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


  • reuben says:

    like a cross between stock cars and drifting, its cool these guys practise like this. balls to the wall mf!

  • Stumbles says:

    and yet those “missles” would still sell for heaps here in Australia !

  • Warren says:

    I dig the Saito’s JZX90 and the Minowa’s flat black 32!!! I really love to see those battlescared cars in action!!!!

  • Luke says:

    The only way to get better when your the current world champion or any high level driver is to drive a car that makes you work for it, and a missile car sure makes you do that, but the real missile heros drive non turbos!!!

    – Luke

  • Nick Teeboon says:

    Hell yes!!!! N/a missiles are much more fun and use less gas and tyres.

  • Pete says:

    Great picture of the C34 Laurel!
    I haven’t seen any of these around in a while.
    I would love to see more pics of the C34’s.
    Thanks and Great Site!
    My ride:
    1995 C34 Laurel, HKS GT2835-52, FMIC, HKS Fcon, R32 GTR Brakes, Defi gauges, and 5spd swap.