We Own The Night:<br/> Running With Risky Devil
This isn’t cool, it’s freezing

Cars are cool. But, you’ll already know that if you’re reading this though… Be it a Group 2 race car from the ’70s or a daily driven classic in Malaysia, they all evoke a sense of emotion in us. The reasons might be different but the results are the same; our pulses quicken, hairs stand up on the back of our necks and time goes faster as we greedily soak up the atmosphere.

Right now all of that is happening to me. It’s minus-something-stupid cold and it’s late/early in the day depending on your perspective and body clock. But this is cool. Really cool.

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-8

I’m stood somewhere in the middle of a maze – at least that’s what it is to me. Truth be known, we’re on an undergound network of roads called Lower Wacker. To the locals of Chicago it’s a way of getting under and around the city during the daytime and avoiding traffic. Above us on street level there’s Wacker Drive and I’m told that somewhere nearby and below us is Lower Lower Wacker Drive.

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This is where Risky Devil – a loose fitting group of friends who’ve been the back bone of the Chicago drift scene since it came to be – come to play. You’ve probably heard of them before and I’ve found there’s a mixed reaction when you mention the name. So I’ll spell it out now – they’re good guys with great cars having a good time. Plain and simple.

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The reason why we’re down here in mid-January when the rest of this part of north America is wrapped up warm at home is this: Richard ‘Fish’ Fisher’s Subaru BRZ. As far as ZC6/ZN6 chassis cars go, this one is my favourite, and now that confession is out of the way I can tell you why.

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-5

Prior to the late-night rendezvous we had spent a couple of days hanging out at the Air Lift Performance base in Lansing, Michigan, looking at how they do things. Given that Risky Devil’s stomping ground is relatively local (when you’re based in Europe that is), it made sense to catch up. I also find it very interesting that a lot of their cars run full Air Lift setups. That’s right, drift cars that run air – surely this is some sort of mechanical voodoo, right?

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-13

Well no actually, because it works. But more on that shortly… Looking at the BRZ, the Rocket Bunny kit adds a flared girth to a body shape that I think definitely needs it.

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-20

Wider is generally better, but the way the flares have the factory lines continued through them and the bolts exposed, keeps them trim and purposeful instead of feeling bloated. Authenticity is the key to a lot of the builds within the Risky Devil community and the BRZ’s TRA Kyoto-styled kit is just the start of the well observed details which go to make up the package.

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Fish is a firm believer in air ride, and with the BRZ laid out it’s easy to see why. This is not just about a kit though, or even the Rotiform LHR wheels.

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They’re just names after all, and we all know they can’t bring you style or satisfaction alone. It’s what you do with them that counts.

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No, there’s a whole load of other stuff going on which makes this build so damn good.

Ticking every box
Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-2

So why is it such a complete build then? From what I can see, it all stems from Fish’s almost religious attention to detail. He’s got a pretty impressive line up of cars in his garage, and all of them in one way or another show that he understands what can make – and often more importantly – break a car.

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-1

That rear lip spoiler for instance, isn’t a Rocket Bunny item. Instead, Fish and fellow Risky Devil AJ Gillett (his is the other red ZC6/ZN6 pictured before) have both gone for a Leg Sport equivalent. Although sometimes you might think the whole Rocket Bunny 86/FR-S/BRZ look is everywhere, I’m here to remind you it’s really not, and seeing one in the wild really grabs your attention. Visually, it’s such a striking style that the fine details of a finished build could really get in the way, but not here though. I’ll happily say they make it even better. The pair did a lot of research and discovered this slightly more subtle duck tail and personally imported one each from Japan. I guess the secret as to where they came from is out now guys!

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-9

Take a look inside and it’s a similar story – the Key’s Racing steering wheel is an instant sign of deep cultural knowledge. You can keep your Nardi, these are produced by professional Japanese race car driver Takayuki Kinoshita via ATC, and are subsequently used in all sorts of high end Japanese race series. They’re not cheap either – the $400 retail meaning they’re a discerning choice, but a quality one at that.

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Other nods to Japanese build styles are the ‘confetti’ Recaro seats on custom made runners. Maybe you’d be more used to seeing these in a Honda, or some other JDM model? But again, they add that taste of originality that just seems to fit so well. The floor mats fit right in but are from a little closer to home, TF-Works in Chicago taking care of those.

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-7

TF (an acronym for Touge Factory) also took care of the BRZ’s graphics. I love the mix of solid green and flake gold with the lines originating in the front arch. Tied in to the Duckhams Oil stickers it screams old school on this very new school shape.

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Fish and TF-Works drew their inspiration from the S-chassis cars that have been built by Miura-san. Looking at them here the graphics work so well, but if you try and describe them to somebody it doesn’t quite make sense. You’ll get enquiring looks back as if to say, ‘Really? That looks good?’. Yes it does.

Risky Devils Fish Rocket Bunny FRS Air Lift-10

Oh just quickly, you did you spot the GReddy Informeter Touch screen display, didn’t you? The one that shows boost pressure…

Show, go, low…
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Well, you didn’t think it was all for show now did you? Fish and the rest of the Risky Devil crew all enjoy using their projects, so there had to be a power upgrade. This one was still fresh having only come out of the shop a couple of days before our shoot.

