If you’re into the Japanese drift scene and follow what we uncover, you might remember a totally unique Toyota Platz that I came across around five years ago at Nikko Circuit.
Seeing this one-of-a-kind build again at the recent Hardcore and Car Modify Wonder meet, made me realize that I never really expanded on it.
And it totally deserves a closer look, because this compact Toyota sedan really shows the lengths that some builders will go to in creating a car that’s both different and fun.
Some of the time it’s not even to show off their skills or anything like that; it’s more for a laugh, to win a dare, or just for the hell of it.
In the case of this JDM-only Platz, a sedan version of the Toyota Vitz, the party trick is an SR20DET out of an S13 Silvia, and the rear-wheel drive underpinnings to back it up.
As you can imagine, transforming an FF car into an FR has its challenges, and behind the pumped fenders and purposeful fitment hides the true complexity of it all.
To be able to do this out at tracks like Nikko, the awkwardly-styled Platz had to be cut up and a ton of things custom fabricated to make it all work.
The build took three months from start to finish, and was devised around the car having a front-midship layout, with the SR pushed as far back as it would go. This called for a custom firewall and transmission tunnel to make space for the S13 manual gearbox.
At the same time the mechanical conversion work was happening, the Platz’s owner customized the exterior too, welding fender flares in place up front and prepping the rear quarters for a subtle but important increase in width.
Up front, an S13 subframe and suspension layout was grafted in. There’s also C35 steering and hubs, as well as R32 brakes.
Things got a little more complex at the rear where the Toyota’s original torsion beam setup was removed and replaced by custom fabricated suspension turrets to mate to the S13 rear end. The fenders were blistered right across into the rear doors, helping it look almost factory.
Walk past the Toyota and you’d never know the amount of hacking that has taken place under the skin. That said though, since we saw it last the car has obviously had a hard life, but that’s precisely what it was designed to have when the conversion took place around 10 years ago.
The relatively large and bulbous dashboard had no problem hiding all the fabrication that’s gone on around the firewall, and one of the coolest touches has to be the S13 speedo and tachometer neatly relocated into the Platz’s original center instrument binnacle.
The window tint is very cool too, giving every shot you take of the interior a nice pink hue.
It’s so cool to see this thing still out at Nikko being driven to within an inch of its life. Here’s to the next decade of the drift Platz.
Dino Dalle Carbonare