CATCH MY DRIFT
By The Drift Beerd
No drifter writes naturally. Especially when said drifter has to introduce themselves to the world. What do I say? How do I talk about myself without coming across as some pious person who knows everything there is to know about drifting?
Actually, thats a very good place to start.
My name is Pete, and I DON’T know everything there is to know about drifting. Or about cars.
Or about life in general. I am just a guy with a passion to slide fast, drive sideways, and have
fun doing it. That’s what this sport is about. Going out with your buddies on the weekend,
burning through used tires, slapping the wall, totalling your car and laughing the whole
time, knowing that you wouldn’t want to spend your time doing anything else.
That's how I got my introduction into the sport.
The year was 2013. I had just graduated high school decided to go through my Honda phase,
so bought my first “race car”, a 1989 Honda CRX. It was 4 colors, had a high compression
B18c and had TE37s, which were probably worth more than the car.
A few local guys liked to get together in a local mall parking lot on Thursday nights to just hang out. No racing, no ricers, just 10ish cars hanging out, talking and drooling over what we wanted to build.
One October night, a white Miata came rolling into the lot. It was lower than any car I had ever seen, and it was sitting on some crazy gold wheels. It had a hard top, a roll cage, turbo noises and had a weird handle mounted to the transmission tunnel. I was intrigued. (The car still exists..I’m planning on doing a feature on it in the coming weeks)
A guy named Larry, who I only knew through facebook, popped out of the car and mentioned that he and a few others were going street drifting that night if anyone wanted to roll with. I had no idea what that meant, but wanted to find out.
We stayed in the parking lot for a few more hours, and rolled over to Larry’s shop around 11 pm. There were a few BMW’s there, a 240 and Larry’s Miata again, which was on the lift getting new tires put on for the night’s festivities. I wasn't 2 feet in the door before a light got thrust into my hand.
“Hold this.” The guy said, and went back under the car. From that point on, I was in..I was one of the car guys. No more was I just a sideline player. I was now elbow deep in a strange car in the middle of the night with a bunch of people that I had never met before.
We left the shop around 1 to head to the skid spot that was being hit that night. 5 cars sliding and 3 or 4 others following as spotters. Still not quite sure what's going on, I hang back and jump behind the last car in the small convoy headed to nowhere.
Once we got to the spot, The spotters blocked, the drifters slid, and for the most part didn't crash, (poor BMW lost his exhaust leaving the parking lot near the drift spot), and I had my first taste of tire smoke. From that moment on, I knew what I was shooting for in life. I wanted to get my hands on a drift car.
Snap to present day. It took me almost 4 years and countless other vehicles to finally work up the courage (or stupidity. It is yet to be decided), to buy a drift car. I started big, though, trading a motorcycle I owned for a 1991 240 with an RB20DET in it. Not even 2 seconds into my new passion and I had already made my 1st mistake: Buying a swapped car that “only needs a battery to run”. 2 months and countless bloody knuckles later, I sold it without ever drifting, and purchased a 1997 E36 from someone who had owned and drifted it for 9 years. Nothing better than a turnkey drift car.
From the moment I got the 240, people would ask what I had slid before. I would sheepishly admit that the only sliding I had ever done was snow skids in my big Chevy 2500, which doesn't even remotely compare to dry drifting in a 5 speed car. I have since slid 5 corners and spun out on 2 of them, so needless to say I am still very new to this. I am excited, though, to learn the ins and outs of the sport, all while documenting my story as well as the stories of others.
My goal for this column is multi-faceted. It's not in my blood to focus on 1 thing (incredible amounts of un-medicated ADD mixed with too much Mtn Dew will do that to you), so don’t be surprised if the topics I write on are all over the map, but I hope that each week is an interesting piece that can show you something you’ve never seen before or shed new light on old ideas.
