The Top 25 Liveries Of Formula Drift
Part 1

When it comes to racecars, the first thing that catches your attention is the livery. While I’ve heard of the saying, ‘The car looks good no matter what when it’s in the winners circle’, I’m not exactly sure if that’s true. To me, a strong visual identity is just as important as a reliable engine. A racecar’s livery is what people remember and the timeless ones will live on forever etched in our memories.

Each of us have our favorites, and of all the classic liveries, those by Gulf Oil, Jägermeister, Marlboro, Martini, and Castrol really stick out to me. Which got me thinking about all of the liveries I’ve come across in the North American drifting scene over the years. So I dug through my archives and came up with my 25 all-time favorites.


In no specific order, let’s begin with this Hankook Tire Porsche drift car. While many drift cars have run the Hankook colors, I think this rear-engined 993 RS wore them the best.


Red Bull has supported the sport of drifting from its stateside beginnings, and they’ve always had some of the most beautiful racecars on the grid. Out of all of them, I think Rhys Millen’s Pontiac Solstice looked the best.


Having an R34 Skyline competing in the Formula Drift series was cool enough in its own right, but the fact that it has Signal Auto’s signature Maziora chameleon paint job was the cherry on top. There was no bad angle to shoot this car from.


In terms of showstopping liveries, I can’t think of anything crazier than Samuel Hubinette’s Dodge SRT10. While chrome doesn’t usually work on racecars, I feel like this Mopar pulled it off quite well.


I really like to see teams coming up with original designs for liveries, but sometimes it’s nice to see a reboot of a classic. The Mazda 787B Le Mans look actually fit Tony Angelo’s RX-8 really well – the colors popped like no other, making it one of the best looking drift cars of its time.


Unique paint combinations will always stand out and Ken Gushi’s BASF/Scion Racing livery looked amazing against the tC’s neon colored wheels.


In terms of liveries that shook the drifting world, Ross Petty’s Rasta-inspired S15 comes to mind. There were a slew of copycats after this car debuted in 2009, but none of them came close to the style that the Garage Boso S15 had.


While the RX-8 was a less than desirable street car, there were plenty of race versions that looked amazing. Out of all the revisions Kyle Mohan’s car went through, I still like the original camo scheme the best.


Sometimes the most simple things can set off a car’s look, and the red running lights on this Dodge Challenger are the perfect example. Although, as you can see here, Kenny Moen decided to put his own spin on what the bodywork should look like.


The last Dodge on my list belongs to Dean Kearney’s tire slayer. It looks amazing from all angles, but best from above. Many teams neglect the roof of the car, but I just love how it gives a completely different perspective on this digi-camo livery.


In terms of original and iconic American liveries, Walker Wilkerson’s S13 is probably one of the most notable. While many privateers skimp out in this department, Walker went out of his way to run something that stood out, which made him a crowd favorite.


Continuing with S13s, my all-time favorite S13 drift car has to be Daijiro Yoshihara’s championship-winning Discount Tire car from 2011. I just love the way the car looks when it’s sideways, and this variation with the red and white accents really stood out.


While there have been plenty of Mustangs in and out of the paddock, the Frankenstein-inspired livery for Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s 2012 Mustang was my absolute favorite. It really worked with the lines of the car and the green highlights set it off nicely.

Part 2

Sometimes simple is the best way to go. Mike Essa did his best to develop the Z4 chassis for drifting, but unfortunately he didn’t achieve the results that he was hoping for. It’s too bad because the car looked absolutely amazing.


Many Nissan Z cars have competed in the FD field but I have to say that Chris Forsberg’s 2012 livery suited the car the best. While I like the all-carbon look from the 2014 season, I love the orange more – which may or may not have something to do with my own Z, Ole Orange Bang.


Forrest Wang has always had incredible style and his S14 was probably one of the best looking cars on grid in 2013. While the design was simple, it looked stunning from all angles. Rumor has it that he is building an S15 for the 2015 season, so I am curious to see what it will look like.


Maybe I have a soft spot for orange cars, but there is just something about Danny George’s Miata that I really like. Perhaps it’s because the car was totally out of place, but I loved how he incorporated photos of his supporters into its livery.


The GReddy Scion FR-S driven by Ken Gushi has gone through three liveries, but I think this very Japanese-looking wrap from the 2013 season fitted in perfectly with the styling of the 86.


Retaks-sponsored cars have always looked great, but this past year’s FR-S driven by Ryan Tuerck takes the cake. I love the colors and the mismatching wheels that set it off perfectly.


While the whole cheetah print thing has been done to death in recent years, it’ll still look great if executed properly. Dave Briggs is unique in that he is the only one left running a Nissan inline four cylinder turbo motor, so it’s only fitting that he has a unique livery for his S14.


