drift car question

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I am interested in building a drift car and have a number of ideas of cars I would like to start with. I would like to stick with a us car but am open to any make of car. My question is what make and model is good for a base to start a drift car and what makes it good. What do I need to look at as far as suspension and tranny. I have a good idea on the motor but I am a little hazy on what specs and hardware to look for out of a car to make a good drift car.

posted by  bagley302

If you're looking for something US, you may come short on your search for drift cars. There are many RWD domestics, but not alot that will be easily modified. Most people start with the Nissan 240SX. Its a great car, but can tend to get really pricey with mods. Another cheaper idea is a Corolla AE86. Samll compact sports car made by Toyota. 2nd Generation Mazda RX-7's are fairly cheap and easily modded.

More expensive drift cars include a Toyota Supra, Skyline, S2000, 350Z, and Pontiac GTO. Not really popular with the average Joe, due to the pricey base cars. Oh and the Dodge Viper.

More off beat oddities, include the Porsche 944, 300XZ, AWD Evo's and STi's that have the front wheels locked. Datsun Z. Hmm... there may be quite a few more. Think of any medium sized RWD car and you could potentially make a good drift car out of it.

I, personally, am going to start with a Nissan 240SX or Corolla AE86. Both cheap cars, and relatively easy to find. Lightweight and inexpensive with a minimal income.

posted by  DSMer

I know of some american cars that i have seen drift.

im not a big fan of drifting so im not too familiar but:

the GTO is a good drifter

i have seen many third gen camaros and firebirds drift in competitions.

posted by  Rocket442

I'd say 240sx, and if you can get it with sr20det already installed :hi: . I saw some people drift in Miata's, but it might be hard to drift because of it weight distribution, but I don't know that for sure.

More expensive drift cars include a Toyota Supra, Skyline, S2000, 350Z, and Pontiac GTO. [QUOTE]

S2000's are very hard to drift, they're made for fast cornering and their engines don't have power at low rpm's, you would have to put some big $$$ for it to drift nice.

posted by  RusMan

Not a lot of RWD domestics that can be modified? I don't know af any that CAN'T be easily modified! From Fox Mustangs to earlier Mustang IIs and Pintos, to 2nd and 3rd gen Camaros, to Malibus, to Monzas.

Cars like Supras and the like tend to run 3000-3500 lbs, and to be honest most RWD Domestics of the '70s and '80s will eigh in about the same. Moast wil cost less than $2500, and have whole catalogs of upgrade parts for both suspensions and drivetrains (anybody want to name engines that can be cheaper and more easily modified than small block Fords and small bock Chevies???)

This Monza is for sale. $5k with a Corvette engine, Muncie 4 speed manual, Wilwood disc brakes, and full SCCA Cage and history...


carbed Mustangs like these can be had quite cheap as well, and are easy to modify...



You can pick cars like this Malibu up for under $500, and they can make great cars for this: V8 RWD...

http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Malibu/robert_mccarter_79_malibu/M vc-001f.jpg
http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Malibu/tony_laruffa_1981_malibu/Fr ont.jpg

Mavericks are easy to find in most parts of the country... Small block and RWD, as well.

http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/chris_stout_maverick/chris_stout_3 .jpg
http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/chris_stout_maverick/chris_stout_4 .jpg

Hell, even these can still be had relatively cheap if you know where to look..

http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Firebird/Pete_Tessier_78_Trans%20A m/t4.jpg

The point is, there are a lot of choices when it comes to a RWD domestic to be used for drifting. Most are dirt cheap if you don't look for the most popular models or trims (for example a plain firebird or 4-6 cyl Camaro, then do some swapping) or you don't look for perfect condition to start with. if ypu find an old enough one, you won't even have to worry about emissions...

posted by  ChrisV

BTW, here is a 3rd gen Camaro, runs, drives, V8, and has gone autocrossing, for $650. Perfect starting point:


posted by  ChrisV

2nd and 3rd Gen Camaros? Oldschool Malibus and TransAms? Meh....
I appreciate your efforts, but I was speaking in more "realistic"(so to speak) terms of "drift" cars. True, they are RWD and can be drifted but realisticly they are far to heavy and would take a more experienced driver to use any of the cars you listed above.

Maybe the Mustang, but again the weight issue. Supras are even rare drift cars because of there weight. Again they are all possible considerations but its just probably not realistic in a race event dominated by Japaneese imports.

ChrisV thats an excellent forum you linked me to about the V8 Camaro. Hey, I'm almost certain you have bought a car in another state or far away. Do you know of any shipping companys that will go to the sellers house load the car up and ship it to my area like on Ebay motors for a decent price?

posted by  DSMer

Not true. Guys with 3rd gen Camaros, El Caminos and th elike are haivng no problems drifting them, any more than the guys driving GTOs do (and as you know, teh Bondurant Drift School uses GTOs...) UIt's EXTREMELY easy to drive these cars sideways, even changing direction.

And it's going to take a more experienced driver to drift properly in ANYTHING. it's not like parallel parking...