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For the literal boost, Fish selected a Jackson Racing Stage 2 Supercharger kit for the 2.0L FA20 motor. There’s a Go Fast Bits pulley kit too along with a remote Setrab oil cooler and Koyo radiator down in there somewhere.

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But it all looks pretty factory in there don’t you think? Again the level of workmanship is high. With everything being neatly finished and cared for, it makes you wonder if the engineers at Toyota and Subaru specifically left enough space for the aftermarket to come in and do their thing? Hidden away is a Jackson Racing intercooler and the OEM ECU has been reflashed with one of their maps too. Although it’s yet to go on the dyno, the estimate is around 280whp.

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As the cold night air engulfs my head and quickly turns any fluid to ice, my fingers instinctively keep stabbing at the shutter on my camera. I stayed in the French Alps for a while and we’d often get biting, howling winds through the valley I lived in. Although the temperature would only be around -10 degrees centigrade, it would often feel like -20 or lower. Believe or not, that’s what it feels like when you stick your head out of a truck window at 1.00am in January in Chicago. But you know what? I like the fact this isn’t California and that we’re not on some sun-kissed canyon road. I’d imagine this is what it feels like in the middle of the night blasting around Tokyo.

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Maybe I’m being overly romantic about the whole situation? But roaming virtually deserted streets with a group of like-minded friends is cool no matter where you are.

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Which is what Risky Devil are all about – getting together and making some fun happen. Yes, Rocket Bunny-style is alive and well in Chicago. All too often I read comments on the internet about the practicality or originality of these kits, but this one picture sums it up for me. Fish and AJ aren’t afraid to use their cars for what they built them for. They both run low and look good, yet here they are mixing it up and taking risks.

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Then with the press of a button on the Air Lift controller it’s back to the business of making jaws drop.

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I’m a big fan of works style arches. Cutaway like they are to reveal the tyre tread, it adds the element of purpose that I think is missing on kits that cover everything up. This kit is as little as you could get away with to cover the wheel, keep it just about legal and remain lightweight.

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Don’t think that Air Lift suspension is some sort of voodoo though, because it really isn’t. The guys can get the settings dialled in that they need – the air giving them a compliant ride while being responsive enough and just downright stiff enough that they can throw the cars around.

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Which they do at any given opportunity. This is the parking lot of ABMotoring the following morning, about an hour before we’re due to leave. Why? Because we can.

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I think it’s quite fitting that a project I didn’t even know existed three days before this shoot took place, is signing us off with a massive burnout. The Speedhunting journey is all about discovery. That’s what keeps it interesting and what makes it so, well, cool

Bryn Musselwhite
Instagram: speedhunters_Bryn



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Hey, Jesus is in the main picture! Seriously, Bryn, nice photos...


I've always placed Risky Devil pretty high up as one of my favourite teams/crews/tribes whatever you call it. Much like Deadbeats, and Hotboyz they just have this really unique Japanese style/flair to them that only a few individuals really hold. This build though is fucking rad. At all times, I thought the Risky Devil S13/IS300 is really cool but this is just as cool and maybe even more. The livery is just damn. It has such a classic feel to it that it manages to mix modern and classic in the same way that Miura-san did with his FR-S build. Good job Fish, maybe I'll get to know you somehow through geekylurv or cs haha


Never thought I'd hear people talk about lower wackier like this. And sure as hell am disappointed I missed the night he showed up. It's cool to watch all the cars come out and slide til the cops show up. And if you're from Chicago you know exactly where we end up afterwards.


but but...  they aren't the same anymore though.  it's weird seeing risky devil now and not associating the old members that all really made risky devil, risky devil.   .____.


MikeYee  For some reason I remember risky devil running ratty cars back in the day pushing the limits. Didn't know that they lost the founders, guess the new guys are a bit tame... pretty safe looking build all the way down to the floor mats that I would see in every JDM option video back in the day.


Nice to see more people given er on air.


Confetti seats in a non-Honda. Bold.


2xthefun MikeYeeI don't remember their cars ever being ratty. They were always all about style and trying to capture that JDM look and culture in their cars. Pictures of Josh's s13(when it was brown) used to be posted on every Nissan forum you could find being used as examples of what their dream cars would look like. They were never super hard core drifters or anything. They've always just been street rodders that enjoy their cars and also happen to drift for fun.


Hanma 2xthefun MikeYee  http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Eq3gwnWHjU8/TCoVNU1AjHI/AAAAAAAADCI/yQsGo01152M/s1600/mwasb_2010sat_067.jpg a quick google search lead me to the old risky devil site ... this was a risky devil car back in the day. To me that's more exciting. I'm not saying the BRZ is bad, it's very nice and looks great. When I associate it with the name risky devil though my past takes me back. Who knows maybe the rest of the group is still true to my past definition and this guy is the odd man out. To me risky devil was all about drifting on and off the track in our generations version of the hot rod. Like those honda kanjo racers but of the drift world in rwd.


