Guest Blog: Larry Chen>> Missile Car Party

Recently some of the Formula Drift drivers built Missile cars with the intention of just messing around. Soon it became a trend. No one actually knows who started it but it seems like it’s the thing to do now for pro drivers during the off season. 

A missile car is a drift car that is all function with no regard to how it looks, but it has to be done on a budget. Heck you don’t even need a windshield. It is utter chaos when these guys get on the track and it’s not uncommon to get sandwiched. 

Chris Forsberg does not have to change his own tires at Formula D anymore but when it comes to his S13 missile car he does not mind doing all the work. 

Chris put this beast together for around 4 thousand dollars. The KA24DET power plant is putting down around 300 wheel horsepower. 

The exhaust shoots strait up because he was afraid if it shot strait down he would break the turbo if he accidently goes off road. I told him he needs to make it a real smoke stack with the flapper and everything. 

The interior is simple with just a steering wheel, spin turn knob and roll cage for all those demolition derby encounters. 

David Briggs from Canada came out to practice in his main competition car but it turned into a missile car very fast after getting sandwiched by Mike Essa and Chris Forsberg. 

David will be competing in XDC next year as well as Top Drift. 

Joon Maeng brought out his sub 100 horsepower missile car. In true Missile car fashion he spray painted the wheels AND the tires really quickly right before the event.

Ryan Clemans brought out his Missile FC powered by an LS1 out of a 2004 GTO. 

Ryan was amazed that for it being 40 degrees outside his car ran very hot. Maybe something broke from all that bumping and rubbing. 

Alex Vildini brought out his main car. But like David Briggs it quickly turned into a Missile car after a few love taps. 

Justin Pawlak never ceases to amaze me. He built this Turbo FC that has 200 wheel horsepower for only $3700. It should be a gentleman's rule that all missile cars should be built for under four thousand dollars. 

To save money Justin made his own angle kit at his shop Hotline in Gardena, CA. After testing on his Missile car he is now selling his Hotline version two angle kit. 

Also in true missile car fashion, all of Justin's belts popped off after 4 back to back laps. He almost burned his finger trying to open up the radiator cap after the car ran with no water pump. 

This convertible S13 driven by Josh Chang is LS1 powered. I don't really like the LS motor movement but I can't really deny its reliability and power potential. 

I spy a National Geographic photographer from the 70's. I am sure Will's beard kept him warm in the morning when it started snowing. 

Jason Aquino drove the official Just Drift Missile Corolla. This car was the only one slow enough to tandem with Joon. By the end of the day joon and Jason both had some serious battle scars. 

The track was wet from a light snow storm, so Jason decided to "dry" off the track with a drift rental. 

I was wondering what everyone was laughing at. 

It turns out Mike caught some air going off road while leading a five car train and bent his wheels. 

Good times had by all! 

It almost looks like David Briggs was trying to get revenge by trying to pit maneuver Chris after getting sandwiched. 

Yoshie Shuyama was driving a time attack at the road course, but she could not resist coming to "Balcony Version 3" to do some missiling of her own. 

It's not so bad if you are in the very back of a drift train and you spin out. But I bet everyone clenches their bottoms when the lead car spins out. 

Chris even brought out his little dog to enjoy the carnage. 

Mike decided to decorate Chris' door with his front tire. 

The Balcony used to be a very safe course. Now that there is this "barrel chute" you can hit a cinder block wall or go off a cliff. 

Just Drift organizer Charlie Ongsingco thought it would be a good idea host this event for a good cause. All the drivers brought out unwrapped gifts to donate to charity for a discounted entry fee. At the end of the day 3 full bins of toys were collected. 

I was sad that I didn't see a five car pileup at the barrel chute. Somehow everyone always got through that narrow space. 

It is nice to see pro drifters working together to get closer, instead of trying to run away from each other like in normal competition. 

I don't know who's idea it was to let Jason lead in the corolla, but luckily he held his own. 

The gas pedal on the AE86 might as well have been an on-off switch the way Jason was driving. 

By the end of the day only two missiles were still running. So on the last run Mike just decides he wants to ride Chris' door all the way though the barrel chute. 

I can't imagine this trend will die off anytime soon. I am already hearing about other drift missile projects through the grape vine. So expect to see more missile car action before the start of the 2011 Formula Drift season. 




Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

haha i'd do that to a rental.


i like that last photo, beautiful


It seems the crashing on purpose? Whaat..? That's about as uncool as a dog wearing a sweater.


AWESOME!!! Looked like soooo much fun. Can't wait to come out their and battle it out.


good to see Jason getting some press, that dude is an incredible driver.


Missiles are beautiful. I'll leave it at that.


We call them beaters in New Zealand and they have been around for a few years now


Please give any of those drift missiles and i would drive like my daily car, they are just great!!


so much for recession,


I'm going out to get one now! it looks so much fun!


love the barrel chute.. sweet. ebisu has a drift missile movement going. here's a link





Awesome stuff, brings back the fun to drifting.


Last photo for wallpaper! It's a must, great photographer!


wow a bunch of morons drifitng into each other lets start a new trend damm idiots


Henry, non-competition tandem drifting might as well be called a contact sport.

its inevitable that youre going to contact someone else when you dont much care about the looks of the cars.

as long as they drive straight, turn and stop who cares what they look like? im sure most of those cars already looked like shit. you cant build a 300hp FD RX7 AND have it look nice for 4 grand.

priorities man.


Cannot wait to see some of that video Mr. Herron was shooting!


ha i was at that track drifting about a week and a half ago, but it was raining that day so we save a lot of tire. nice pics


Haha I'm so disappointed that I didn't make it up for this. I love the fact that these guys still have a passion for 'grassroots' drifting after all these years in professional competition.