Supras wegh 300-600 lbs more than teh Mustang. The Mustang II i pictured would be about 2700 lbs. The Monza would be about the same. Seriously, a stock RX7 TII is 2800 lbs, and the differnce between that and a 300o lb car is nothing. the Supra is 3600 lbs. My '70 Mustang fastback that I autocrossed was 2900 lbs! the malibu shown was 3200 lbs. Simply not enough of a jump to matter. The Nissan Sylvias and ZXs are all about the same size and weight. And they seem to do fine.

How many of these domestics have you driven sideways?

As guys with the 3rd gen camaros have been finding out, that's not really true. And if more people spent time trying it, you'd see more people getting skilled at it, or showing that it was not as difficult as the Japanese elitists think.

There is no decent price. I've had to get everything myself... My '63 Comet I drove from Baltimore to just south of Chicago with a tow dolley and brought it home. $20 total vs a thousand dollars to have it shipped back.

Oh, and that forum has some of the most openminded tinkerers I've ever met. These guys build 11-12 second drag cars that autocross and look decent and don't cost more than $2k to build, including the price of the car.. They'll build from ANYTHING.

posted by  ChrisV

Well when I was driving domestics like Trans Ams, Camaros, and Hatcbhack Mustangs drifting was a sport that had only been concieved in mountains of Japan. I've driven a few oldschool muscle cars. I was even allowed to drive my fathers TransAm at a cone track event. I've never actually slideways any of these older muscle cars you speak of, but I have driven a few.

I've attempted to drift in an AE86 and 240SX about two handfulls of times. I never really got good with the AE86, but I did manage to do a complete 90 degree bend in a 240SX. As you said it is a sport that takes time to master with any car. I mean they have a damn Viper in the Drift Circuit. Whats next a Z06?

I'm very open to building older American cars but I just never really suited them for drifting. Maybe bracket racing or autocrossing, but a 2nd gen Camaro(wich I just so happen to think is the ugliest thing with a bowtie on it) never crossed my mind. Again I have been to a few drift events and I've seen some hatchback Mustangs. Again this is'nt a sport where strenght of a car determines anything. I mean they have 280HP Corollas battling it out with 500HP Vipers. Cars have no definition in this sport other than RWD. So I guess anything RWD can be drifted, but I would'nt expect to see many youngsters on the circuit with older 60's 70's and 80's muscle classic cars.

So you're saying a road trip hundreds to thousands of miles away is more cost effective than having a courrier ship the car?

posted by  DSMer

Oh, man, you don't know what your missing! hehehehehe. A good ponycar or mid size like I pictured are great at getting sidewas controllably. I mean, dirt tracking was invented in large cars like that... Iv'e had mustangs and Trans Ams totally sidways trying to hustle them through the cones, and trying to make street tires behave on a regular road course. You can easily set how far out the rear hangs just by tickling the throttle.. Fun.

And that was before drifting existed as a "sport."

Wouldn't rule it out.

Ouch. THe 2nd gens (especially the early ones) are pretty much my favorite Camaros, patterned as they were after '60s Ferraris, but muscular. I'm sorry, but I can't picture a way in teh world anyone even HALF inteersted in fast cars couldn't consider this a gorgeous car:


http://www.pro-touring.com/events/Track_Day/Parking%20Lot/Misc_Hotchkis_F-7 1_front_right.jpg

http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Camaro/mikael_peterson_70_camaro_r s/side.jpg

http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Camaro/Fredrik_elisson_73_Camaro/C amaro1.jpg

posted by  ChrisV

I love the 2nd Gen Camaros Engine, rear body styling, suspension, colors, but that FRONT END! My god, that dukes of hazard thing is so fecking ugly.. I think I like practicly every car on earth except that 2nd Gen Camaro front end and the front end on the early GTO's(and 72). The only car I can almost bear to stand that bubly headlight look is the Pontiac TransAm and even thats torture....

Its a great car, don't get me wrong but that front end just likes like. Wierd... Like an aliens face sort of.

posted by  DSMer

Dukes of Hazzard? Their Charger didn't heven have exposed headlights...


And the nose is the best part (other then the very Ferrari rear end). The dual headlight design has been seen on Jaguars (from the Mark X and 420 through the XJ6 to the S Type), and then on Mercedes:


Sorry, but it's an acknowledged classic design, and I can't find a way to think of it as an alien bugeye etc. Wow. I'm trying to figure out what sort of forces molded a kid's psyche to come up with that sort of reaction to that car...

Oh well. Doesn't matter, as there's no reason for you to own one. :mrgreen:

posted by  ChrisV

Its not the dual headlight desing, its the way the headlights are fixed to the front end. The Mercedes and Jaguar resemble that of a Porshe. Sleek style dual headlights. The Front ends of the older muscle cars have headlights that are perpendicular to to ground. They have no slope, they just sit there. Then they have these long tubular designs arround the headlights that extend a few feet too far into the body that are more squared than tubular.

Its just bug eyed looking. Lots of people agree with me on this, its not just my young age. I just like my muscle cars square on the front. They have more of a blocky feel to it. I like my muscle cars blocky, my imports sloped, and my euros with a little of both..