I hope to cover my drift build, my skills progression, local events (both on the track and..ehrrm..off the track), Local car builds and the stories behind the drivers. I don't want what I write to be super techy, but I want it to come from a more simple side of the sport, where anyone can sit down, read what I have written, and walk away with a better understanding of why we do what we do. I hope to not only write, but also photo journal through my Instagram account (@thedriftbeard) and link those photos up with what I write about week to week.
Currently, the publishing time table is write Monday-Thursday, Edit Friday-Saturday and post sometime on Monday afternoons around 3EST, so be watching www.driftillustrated.com each week for the newest DriftBeerd Column.
I am really excited to begin this journey with you all, and I am looking forward to learning through trial and error, and passing my trials and errors on to you in hopes that you learn as well. In the coming days, I will post a question and answer session that I had with myself, basically giving a flavor of what to expect going forward.
Slide fast, Drive Sideways and have fun
Catch My Drift Presents: THE LITTLE E36 THAT COULD
Owner: The Beerd
Car: 1997 BMW 328i
My earliest memory of racing is watching tractor pulling on a fuzzy TV station while on a vacation in Rhode Island with my family when I was 4. I remember sitting in our rental house in awe of these crazy wheeled machines dragging things down a mud track, of course not understanding a bit of what I was watching. I tried to find it on TV when I got home (I think, the early years are a lil’ fuzzy) but was disappointed because I couldn’t. (Who woulda thought that Tractor Pulling wasn’t a national phenomena).
My next interaction with racing, and what really got me into it was my introduction to stock car racing (We’ll call it MASCAR to save our lawyers some work). I’m not sure of the reason, but I attached myself to the Jeff Gordon Bandwagon. Hearing the roar of the engines and watching the cars speed, and sometimes crash, past the barrier cameras infatuated me, and I wanted more.
Unfortunately, I was born into the wrong family. My father is a master craftsman. He has been building, fixing and doing custom renovations on houses since he was 15. He can build, engineer and create anything...with wood. Regrettably, that talent doesn’t translate over to motor toys. I never had a project car in the garage, never had a motorcycle to tinker on, never even had as much as a riding mower to take apart and put back together. Hell, the tools to do so didn’t even exist in my house. (and still don’t, really. Makes working on my car incredibly difficult). My grandfather was into kart racing and car stuff, but he passed away when I was 7, so I never was able to glean knowledge from him.
So I was on my own. I walked the line that most kids walk. I started in car audio, throwing subs in the back of my first 3 cars. I also dabbled in street racing. Not at any dangerous speed, though, as I was driving a Saturn and a Volkswagen. My Honda got me my 1st speeding ticket, and it was a doozy. Wrote off speed at that point. Too expensive, not worth it. A few years and a few motorcycles went by, but I still had an itch for a project car, but it wasn’t until late 2016 that I realized what I wanted to pursue.
I wanted a 240.
I mean, I wanted to drift, but I guess those are synonymous with each other.
Unfortunately, 240s come with 240 problems, and as I learned, I REALLY don’t want 240 problems. (Hole in the floor pan, frame rails that were absolutely not safe, but were “not the worst” the next owner saw, all of which were the least of my worries. This 240 was shady).
The 240 was a stepping stone, however. I traded one of my motorcycles [insert pic of bobber] for it, then was able to turn around and sell the car and buy my current car, a 97 328i.
I had seen this car in action in January and February of 2017, driven by fellow Dumpedling’s driver Tim (we affectionately call him Yakuza Onramp for his desire to constantly slide highway entrances and exits), so I knew it had great potential. So when Tim decided he wanted to sell it and buy an E36 M3, I jumped at the chance of owning a turnkey, reliable drift car.
A little background on my experience with vehicles. I have owned 10 cars and 5 motorcycles at the ripe old age of 22, and I’m shooting for 30 by 30. I can always see potential in a project, but I don’t always have the skills or know-how to help the project realize its full potential, and I end up selling. I also get very discouraged and over a project when it leaves me stranded or no-starts on me for no easily apparent reason. It has happened with 3 of my 5 motorcycles and just about every project car up to the BMW. It will no-start once, I’ll “fix” what I think the issue is, and it will do it again and I will just throw it up for sale and get rid of it the same day. This is why I jumped on the E36 so excitedly.
