheap sr20 swap kits (even though they have more money for tires and driving time, which is pretty important according to Paddy) but the retarded cynicals who made the copy just to further increase the amount of money they have stacked away under their mattress. People do this out of greed, just like the banks in Ireland and a lot of other countries were greedy when they loaned money to people they KNEW wouldn`t be able to pay when the interest rates went up.

Of course, if this knockoff-thingy was to happen, Martin would lose a lot of money. He might even go bankrupt if the swap kit was his biggest seller. But still, he isn`t the only loser. All the guys in the car community as a whole would also be losers, maybe the biggest losers of them all; It`s doubtful that Martin would invest time and money in developing more groundbreaking parts when he has the risk of being ripped off again hanging over him. When talented companies are reluctant to produce new products due to copycats, we all lose. Just read this link, a perfect example of what I`m talking about:

Companies like ROTA and all the people who supports their products are slowly killing the tuning industry. There are enough documented examples to prove this. So Paddy, while your pictures and your story is very good, your reflections regarding knock off products makes me feel sorry for everyone who puts ther money, time, passion and pride into developing and making proper products for true car enthusiasts.


My heart aches...


I Love This Car....


Fantastic work by Paddy and Martin once again


Man have to say I'm in a simalar situation myself building a car with no real full time jobs and selling everything I dont need but still trying to hang onto what matters.

Well done for finishing her and best of luck in the new year mate. She is an absolutely animal


A dream comes true. I'm so glad to see this beautiful art of work. As a Automotive Systems Engineering student, this is it ! Nice pics and story - THANKS PADDY


Awesome car in the flesh, savage amount of work gone into her, well done Martin and Paddy on the feature...


White canards, They work and will be cheaper to replace than Carbon ones.

So what has happened to the other two cars? Have they been Sold and Given up on or are they in storeage awaiting funding?


tp racing is mad as fuck


very nice well done, a credit to you


Ohhhh yeahhhhhh... Sweeeet Paddy..

Martin has finally got there.. Congrats..

top Photography


alot of work and effort gone in there ;) but it begs the question, why? why not just have the sr20 in its own shell or why not turbo the tezza lump?


Excellent ! But, it would much better IMHO with a more exclusive 3SGTE... just sayin'


Wow. Haha, even if Rota didn't exist, I doubt people would be saving their money for the wheels they replicate or steal their designs from. Times are too tough right now, and companies like Rays, Work, etc.. still don't provide a product line to cater to people who can't afford high end wheels. As nice as it would be to own a set of genuine TE37's or in this case a full set of CR Kai's, it's unattainable In addition to being impractical for the everyday end user. That is Rota's Niche. They saw an opportunity to capitalize on people's desire to own high end wheels, and delivered them similar products at a fraction of the price. This isn't to say that what they have done over the years is right by any means, but it is what it is. GET OVER IT. I love this car, and I'm glad to see it finished, mainly because I own an IS300. And leave the Canards white. Why spend time and money on something that may be stronger but serve no purpose to be, and only slightly lighter? Save that money and buy a pair of Kai's.


Reshelling is putting all upgraded/useful/needed parts from a Bad/damaged shel onto a new shell.

he's done it so in the event he has a crash , all undamaged parts can be salvaged on another car

i'd say leave the canards white, i think you'd need a Carbon bonnet/splitter to pull them of in C/F


This is pure heart and soul. Hats off to you Martin!


Thank you so much for all the comments. I cant even begin to tell you how excited i am to have this car finished. I would to thank all the people who made this possible you all know who you are. And a special thanks to speedhunters and patrick mcgrath for bringing this to all of you.

@Tekniq this car was built by taking one unfinished track car and one unfinished road car mixing in some parts from the carbon car and this is what we got. Im glad you like the end result.

@Cudder that was infact a different car which now gathers dust in the workshop.

@Tan Yee Hou there is nothing wrong with rota wheels, i myself would prefer to have a matching set of works but you have to use what youve got.

@HamBlu this is a concept i like to call a dispossable drift car, this does not mean that i will abuse or disrespect the car in any way it simply means that if it had a big impact it could be reshelled quickly and cost effectively.

@Matt House nor me i cant wait to skid alongside people with it.

