Is really the way I see front wheel drive cars, but this isn’t to say, I dislike them. I’ve had some great fun a front wheel drive car, both grip and sliding. However, with some experience doing both, I still prefer a RWD car. To be honest, I haven’t been making posts lately because I felt most of my older informational posts weren’t original content, but rather stubs of other articles. My post counts have been dropping dramatically, and my other fellow contributers have basically stopped themselves.
Recently I’ve had some conversations with people while out having some fun. The idea of 360’s into drifts was new to them, and front wheel drive drifting was unheard of. This kind of boggled me. I read blogs everyday regarding automotive content and often find the same source of materials repeated, so I’ve been discouraged to post. Apparently this is illogical, rather than providing 100% original content all the time, I’ve now found from these conversations throughout the past few months of my increased involvement in local motorsport, that the fact is even though it exists elsewhere, it’s my duty as blogger to share it with those who read my blog. I was under the illogical assumption that, “meh, people have seen it before”, but apparently not. So I bring you, the beginning of the CopyPasta that is the coming Speed Hero: Front Wheel Drive Drifting.
There, let’s just get this started the way it should: another article copying pictures from the Honda Tuning Article. Now, some of you may be familiar with what I post next; it’s an old Video Option segment on the most known FWD drifter, Keisuke Hataeyama. Pictured above is his famous B18 powered EF Civic hatch. Known for it’s obscure staggard fitment, Keisuke was noticed by video option and eventually picked up by Falken tires!
An interesting video of Hataeyama sliding around Nikko, the thing is, others began to follow in his wake in Japan. In the US? His influence wasn’t very strong. He was shipped over for some demonstration runs at Irwindale, and sadly this footage is hard to come by…but I found a clip. It’s shitty, but he does alright for drifting at Irwindale!
It’s interesting to watch, but barely displays his actual lines as he appears to go purposely wide. The odd thing is, I’m not sure of the timing of his visit to the US. In the Honda Tuning Article, seen here, he explains how he finds Americans more accepting of front wheel drive drifting then the Japanese. I find this quite odd, and am curious if this happened before the rise of MSC competitions in Japan.
I remember long ago seeing footage from Hawaii, with an EF sedan sliding around their local track, and doing decently. Although I can’t find the exact video there are some short clips in this S chassis abundant video of a few alternative drift Chassis’s, from an EK sedan, EF sedan and a 3Rd Gen F-body Camaro. Click here to View the Driftsession.com footage. Although it’s still not popular in Hawaii, you can understand from this older footage, being close to, and a huge vacation spot for Japanese, the influence left early on in North Americas drifting timeline. Update: Thanks to Brice Hiranaka, a Hawaii resident and blogger over at E7 club, some photos of Kyle Arai and his infamous Civic Sedan.
If you speak to an average North American drift enthusiast about front wheel drive drifting, they’ll giggle at you, some may even argue it’s not drifting. I’d like to avoid the topic of that debate and focus on the California Touge Runs. I remember long ago a picture of what I believe was a Camo EF civic, parked on a local California Touge with an S13. With some research it turns out it was a fellow by the name of Dave Schotz, sliding around in an EF, after being influenced by Hataeyama, around ’97???!?! I’ve got one shot of his car from the great book “Drifting: Sideways From Japan to America”, written by Antonio Alvendia, of SpeedHunters fame.
This just goes to show that the current attitude of Today’s North American drifter is skewed, having little knowledge that when it began, it wasn’t uncommon for people to slide FWD’s. It’s funny to hear the comments currently at what I believe is the peak of the S chassis’s popularity. Recently a Formula D 240sx was stolen and in a thread I found someone saying “all these cars are getting stolen cause all the honda guy are switching to 240’s and thats all honda guys do is steal cars so now they got to steal our cars …. ”
The reality of the situation is the Acura Integra type R, Honda Civic SIR, and Honda Accord are the most stolen cars in America. The increase in 240sx theft is discouraging as the transition from import drag racings popularity to that of Drifting is oddly funny in relation to the history of drifting in North America. Those who were truely serious, interested in it long before it’s current popularity felt fine drifting FWD cars, but now, S chassis’s are under attack.
Japan on the other hand, over the past few years, has had a great influx of obscure drift cars, from Automatic drifting crews to competitors winning competitions in FWD cars. Motor Sports Com or, MSC for short is an interesting and fairly new Alternative to the D1GP and it’s more entertaining sister, D1 Street Legal. MSC offers a wider class of amateur drivers. Singles drift, Pairs battle, and team tripples are the most known of MSC along with grip classes as well. They’ve had through the last few years an odd FWD car actually win in different Drift Classes!
A majority of these FWD drift uprise are that of old, disposed Kei cars. With a low weight, short wheel base, and cheap operating costs, the popularity of FWD kei car drifting is slowly climbing. Below is a good example of Kei car drifting!
Front wheel drive drifting is possible, it’s part of the roots of drifting, and shouldn’t be looked down upon. Yes it is different, and yes it is a bit slower, but the overall moral is, don’t be discouraged because you have a FWD car. Rather hop in and go slide.