Driftworks History: Part 2 – The S14a

OK, time to put a bit more meat into the mix. I left you with a teaser post really, so lets go a bit further down the rabbit hole and see what’s pulled out.

If you type in Driftworks into Google Images, you’re most likely to get the S15 or the R32 that currently live in the stables here, but the car that really made one the of the biggest impacts to the publics awareness of Driftworks, and possibly drifting as a sport in Europe was the S14a belonging to Phil Morrison.

The Driftworks S14a

This is the car that arguably propelled Driftworks and Phil to the big leagues – and it underwent a lot of changes and looks, but the formula of the car remained largely the same.

The car was bought as Phil’s road car primarily as he wanted a car that was fast and ‘didn’t need modifying’. I’m not going to embarass him by showing you pictures of it rocking 19×7″ Wheelmania wheels and blacked out headlights though…

However, this is probably where it’s relevant in terms of Driftworks (we’ll cover the Pre-Driftworks / Team Night Spirit stuff in another post).

Driftworks S14a

This is where the Driftworks S14a really came into being. Not to over shadow James Robinsons S14 behind, but we’ll cover that in another post too. The car was externally pretty standard when you look at most of the drift cars with huge riveted side panels and flares and skirts. The signature S14 bonnet that was copied by so many people for so many years still survives to this day, and is in fact now on display in the Driftworks workshop!

Phil left the car looking like this for a while – spec wise it was wearing the first genuine Vertex kit in the country – which was shipped landed for something like £1600 for two side skirts and bumper… underneath it was running a Nismo SSS differential and a set of super stiff Tein Monoflex coilovers. Engine wise, it was lightly breathed on, 270bhp perhaps, maybe less…  and it stayed like that for Ken Nomuras visit to Birmingham to see the Driftworks car and Team Night Spirit in action at Birmingham wheels, right back in July 2004.

Driftworks with Ken Nomura

BonBon! With hair!

Driftworks S14a

Ah… the days before Federal sponsorship, running tyres to the wires. Those days are long gone now and in competition we don’t even let the tyres go much beyond the wear blocks.

Driftworks S14a

Driftworks S14a burnout

A very young Phil Morrison

Driftworks s14a

The PAZ!

Captain Paz and Phil rocking the… erm, Yokohama cap.


Recognise these shady people?

Recognise these shady chaps?

S14a hard parking

After that though, the game had to be stepped up a bit, and it was time for Team Driftworks to take the S14 from a barely tuned S14 to something far more serious and ready for full competition. You can still read the original build thread from 2005 here in the forum!!

First V-Mounted S14 in the country!

Driftworks co-director James Robinson laughing with the delirium of working 48 hours straight on a car…

Jay from JimsFactory before his apparently extremely effective diet of cycling and meat!

Yes, it’s the orange we all know so well!

Even by todays standards, this is posh car.It made the cover of the now defunct J-Tuner magazine.

The side exit exhaust that once again as been copied by so many. Phil says: “IT MADE LOTS OF FIRES”.

Door modified to accept the roll cage, note the Apexi gauge in the door… 😀

Aaaah, there we go. Rolling on a set of Orange Works – Rota hadn’t even been invented back then!

Bear in mind this had all been built in Phil’s garage and back garden!

3:30am, Silverstone pitlane… failed powersteering!

Full thread here: Clickatron.

It appeared everywhere – even in Forza (this example being one of MotorMavens Daniel Bridles first posts on Driftworks back in 2005)

And so it was to remain like that. Personally, this was my favourite incarnation of the car in it’s competition format. There are some pictures of it rolling around before on Professors, but that’s for another post!

Anyway, after a year of very successful drifting, the Driftworks S14 was restyled again and tuned up further to around 420bhp, and the graphics scheme set the template for the following years of Driftworks cars. The orange scheme became quite important to the team, and the car was fitted with Rota GTR’s and it’s final respray and graphics added which would stay with the car upto it’s sale to Norway.

These were taken the day the car was sold. It all gets a little hazy here, but as far as we know, the car ended up something like this.

Where it was drifted a bit more:

And then resprayed white….

And then as far as we know, the car was laid up to rest buried under 10 feet of snow! We’d love to know where the car is these days, so if anyone has any information please get in contact!

In the mean time, that concludes this post. There is so much more I could have posted, but these are the significant changes that pushed Driftworks forwards. Hope you enjoyed it, feel free to ask any questions you have, and have a good weekend!!

14 thoughts on “Driftworks History: Part 2 – The S14a

  1. At this point in time was it mainly all Phils own money being put into the car etc or was there sponsorship at any point? Great read as usual guys!

  2. hello again:) i have alot of info on the car. i work on it daily. we are almost ready too take the car for a spin at rudskogen agin this september. and we are going to make a prosject tread here at driftworks:)

  3. you’ve missed a look out, when it was black with the long swooping white and orange stripes.
    that all seems like such a long time ago, i remember watching the exhibition match rebuild
    of the car with great interest when i joined the forum 🙂

    what was the crack with the yokohama stickers everywhere ? in particular the variations
    that seemed to have been made up out of loads of stickers like “YO MAMMA”

  4. Pingback: VIDEO ROLL>>THE EX DRIFTWORKS S14A - Speedhunters
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