I started my relationship with the car by just driving it around for a week, learning its quirks. City driving, highway driving, even a 5 hour trip. The car was flawless (in my twisted mind anyway). I was now ready to mod.
I have now owned the car for approximately a month.
It already had Koni shocks up front, an LSD and steering rack spacers, so it was a good project to build on. I got an open differential from Tim and welded it and bought a race seat and a set of harnesses.
I have installed the welded differential and began to slide around a little bit, feeling the car out. I work a crazy schedule at work, so I haven’t really been able to do much learning so far, but I am getting more comfortable as each day passes. I have yet to install the seat, and I have a set of tires I have to burn off so I can throw some race slicks on the front that Yakuza Onramp randomly came into possession of.
One of the questions that interests me the most is “What do you do when you’re not drifting?”, so you will see this pop up in most of the interviews I do with other drivers. For me, I work for a high volume Mortuary Transport Company and Crematory. Yes, they are dead. No, they have never sat up. No, it’s not weird. When I’m not doing that, I play bass and piano in a rock band. Music comes naturally to me, so you would think I would pursue that instead of cars, of which I know nothing about, but hey. I never claimed to be smart.
My future plans are to intake swap with some other BMW (no idea what. I don't know all the BMW jargon yet) to get more high-end torque. I am also planning to make a body kit and paint it some random color. (apparently S chassis aftermarket front and rear bumpers can be made into a kit?..again BMW jargon)
After that? Who knows. I might slide it, might sell it, might keep it and buy something else. I am really in love with the RX7 FC, so if you know of anyone giving one away, give me a shout.
CATCH MY DRIFT
Catch my Drift by THE Beerd is back with another driver interview, This time its Nick Mutters.
For my first driver interview, I wanted to find a driver with an astute knowledge of drifting, a solid base in cars, and an interesting back story. Unfortunately, he was booked that day, so I settled on Nick.
I met Nick around the same time I met the rest of the crew I slide with, and he’s always down to slide or to just get into some crazy shenanigans (like randomly painting cars on a whim or getting pulled over riding sack to crack on a pit bike). He currently drives a 2001 E46.
I will be sampling his interview below, as well as narrating in between. Lets begin.
Nick has been interested in cars since elementary school. His earliest memories include playing with huge boxes of matchbox cars for hours at at time.
“I don't know what exactly got me into cars.” Nick said. “I have just always been interested
in them.” “My favorite Matchbox car was an old van, actually” He continued, “I think it
had fangs on it or something”
Nick quickly graduated from his small car fascination and into his first toy, an SVT swapped 3.0 Mercury Cougar.
“My first fun car was a 2002 Cougar with a 3.0 SVT motor swapped into it. It was
automatic and wrong wheel drive, but the suspension was so stiff in the rear that I
Could throw it into a corner and basically get the back to kick out. You could say I
[At this point, he winks at me, and I shudder a bit. Kidding. There are a lot of incredibly vulgar things I’m leaving out of the article that are in the audio version that I have. The world is not ready for the minds of me and Nick when we are together.]
As Nick got over his wrong wheel drive obsession, he went through a whole litany of cars before finally landing on the E46.
“Let's see, I might as well just run down a list of what all I’ve owned.” Nick said. “I’ve had
an F150, an Outback, a Wrangler and a Chevy 1500. I also had a 240 Couple that I dumped way too much money into, a 2nd coupe that I swapped all the parts off the 1st coupe into, an S12 missile and some other random 240 that i was given..actually, I’m not too sure where that one went.” Nick continued. “I also had an 86 Camaro, a BMW 335i, which is my daily, and my E46.”