Of course, you can’t mention American drifting without mentioning the Falken teal and blue scallops, which have been seen in Formula Drift since day one. Daijiro Yoshihara’s all-new twin turbo BRZ is nothing short of amazing, with a very aggressive look from all angles.


Of all the Falken cars past and present, Darren McNamara’s hardtop Saturn Sky is my favorite. In fact, I think it’s one of the best looking drift cars to have ever graced the FD paddock.


Let’s finish off my list with Team Speedhunters. All of the Speedhunters car liveries were designed by Andy Blackmore, and they’ve become quite iconic with many teams all around the world borrowing traits of the style. To this day, Mad Mike Whiddett still has the most beautiful RX-8 in the world. What an amazing looking car.


Matt Power’s Team NFS/Speedhunters Rocket Bunny S14 (aka The Pirate Ship) was truly amazing. The style at the time was pretty groundbreaking, and I think it suited his personality very well. This S14 inspired many enthusiasts to take another look at the zenki model, when at the time most people were only interested in the S14’s kouki version.


Finally, the Papadakis Racing Scion tC driven by our very own Fredric Aasbø finishes off my Top 25. While the car has gone through many looks and variations on a similar livery, I think this latest one with the Rocket Bunny kit really sets the car off. If only the tC came in rear-wheel drive so we could see more of these cars getting sideways.

These are my 25 favorite liveries from Formula Drift. Now tell me – what are your favorite liveries in drifting and racing in general?

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto



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Whats going on with speedhunters? It seems like lately you guys are just Recycling old photos and convert them to something like a new Story. Quality and quantity has constantly got down during the last few months. whats up? crisis?
Before i had to visit SH twice a day to catch up all the cool News. now it's enough to read it twice a week to get all the interresting Content..


my favourite definetely is Matt Power's S14, the livery perfectly fits the zenki


@JDMjunkies_ch i guess during summer time there's more content due to more shows etc., and I dont think it's so bad to see some old pics again, it's like a flash back for me


Matt Powers' first iteration of the zebra print-pirate ship.


@JDMjunkies_ch Quit hating Bitch nuts! just be glad they  busting ass to bring us this content at all...for FREE i might add....Douche.


You mentioned them already....Nº 1 Gulf, Nº 2 Martini!


Apex'i RX-7, Top Secret Silvia S15, HKS 86!


Matt Powers FTW!!!


Good to have a look back at the good ol' days Larry... Good to see not only how the liveries and competition style that has changed, but also your own photos over that time. You can really see a divide between your old and new stuff...

Look forward to see if you make it over to J-land this year, take it easy Chen-Zilla (^_^)/


Bummed I don't see Brandon Wicknick's S13 on this list. Way cooler livery that most cars out there today.


LavarBowers  I'm not hating at all. just wondering what happend. This page used to have a TON of daily News and it seems that lately they bring a lot of cars from old photoshoots and Events and recycled stuff. Not that bad. i like this Story. but i wonder what happened.  is it only me?


@JDMjunkies_ch LavarBowers  I think it's because of the holiday season - a lot of recent posts have been retrospective looks back at 2014. And you can't blame them for taking time off over Christmas & the New Year, there aren't many events on now to cover.


not sure if I liked most of the liveries in FD (apart from the Rossta S15) but I do have like most of the liveries in D1! Arguably my most favorite is this.


I think that the best liveries I have come across belong to JGTC or Super GT (as they call it now) cars.
However, I will stick to drifting and showcase my favourite livery up to date.


Thanks Larry, very fun little retrospective. Personal all time most memorable drift car was the maziori painted drifter x Silvia demo car, very similar to the r34 you mentioned.


In my opinion Signal Auto’s was the best together with Ueo's AE86 YUKE's/CUSCO livery of all time. Maybe, HKS's red S15 too.



Matt "Mattycakes" Powers first gen zebra print was the best ever!


Both designed by the same man that drew Dai's car for 2014, AWS Graphics from New Zealand. Both cars competing in King of Europe. Francesco Conti (Liberty Walk Supercharged M3 E92 GT4-622HP) and Adam Frank (Cartu Drifting 2JZ M3 E46 GTR -1000HP)


westhave While I like that car too, I think it was not as refined as the second version. I do agree with you that it was a groundbreaking livery.


Roughsmoke Leaving for J-land in 24 hours.


Mosthated985 While I like Brandons livery, I am not sure if was ground breaking. I do like his driving style though, which is why I focused on him during his rookie year.


@TROLLS ROYCE For sure, if I were to pick out D1 Liveries, this would be up there. As well as Kazama's S15.


@JDMjunkies_ch It's normal for us to showcase some retrospective stories at this time of year - always good to reflect on what people have enjoyed and the highlights of the year! We've all taken a little bit of a break over the last fortnight but we're getting back into the full swing of things this week: expect TAS 2015 coverage from Dino and Larry and plenty more coming up over the next fortnight!


