7×5 Spotlight: The Cars of D1
Authenticity goes a long way

I know that you fellow Speedhunters are a car crazy bunch. While your interests in the world of car culture may be vast, it’s ultimately always the cars that everything revolves around that tickle your senses more than anything. At least that’s how I feel about it all, and that’s why I thought a little extended spotlight-o-rama may go down well with you lot. I purposely stayed away from the more mainstream D1 cars, because – aside from the fact that we have seen a lot of them for far too long – well, there is always plenty more to see in the paddock than what the better financed teams have to offer. Plus I think that these seven rides stay far more faithful to what a real dorisha should look like. Authenticity goes a long way in my book and that’s why I want to start off…


… with the SXE10 Altezza that 21-year-old Thai driver Chanatpon Kredpiam was driving. The West Lake Tire team car really caught my attention as it instantly stood out as one of those cars that are simple and to the point. On top of using a not so popular platform…


… the Altezza just looked so right, sporting pumped wheel arches, a nice and low stance and a set of Enkei RPF1s at each corner.


Under the hood, the stock 3S that powered the JDM version of the car has given way to a rather mean looking 2JZ, stroked beyond its stock 3-liters of capacity and running a large turbocharger.


Chanatpon was making full use of his power and not afraid to throw the car in hard into the makeshift course at Odaiba, even against established stars like Naoto Suenaga seen here in one of the exhibition runs they did together.


It was a few months back that I spotted a curious Z33 sitting high on the lift at Do-Luck. I didn’t think much of it at first until I saw it the following month in pretty much the same state you see it here. It was then that Ito-san explained this was to be a pretty serious D1 machine and it was very cool to see the car completed and sitting in the paddock at Odaiba. Visually it runs a Z34 headlight conversion with Do-Luck aero parts…


… but it’s actually under the hood that this Zed truly impresses. The VQ engine has been completely rebuilt and stroked, its gold-wrap-insulated intake fed by a rather large BorgWarner EFR turbo located in a low-mounted position in front of the engine. That’s why…


… the radiator had to be moved to the rear, where it gets cooled by a series of intakes before the air flows out through a large opening underneath the big GT wing.


For the exhibition round the 800hp Z33 was being piloted by Thai driver Davide Dorigo…


… who ran into a bit of a misfortune in his second run of the Sunday Exhibition after being cut off on the straight, forced to hit the barrier and have one of this rear wheels ripped off its spokes by one of those dangerous barriers that bought Orido’s day to a close in the first post from Odaiba.

2JZ love

And then we get to Daigo Saito’s car. I too was scratching my head as to why he wasn’t behind the wheel of his trusty red JZX100 but rather a JZX90 he had borrowed from a friend. Well unfortunately it turns out that due to a fire at a bodyshop where the car was being worked on, it – along with a ton of other cars – was completely burned to the ground. So his insanely powerful beast that showed it could fly back in 2010 at Ebisu, is no longer.


Still, despite that, nothing was going to stop him competing, and the car he was doing it in showed the usual trademark Daigo touches, from a sort of missile look which some of his cars sport when he hits up the Ebisu Drift Matsuri…


… to that impossibly wide front track and crazy knuckle set-up. Oh yes, the big shark-like mouth drawn onto the front bumper is a nice touch!


Sure it looked a bit rough around the edges, but I thought it embraced all that is right about drifting far better than big expensive builds of the top seeded drivers.


It might not have been too competitive, but that didn’t mean he didn’t give it his usual 110%. Big thumbs up from me at least!


And speaking of burned cars, Andrew Gray of Powervehicles has recently gone through the exact same thing. After an unfortunate fire that left his JXZ100 burned beyond repair, he spent most of this year building and fine-tuning this new ride of his. It sports the same flake-red trademark color of all his cars, albeit a little darker, and like the car he was driving in the Tectaloy Drift round at the WTAC a few weeks ago, has the same dark grille and smoked headlights for a touch of aggression.


The aero is mostly from BN Sports but touches like…


… the carbon side skirt extension and front carbon underspoiler are Powervehicles original bits.


Andrew has always been a foot-to-the-metal sort of driver, loving to spice up his runs with copious amounts of tire smoke, possible thanks to the 600hp his 3.1L stroked 2JZ develops.


Here he is against Hayashi in his D-Max kitted 400hp S14 during the Street Legal exhibition tsuiso.