Nonsense ChrisV, I have every reason to own a Camaro as you do. Only difference is that my Camaro would resemble my generation and probably flashier wheels. Not to mention 67 would be my prime choice. Whereas you like the 2nd generation. However if I do follow through with my autmotive body classes(as I will) rest assured a 67 Camaro just might be up my ally. Don't let my generally import directed view fool you. I'm just as interested in a classis Camaro as you are.

posted by  DSMer

DSMer, you sound like you've watched Initial D :laughing: The AE86 is a great drift car, I agree. The Evos are good for uphill drifting (more specifically the Evo III and IV.) If you're thinking about an RX-7, I would go after an FC3S (RX-7 Infinity.) In my small experience with one, they're good precision drifters, and take corners VERY well. As for an import only car, the Sil-Eighty is a great car. They're sleek looking and are relatively cheap and easily modded (from what I've heard, but you might want a second opinion as I'm speaking as a fanboy.) Toyota Altezza is a great choice. I can't tell you much about the car, but I've seen one in action and it's another of my personal favorites. If you're looking for something that can be ran rally also, the new lancers have a specific build for that. I don't know how good they are, but I've never heard of anyone complaining about a lancer's performance.

Rereading some of the posts made me think of another car. A porsche 928 would be good in drift with the equal weight distribution. I watched my friend take that thing around a 150 or so degree turn with relative ease at 50mph (it was his first try and I do say that 50mph was pretty daring.) I forget the year but I believe it was mid 80's and he got it for a mere $4000 and 5 golf cart batteries (don't ask.)

posted by  Nichol Bolas

Well, the point of the 2nd gen camaro was to evoke the feeling of the earlier Ferrari GTs, like the Lusso, as the actual musclecar era was coming to a close. this gave a sleeker look for a car that was supposed to be a pony car, and a handler, not a drag machine like the Chevelle.

While the early 2nd gen Camaros are pretty much favorites, the '69s are about tied in my mind. But again, it's the Z/28 and road race versions, not the drag cars, that interest me.

http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Camaro/Brent_Jackson_Built/brent_6 9_015.jpg

http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Camaro/1969_Camaro/Robert_Spears_6 9_Camaro/right_front.JPG


http://www.pro-touring.com/featured_cars/Camaro/1969_Camaro/Jimmy_Spears_tw in_turbo_69_Camaro/Camaro_at_Bristol.jpg

posted by  ChrisV

In my opinion, S14s have always looked sexy sideways. :hi:

posted by  ToCkS

Good drift cars. me dad used to own a 1988 Levin AE86 :thumbs: that was wicked! sideways round corners of course he rarely did that with me in the car since i was a lil bliter! anyway there good drift cars :) also 240 SX the S13 and S14 are quality even better is the 180SX type X . but without a dought the all time daddy of drift is the silvia S15 Spec-R :smoke: 100mph side ways :thumbs: . I wouldnt start with the S15 id say the 240sx S13 would be a good place to begin :mrgreen:

posted by  Lukaz

I wonder how long it will take him to realize that the 240SX and S15 are the same cars. Dumbass :banghead:

posted by  DSMer

i know they are jeez your so up yourself anit you! :fu: the S15 is a mk you twat for starters not a car. so well done on making yourself look stupid there!
like you get the S13 the S14 all mk not actully the car itself silvias are japanse SX and in england we have the 200SX and 180SX so i dunno what your on about but youve just proved your the dumbass! :screwy: Good day :laughing:

posted by  Lukaz

If I could understand that I'd probably be offened. Then again, I'm probably just horrified at your stupidity. No matter what way you put it a S13 S14 S15 180SX 240SX and Silvia are all the same damn cars. I don't care what YOU get in England or what they make in Japan. The cars are all the same aside from generations.

posted by  DSMer

Ahem actully your wrong!!! lol

engines from the S13 model
the 180SX uses the SR20DET
whilst the 240SX uses the KA24DE
the 200SX uses the CA18DET (england)

im sorry Diss mer but you lose . notice the engines are diffrent !

posted by  Lukaz

The engines may be different but the car is the same....

posted by  83camaro

i see your point there but then again it can be debateable i would say car implies the entire seperate parts that make it and so if you change somthing as big as the engine i would say the car is diffrent. your right in saying the car is the same since apart from the engine and maybe silly things like left /right hand drive. But an engine is an extremly important part that affects the car itself and for that reason id say there diffrent the performs figures for them cars are very diffrent.

posted by  Lukaz

So using your relative theory(aside from the 200SX, completly different car) my fathers V8 Mustang and my friends V6 Mustang of the exact same years are two completly different cars because they have different engines.

Better yet, my Honda Civic is a different car because it has a JDM motor in it as opposed to a normal USDM motor.

As you can clearly tell that is'nt the case at hand. A Silvia is a 240SX is a S13-15. Does'nt matter what engine is in it. They are all the same cars just different generations. Don't quite see whats "debatable" about the subject at hand.

Being as that you would like to get technical. No car ever badged 180SX from the factory had an SR20 motor in it. That I can assure you. Any car with an SR20 motor in it either had the name Silvia atached to it or another likness of cars in wich the motor was used in different platforms

posted by  DSMer

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