Hanma 2xthefun MikeYee  Hanma knows where it's at, there is a whole raft of very cool cars I'm still to show you from this trip. Tame? Safe looking build? Right... Because I see stuff like this all the time.


Take a look inside and it’s a similar story – the Key’s Racing steering wheel is an instant sign of deep cultural knowledge. You can keep your Nardi, these are produced by professional Japanese race car driver Takayuki Kinoshita via ATC, and are subsequently used in all sorts of high end Japanese race series. They’re not cheap either – the $400 retail meaning they’re a discerning choice, but a quality one at that.



Speedhunters_Bryn Hanma 2xthefun MikeYee  I'm not saying the car is a bad build, or that anyone knows nothing. All I'm saying is that risky devil used to mean something else to me. This car on it's own is nice. It would win a show and I would pick it to win a show. What I would not do is pick it to win a drift competition against some of the past risky devil cars I've seen. The supercharger is readily available, I think a lot of people have grown comfortable with getting overnight parts from japan (FnF reference). What did he do wild? Where is the risk in this devil? You compliment the clean engine bay and level of workmanship. He didn't design the supercharger system he pulled out a card or cash and bought it. Are you complimenting jackson racing for a job well done? I'm with you. The car is nice, but it's tame from what I associate with the name. Not everyone has the money to spend on those parts, but everyone could pretty much build that cars clone if they wanted to. I run into this kind of stuff all the time on a site called speedhunters... i think they even made there own KM4SH version of the kit ... If metallica makes a bieber cd, bieber fans will be happy but i'll still comment it's not metallica. 

The car is nice, it's proper. It's not what I remember risky devil being. But they are free to redefine themselves however they choose.


2xthefun Hanma MikeYee I think you're defining the whole group with one car here, which is a mistake. Plus Fish has a whole load of other machines that you'd be more familiar with and are more in keeping with what you are remembering. What I would say is that the S chassis, Lexus, engined swapped BMWs etc They're all still there, and this ZC6 is what people will be building in ten years when things become more affordable. I liken it to Gene Winfield chopping '49 Mercs when they were virtually new, now we're nostaligic about that but at the time people were shaking their heads.


chesing  Thanks! I know, it's uncanny right ;)


Swonz  Well said :)


AaronMuscato  It's a very cool area, one of the best locations I've seen in years. Good times :)


2xthefun Speedhunters_Bryn Hanma MikeYee  

I think you're putting Risky Devil on a pedestal that it doesn't belong on... We're never been about building cars to win drift competitions, it's just always been about friends building cool cars and doing dumb shit, nothing more, nothing less.

I been running a Lexus with nothing more than coilovers, wheels, and aero for about 6 years, is that pushing the limits or worthy of picking to win a drift competition?


Speedhunters_Bryn 2xthefun Hanma MikeYee  
Anyways, My comment was merely observational. It seems the group has changed and that's ok. The car is top notch with a good selection of parts. None of the parts are special because they are all readily available to the person with the money to buy them. However still a show winning top notch car. If the article had no mention of risky devil I would've just commented clean car and moved on. It had risky devil's name on it so I merely stated that this is tame based on a image of the group back when they were this ...






Now am I on some crusade to crush risky devil or call them out or tell you this is a fraud? Not at all, i remember them from some forum posts 4+yrs back or so. Have never been to Chicago, know next to nothing about them. Don't know who the members are and for all I know all the members are still in the club but based on my guess with the comment before mine it doesn't seem to be the case. Now if I told you a group of street hot rodders existed, and that their name was risky devils and according to their blog they are calling themselves a Risky Devil Drift/Street Rodder club and that they drift on and off track. Then I showed you the pictures of that BRZ and the ones from the Risky devil blog (sans risky devil stickers). Which ones would you guess are the real risky devils? I don't think many would guess both. For all I know the owner of the BRZ owns one of the cars in that video or pictures and to that I say, clearly you grew up and made some changes. Perhaps he still has the old car for fun or something and that's cool you should show it off to speedhunters and get that featured as well.


I dunno, I really like this car. Sure I remember the old risky devils videos ( done in an outstanding quality btw). The s chasis' with no front bumpers etc. A lot of people would give a nut for those cars. They were awsome cars. This car is a today car, the style, the stance, I really like it. Nice car, great pictures. Thanks for the article



Perform a quick search of :  McLaren MP4/8 Steering Wheel.


@goon 90's-era Toyota (JZA80/SW20/...) factory fitted part doe...




@Beany Speedhunters_Bryn  MP4/8 used a Nardi wheel...?


arent these the same two cars that were shown stock when 86s first came out? those shots were great, theyre still my wallpaper. i was just sliding my 86 around last night. its good to see people putting there cars to work will looking goo doing it


@Beany Speedhunters_Bryn i found zero results for this on Google images.


whats the offset on the wheels


I wonder if im the only one who came here because I didnt remember this risky devil article due to NFS2015 trailer, google searched risky devil and popped back in here...


86_4_life Lol me too