@deadpirate thank you whoever you are.

@Vdubbin @Slider S15 all of the other shells still survive and yes i have taken bits from them but hopefully i will get to do something with them also.

@Billy O'Hanlon ive already had an sr in a nissan and a 3sge in an altezza so time to mix it up a little.

Just to mention i know there are people out there who are worse off than me. We just told it as it was this is my story and i was lucky enough to be able to come out the other side with an awesome car.

I hope this shows people that if they want something bad enough they can achieve it.

Martin Ffrench.


HamBlu said:

I don't get the concept of "reshelling" and "bouncing off another car".

Anyone have an explanation?

But so inspirational :)

reshelling , this is a drift car but road leagal.. at a drift event cliping the wall with your back bumper gives your more points but its self is risky as you could can right off the car meaning (road off) then the term reshelling comes in where they get the another altezza shell or hole car and convert all the parts onto the other shell meaning reshell

good write up paddy and the car turned out well fair pay martin :-) looking forward to seeing it in action next year.... is the track shell still the same way as it was at sleek fx this yr


keep up the great work! Economy be damned!


Thank you so much for all the comments. I cant even begin to tell you how excited i am to have this car finished. I would to thank all the people who made this possible you all know who you are. And a special thanks to speedhunters and patrick mcgrath for bringing this to all of you.

@Tekniq this car was built by taking one unfinished track car and one unfinished road car mixing in some parts from the carbon car and this is what we got. Im glad you like the end result.

@Cudder that was infact a different car which now gathers dust in the workshop.

@Tan Yee Hou there is nothing wrong with rota wheels, i myself would prefer to have a matching set of works but you have to use what youve got.

@HamBlu this is a concept i like to call a dispossable drift car, this does not mean that i will abuse or disrespect the car in any way it simply means that if it had a big impact it could be reshelled quickly and cost effectively.

@Matt House nor me i cant wait to skid alongside people with it.

@deadpirate thank you whoever you are.

@Vdubbin @Slider S15 all of the other shells still survive and yes i have taken bits from them but hopefully i will get to do something with them also.

@Billy O'Hanlon ive already had an sr in a nissan and a 3sge in an altezza so time to mix it up a little.

Just to mention i know there are people out there who are worse off than me. We just told it as it was this is my story and i was lucky enough to be able to come out the other side with an awesome car.

I hope this shows people that if they want something bad enough they can achieve it.

Martin Ffrench.


Fantastic car and article. I say recreate them in carbon so the doors have CF buddies. The bumper looks to white and needs to be broken up.

The entire build and background story was fantastic, keep up the good work!


glad to see this car again congrats to ffrenchie and canards stay white as it'll look like a 1 off bumper


savage work (as always).. savage car.. savage write up.. savage pics

well done lads


Such a deep article paddy. Truely brilliant. Gud 2 see frenchy's guna b bak in action :)


great story! the car looks simply amazng, awesome car! glad to see it finished


I definitely appreciate the car and love the photography.

Unfortunately, I'm quite insulted that you would imply that this person has sacrificed their dreams for the recession yet owns a car of this caliber. The recession for most of us isn't taken so lightly. We didn't just have to reign in our passion for the hobby a tiny bit... we had to sell off our projects and abandon our hopes of enjoying any hobbies whatsoever to focus on important things like taking care of our children, putting food on the table, etc.

To say that this man has sacrificed is a slap in the face to the rest of us. I can guarantee the majority of your readership has sacrificed much, much more than building a single "dream" car instead of three. Many of us could never own a single car of this caliber... recession or not.

I enjoy SpeedHunters because I appreciate the journeys, stories, features, and travels that you guys experience. I live vicariously through what you do because I don't have the means to enjoy this hobby at this time. Please be more considerate of your story lines as this article was insulting to read.


Funny how you're talking about the economic hard times hitting your friends and how it's so so sad, but when ROTA literally STEALS a wheel design from another company and takes dollars out of Work Wheel's pockets with every set sold, you're all cool with it.

There's no way to justify buying fake product. Work spent time, money, and effort designing the CR Kai, and now ROTA is profiting from it. If you're sad to see all these cool companies in the car industry going out of business, you should probably not promote ROTA.


love the color of rims


Nice car, but damn I wish I was in the kind of recession this guy is in. Keep the canards white. Why spend more money and recreate them in carbon if your in a supposed recession?!?!


