An S14 The American Way
The Flavors Of Drift

Even though they might be carefree and laid back when compared to those that follow more established motorsports, drifting fans are an opinionated bunch.

You don’t have to go far to find a colorful discussion about drifting; sometimes people argue about judging calls at professional events, sometimes they argue over which engines should or shouldn’t be in drift cars, and sometimes they just argue about the state of the sport itself.


I’ve always tried to take a balanced look at the growth of drifting. Like many others, I first became attracted to the sport watching videos and reading magazines from Japan, and I fell in love with what I saw.


And I still love that ’90s and early 2000s Japanese-influenced drift style. The good-looking cars, the simple, modestly-powered engine setups and the general fun-over-competitiveness vibe.


But as the sport continued to grow and spread beyond the shores of Japan, it was clear that big changes were in store for drifting. It was simply inevitable.


Not long after it arrived stateside, American drifting began to develop its own identity. Today it’s blossomed into its own unique phenomenon, often to the chagrin of diehard JDM fanboys. I simply say ‘why not?’


Frankly, to expect American professional drifting in the year 2016 to be anything like amateur-level Japanese drifting is missing the point. Why even compare them?


I love the old school D1GP and ikaten days as much as anyone; I’ve got a bookshelf full of old Japanese drifting magazines that I drool over often. But I actually like the fact that American drift cars are a lot different to the ones in Japan.


Wouldn’t it be boring if drift cars were all the same no matter where you went in the world? The American drift car has become a beast unto itself. And this car is one of them.


Alec Hohnadell’s Formula Drift S14 240SX may have been born in a Japanese factory around 20 years ago, but it’s uniquely American in its execution.

Don’t Hate The V8

The 240 has been built from the ground up to keep pace with the hyper-competitive Formula Drift grid, and just about every trick in the book has been thrown at the popular Nissan chassis.


It starts under the hood where you’ll find – big surprise – an LS-based V8 engine. More specifically, it’s a 427ci setup built by Golen Engine Service.


And because a naturally aspirated V8 isn’t quite enough for Formula Drift these days, there’s also a Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger in the mix.


After all, what’s more American than a big V8 with a blower coming out through the hood?


The V8 is mated to a G-Force 4-speed dog box transmission, while a Winters Performance quick-change rear end puts all of that supercharged power to the tires.


The radiator has also been relocated rearward, as is quite typical in Formula Drift cars these days.

No Apologies

The chassis on Alec’s car was handled by Forrest Wang’s Get Nuts Lab in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the setup includes a set of Stance XR+ 3-way coilovers and a Wisefab steering kit up front for maximum angle.


In the brake department you’ll find a Wilwood 6-piston setup at the front, and dual 4-piston calipers in the rear mating with a Nameless Performance handbrake system. The wheels are Cosmis Racing XT-206Rs, and Nexen supplies the tires that are turned into smoke.


The Nissan’s exterior is dominated by a Get Nuts Lab/2F Performance SuperDoof wide-body conversion with a livery designed by AWS Graphics.


And don’t forget the huge GT wing that’s plenty functional on the higher speed tracks that Formula Drift makes stops at during the season.


The S14’s cockpit has everything you’d expect from a top-level professional drift car, including a full Get Nuts Lab FD-spec rollcage and a pair of Racetech bucket seats with a Takata HANS setup.


You’ll also find a collapsible Woodward steering column and a Spultronix Performance digital dash unit.


Will this car win over those who feel that Formula Drift and American pro-level drifting have moved too far from the ‘roots’? Nope. This one’s all about embracing things for what they are, and realizing that blown V8s with radical suspension setups in 1990s Nissans are actually pretty cool.


It’s not my job to say that one type of drift car is better or worse than another, but I enjoy seeing cars like this one because they’re just one more flavor to choose from. I completely dig the fact that you can take cars with identical underpinnings and do such a radically different things them.

What’s not to like about another testament of longevity for the legendary Nissan S-chassis?

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia

Photos by Louis Yio
Instagram: lusciousy

Cutting Room Floor


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More like 'An extremely borING and typical S14 done the same way as per usual'


In North America LS swaps make sense. 