Odd ones out

I did promise I wouldn’t concentrate on mainstream D1 cars, but I can’t help it when it comes to Kunnyz’s GRX130 MarkII. He was one of the first big names in drifting to drop his trusty old D1 car for something new and he has created one of the most badass cars currently competing in the series.


I for one love big cars, and even more so when they come with 1000hp. Such a power figure is possible thanks to a 3.4L 2JZ, a big GCG GT-X4294R and the magic touch of Ito-san of Do-Luck for the setting up of such wild power.


It’s just so cool to see what is usually an old man’s car transformed into something so wild and competitive.


Here is Kuniaki Takahashi concentrating before going out for his first run of the day in Round 6.


The rear GoodYears don’t stand a chance against that sort of power!


It’s hard not to feel compelled to support the underdog in D1 and nothing out there puts up a proper David vs Golliath battle like Hideo Itakura…


… and his HDO/RS Watanabe KP61 Starlet. The car rocks some mean N2-style overfenders front and back…


… barely containing the 14-inch RS Watanabe rims and 165/55R14 Dunlop Direzzas.


Since the last time I had seen it, the stock grille has been removed so that the front mounted intercooler can intercept a larger amount of air. Power still comes from a turbocharged 4A-GE which is able to pump out around 320hp.


If D1 was about character, this car would win hands down!


To conclude this 7×5 spotlight-o-rama I selected a car that isn’t a D1 drift car. Of course it can be put sideways: it is an S15 after all, but the reason I decided to include this road car in this selection of cars is because it’s a great example of what a very well-built street drifter looks like.


Running the same T&E Vertex Edge kit that Nob’s personal car runs – if you recall we saw that earlier this year – this Silvia at the Prodrive booth was luring in its fair share of interested showgoers. Aside from the fact that this is one of the nicest and cleanest aero packages for the last-gen Silvia, the dark metallic grey it was painted with gave it an extra touch of elegance. I also really liked the three-cut outs along each of the hood grooves.


Mine’s mirrors! Uhm, here I am still debating whether to take mine off Project GT-R, and these manage to convince me once again that they still look mighty cool.


The front wide aero fenders are matched at the rear…


… with quite a substantial widening. In a time where bolted-on overfenders are all the rage, seeing blended in blistered fenders certainly does look like a welcome alternative. Add a set of Prodrive GC-05N and you have yourself one mouth-wateringly, effective-looking street dorisha! I’ll touch on the Exhibition round next so stay tuned for more action from D1 Tokyo Drift.



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S15 orange peel, gotta love it... ~_~. Sick car regardless


Isn't this Kunnyz car a Mark X G's? Notice the headlight differences over the normal GRX130 MarkII. Either way, that car is just bonkers. Really sorry to hear about Daigo's car, please extend my condolences if you see him.


Nicholas J OGara Damn, didn't notice that till you pointed it out! Gotta say I'm with you on liking the car anyways.


FredricAasbo As fas as I know they have just fitted the G'Sports kit on it, the chassis is still the GRX130 :)


So nice to see a widened car without rivets.
The Starlets overfenders are TRD items, really cool.


speedhunters_dino That makes sense! Great job, as always!


Mine`s mirrors ? They look the same as my E36's stock mirrors :) Loved that S15


badass starlet. does Itakura still compete with his celica?

Seeking Perfection

Thanks for sharing Dino. Is there any chance you know if Daigo is now going to use the Viper or Hubinette's former FD car? Furthermore, what happened to Daigo's Ferrari you were going to feature?


@Seeking Perfection No idea and that Ferrari was sold off pretty quick


azmedaj Not sure about that, haven't been to any rounds over the last year and a half :)


DanielPavunchev In essence that is what they are.


It would be awesome if you could do a full feature on that Starlet. So cool.


thats sad that a few jdm trademarks burned to the ground, well i hope everybody was ok! Great job! loved the starlet and the s15


That red Altezza in the first and S15 in the last one are so sexy. And I do agree, that starlet oozes character. It's my favorite car in this article. Great set of pics!


Option13 Yes. I agree.


From an engineering standpoint, Formula Drift cars have evolved to a level far beyond what D1 offers now, I don't believe there are many who would argue with me on that.  However, there's something that's lost in the translation that I can't quite put my finger on.  I haven't paid much attention to D1 (or drifting in Japan in general) in recent years, but looking at these cars right now I see something that's missing from American drift cars.  But as I said, I can't quite pin down what it is...