Impressive. I'm glad to see Martin bounce back, after all he is a fellow Wexford man. It would've been a shame if he had to give up, serious wasted talent like. I remember back in the day when Martin started drifting I went to Prodrift to see him and Nigel Colfer, another fellow Wexford man, compete in Prodrift. I was younger so to be fair I couldn't judge it then, but looking back on old clips on You Tube etc you can see the raw talent this man has! Martin Ffrench will be a name never forgotton in the Drifing scene.

Keep her lit Ffrenchy!


epic car martin fairplay...good engine choice too :)


Nice car man! Great spec list =) WHY RB???? WHY not Toyota?


Great photos, leave the canards white, and I like the engine choice


class thread! savage read an my opinion would be redo the canards in carbon fibre


absolutely savage! can't wait to see her in action!


good job martin, the cars a credit to you and shows your dedication

looking forward to seeing this in action, best of luck with her


lovely read and pics!

good luck way it ffrenchy


mondello do it

i want a sr20 altezza in my life


Judging by all the great comments that has surfaced from this great story, i even felt the pain in his story , and the victory as well, This 2 me is one of the greatest story ever told about a Tuner and his dreams !


Lovely ride up, and amazing pic's! (1. pic for wallpaper)

And to answer the question, I would say he should re-create the canards in carbon fibre...


Awesome to see this project up and running. I was wondering what happened to it. Mr. Ffrench, I wish you the best in your future. And as for the canards... I say keep them white.


Ffrenchy, through all the shit, you still manage to build something inspirational. Proud to be your friend man!


great write-up Paddy! and amazing photos. I'd say keep the canards in white, the kit is already loud enough as it is ;)


the engine selection is a sin, why?


I really wasn't expecting this much of a response, so just a quick thank you to all of you who took time to comment and in other cases present a well thought out and valid debate. Thank you.

I just want to say that this article wasn't created to belittle other peoples situations or to insult people or to say that Martin had it worse than anyone else, it was created to tell a story of hope that might inspire people who are finding it tough at the moment that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

TP Racing,

I have to give you 100% credit for your argument. I think it's the first time someone sat down here and wrote out a well thought out and comprehensive response to the Rota debate. Kudos to you. Although there is a lot more to it than what both you and I are talking about, I can definitely appreciate your side of the argument and I have to admit, you've opened my eyes a little bit.

I'll try get some desktops uploaded over the weekend, have a safe one everyone !


Great writeup paddy loved reading this

After watching Martin in manchester this year and rebuilding his car on the saturday night was great see someone with so much passion for the sport

@TP Racing you do have a very good point and like paddy said credit you with your argument

Yes Rota have effected the industry hugely but its not entirely all there fault for the downfall of the japnese companies

Look at Japspeed- All there products are direct replicas of all the parts in japan, be it exhausts,intercoolers,radiators, alignment arms they could of had a bigger effect, you just cant get away from these companies as its just what happened...

Recession wise you really need to see how bad ireland is, it is the cheapest place to buy drift cars outside of japan in the world as 50% of the drivers had to give the sport up or are breaking the cars, and what was once a huge sport in ireland has nearly dissapeared with not much following due to fans not even affording the entrance to spectate at an event


mitto your not his friend :)

got to say about time and it came out just the way i thought it would nice one


disposable drift cars the way to go


Glad to see that not all the Irish car enthusiasts have died because of the "economic decline". This is definitely one for the books! Great to hear its back in business.

Will you be competing in Prodrift 2011?

And yes, front canards should be carbon fibre.


Sweet looking car hope to see u in competition with it soon


Sweet looking car hope to see u in competition with it soon


just talk'n to ya early'r, had a look fair play 2 ya martin!!!!


im so glad to see the finished product. amazing story. oh and definatley keep the canards white


How much boost is this car running? My SR20 has an identical setup with TD06-20G running 19psi with 390BHP


amazing,simply amazing


@ tp racing:

I completely agree with what you said.

This guy ain't know what a true recession means.

When u don't even have money to buy food to survive, not contemplating whether or not he can finish his 3 race car.