I get that it's 'overplayed' or 'wrong' but from a statistical standpoint it just makes sense.

A race team can only carry so many spare parts and being a super common LS series engine on the off chance a random sensor gives out, its a quick trip to any one of a multitude of a chain parts store and you are still racing not sitting by and watching for the need of a $10 oil pressure sensor.

I know I would rather be on track than not on track.


LukeEVOVIII  Do you even drive bro?


Mike leaving the office this evening...


Tim Oliva i agree with that statemant 100%, but holy fuck am i bored with LS engines in anything bigger then an Isetta, regardless of that..

(and as a side note, i was hoping for Nissan engine in it, just for the sake of purity, if such a thing even exists outside of my brainhole)


He can't, his boner over Evos stops him turning the wheel, even if he had a licence


Is that dash made of carbon, or is it a vinyl wrap? If carbon, I have envy!


Fasterthanyou1 Give this man a medal.


Hate more guys... 

...No really, hate more.  Just make sure to come from a new angle, otherwise I can go read the comment section of any other V8 S14 post.  Show me a new way to beat a dead horse is what I'm saying, basically.

Everything that comes from the Get Nuts dojo is fire.  Get Nuts and Elevens are the vanguards of US Drift style.


Wirenfeldt Jr Yeah, cuz Nissans with Nissan engines aren't common at all...


Tim Oliva This guy gets it.  Same reason so many cars at Gatebil have volvo swaps I'd figure.


Simply P Wirenfeldt Jr Nissans with Nissan engines leave the production line every day.. Engine swapped Nissans that still have a Nissan engine is a bit more rare.. And the LS engines are so damn commonplace and incredibly compact that they are the obvious choice for any, and everyone looking to get more power into whatever they have got currently, that they are predictable and bore me to tears.

reverend sexpleasure

You realize that u justifying v8 makes you sound exactly like a guy justifying hondas?
The point is... it gets tiring.
Just do the article... specs and a story of the owner. Leave emotions out.


Yes mate indeed I do.


Nice to see people are being grown up about things


Wirenfeldt Jr If there are more LS saps in 240s where you are then SRs and RBs then your point is valid, but that's not the case here in Cali and I'm sure it isn't here you are either.


if all formula d cars looked this good formula d would be 100% better. most of them look awful though


Simply P Wirenfeldt Jr That salt :'( did someone run out of Johnsons and Johnsons no more tears shampoo this morning?


Alec's S14 is my favorite S-Chassis in FD. Purely for its style and colors. Yeah I would've loved it if it was a 2jz, not because of performance but mostly because of the sound, would be a nice JDM combo, but somehow te V8 goes really well on it. Really digging the LS on this one. Thanks for the full feature, it was a really nice read.


OH and BTW, does anyone know what color is the engine bay/chassis? It looks really nice.


Outside looks nice, shame about the wisefab aids


luissk82247 That color is called purple


As is the typical american way with things, Drifting (and the cars) has turned from something pure and exciting to a show, a performance, not so much about the drifting but about the show. 

The drifting has turned into essentially drag racing, and unfortunately because the states is such a huge market they rest of the world has  / is following in their footsteps.

Needless to say I have 0 love for 1000+ hp drift cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars such as this, sure I can appreciate the fabrication and build quality,  but it's just not what drifting's about.


And... You drive and evo without an engine swap.... Omygahh.


luissk82247 the interior engine bay etc were powder coated i read elsewhere, so that might help in yiur search


First of all I wish I owned an Evo. Plus, who in their right mind would engine swap an Evo? U0001f602


Final Bout > Formula D .....

That is all.


I hope people realize that D1GP cars are running higher power as well in the more recent years. Some cars have also undergone V8 treatments with their domestic engines, mainly Toyota and their Lexus V8s.


Tim Oliva Think about it this way. 2jz and RB26s are more abundandt and affordable in Japan. LS engines are more abundant and affordable in the U.S. Both provide builders with a cheap and reliable way to get power for the setups they need.


yea the car has an LS motor and yes its been done countless times before but an ls is an obvious choice for competition drifting its easy, it's cheap, lots of torque and hp,  and plenty of support for ls swaps. so why not? this is a drift car not a show car so why go for a more exotic engine just for the sake originality? its a logical choice so stop complaining about LS swaps


@reverend sexpleasure Well said. Multiple articles recently has been apologising for featuring something that someone might not like and it doesn't make interesting reading.
I'm not a fan of formula D or the formula D style of drift car (why don't the front wheels fit properly?) and a hundred articles telling me I'm wrong aren't going to change that.

