Dugan contacted me. “Hey Quinn, I’m getting another car, do you want my LS400?”
Yes. Simply Yes.
Faith and I hopped in her truck and headed up island to Courtney. A few hours later we arrived to find a Dug and a lovely lexus. After a few instructions we were back on the road coming back to Vic.
The grinding was the brakes. No pad left on the front right! After the drive Faith commented “I don’t think I saw your brake lights, they might not be working?” I wasn’t using the brakes, I replied. The front brakes were junk! Shifting down to slow down works in automatics too! Slow down a bit early, turns that red into a green and cruise through. Back to Victoria, no hiccups.
#1 I fixed the front brakes. Important! How’s the rest of the car? Not bad for 430,000km it runs and drives lovely, fires up instantaneously when touching the key. Rad! I had always wanted to own an LS400, and having owned an SC400 I knew roughly what I was getting into; a solid feeling, highly refined automobile. Under appreciated, and a far higher quality than all other competitors at the time. A little lifeless, strict feeling car, it’s the epitome of a smooth vehicle, making even modern luxury offerings questionably refined with time. Timeless is pretty accurate.
Some small issues with the 6 disc changer, the A/C needing a recharge, and some missing trim pieces, an oval solid automobile. Dugan gave this to me for free. The goal? Fueling my drifting, either to slide it, or to fund my drift car build. I’m greedy and hoping for both.
August 1st was another one of our awesome Capital Drift events. Since it had been a year since I drifted. It has been a year of drastic internal struggle and low personal value. My favorite things would be pushed aside, perhaps as a self inflicted punishment for awkwardly internalized distaste or some other heavy topic. It’d been a while since I drifted and as always when I have a break, I forget my actual abilities.
Paul brought some tires by for me. “I’ve got some burners for you to use!” Mr. Boost arrived with these R32 GTR wheels for me. Immediately I knew these weren’t going to work for me! The car came with some Motomaster 205’s. The GTR’s had sticky 225’s on them, so that wasn’t going to work. Plan B: Burn the 205’s instead. I mounted the GTR’s on the front in preparation for having 4 tires to burn. Drive home on the GTR’s.
It all came rushing back to me, instantly. It always does. I convince myself that I have forgotten to drift. I never do. Bicycle riding problems. It did take a while to get used to the Foot parking brake. Did I mention this car is stock? 100% original. Meaning automatic, open differential with, as mentioned, a foot parking brake, not hand. I had seen some Option video of a Japanese guy drifting an auto Stagea, and remembered he had kept the parking brake release engaged with a cigarette pack. I don’t smoke so I found the best alternative I could; a rubber exhaust hanger donut did the job just fine all day.
Lap after lap, I kept getting better with it. Easy to slide. Approach the corner with waaay too much speed, foot parking brake down, counter, slam the gas. We were doing a layout with a severely decreasing radius corner. Normally in a manual, you’d enter in third gear, down to second, and depending on your line, get into first and push back up to second. With the auto, I left the power mode for the ECT on, TRAC system off, and in 2 on the gear stick with the overdrive off. This left the transmission only able to shift into the first two of the 4 available gears. 2nd in the automatic is long enough to enter in the place of 3rd of a manual trans.
For the decreasing radius of the big first corner I’d ride the parking brake to scrub some speed long enough for the transmission to kickdown to first gear, then jam back on to the gas. It took a few tries to make it all a smooth motion, my left foot getting used to the new job of parking brake, rather than clutch kick. lol Once into first, I’d cram the accelerator to the floor and get the tires cooking. Too much time and the open diff would grab the pavement again. The rest of the track wasn’t too challenging, though I embarrassingly spun once during one of my runs. I almost never spin, and can get a bit frustrated when others spin in front of me when I’m having a great lap.
I did a pile of runs without any issues! The car had plenty of power, the transmission wasn’t too fussy for being an auto. The open differential was most of the pain, the odd time I’d get one wheel peel during a slide, but it was easily corrected with a reminder by the parking brake. Although more turns than my Corolla, the steering ratio didn’t hinder me much. It was a successful drift day! Even though it was a million degrees out, the car stayed cool both in the motor and transmission. Also, I managed to some how not ruin a single tire, and drove home on the ones I drove in on! Weird and rewarding! Thanks to Dugan for the car. Paul for the lender wheels, as well as Kahla and Trevor for the photos! I had a blast!
Edit: Anthony Bell sent me a few new snaps!