As usual, SP fails.


I remember all those hours we've spent building cars in the past few months and the times when i've helped you out with large sums of cash. Knowing that i never needed or wanted it back as i could always get more. and then you just seemed to dissapear.

And now i know why you were hardly on the xbox much you were busy building this insane car. Personally i like the idea of the SR20 motor and hey parts and mods for that engine are probably the easiest to find so in this recession it probably makes sense.

So yeah congratulations on a job well done dude. Hopefully now you can get back to what really matters "THE XBOX" lol


a very nice feature in deed. though i would've loved it more if you kept the engine within the toyota family a 2jz maybe?


What an over-exaggerated story! If this guy were really struggling, he would have had to sell all his HOBBY assets. I'd love to see what the author thinks about other countries' situation. Ie. Haiti, Namibia, Nigeria etc. Not sure how he could distinguish between the extremity's outlined in this story, and the one of a third world, poverty struck country.


Nice one Ffenchie, it pays to be stubborn and never give up on a dream!!! Proud of you


Awsome car and article nice to see it finally finsihed. hope you use it in anger.


It was inevitable that his wheel selection would be the topic of discussion. Let's give the man credit for a great car. Let's put an end to this whole JDM legit versus real thread. Remember from a business perspective there are no winners or losers. All that matters is profit. Do you honestly think there is ETHICS in business? Capitalism doesn't promote stagnant marks, rather it always must be gain. Don't you think its selfish or hypocritical of you to be complaining about FAKE WHEEL COMPANIES when you live in a developed nation? How MANY OF YOUR CLOTHES ARE MADE IN CHINA,CAMBODIA OR INDIA? What about the electronics that you purchase? Do you even realize how many people suffer and get paid little to nothing so you can buy your Iphones, sweaters and other useless junk for the amount you pay for. I'm guessing no.

A lot of car guys need to stop complaining about the whole industry debate of JDM vs buying phony products. There are other unethical business pratices to complain and worry about. If this is the only unethical business pratice you know, I'm afraid your a selfish self centered a-hole. In the end profit is what matters. We can continue to cry about this when Rays can solve the problem with Rota. Why not make cheap cast versions of the expensive wheels you have now?


looking good martin, be good to see you out competing full time again. as for the the wheels thing im on the same boat rather than buy the dearer wheels the saving can go to tyres and seat time, theres nothing i would love more than a set of hyper zero 1 wheels but i rather be out drifting than looking out at the car saying she looks nice but i cant afford to go drifting cause ive no money left. good luck next year lad hope to see you up in the north drifting..........


I always dreamed of building an SR powered altezza so I love this car. To the losers banging on about Rota stealing customers..I dont see how - Rays and Volk choose to only build high end product and high end is never ever high volume. The focus of their product is light weight. They could just as easily offer heavier versons for less cost and sold in volume but they chose not to.


think some people are missing the point of the story completely.....


fair play lad


now lets be having yee on forza again


Wow, so happy to see this car finally finished, it's an absolute credit to Martin, and knowing him and seeing his talents I expected nothing less than a finished article of this immense quality, portrayed on this occasion by a man of equal talents in his own field, Well done Paddy and Martin.

Best of luck with the car in the future,



only thing I dont particularly like the the nissan engine in a car that can take the best toyota performance engines but I guess to each his own still. Nothing to me like a Boosted JZ blowing off.


AWSOME RIDE!!! but white can never beat the pattern of carbon fiber though... XD


I just want to say that this car is excellent. I saw photo's of the fully carbon one with the single seat. That is engineering genius, It looks like a jgtc effort, absolutely brilliant, I'm sorry to hear about the hard times, and i hope you haven't fully given up your dream yet, just sit on them for a while. I hope to see the one i mentioned above finished someday. Goodluck .


Sick. As. Hell.


On a rather wet and winter's day at Mondello Park, I finally got to see and be a part of something


For the majority of the Need for Speed team, this was their first Irish Prodrift event. Rod, Ross and


One of the biggest divides within the automotive community in recent times has been the constant and


Dude i know this is four years late but keep them white and keep u poo the work this is one of the dopest buolds ive seen and may i say bravo, and work the fucking hell out of that car