I agree with the idea you guys are trying to sell here, that just because you dislike something doesn't mean you should hate it (or hate on it), but having it brought up over and over is dull and boring.


hypodermic True.


hypodermic Amen to that


hypodermic That's why there's final bout.


i would have been much more excited if this featured a toyota 1uz engine. i mean sure, ls swaps are cool, but people swap them into EVERYTHING. like change it up for once. i appreciate ryan tuerck, because he has a builder creating an FD spec FRS with a damn ferrari v8 from a 458. like that's insane. there should be more builds like that.


A V8 swap might be interesting... if it weren't just another LS swap. I get it, they're relatively light and "cheap," they're also extremely played out. This car is covered in sponsors, they couldn't afford to do one of the many other V8s out there instead of an LS?


JohnKrzeminski They're covered in sponsors because the car does what it's supposed to do. Showing up with a running car week in and week out is 100% of the battle.


In what way? They're both drastically different.


There are plenty of drifting series that cater to the joy of drifting. I wouldn't say it's an American thing to make drifting about the show. At the end if the day, drifting is a sport. With the natural progression of literally every sport in the world, someone will always want to be the best of the best. There is not a single sport in the world that doesn't have some sort of peak-level competition. Drifting is still fun. Just because the pros are running 1000hp builds doesn't mean the fans can't enjoy it. Final Bout, All Star Bash, Gatebil, and plenty of other events exist that live up to what fans want in drifting.


After the article on "let's be more positive", this comments section. Truly, these "classy" folks don't stop coming.


LukeEVOVIII i probably became a stupid guys swapping evo 4g63t engine to rb26 engine U0001f602


milkplus JohnKrzeminski It's why the military takes a Tank to war instead of a 200cc Honda 4-Wheeler ATV. Sure, a 200cc Honda 4-Wheeler MIGHT make it through a warzone still running and with a live, un-wounded, non-bloodied driver at the controls... but driving a H&H RipSaw Weaponized TANK? You'll wipe the whole place out in half the time, look cool doing it and live to tell about it 99.9% of the time.

TL;DR, it's just a Longwinded Nissan SR20 vs SBC 350ci with a Blower analogy.


eejjkk milkplus JohnKrzeminski I never said don't use a V8, but if V8 swaps are going to continue it's time to start getting creative about and doing new things. Plenty of manufacturers make V8's, if you want to keep it American, it's not like there aren't other alternatives to LSx motors. My remark about the sponsor was about how they have funding from some rather large and well known companies, you're telling me that they could have spent a little more and gone with a more creative solution? Part of the reason why these companies sponsor these cars is for attention, in fact, it's probably the only reason. Which car are you going to be more interested in, the S14 with a same old LS swap that even teenagers do all the time now in their driveway at home, or are you going to be more interested in an S14 that has a Ford/Mopar/Nissan/Toyota/Euro V8 swapped into it? Look at that Toyota GT-86 that is having a Ferrari V8 swapped into it, within a couple days it was all over the internet. If you want to stand out in a crowd and have the funding and team to do it, then do something original and exciting, don't do the tired old swap people have been doing for a decade almost now and then act like it's something special.


Pushrod V8
quickchange rear
4 speed
I find it interesting how much this is like an old hot rod.


JohnKrzeminski eejjkk milkplus Here in australia we have a drifting championship and one of the cars is a Toyota 86 with a supercharged nascar v8


John I get what you're saying and that might be ok for a Sema or demo car but drift cars are often test beds for products as well as promotional items.
So making a bunch of parts for a one off swap no (or few) of you lr target audience will ever be able to do would be a pretty big loss leading build.
In addition to being hard to keep thrashing on week after week. If your car breaks at an event it's easier to beg borrow and steal common parts than odd ball.