Juha Rintanen has awesome graphics!


Great article Larry! The Fail Crew cars from Russia are some of my favourites, but nothing beats the classic Gulf livery of Christer Halvorsen's 700bhp S15.


Driftfotos Matt Powers, Matt Field, Mats Baribeau, Odi Bakchis in no particular order.


Larry Chen lol - so you go ahead when I'm out of the country.. Trust you (^_^)/
Safe journey and may catch you then later in the year.


I would love to see them on the streets of Japan and see how they hold up with the locals. All you would see is non stops wrecks. A certain unnamed group of American drivers that lived in Japan and are now either pro drivers or judges were nothing but guys who drover horribly and destroyed their cars. Funny to see how they are considered the best in America and in Japan they were borderline demolition derby drivers who could barely do a drift line.


My favourite livery is Fail Crew Camo,Skyline looks amazing!


My favorite FD USA livery has got to be this one, featured on my absolute favorite drift car that has ever taken part in Formula Drift USA. The livery on Mike Essa's BMW M3 E92 with the BMW M5 E60 V10 Engine. Gosh I miss this car so much. If only there were more photos Speedhunters with this car :(


So stoked my design for Dai's BRZ made your list.


My favourite motorsport liveries would have to be Tommi Makinen's Evo VI and Henri Toivenen's Delta S4. They are the ones which are always heavily present in my mind


My favourite motorsport livery has to be the GT3 Schubert-NFS Z4 from 2011. Another Andy design


To see the connection between the game and real racing really was great thinking!


Best liveries ever. BOOM


You forgot about Rob Primo .


forrest addressed the s15 rumors and said his new build is NOT rhd ! and dai's car runs a big single turbo not twins.


Can't believe none of the Rockstar cars were mentioned, as well as JTP's green FC.


Matt Field tho


@TROLLS ROYCE  Theres probably more than that from the JGTC that do it for me.


Larry Chen westhave The first one I think was better for one reason: When you looked at him from the front and he was transitioning from left to right, you got the whole livery flip and it was MIND.BLOWN.


this really is a dumbass sport for those that can't race well, but still want to play with a sticker-ed up


None of Taka Aono's liveries ? for shame!


You have never been to drifting then i guess?


gotta disagree with you Larry, 
the GTO wore it best


BenS867 2013 livery ftw, best looking car on the grid


teeson While I like the GTO livery, I feel like the bull needed to be bigger. See how big it is on the Solstice?


The livery of Mad Mike's RocketBunny RX7, I guess


cutterjones13 what's wrong with "playing" with your car? If its more fun and still competetive then the sport element is still there. And please don't tell me these guys who "can't race well" don't have skill. Have you actually seen the footwork, handwork and coordination involved in low powered drifting? It's better than "stick in 4th and turn left!"


@JDMjunkies_ch If you have followed SH for long enough you would remember that this happens every year! Give them a break and look over the content you haven't ever seen before from waaay back. Keep up the hard work Speedhunters


Can't race well? I see the term fit drag racing even more.


Larry Chen, you sure the Challenger is Kenny Moen's ride? I thought I saw "Samuel Hubinette" above the windows...


Gotta say i have a soft spot for that solstice, that may be because i know a certain someone who purchased it at a jackson auction and it resides in his barn untouched.... best part i don't think he knows what he has!!!


DeanKarnage I bet the pumpkin wins. It does look menacing lol U0001f61cU0001f383


Suddenly people are talking about livery and car style in Formula D. No amount of gasping for air is going to un-sink that ship.


dai's brz is a single turbo


Maciej Bochenek's car looks preety well in all the photos :) .


Dont forget about this bad boy


SeanWilliamSphar cutterjones13 stunt driving ala joey chitwood takes skill, but is not racing either. and no, i haven't gone to one of the events. i'm an adult, it's not marketed for adults.


jay8393 i agree, and I love the sportsman classes. but it's become a 'pull the trigger and hang on' thing now. your crew (and money) is what wins a drag race.

Calvin Australia

I remember a couple years ago i flew to NZ for D1NZ and remember seeing this S13-Jacob Hakaraia


JakWhite My favorite livery from any car, anywhere, EVER. Need For Speed and Andy Blackmore outdid themselves with this car!


@TROLLS ROYCE The Calsonic GT-R is cool but it's literally just words on a car and nothing more. I wouldn't say best liveries.


no mad mike rx7,taka aono ae 86 , yokoi d-max s15?


You're telling me neither rapper or James sikky livery didn't make the cut?!?


