A few of Texas’ notable drifters descended upon Gulf Greyhound Park about a month ago for a day of drifting. It was ridiculously hot, but everyone seemed to mow through all their tires by the day’s end.
I’ll go ahead use this post to make my formal introduction as well – My name is Henry Swasey and I’m from Houston, Texas. I’m a photographer/videographer who has a thing for drifting (street drifting specifically). As you may have seen in my other videos that were previously posted on MotorMavens, I’m with a local drift crew called Team Silhouette, and we have a shared interest in dope street drifting and getting it captured on camera. I have a few big projects in the works, so stay tuned to MotorMavens for more Lone Star drifting!!
They explained that Leo Malfatti, owner of TTR Tuning, wanted to hold a drift event in Brazil in collaboration with Drift Company Brasil, the country's leading drift crew. Leo felt that 786 Motoring had the reputation and experience to assist and contribute. Leo had approached many shops, but Amir and Ameen were the only ones that had taken him seriously. I wasn't surprised that 786 Motoring was the shop he connected with -- they're a great bunch of guys with an extreme dedication to the sport.
After considerable planning and collaborating, things started to take shape and the trip was scheduled. Our plan was to meet and hang out with Drift Company, document our trip, discuss cars and setups, and talk about the overall logistics of drifting in Brazil. Unfortunately, Ameen had an issue securing his passport at the last minute. However, if everything worked out as planned, we also knew we'd probably have the chance to return to Brasil. Read more...
The drifting is held in a lot located just behind the runway at the Mineral Wells Airport. It was built over sixty years ago as a Cold War helicopter landing pad and decommissioned shortly afterward - sitting empty for years until automotive enthusiasts began renting it out for grassroots events. What makes this venue so incredible is the vast expanse of open area. With enough cones, you can build a course easily capable of triple digit entry speeds. You won't find a faster venue in the state. The large size also allows plenty of room for trucks, trailers, and tents as well.
Aaron Losey of Fabricated Motorsports (the guy in the striped shirt and beanie) is the man behind the majority of the drift events in Texas. His events are always very well organized and safe, with a fun and laid back atmosphere. The attendance level is usually very good, with driver experience ranging from some of the best talent in the nation to absolute rookies with no driving time whatsoever. Luckily, the more experienced drivers are always willing to offer assistance and Aaron usually spends the majority of his time giving hands-on training. Read more...
One of the great things about this event was that it brought together the drift enthusiasts and the show scene here in Texas. The guys at Import Reactor had the brilliant idea to allow car show teams to sponsor a driver. Each team had a driver whose entry they paid, while the driver ran their sticker on his car. It was great to the drifters bringing their cars to the event, only to be greeted by 20+ members of the team that sponsored them - cheering them on the entire time! Read more...
It’s no secret that the members of the Motor Mavens Crew are fans of Ameen Rizvi from 786 Motoring and his 2JZ-powered Toyota Cressida from Houston. Well, Ameen isn’t the only drifter from the state of Texas who’s doing some crazy stuff! Ameen recently introduced us to Henry Swasey, a friend of his who loves shooting photos and videos of cars drifting! Hmm… sounds like we have some common interests there, Henry!
Anyway, I was looking at a couple videos that Henry made, and this one stood out in particular. It made me wonder how many people out there go drifting inside warehouses?! First of all, you need to find an empty warehouse. Then you need to “break in” to it, because no warehouse owner is going to be dumb enough to let people drift inside their warehouse for no reason. THEN you need to be comfortable enough maneuvering through the slippery concrete with random poles coming toward you as you’re drifting in second gear, shooting flames out of your exhaust.
All of this stuff made me think this video was pretty cool. Not that we’re condoning or encouraging people to break into warehouses and go drifting inside them. That’s dangerous, kids! (shaking my finger at you) It would certainly suck to t-bone one of those poles because you lost track of them in the warehouse, or you went off line a little bit. And if for any reason, the car crashed into a pole and caught on fire (or if the backfiring exhaust ignited something) and the entire warehouse burned down… I’m pretty sure there’d be certain hell to pay (plus jailtime).
But hell, it sure was fun to watch in this video. Drifting by Nacho of Silhouette. That’s all we know about him. I hope that’s nacho warehouse, cause then you might be a little upset when you see some guy in an S13 drifting inside it.
Since Ameen and his Cressida were busy doing another shoot on the Irwindale banking on the actual day of the Pro Am, I asked Ameen if he'd be down to meet up with me and the other members of the Motor Mavens Crew the following day. Ameen and his brother Amir graciously obliged, and decided meet up with us for a late, late breakfast at Flappy Jack's on Route 66 in Glendora CA, with a whole bunch of other trucks from Texas with drift cars in tow not too far behind.
Those of us who have been following the drifting scene pretty closely have known about Ameen and his Cressida for quite some time now. After all, it's not often you see a four door, non-240SX rise up through the ranks of grassroots drifting competition in the USA. Wait a minute... but Ameen did drive a 240SX. To clarify things, Ameen used to drive an S13, but when he first began drifting in 2001, he was doing it in a Mk3 Toyota Supra (MA70). Since he started out in a Supra, it was only natural that he would become enamored of Toyota's mighty 1JZGTE straight-six engine, which came as stock in the Japan-market JZA70 Supra Turbo. Well, that and he blew up a ton of US-market 7MGE engines when he was trying to use them for drifting. Bad idea. 7MGE engines are notorious like BIG for blowing head gaskets, overheating, and cracking the stupid OEM plastic intake piping. Just like Biggie, they're ready to die.
So if he started out with a Toyota Supra, why move to a four door family car like a Cressida one might ask..? Well, when Ameen was doing research on building his MA70 Supra, he discovered that the chassis of the MA70 Supra and MX83 Cressida were extremely similar, and many of the engine and suspension parts were the same as well. The tipping point was when Ameen saw an internet clip of D1 driver Tsuyoshi Tezuka's JZX81 Chaser. "When I saw Tezuka's 81 on the internet," Ameen explains, "that's when I knew I was gonna build up a Cressida for sure." Read more...