So much babying about the LS, it makes you wonder if you can make anyone happy these days. They used the engine because it's tried and true: light, small, reliable, can take an obscene amount of abuse, and sounds pretty damn good at wot. Get over it, the car looks amazing!


FD vs D1 their cars are very much in a diff league. FD cars are almost nothing like how they were when they left the factory. With only the very least of what is left came from there. Which D1 are very much more whole cars. Put it this way. D1 cars can still be used for tracking/grip driving with little changes while FD cars sole purpose is drift fast drift well.


Wish the engine fit inside the hood and the front wheels fit at least.
Also too much sawzall.


Mind showing us how a proper article should be than rather than just complaining all the time?


How about showing us the proper way of writing an article? Post a link please. You must be really good man.


Dude, make your own exciting site. Show everyone how it is done rather than being the annoying critic all the time.


This car and Forrest's just look so sick inside & under the hood.  One interesting thing about FD is the lack of power limits. Sort of like group B in a way.


@awesomefearwave You must be mistaken. The Ferrari-powered 86 is not a competition car. That's he difference. When it comes to a competition or a race, would you rather have a car that works and wins or a car that breaks a loses? For the teams with smaller budgets, the LS platform makes the most sense to be competitive. It's a competition car. It's made to work, not fail. The idea of a Ferrari-powered 86 is cool but no one would use it for competition.


@rufus Check out any of the older articles on Speedhunters written by Johnathan Moore (whatever happened to him anyway? I really miss his work here)


NikkSquidBonnett Hi man, I think it is fine that you guys want to be surprised with each new article. Who does not want to read mind-blowing material all the time? I don't think that is feasible though. There is only a limited number of trends going on in the world of tuning any given time. How can we expect these guys therefore to produce drastically different scenes when they have to post something on a daily basis?

Hence, I am challenging the critics to attempt what these guys do. Just to see if they can do better than being "backseat" writers.

It is easy being critic. One needs to try being the "man in the arena" sometime to actually know what it takes to write these articles.

Moreover, dude, none of us even shell out a cent to read contents yet so many people act like they paid first class tickets for this site. Seriously, rather than these types of articles, the spoiled attitude needs to go.

Thanks for not being rude. Unlike the others here, at least you weren't that.


LouisYio ah. i thought the ferrari powered 86 was gonna be used for formula drift. i guess i was mistaken.


Would a VK56 V8 fit in the engine bay of a S-Chassis ? Would love to see one of those swapped in a S14 for a change..


hypodermic lmao not this guy again. "FD is just a big drag race. Fuck FD, OG D1GP all day, 200 hp AE86 ftw, 1000hp cars are boring" Ok Mr. Drifting Elitist, you obviously want things to be stagnant in the US drift scene, and not progress. Im pretty sure Ive been over this with you, early FD years were the most boring events ever compared to now.  News flash, progression is inevitable. Thats motorsports, you cant expect a COMPETITIVE series to not progress and evolve. Thats just the nature of motorsports, to improve year after year. Maybe you should go live in a shack in the mountains of Japan if you dont want your elitist viewpoint to be threatened by the sight of a "blasphemous" 1000 hp drift car.


NikkSquidBonnett why dont the front wheels "fit properly" you ask? Well, believe it or not, thats where function<form. It just has to do with the suspension geometry to help them maintain angle. You dont actually think they do that because it looks cool do you?


Look, man, it's a hella cool car, no doubt. I've got no problem with the way drift cars are progressing in America, but the sport itself has taken a turn for the worse. To be honest, FD is simply boring, they've replaced the balls in drifting with ballet slippers, its no longer a race but a dance, as evidence by nothing else than the driving style of Aasbo, the most slow and conservative driver of the pack. FD drivers don't push their cars, they're not driving at the limit, they're performing a pre-arranged trick with machines built and designed to be comfortable well within the limits that they perform their trick in. It's sad, and dull.


difflocked_mees American drift car = Ls engine. 

No idea really ha ha.


jdmbucky hypodermic Red Bull gives you wings. So buy some and help fund those 1000 hp machines and make red bulls C.E.O's filthy rich, wile you sit on your couch watching FD and criticize other peoples opinions about FD. Maybe you'll "evolve" a new form of hemorrhoid that makes it easier for you to understand and accept other peoples point of view. 