Overall, Nick’s parents support his obsession with motorsports.
“They really don’t care what I do with my life. They just don’t like when I come home with
new cars and use all of their empty space for storage for all my parts and tires and
projects.” Said Nick.
I asked what got him into drifting.
“My first experience with drifting, besides just myself just stepping on the gas too hard and
sliding was with the 1st Forza.” Nick said. “I started drifting on Forza, and I’ve bought every game after that, and I am actually better than I like to admit. As stupid as it sounds, if I didn’t start drifting on Forza, I probably wouldn’t understand how drifting works as well as I do.”
After having almost every driftable vehicle imaginable, I wondered why Nick settled on the E46.
“Out of all the BMWs, i’ve always liked the looks of the e46. I wanted a newer chassis, but
not so new that everything is super expensive.” Nick continued. “I hate drifting. My initial
reaction when people wanna go slide is ‘I really don’t wanna go break something.’
As soon as i throw it into a corner, my mind goes dark and my conscious leaves. After that, it’s all asses and elbows.
I was unsure of what that meant. Unphased, he continued.
“When you put a hydro in your car, this weird thing happens where you never turn around
in someone’s driveway again. It's so much easier to yank it, pull 180 and leave.
When you’ve been sliding all night on bald tires and you yank it while going down hill
on a narrow road and almost slide into a ditch, however, it can get your blood pumping.
I have a thing that we call psycho mode, where when bad things happen, my adrenaline
shuts down my ability to think properly. Everything after that is usually a blur, usually with
extreme casualties. Once my conscious shuts off, I basically become some crazy
professional driver. Foot to the floor, hands off the wheel.”
I wanted more specifics on his car. Driving like a maniac either means his car is super sorted or is a missile. I asked him what all is done to his car.
“Man, you really like lists, don’t you?” Nick quipped. I’ve got Megan Racing motor and
transmission mounts, Bimsport subframe mounts, ECS Tuning differential mounts, Billstein
Shocks with H&R race springs, Reinforced top hats, Turner reinforced and welded
subframe, AKG solid steering guibo, ECS solid differential guibo, SLR steering stuff,
Stage 3 clutch, and the Turner EGR delete.”
“Wanna hear another story?” Nick asked.
“When people peer pressure me, I will do basically anything. Basically, don’t tell me I won’t
do something. Me and 3 other people were in the car sitting at a light, with a cop 4 cars
ahead of me. When the light turned green, he started rolling away, and I said fuck it and
held a burnout behind him. It didn’t take long to hear an explosion. I thought I blew a tire, but as we drove away, i could hear the axle under the car. Whoops. I parked it in front of the shop we work out of until I could fix it.”
“While it was there,” Nick continued, “Everyone said I wouldn’t do a burnout with a broken axle, so of course I did a burnout with a broken axle, which broke everything around that, so ended up having to replace my shock, my LCA, my trailing arm and my axle.”
“If it ain’t broke, break it.” I joked. “Any future plans or toys?”
Nick sat silently for a second before responding.
“Besides killing myself?” Nick said, half joking. “I don't like to plan things. I know I’m not doing anything until I figure out my power issue. Hopefully my VANOS rebuild helps fix that issue. I want to get coilovers and I am also going with Garage 9’s steering angle kit. Then, once I start driving better, and I hopefully kill this motor (which will never happen. Damn German engineering) I’ll pop it out and swap a new one in with more power.”
[What Nick didn’t know at the time of the interview was that we would be painting his car pink in the coming days. Whoops.]
Nick continued. “If I had the ability to, I would get out of cars, but every time I try, I get
bored and I have to get another project. I hate cars, but I can’t get away from them. I don’t have any new projects on the horizon because I don’t like the projects I have currently. I don’t even want to drift, but..I gotta make my friends happy.”
Nick is planning on attending 1 or 2 events a month in the midwest until his car breaks, at which point he will either start doing some of the modifications mentioned above, or just park the car and end it.