Chapter 8: The Drift Kid There's a drift crowd here in NYC. Everything from Honda S2000s, Toyota Supras, RWD Toyota Corollas, and the occasional imported Skyline GTS. They run the same route every weekend, and it's the same route I used to run my Camaro around. Today I saw a kid making himself look horrible trying to drift the course. He was in a white Corolla, one of the older, boxy ones. But it had fixed headlights and was right-hand drive. He had it sitting nose-high by a bit, and was having issues both getting it sideways and keeping it there. By this time, I had parked on the side of the road in my Silvia, gotten out, and lit a cigarette. Next time he came around, he saw me. He cracked down through the gears, pulled up behind me, cracked the throttle in neutral, and shut it off. He got out. “You'll kill your turbo like that. Yes, I heard it, your blow-off valve isn't THAT quiet.” “Who the heck are you? What are you doing here?” “The name's John.” “Nice meeting you, John. I'm Lee.” “The same. Anyhow... I'm here because I felt like seeing if anyone was out today. Looks like you're the only drifter around, eh?” “Well, I wouldn't say I'm much of a drifter. As you can see, I'm horrible.” “Nah, you're just having some issues. Some might be coming from the car, some might be your driving.” “Oh?” “Yeah. You're not so much having problems getting the rear tires lit up, but you can't enter at a very high speed with the car as it is. You've taken some steps in the right direction with the lower rear, but that's not quite enough.” “Hm? How can I get it so I can go into the corner faster?” “I'd have to drive the car, but my initial thought is that you've probably got a rear differential that's too tight on deceleration and the car's very rear-light. You mind if I take it around for a few laps?” “Sure, let's go.” He tossed me the keys. I walked over to the drivers side, he walked around to the left side of the car, and we got in. I put the trans in neutral, shoved the clutch in, and hit the key. The little 1.6L came to life and we pulled out. As I accelerated down the long main straight, I already noticed that this car certainly felt stronger than my Silvia. Sure enough, we hit 220 km/h according to the speedo before I had to brake for the first hairpin. I feinted to get the tail to come out, and the entire car just stayed glued until I whacked the throttle. It went sideways, then straightened out the instant I dialed a little countersteer in. Rear tires still spinning, I cranked the wheel back into the corner to get it the rest of the way through. The next corner, I slowed down to around 40mph, cranked the wheel in, and nailed the throttle. The rears lit up, and I controlled my angle partly with throttle modulation and partly with countersteer. The fronts started grabbing right near exit, and I turned back in just a little to finish off the slide. From there around, it was just slow, 2nd gear entry and WOT to get the tail out. It hung it out nicely a few times, and then a few times, the tail got out a bit too much but then RPM dropped, it bogged, and spun on me. I pulled in behind the Silvia, stopped, put it in neutral, and pulled the handbrake up. ”She's rear-light and the differential is too tight on deceleration. What do you have in it?” “Uhh, I bought it like this. Guy said it's got a 2-way, yeah...” “How's the suspension?” “One adjustment on the shocks, ride-height adjustable, and I've got a few different springs for it.” “Hmm... Do you have cash?” “Why?” “This car can be made to slide nicely, but it won't be cheap.” “How much are we talking?” “8 grand. Total.” “Uhh, sure. Where do you want me to bring the car to?” “Follow me.” I got out, leaving the car running, got in the Silvia and fired it up. I watched Lee cross over to the driver's side of his 86, and then I pulled out with him directly behind me. I just drove to my shop, where I hadn't been seen as yet, parked, and got out. Of course, everyone wanted to know why the hell I was driving a Japanese car, where the Camaro was, and why another Japanese car was coming in. Lee handed me a check for 10 grand, said to keep the change and have his car done soon, and started walking out the door. I tossed him the keys of our lender vehicle, a 2005 Mustang GT in dark gray with a stick. Time to get to work.