After reading Paz and Mittos introductory posts I feel like a newbie or a lifestyler, ah well here goes, heres my introduction.
I’ve been a car nut all my life, a petrol head from the early years. My mother swears blind that my first word was Mini and remembers me sat on the back of the sofa at 2 years old naming cars as they passed the window. Needless to say cars were my destiny…
By the age of 8 my parents had bought my first kart. The early 90’s were the best years of my life, hooning around kart tracks without a care in the world, the tip of the iceberg came in 93 when I actually led the British Championships.. happy days.
When funds dried up, the karting came to an abrupt end and I concentrated on my studies with the dream of one day becoming a car designer. My school years were all dedicated solely for that purpose, working through my GCSE’s and A-levels to get my place on the acclaimed Automotive Engineering Design degree course at Coventry University.
It was while I was at Coventry University that I got my first taste of drifting. My friend, Dominic Wai had a bright yellow S14a, all kitted up and all. Memories of hooning around the city and drifting various motorway slip roads still stay with me. Dominic introduced me to the famous Initial-D anime series and I was hooked, I had plans of owning an FC3S as soon as I finished University.
Whilst at University I was given the fantastic opportunity to take a year out and work in the automotive industry. Me being a motorsport nut I applied to all sorts of racing teams, I finally got my placement at Mitsubishi Ralliart in Rugby working on their WRC program. The 18months I spent at Ralliart taught me a lot, I learned a lot about how world class motorsport teams are run, how the cars are put together, what goes into their design etc etc. I think this is where I picked up my brain aids from. Seeing how perfect and precise everything had to be had me hooked. I was even given the task of designing a small aluminium bracket to hold the three diamond Mitsubishi badge on the front bumper!
I moved back home when I graduated and put all my spare money aside to buy a car, a nice car. I’d forgotten all about the FC3S plans but I would stay true and JDM and found myself a nice standard R32 GTR Skyline to mess around in. This was early 2005, soon after buying the GTR I found Driftworks, this is when the story really begins.
I started getting involved and posting on the board, went to a few events and started getting to know people. After a few months its safe to say I was hooked on drifting. Later on in 2005 I bought my first rear wheel drive car.. a beat up R32 GTS, NA powered! This was to be just a cheap beater learner car, it all went horribly wrong.
I started working on it, stripping parts and cleaning things. I was soon sat there in the garage with a bare R32 shell and the goal posts moved. This was to become an epic story of being retarded whilst building a car and just getting carried away and caught up in it all. One thing lead to another and the car eventually got to a rolling shell with a complete Bee*R B324R bodykit, utter madness.
I faced up to reality and realised that I wasn’t going to do that car justice as I was a complete drifting novice. I bought a £300 tramper BMW E30 Touring and had some fun with that. It eventually broke at my first drift weekender at Tramp Drift West so I limped it home and set to work fixing the broken brake lines and snapped exhaust.
Me being me, that wasn’t enough. Epic project number 2 kicked off.. I ended up with a pretty much brand new E30 with an M30 engine swap. Madness!
It didn’t run properly and I got frustrated with it.. so it sat outside the house ever since. After that I wanted something I could have as a running car that I could just upgrade and have fun with. Enter the Banana.
Now me being me, I wasn’t happy with the car and I started tinkering with it.. but I also crashed it. The resulting frankenstein look stayed on the car for months and became a trademark for it.
I did a few Llandow days with it but ended up blowing the turbo which left me with just 5 weeks or so to get the whole lot ready for Tramp Drift West 4 at Brawdy.. I couldn’t miss out on what was the most epic place to drift in the world. Plans were put into action and the Banana went under the knife and got its Holset on.. bring on the big smokes.. or so I thought. The car was ready for Brawdy but I blew two clutches in a weekend, only having 10mins of track time in total. Bumder.
Not long after Brawdy during a drunken houseparty my fellow Nightwalker team mate Ash convinced me to fit the Bee*R B324R bodykit and get the car resprayed! Nine days later the car was transformed.
That’s pretty much how the Yellow Banana stood for a while and just got worked on as and when it needed it. There will soon be a follow up to this post where the final piece in the puzzle is fitted…