Gallery>> Mtp Preps For Long Beach

No matter how well things were planned or how on time things were going to be, it always seems to be a curse of all car guys that the night before any event, they're always up putting their cars back together at the last minute. It could for a car show, an autox, a track day, a competitive race event, or in Team Need for Speed driver, Matt Powers', case, it's first round of the 2011 Formula D season in Long Beach. 

I met up with Matt at his crew chief, Costa Gialamas', garage in San Clemente, CA. It was a good hour of driving from the FD track in Long Beach. 

At the shop, Matt was busy finishing up of his S14. Here, he was drilling holes into his bumper so he can mount on the indicator lights.

As you may have guessed, with all the preview photos we've been posting of Matt's car on the Speedhunters Facebook page, Matt will be sporting a brand new body kit for the 2011 season. With the help of fellow speedhunter, Dino, Matt was able to get his hands on a full Rocket Bunny kit.

You may have noticed the turquoise and pink cheetah print. It's part of his new livery for the 2011 season. The cheetah print will be on the driver side with pink wheels and on the left side, it will be business as usual with the highlighter green zebra print and highlighter green wheels. The overall effect cannot be conveyed through photos, it's definitely something that is best experienced in person.

He's also swapped the 17" Gram Lights 57Ds to 18".

Sweet angle, bro.

No, that's not a smushed human under Matt's S14…

…but rather, it's Costa installing a new clutch into the S14. Notice the gold foil surrounding the header and exhaust. Matt and Costa has definitely stepped it up. Costa is confident that the package they've put together, with the new engine, suspension and other refreshed bits, will be very competitive. 

Despite the car not making tech on Thursday and with an almost-finished car, I found Matt to be relaxed and in good spirits. 

Matt loves his Stack gauges and carbon dashboard so much that he licks it occasionally. 

Today, qualifying starts…

…and Matt will be competing in his refreshed S14 for the first time.

We can't wait to see what the car and the driver will be capable of this year. 




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looking at the bash bars on the front I cant help but notice how little of the original car is left... I know they do it to be competitive and that's also the logic behind the LSX so rather then blaming the builders for making cars that work well within the rules I have to wonder if the FD rule book is to blame for these rather unpopular custom fabricated Frankenstein cars. I'd like to think that if FD ran a street legal class that everyone could have the best of both worlds but I'm not going to hold my breath.


Car looks great! I'm sure it will sound shit but it will be fast :D


There are clear headlights in the opening shot...but not on track. Saving them for game day?


why doesnt FD do a street legal class? thatd be rad


IMHO...the blue/pink is a bit OTT. Yellow Zebra side looks way better. Also too much black at the front.

Crazy SR would be way cooler too.

Dude does a mean skid though, can't deny...


A street legal class in FD would be a fantastic idea. It would certainly help the up-and-coming drivers get more coverage and perhaps we could see more Powers and Assbo soon-to-be's......

Plus it would be great to see more grassroots cars being flung around big FD courses. If there's one thing I've learned from following the Am-Class drifting events on this website is that the Am's go for it, 100% all the time and I have no doubt they'd go just as hard and heavy as the Pro's would


I agree with the street legal class idea. It would also be great if they ran more events on the east coast as well. It's tough to find any good organizations around the northern atlantic region.


forget this deathtrap, what about the sentra in the back of the first picture? NO ONE builds those ever.


Could have done without the boxer shot.


Why isn't mats car legal. You could rock that anyway on the streets here in Canada. And every one loves frankenstien.


Matt's car looking real clean. Diggin the Rocket Bunny body kit.


thats sik.


I like the new car a lot, it looks really good! I also love the choices in wheel color!


Looks great!

Matt is definitely going the right way with the motorswap. Will be interesting to see his performance this year.


very colourful.. like the helmet in a strange kind of way!!


Thumbs down for the V8 swap... Looks like saying "im from the old roots" is a nice way to conquer sponsors and fans, but when the money comes in, that's a diferent story....


Well, it's something called SPONSOR they rule the rules and the events these days, the pilots are just employees... Money usually ruins every damm FUNNNN thing is this world (nice paint job but i did not like so much the blue and pink thing)


@discoquinn: thats the Dog II, built by Mike Kojima of MotoIQ. its a reincarnation of a past race car. lots of trick shit on that car.

its quick as shit too


PBM still king.


Just getting my brain around drifting (more of a throwback v8 drag race guy) but a street legal class would be a killer way to help grow the sport. Drag racing began to lose it's soul when big sponsorship money pushed the smaller guys out. Speed became a matter of cubic dollars and now you have vehicles that look nothing like there "stock" counterparts. Don't get me wrong, 300mph nitro funny cars are cool, but to encourage grass roots participation,it's important to see vehicles the average gearhead can relate to going down (or around) the track.

On that note, gonna try and get some of my drag racin', hot roddin' buddies out to the Monroe FD event to see what you "damn kids" are up to with yer sideways driving...


FWIW, you may or may not be able to license something like the S14 most places here in the US - from what I remember, the LS swap isn't technically legal in states with the CA emissions standard, but some smog shops in the Sac area were pretty lenient about stuff like that if you didn't have a fix-it ticket telling you to smog your crap. I dunno about places with safety inspections, but I'd figure places that knew what they were looking at would know it was safe.

Also, I didn't notice the Dog II in the top pic till discoquinn said something. lol...


Boxer shot =lamest thiing on speedhunters history. Seriously??

Livery = as ugly as the other cars

rest of the car looks sweet


@ Rom.

if the lsx swap is not legal? a sr20 swap def cant be legal correct? and a turbo ka is going to be hard as balls to pull of to. the ls is prob the most smog legal of all said swaps esp on this level where the turbo cars are using race gas etc...

