I mention on the site a lot that I had four cars that got me into drifting. Each one had its own reasons for getting me sideways, whether it was on purpose or on accident. However, I never really talk about what modifications were on those cars, or what they meant to me.
Between the Crossfire, the S2000, the S13, and the S14, they acted a bit like a stairway to drifting. Each one got me a little bit closer to my goal of learning to go sideways properly.
The cars also stepped it up each time with the level of modification done to them. Here, I’ll also link a video of each car with their section.
1) Chrysler Crossfire – Alora
She was my first real sports car. I had driven a little ’87 Porsche before her, but there was no contest in style, speed, or sound. Alora was a 2004 Chrysler Crossfire, with a 3.2L v6 and a 6-speed manual. Her modifications were fairly light, and almost all cosmetic. She had twin Spectre intakes, a full Megan Racing exhaust system, and that was it for power. She came originally in Blaze Red Crystal Pearlcoat, but a center black stripe had been added. The wheels were plasti-dipped matte black, as were the hubcaps, the Mercedes badges, and the front Chrysler emblem. I had gotten her from someone who hadn’t driven this car in years, so I had to swap out full rotors, calipers, and pads. The car ran beautifully, despite sitting for so long.
There was one last mod I did to her, albeit unintentionally.. A new rear sub-frame. Part of why I sold her was the open differential, and me not knowing I could swap out a differential fairly easily. I was trying to slide around a sweeping S-bend, and the differential tried to let one wheel grip, snapping the car full opposite. My reactions weren’t quick enough, so I over-countered, and whipped the left rear wheel into the curb at about 30mph. A couple control arms gave out, I bent the shock tower, and broke the rear cradle. As it turns out, there was already some rust-caused structural issues in it, and my hit was all it needed to break.
I had to limp it home, the rear end dog-tracking by at least a foot. This was during winter, so the snow on the road didn’t help any. It took me a week to source all the parts I thought I needed, and swap it all out. As it would turn out, I needed a new rim as well, I didn’t know it had bent. A couple of other front-end suspension components were damaged, but nothing was beyond my repair capabilities.
I sold the car while waiting for the new rim to arrive. I sold it to a kid who couldn’t have been older than 18, and met him a couple days after to give him the new rim (which I plasti-dipped to match his other rims). This kid couldn’t have been happier, he didn’t even try to negotiate the price. We took it for a test drive, and as soon as we got back home, he said “So, I think I’ll take it. Let me get you some money.” To be fair, the price I had listed was well under what this car was worth, and my repairs to the car were to OEM specifications. If I’m repairing a car, I’ll do the job right, to the point where I’d trust it to be reliable.
Regardless, he drove it about five hours home, and another six round-trip to meet me and get the rim. That was the last I heard from him, so I assume he’s still having a good time with Alora to this day.
2) Honda S2000 – Tookie
Tookie was another mostly stock car, but she was a lot of fun in her stock form. The LSD from factory was much more friendly for going sideways than the open diff in Alora was. As far as modifications go, There wasn’t much to speak of. The seats were swapped with those from an AP2, as was the rear end. I installed an underglow kit, and had a muffler re-welded. That was the extent of her modification, really. She’d gone through quite a few motors, though. I had receipts for three AP1 motors, and two AP1 transmissions, along with the shop receipts for swapping them out. Despite all that, she ran like a champ, and I never had a serious issue with her. The biggest thing that happened was I blew the 100amp main fuse at a cookout.
I actually happened upon this car just a short while before I put Alora in the curb. Scrolling through Craigslist was becoming less of a hobby and more of an addiction at this point, I was on constantly. Someone in the big city had posted an S2000 with a “mild autocross setup”, about 90k miles, and a rebuilt title. He wanted half of market value for an S2000, so I scrounged what money I had lying around, and met him in a closed-down waterpark parking lot. I had never driven such a fast car (or stiff clutch) before, and the shift pattern was incredibly tight ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) . It took me a few tries, but I got used to how much of a go-kart this car was. I ended up picking her up for under 6k, driving her home, and parking her in the garage until I sold the Crossfire.
Daily Life With An S2000
Daily life was fairly simple with Tookie. She was incredibly reliable, good on gas, and just a ton of fun to drive. The only major downside to her was there were only two seats. Being the idiot I am, I found a way around that though; I just had a friend of mine sit on the trunk. To be fair, this was to travel less than a city block, but still not my finest moment. It was a blast, though, and the trunk held up without complaint. This was really the car I did the most dumb things with, and got me the best (or worst) reputation. Driving fast forwards, sideways, and backwards will do that for you (turns out VTEC works in reverse, who knew?).
I had no idea the reputation the differentials in S2000s had. Apparently I was really, really lucky though, as I didn’t blow mine up. This car was sideways fairly consistently, as I was getting a feeling for how to control the car with the throttle more than the steering. As I’m sure you can figure, when I got rid of her, she needed rear tires.
3) 1995 Nissan 240SX – Starry Night
Up until now, I’d been driving mostly standard cars, things that didn’t stand out too much on the road. They were fairly new, no outdated styling or body kits, just some attention from people who knew these cars well. Now, though, cars were getting interesting. This car was a straight trade for Tookie, despite her having a rebuilt title. Now, here I can get into a real list of mods, because oh boy were there mods.
- Notchtop SR20DET from JDM 2001 S15 Silvia
- Bored 0.20 over
- Forged pistons
- Forged rods
- Billet crankshaft
- gt2871r turbo fmc
- Mishimoto radiator
- Mishimoto intercooler
- Walbro fuel pump
- ATL trunk-mounted fuel cell
- 750cc injectors
- 256 cams
- bc springs and ti retainers
- solid lifters
- 4″ turboback straight pipe
- Greddy boost controller
- Greddy turbo timer
- Custom widebody kit
- 1″ wheel spacers
- Raceland adjustable coilovers
- F1r F21s all around
- Bride bucket seat and 4-point harness
- Full gutted interior
- 1-way limited slip differential
Point being, she was modded a bit, and I loved it. Pushing about 400 to the wheels, she had the power to keep up with a friend’s Jeep Trackhawk. Of course, the 240 probably weighed half what the Jeep did, hence the lower horsepower keeping up so well. However, she still had the guts to push it past 150, and was pretty stable doing so. Speed wasn’t where she lived, though. The skid pad was her true home, and she was there fairly consistently.
4) 1991 Nissan 240sx
I haven’t had much time with her yet, she was a recent buy. She doesn’t even have a name yet! Her heart is a red-top SR20DET, pretty much stock. The body kit is an S13.5 kit, giving her the S15 front end, and keeping the S13 rear. The differential is welded, but other than that, she’s pretty bare bones. The interior is pristine, but the exterior has taken some abuse. When she gets out of storage, she’ll be going straight to the body shop, then the paint booth. She’ll be my Mona Lisa, my baby, and “Hans labor ain’t cheap, ya feel me?”