Oh and 200 hp AE86 ftw.


@Kaido I guess you did not watch FD Canada this past weekend.


Novac Darius There is so much more cost associated with running an engine that is not commonly used it motorsports in America.


bluestreaksti I don't get why people want HP limits.


@Expert Have you seen the Trust R35? Or what about Daigo's cars in Japan?


@rufus or he can express an opinion in the comments since that's what they're for


T8DTurdbo You do realize that red bull hasnt been relevant in FD since Rhys Millen left right? No other driver of theirs has been successful. Nice try though bud. I also get out to FD events, so no, Im not restricted to the confines of my couch either. Ive tried accepting that point of view, but when it comes constantly in the form of complaining on the comment section of content relating to drifting, it gets a tad annoying. Jesus christ you people are so particular, and get butthurt the minute things stop being "OG" and "true" to the sport. Thank god people like you only stay home on the computer, and dont actually run these events, or else drifting as a sport would be screwed.


It's a dry carbon dash


Yes sir, the entire chassis was powder coated.


venomistgo Oh, a gun is for killing. Perhaps you should use it for its intended purpose sometime.


Larry Chen bluestreaksti because it encourages innovation.


JoshVance Larry Chen bluestreaksti You should check out Vaughn Gittin Jr's new Mustang.


Formula D and professional drift cars in general have been getting hate recently from the 2000's style drifting fans especially since the new series "Final Bout" or whatever it's called started. Fans are basically a bunch of die-hard purists who talk crap about pro drift cars for such stupid reasons such as "lacking fitment" or "having no style" and basically just making fun of the pro drifting scene simply because the cars do not meet their personal taste. Guys like Vaughn Gittin, Dean Kearney, Kyle Mohan, and Daigo Saito getting flack because of how they choose to build their cars, it's just sad. Then they go preaching about how drifting is about being different when they themselves can't even accept the diversity of car choices and styles in Formula D. It's so ironic.
Being more biased towards competitive drifting myself, I have no interest in the 2000s drifting scene SIMPLY because it is not my taste, but that does not mean I have to make myself feel more superior towards others simply because I like the earlier form of a way of doing something. I respect what people choose to like and have no intention of exiling others simply for liking something different.

No one builds for the liking of others and I think it's funny how some people can't accept that. Hell, even some people just jump straight to saying "What a shitty car" (because they don't like it) without even seeing the hard work put into these cars. If you don't like it, don't say anything about it. Formula D will never go back to the roots of drifting and there's nothing anyone can do about it. 

I couldn't agree more on this topic, Mike.


Fasterthanyou1 LukeEVOVIII what does this have to do with anything


@Rufus venomistgo yeah so u can go kill yourself


That's exactly what I thought


my bf's dad just got an awesome MINI Cooper Clubman by working online from home... look at here now see it here=====daily-salary­­.ℭomllllllll


jdmbucky T8DTurdbo Actually I didn't, nor do I care. I'm just giving you shit because you gave him shit. Buy some monster then for all I care. Or can just put a wise-fab sticker on your honda.


with the old style car that looks good on the road if you want to have


So much negativity in the comments!
Here's Zombie Kid to say, "I like PURPLE."
That powder coat candy purple looks amazing!


Szamuelly travelled about Hungary in his special train; an eye witness gives the following description: 'This train of death rumbled through the Hungarian night, and where it stopped, men hung from trees, and blood flowed in the streets. Along the railway line one often found naked and mutilated corpses. Szamuelly passed sentence of death in the train and those" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> forced to enter it never related what they had seen. Szamuelly lived in it constantly, thirty Chinese terrorists watched over his safety; special executioners accompanied him. The train was composed of two saloon cars, " two first class cars reserved for the terrorists and two " third class cars reserved for the victims. In the later the executions took place. the floors were stained with blood. the corpses were thrown from the windows while Szamuelly sat at his dainty little writing table, in the saloon car upholstered in pink silk and ornamented with mirrors. A single gesture of his hand dealt out life or death


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I personally love this car even tho it’s a typical s14