How would you guys build up this street legal class? if you just trying to find ways to keep the lsx outt then I have to disagree. the LS is still 1 of the cheapest, most dependable street swaps out. I know a decent amount of people with street s chassis with ls motors in it. making a rule to only allow factory motors once again is going to hurt alot of up and comer drifters.

the big money teams can actually afford high end exotic 4/6cyl turbo technology. but all the grassroot people you speak of would not be able to hold their own out there.

FD courses are built to be BIG, Big speed, Big angle, Big Power. and Big Power 4 cyls is expensive. cheap 4cyls operating in their area are not going to make enough power to support the Big Setup of FD.

Even in a Street Class an LS1 powered s13 thats gutted is going to be the best option with its power band and price...


to those of you asking about legalities of the V8 swaps:

GM offers the "E-Rod" package as a CARB legal 50 state swap, and it comes with EVERYTHING you need to make it work in ANY chassis, american, german, italian, japanese, ALL cars in ALL 50 states can have the e-rod swap, they just have to pass safety inspections, which if you dont go hacking up the whole car to swap it, you should be fine with inspections.

Matts motor is NOT an E-Rod kit, as the GM E-Rod swap uses an LS3. Matts motor is an ACTUAL LS7 from the C6 corvette Z06.. bored and stroked to 427cuin from GM. you CAN stamp out the LS3 in the e-rod kit to 427cuin and essentially create this same beast. (although it wont techincally be emissions legal anymore though, but no CARB inspector will be looking inside your motor, itll just have to pass emissions out of the tailpipe, not difficult.)

YOU CAN LEGALLY SWAP THE E-ROD V8 INTO ANY AND ALL CARS (that itll fit) IN ALL 50 STATES. you can thank GM for that,


how about some update's on other drivers?

im sick of seeing MTP posts every other day, as far as FD he is my least favorite.




c'mon, screw this hipster and his boxers, i wanna see some in depth coverage of other NFS drivers,

not MTP on his cell phone looking like a DB


Meh.........FD has ruined the f#$king scene.....


Sentra on TE37's in the background!


"he licks it occasionally" ROFL!!!


I don't see any boxer shots? You guys mean boxer like the engine or boxers as in the underwear?


I bet this car is way better than the old car in handling and speed.

Kudos to matt for having balls to shun the close-minded and become competitive!!!!!


great performance today!!

impact and weight transition of that 2nd run were great!!

and the car looks amazing!! so damn unique, but i had to get used to the mint/pink stuff ;)

good luck for competition Mr Powers!! go for podium!!!


Congrats on the qualify run, can't wait till this thing kicks off tomorrow. Car looks good.

Hey if all you guys want grass roots drifting why are you watching a sponsored event? There are tons of grassroots events that need your support. Get out there people then you will have nothing to complain about.

This is the top level, meaning to be competetive you have to grow as the other teams grow or drop to the side.


i love all this shit


I agree with LiveFast on the whole V8 swap in in Formula D issue.

Big power four cylinders are still cool in my book (don't hate) but teams will go with what is practical, cheap and reliable. SR20DET's aren't legal since they were never offered in 240's in America; it complies with Japanese emissions only just like RB's.

A simple V8 swap is smog legal if you have all the emissions equipment to pass California smog.

For drifting, this is a great platform to use because of the torque present throughout the RPM change etc..

To the driver, this means less breakdowns and more seat time.

The exterior of Matt's car is still questionable though but that has nothing to do with the way the car is setup, let's see more consistent runs with the new motor.



dude matt powers is roots. mad mike is a freaking 100% clown. he sucks at driving, and just cuz hes pro in NZ, he gets hooked up by the sponsors here in the states. Powers gets less money, and does way better per round. Mad mike was "most improved driver" last year, in other words, he sucked, and now his mediocre.

mark my words on a Powers top 5 finish this year. Mad Mike will be floundering somewhere in the 20's.

And powers isnt a hipster: he happens to be more into surfing, and its culture, than motorsports culture, and monster energy drink t-shirts, aka the metal mullisha. the metal mullisha breed DBags



dude matt powers is roots. mad mike is a freaking 100% clown. he sucks at driving, and just cuz hes pro in NZ, he gets hooked up by the sponsors here in the states. Powers gets less money, and does way better per round. Mad mike was "most improved driver" last year, in other words, he sucked, and now his mediocre.

mark my words on a Powers top 5 finish this year. Mad Mike will be floundering somewhere in the 20's.

And powers isnt a hipster: he happens to be more into surfing, and its culture, than motorsports culture, and monster energy drink t-shirts, aka the metal mullisha. the metal mullisha breed DBags


At first I wasn't that sure about the paintjob...

Normally I like the "silent" (Essa's Z4) or "classic" (Falken cars or Grunewald' Camaro) paintjobs better, but god...

That thing looks sooo cool when going balls out sideways! Absolutely love it!

BTW: Congrats to second place in Long Beach!


Dude, Matt Powers needs to pull his f***** pants up. He looks like a 10th grader.


awsome livery! but still cant stick my thumb up 4 the v8 convertion though... =/


Congrats on 2nd place Matt! Especially on the unanimous win against Rhys! Haters keep hatin'! They're never going to anywhere, so they keep bashin' just to make themselves feel important. :p And I can go on and on about the pros and cons of a V8 compared to a I-4 with forced induction, so just pipe down and enjoy the show, quit getting drunk off that haterade!


WHOA! i want to see something about that beetle in the background!