The paint job on that Starlet suits it down to the ground - great build!


Isn't that a 1JZ-VVTI in Andrew Gray's JXZ100?


That altezza looks strikingly similar to the one Daigo used in FD Asia for a season.


Aldarris Could very well be


meal stub Thanx!


aussieANON When I go down to Hiroshima I will!!


Aldarris That IS the FD Asia Altezza. Daigo usually rent out his cars for overseas drivers to use at D1. :D


Very into the Altezza.


By the way,  Andrew's jzx100 bodykit is a Kazama Auto Promode kit, not a BN Sports. Brings great pain to hear when these guys' cars get burned to a crisp like that


fRunco 2JZ bottom end


speedhunters_dino fRunco 
Nice. That's a combo I could only dream of dropping into my MA70 supra.


Is Kunnyz’s GRX130 running the new Scion TC's front end? I thought it was a TC, (which shouldn't be legal in D1) for a minute until I scrolled down.
Does japan have a TC? under a toyota badge perhaps?


TysonFloris nope


Saito-san's monster machine is dead???


azmedaj I believe that the celica has been written off, which is why itakura drives imai's old car sort of on loan while imai drives his be charmant


MilesHayler used to look much cooler with the flames that it had, but still a very cool car


jay8393 Aldarris correct, amandio was driving saito's old D1GP jzx100 chaser, not sure if it may have also been involved in the fire, and two other Indonesian drivers use his altezza and his old school d1/demo/drift muscle jzx100 fronted jzx90


sweet coverage as always speedhunters_dino . that altezza looks nice. the jzx100 looks like its sporting a 1.5 JZ, no? correct me if im wrong.


Can we please have a feature on that Prodrive S15?! Or at least a wallpaper??


Yes, Go the starlet, 320 horse, NOW WE DRIFTING!!!


That starlet is so cool!


NoahDaniel Well sir, you can just click on the picture itself and you will get the wallpaper.


That S15 looks a lot like @bauzas15's S15 that was in PASMAG's Tuner Battlegrounds (http://tunerbattlegrounds.com/competitors/460-alexander-bauza)!


Daigo Saito's JZX100 is dead? Damn :(


Nice pocket rocket. KP61 is legendary.


Any idea why Daigo has the Achilles logo on his truck covered over?


Fadam I heard they are dropping out of FD


staryjaponiec Sure is!!


Gvk Sad indeed!


@Audiohaulic Isn't that car in the US?


O4ABDA A lack of power never had Ueo struggling! In fact it made his driving all that more fun to watch!


O4ABDA A lack of power never had Ueo struggling! In fact it made his driving all that more fun to watch!


jay8393 NoahDaniel Yep they are all wallpapers!  As for a feature, well it sort of depends on the engine and other details, if it's a stock motor I wouldn't be too interested in shooting it honestly. Bit of substance would be awesome to go along with those looks


I love Daigo's shark teeth!


JjCruz speedhunters_dino I'll confirm with Andy but it's a 2JZ bottom end with 1J top, so a "1.5JZ"


SparkyR_1 :(


speedhunters_dino Fadam Really? That's interesting after the success they've had.


Where photos Georgy Chivchyan?


I think that jzx Daigo used at Odaiba belongs to his good friend and mechanic Toshimitsu Masuda


teeson its the new mark x front end ;)


teeson its the new mark x front end ;)


That Altezza is freaking awesome!! Love to see it in a form of clean-street-car but still rocking that bodyworks.


AlanChrisK It's the rear bumper that does it for me, or the lack of most of it lol


Andrey Egorov Next post!  Stay tuned :)


Fadam speedhunters_dino Yeah strange but that's the rumour apparently


speedhunters_dino Yep, its in Florida. I've seen it at local shows and prowling the streets a few times over the last couple of years. Funny how two cars built half a world apart can look so similar yet have their own flair.


Haha, right. I feel like I look for flaws more than anything when it comes to car builds. But, when it's done too well it just takes the fun out of a purpose built car. "Don't wanna scratch it...""


i love the 4 door sedans in d1. i wish we had cressida's and mark's and chasers in the us.


why isnt daigo using the viper he has built or the dodge charger he bought and was testing awhile ago??


Any more news on the fire? Which other cars perished?


Mine’s mirrors! Uhm,copy from e36 M3?!