First photo was from this past weekend last year, Pumpkin Smash at Western Speedway. Last drifting photo is this years Pumpkin Smash.
A full year of, essentially, learning how to drift has taken quite a toll on this poor car. Despite being shit-beat, rarely washed, questionably maintained, daily driven (up until this month), often streeted, and monthly tracked… I can honestly say it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned.
I guess, now that the season is done, this may as well be a year-ish in review. This is gonna be long, I feel… tldr; drifting is fun, car killed it, i improved, my friends improved, car mods over winter, can’t wait to shred next season.
Two weeks ago I was going through footage from events in early 2013, the amount of spins and lack of angle was almost depressing. But as I moved on to more recent footage, it made me proud. How far I’ve progressed and how much better my car has performed with each change and upgrade really makes me happy.
Looking at the car as she sits now, in front of my house (still packed from this weekends activites no doubt), I can see every dent and mark and remember when and where it happened. The crinkle in the left of the rear bumper from when I backed it into westerns wall Nov ‘12, the big black smudge on the right from Cody’s Volvo giving me a friendly reminder that I’m drifting too slow, the left tail light that’s been replaced and doesn’t quite sit straight from when Jay was slapping the entry wall at penticton and I got too excited… 3rd gear huck to wall smash (i can’t believe I got that quarter to push out as nicely as it did), the fender roll I did to desperately fit 205/60’s under there on my challengers… the headlights that show me more whats going on in the bushes to my left than what is on the road thanks to a sandwich between Brandon and Warren when Liam span in front of us… the list goes on. Friends often mention “wow this used to be a clean car.” and I play it off with a “nah dude, it only looked clean.” and list off a bunch of “issues” it had….really though, only to make myself feel better. This winter I want to try my best to get her looking presentable again. I’d like to look into some form of cage, mostly because I want to make sure I won’t get turned away from tandems at any event I go to. Priority #1 though is subframe risers and complete adjustable arms, and new bushings and balljoints anywhere I haven’t touched already. One piece drive shaft would be cool, same with axle spacers so I can stop wrecking axle boots and still be low. I’m being pushed by most to get more power, and I almost bit the bullet a few weeks back to buy my old sr20 from the cressida back… but this motor has been so solid to me, i have ran it almost dry multiple times, overheated the fack out of it twice when the clutch fan got stuck, I havent done an oil change since….July? maybe? too long regaurdless… and it still doesn’t complain or seem like it’s lost any power. I think as a learning experience I want to completely take it apart and rebuild it for single cam dopeness. Because… I gotta admit, when people come up to you and ask “So what are you running in that thing, an sr?”
"Nah man, just a stock single cam running 94 and 5* advance timing"
"YOU’RE DOING ALL THAT WITH A SINGLE CAM?"
…that feels pretty good man.
Earlier this year I put 7mm rack spacers in, my world changed pretty dramatically and the car performed so well I couldn’t ask anything more from the set up. I had a spare set of knuckles sitting at my friend Brock’s shop Metalmorphasis for a solid 6 months, ready to be modded, I honestly had no desire to go there, to me it just meant more money for longer tie rods and possibly having to extend lca’s blah blah blah… time and money essentially. And this was my daily, I didn’t really have the time to take it off the road while I do silly mods like that. Now that I have the cressida to daily I had the opportunity to do the angle mods even though I felt I didn’t need them. The swap ran into way too many complications for how simple it was supposed to be and how close to the event I started… and the fact that it now got dark at 6pm and pretty cold around the same time really killed my motivation to keep at it. I knew, because of the shorter arms and the adjustments for ackerman, that the car was going to feel weird… but I was not prepared for how broken it felt. I almost gave up right there. But a little tinkering with alignment and some more driving to get comfortable with the feeling, I decided… and I quote (to my embarrassment) ”It’s the last event of the year, I’ll be pissed if I don’t go. Fuck it. YOLO.”
And I am incredibly glad I went, on multiple levels. First off, after an hour trying to get used to the kuckles, and a half hour of lap, check for rubbing, hammer, spraypaint, repeat… the car has never felt so good. I didn’t realize how much speed stock ackerman robs you of. The car felt so fast. The feeling of hucking and planting it to the floor and holding it there the entirety of big bank without letting off to avoid spinning was so weird. I could actually work with just steering input if i took the right line. I was pretty inconsistent all day because it was still rubbing the odd time and it really was a new car…
..but also I was a little shook from some news I received from Facebook. Which brings me to the second reason I’m glad I made it out. A friend of mine that I met back when I lived in Kelowna was killed the day before. Gavin was one of the first handful of people I met when I moved to Kelowna and along with Drift Union was one of the guys to really get me stoked on drifting. I found it slightly ironic that I would learn of his passing while on track at a drift day. I had to pull from the line up for a little bit, it was pretty unsettling news. But I had one of those “life is fleeting, don’t miss out on fun and friends while you have the opportunity” moments. Gavin never got to finish and drive his silvia, and here I am at a track with a working car and a good set of tires. Why am I wasting time? I didn’t get out of line again until I delaminated a tire and had to swap out. Pretty sure that was the fastest tire change I’ve done. Finished the day with a big burnout to toast the last of my tires. I dedicate that entire day to you Gav, we’ll miss you.
This year has had it’s share of ups and downs. I could go into depth but it’s really unnecessary, in the end I rolled through 2013 with the most positive attitude I could and the results are in: 2k13 killed it, and there are still two months left to winter beater around in the cressida.
I’m stoked to see what this car will look like and drive like come spring time. I’m stoked to see what my teammates in Buckaroos! get done over winter. All of them have improved 10-fold from when I first started driving with them and slowly adding them to the roster over the past year. I’m stoked on my progress but I’m even more amped on how good the rest of them are getting too. I think 2014 is going to be insane. I know a lot of motor upgrades are happening, and as much as I like following… I think I’ll be doing a lot of leading next year if I stay single cam. That’s ok though, there will always be someone that needs a little pressure from behind to steepen their learning curve. I know how much it helped me having a good driver like cody, warren, nick, dan, etc… give me a little pressure.
I feel like I had more to say but now it’s late and I forget. Watch out for a Buckaroos! 2013 video at some point this winter. It will be shitty and fun…. but probably just shitty haha
Cheers hombres! Let’s tandem next year!