The drift Rental would be a decant Dirt car with some modifications. :)

Cool blog post newer the less/ ;)


I would LOVE to have a missile.....all the fun of drifting without the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ of the "drift look". WIN.

"Dude, your car looks like a piece of $#*%"

"Don't care. F&$# off. Having too much fun actually driving."


The whole point of a missile (at least here in japan) is to take a cheap, already damaged, lightly modded drift car and use it as a practice car. That way, in the event something bad happens to it, your not out a bunch of money, and the parts that are into the car should easily transfer to another shell or can be sold off to pay for the car. Example of a missile spec car: Daigo's jzx90, coilovers, boost up, diff, welded engine/transmission mount. DONE! 4 grand spent on a missile just seems rediculous to me. Whenever I move back to the states I plan on doing one for like 1500, MAX! All you need is some blown coilovers, welded diff, and 14's or 15's on the rear with high tire pressure for a na s13!!! How much can that be??? Anywho, nice pics Larry! (As always). Too bad these FD drivers won't drive this close in an actual event...


missiles are the true drift machines.


Could we get a wallpaper of the last picture? The scenery is just so nice!


Did anyone notice that the person who wrote this article has pretty much no idea what a "missile" is?

It doesn't have to be beat up or look like crap, and the point isn't to wreck them. Spray painting some wheels and getting overspray on the tires is lazy, not "true missile fashion". You don't "do some missiling" and they aren't supposed to break. Sure they do, but so do regular drift cars, it's not the point of a missile to be a pos, you want them to mechanically be fine.

Now I'm going to see how long it takes before everyone calls their beat up pos a missile because of a misinforming article like this on such a widely read website.


How much did ESSA's car cost with that LS and dog box trans, etc etc? im sure more than 4k all together. I think a missile isnt about how much it costed, its about not giving a F about hitting a wall/painting it/body kits/ blah blah blah. Just a beat up body, and a good setup. however much that setup costs someone.


Looked like a BLAST!!!!!!

Yes I NEED to build a missile now!!!

The Voice can become the heat seeking missile driver now... We'll see....Hmmmm






don't need alot of power to drift. spend cheap money on the basics, spend money on what keeps you drifting (tires, gas)

Thismissle trend originated from japan... it's been this way for YEARS... Shit burg got the idea of the truck style echaust from a 81 cresta while he was at matsuri.

this isn't new. Just keep in mind of what keeps drifting fun. low$$$ and friends that aren't dicks about getting their cars smashed into.


how are people going to call this dumb? how do you think the Japanese have go soo damn good at tandem. if you don't push the boundaries of how close you can get then how are you going to get any better. main reason why FD tandem is so lame. there like 15ft apart. its like watching practice.


Never bring a competition car out to a missile event otherwise u end up like some of these dumb dumbs. Ruining a car that is already super effed up is fine to me but if it is saveable with some work/new panels it's a sin against motoring


well said Billy. also this post makes it sound somehow like Americans invented the missile? Missiles have been around since the dawn of time in Japan, and in Aus they have been around in their own interpretation since early this decade in the form or dunga KE70's, R31's and Commodore's etc


This post is great, thank you


Billy summed it up pretty well. Yes, missile cars have been popular in japan for quite some time. When I went to Spring Matsuri this year, I was amazed at how much fun bare bones drift cars were! I actually got to drive Diagos chaser, it was awesome. Yes, his car is as simple as it gets, and I wish I could get something comparable here in the US. Unfortunately, you can’t buy a car with a running 1j motor in it in the states for 1000 bucks then put an intake and exhaust on and make 400hp. Japan has it good! I know 4k might sound like a lot, but when you do the math an S13 w/ running DOHC, turbo kit, fuel management, roll cage (needed to run tandem in US), suspension, seat and belts, wheels. You buy all those for the absolute cheapest you can find and it’s already up to $3-4k, that’s assuming you can cut your knuckles & weld your diff yourself. There are plenty of kids out there with rims that cost almost that much. But I'd rather have another drift car to go have fun in than one set of banging rims.

Also, it’s honestly the best practice I have ever had. We have been able to push the limits without potentially breaking or damaging someone’s sweet drift car. We are not out there trying to hit each other, just getting as close as possible! The funny thing about all the contact we have had, is that absolutely no one has lost drift, spun out, or crashed from the nudging. Yet in Formula Drift there are drivers who manage to fly off the track or spin out from the smallest tap by the chase car... makes me wonder.


Chris, your last comment is a good one, it comes down to commitment, people get scared in pretty cars, they bail out of situations, and often it results worse than if they'd just committed to it.

A great example is watching people who haven't done a lot of aggressive drifting tapping walls, they get near the wall, get worried and straighten the car and try and get the rear end away from the wall, the change of momentum then combined with the hit puts the front end into the wall as well.

Missiles teach you a tonne of skills, unfortunately in the states it looks like they are becoming more of a fashion accessory more than anything.


Something something missile something missile something something missile. Missile missile something, something missile missile something. Don't you think? Missile something something something missile.


Thanks for the shout out Larry!

I don't have a nice pretty competition car, so therefore my vehicle is actually a Peasant Car, not a Missile.

The only Missiles there that day were driven by Forsberg, JTP and Essa. The rest of them were just Peasant Cars.

And Forsberg summed it up perfectly. We are not trying to run into walls/each other, just push the limits of tandem driving and not give a damn what happens to our cars.

Many of you are so cynical. Do you not enjoy anything in life? If you can't understand how INSANELY FUN we are having with our cars, why do you browse this automotive website at all?


Opening shot is AMAZING. :DDDDDD