IF MAD MAX DROVE A TOYOTA: Missile drifting

November 13, 2008 12:30 am Published by

A “missile” car has a couple of definitions in Japan, depending in which context you’re talking. Usually it refers to a drift car that has been left close to standard externally, while still being heavily modified under the skin. Imagine the sort of thing a D1 driver would take up to the mountains for a bit of practice on weekends.

In the case of these cars however, it means that cost of tyres petrol, and entry fee for a track day combined should cost about as much as the car itself.

At this particular event at Nikko Circuit, four drivers showed up in missiles, and three of them were current D1 drivers, which meant the driving was sphincter-tigheningly close. The first two drivers here are Shinji Minowa in an R32 GTS-t, and this year’s D1GP Champion Daigo Saito in what is just barely recognisable as a JZX90 Mark II, running a very large turbo and 19-inch wheels and tyres left over from some of his slightly better looking JZX projects.

This was Koguchi’s car, an extremely clean C34 Laurel Club S Turbo with a manual conversion. It could have easily been mistaken for a spectator’s car in the pits, as it still had a full interior, standard body parts and green mica paint. The car was so untouched that after the first couple of sessions, he pulled into the pits, opened the boot and pulled out the space saver, jack and toolkit to save some weight.

By the end of the day, it was missing a headlight and the front grille from a couple of minor collisions, but was still in very good condition condsidering the number of near misses during the day.

This was D1 driver Kimihiro Obata’s car, a JZX90 Cresta. It was also reasonably stock, apart from a Trust turbo, ECU, intercooler, rollcage and row of gauges, along with the requisite mechanical LSD, fixed back bucket seat and Nardi steering wheel. This is the more traditional definition of a missile (similar to the definition of a “sleeper”), since externally it looks mostly normal, but is still packing a good few hundred horsepower.

When asked why he picked a JZX90 Cresta, he said “Because it doesn’t break.”

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This post was written by Alexi


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