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D1RGE EXE JakWhite Thanks all, was a great one to do, but the lines were V2. The previous year it ran without those.
We never really had a chance to check it out for sure, but I had the biggest smile in Dubai in Night Practice standing on the pit lane bridge watching it glow under the flodlights. Note the first time it had been done, but unique in this style.
The vinyl guy had to lay those all by hand as it had to fit the car perfectly.
The mesh is actually from a mid LOD model in NFS Shift. Top LOD was too detailed to replicate.


JakWhite  It won the 24H Dubai (where this shot was) with Tommy Milner, Edward Sandstrom, Augusto Farfus and the seriously quick Cladia Hurtgen.
Alas it did crash at the N24 though :(  We were looking good in that one.


Larry Chen teeson I think they need both bulls smashing heads as is the normal logo.

Its just a good looking livery whatever is wearing it really lol. Rhys' Genesis wore it well too


teeson Larry Chen On the side, its always just the one bull.  Back then it was typical to have RedBull underneath the Bull, but that rule has been dropped now so the Bull and Sun can be larger. In some cases (DTM, FIA Rallycross), Red Bull are now going for an oversized version with no wording.
It is more balanced on the Solstice though ;)


taniguchi's HKS s15, Ueo's cusco/yuke's/ revolver AE86, imamura's apexi FD rx7, nomura's blitz ER34, cyber evo.. not to even mention team proceed from chicago..


jay8393 Larry Chen i was just about to comment on that, i do believe that was hubinette's challenger after he handed the viper over to kearny and before he sold that challenger it to daigo


@TROLLS ROYCE, although the CALSONIC GTR and RE Amemiya RX7 are amongst my favorite GT500 cars, I have to disagree that yhey have "best liveries" was mentioned, they're a solid color with some words. Simple, effective...but not extraordinary.
I do agree with the Takata NSX though (although I'm more partial to their more green liveries as opposed to the yellow).
The Castol livery is classic...I love some of the old Tom's Supras! I would add the Raybrig NSX to the list of GT500 cars too.


Dumbest comments I've seen in a minute lol.
Racing isn't the be all end all of being an auto enthusiast.


Oops, hit post too soon lol.
Meant to also add
Not everyone who is into cars wears tight pants and walks around with a clipboard and stopwatch trying to shave a tenth off their lap time at the local Walmart auto cross track.
I've got nothing against racing, I love it. But I can't stand the vocal minority such as yourself trying to shit on anything that doesn't fit in your tiny, one dimensional box.
I don't know what it is, but basically every action sport that has some form of racing in its roots has had to fight this ridiculous battle. Doesn't matter if it's BMX, Mtn Biking, Skiing/Boarding....there's always a group of racers who think they are above the "new gimmick"....and these guys all seem to wear really really tight pants.
And of course, in any of those sports, after the first few years had passed, the racers end up wanting nothing more than to be like the freestyle guys. Go to a ski hill that has a race program, and try to find a kid walking around in racing spandex...won't happen! They all were baggy pants, specifically designed to go over top of the spandex, so they can look cool while they're walking around (and I can remember back to when I was a kid, even non racers were rocking the spandex cause it was cool LOL).
Most end up dropping out of race programs to take up free skiing anyways, as they realize they can half as much if not more fun by hiking a booter all day with friends instead of stressing over milliseconds.
Plus, racing is CRAZY expensive...and I think that applies to both auto racing as well as ski racing.
And don't act like racers don't go nuts with the stickers either. Just look at NASCAR, the undisputed king of ugly liveries and excessive stickers.


Nate Hamilton car for 2014 didn't make the list? I'm actually surprised.


cutterjones13 I'm an adult as well. So you only take part in what's marketed to you? baahhhhh baahhhh sheep lol. Expand your mind Twitch_6 was right. You live in a one-dimensional box. You admitted your ignorance when you said you've never first hand experienced and event or been behind the wheel at one.


jay8393 Kenny Moen was driving it in that shot.


crypticsage You guys are confusing me. But I know for sure Kenny was driving it in that shot.


Larry Chen Alright, that explains it...


SeanWilliamSphar cutterjones13 Twitch_6 still stand by my comment.  you go and hang with the hipster skateboarders , you won't miss me.


"Won't miss you" is for damn sure!!!
You come across as really negative and pretentious.
Every drifter sucks at driving.
Every skateboarder is a hipster.
Are you 12 lol?


mlytlejr  rps13 with S14 front *O* cooooooool


What about Corey Hosford's sick zombie graphics Z!


cutterjones13 You do it, then.


I don't know if it's an official color scheme, but this maroon-and-silver variant of the Falken livery always worked for me.


PSA Drift Teams s15, Something different!


PSA Drift Teams s15, Something different!


And another.


Travis Riddle yeah the sikky cars look nice!


Gotta say i have a soft spot for that solstice


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Tony Angelo's FR-S all the way


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