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Cars of Bendix January 2020 at the Festival of Japanese and Euro Cars (FJEC)!

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Jan. 16, 2020

Held at Eastern Creek on a scorching December summerday, the Festival of Japan and Euro Cars was jam packed with action as it was part of a two-day drift event. With the screeching of tyres and roaring of engines in the background, the Festival had a real motorsport vibe that many show and shines lack. In fact, some of the drift cars were so interesting that they even made the cut here! Check out the wild rides we encountered on the day.

KYLE’S NISSAN 180SX TYPE X

Those plates are usually what most people say when they first see Kyle’s Nissan 180SX Type X. The subtle midnight purple paintjob contrasts sharply with the widened Koguchi Power fenders, carbon fibre Origin Labo Type 3 bonnet, Hot Road style front bumper and Type X valences, side skirts and rear pods. The wild kit isn’t just for show; the potent SR20DET under bonnet has a bigger GT3071R turbocharger with a screamer pipe, drop in Tomei Poncams and a 3.5in turbo back exhaust. It punches out 316kW with supporting modifications, and all that power is channelled to the rear set of SSR MS3 18 x 11.5in 3-piece wheels. The front wheels’ measure 18x9.5in, and with both pairs having offsets on the wrong side of zero, the amount of dish was amazing. Brand new Hankook tyres meant not a drop of killer wasps are wasted. Stopping power is provided by GTR 32 front calipers and bigger R32 GTS-T rear calipers. Inside, Kyle steers his Nissan steed from his Bride Zeta 3 bucket seat. The shifter is adorned with a Nismo gear knob, and the rear seats deleted for a true coupe style ride.

IAN’S FORD FALCON UTE

Who says domestic muscle could only do skids in a straight line? Ian Porter’s Barra powered ute tears up all preconceptions of Fords; it’ll hang sideways with any of Ken Block’s Fords at a drop of a hat. Ian’s BA Falcon Ute defies all expectations…maybe because there’s not much Ford left, like Ken Block’s latest rides. Peek inside and you’ll see the entire bed has been chopped and stripped, with the stock leaf springs replaced by a 300ZX rear subframe and integrated roll cage where sheet metal and chassis rails should be. A custom fuel tank and GTR33 rear differential hangs out the back for better weight distribution, and custom BC shocks sit where the remade shock towers were. The bars join the ones in the cabin; strong latticework to ensure structural stiffness and motorsport safety. The front radiator support has also been given the chop to make way for a custom front end. The engine bay has been shaved and smoothened and resprayed black for neatness. You’ll notice that the front shocks have been braced as well, with the roll cage extending through the firewall. The powerhouse Barra engine is basically stock except for a set of uprated valve springs, good enough for 22PSI the huge turbo pumps through the intake. Thanks to a Haltech Elite 2500, it pumps out 500kW to the rear wheels or just shy of 700hp! Inside, a Haltech IQ3 data logger and Sparco bucket seats keep him informed of the vitals and making sure Ian’s comfortable while piloting this missile around.

RHYS’ LEXUS IS200

Another wild combination that caught our eyes was Rhys’ 1JZ swapped IS200. Originally, Toyota Australia meant for it to be a cruisey competitor to the BMW 320i. The asthmatic naturally aspirated engine was binned in Rhys’ car to make way for the 2.5L 1JZ VVTi. To shoehorn in this monster engine from the 1980s Supra, it required some fabrication work, especially with a custom 3.5in tail shaft rated to 1000hp. A stock R154 gearbox sends the power down to a stock IS300 differential via an OS Giken STR2CCD twin plate clutch…which sounds reasonable until you see Rhys’ dyno sheet. With 477kW thanks to 32PSI of boost and E85 fuel, the 1JZ has the fury to bring down the house. Air is sucked in via a GTX3076R and then blown out a custom exhaust. Containing that power at the rear end is a pair of 18x10 Work Emotion XD9s, covered with sticky Federal RSRR semi slicks. The front runs the same wheels and tyres, albeit smaller at 18x9in. MCA Red coilovers at each corner controls the chassis, while bigger LS400 front callipers ensures Rhys’ IS200 stops on a dime. Exterior wise, it’s been kept simple with a factory Elegance kit. Inside, the driver and passenger sits on Evo 8MR Recaro seats on Bride rails. Rhys decided not to mess with Lexus’ interior too much, as it’s already a nice place to be. He would like to thank GameOn Motorsports who did the fabrication, fuel lines and tune for all the work done on the car.

BEN’S K24A POWERED TOYOTA LEVIN AE86

One of the best things about the drift scene is the creativity allowed. With no real class rules, everyone is free to pursuit their method of tyre shredding. Whether it’s power, chassis or a fantastical combination of both, it’s all about ‘run what you’ve brung’. Ben, owner of Third Strike Fabrications owns this unholy marriage of Toyota’s lightweight Levin AE86 rear wheel drive chassis with Honda’s powerhouse engine, the K24A. The K24A powers the rear wheels via a Toyota J160 six speed gearbox, with a custom bellhousing. The front of the car was heavily modified to fit the bigger, taller engine. To manage its start-up and power, it was fitted with an EMTRON KV8 to use 8 injectors for better reliability and more power. Tuned at Insight Motorsports, it made 220hp…which sounds unimpressive until you see how stripped the AE86 is. With a stripped interior, it houses a custom roll cage for stiffness and safety, two Bride Low Max bucket seats, and a custom FRP dash with S2000 cluster and Omori gauges. Outside, the exterior changes according to Ben’s whim, but for now it rocks wide DMax rear fenders, custom flared front guards, custom OEM style bonnet, custom fibreglass ducktail, a lighter FRP rear hatch, Goodline front bar, and a Origin Labo rear bar. The front wheels are steered by a pair of super wide 14x10j -33mm SSR MK2s, while various 14x10 Japanese wheels cover the rear axles.

DAHTONE RACING’S NISSAN SKYLINE GTR 32

Mixing it up with rough and ready drift cars was Dahtone Racing’s Nissan Skyline GTR 32. Fresh from being crowned Hot Import Nights best of show, Anthony’s GTR was stunning in the sunlight. The bonnet was up so people could admire the legendary RB26DETT, now given a big horsepower twist by Dahton Racing, as they are GTR specialists. Mated to a RB30 engine block, the fully forged, stroked engine sit in a shaved, uncluttered engine bay. The massive GTX4294 hints at the potent horsepower it delivers to all four wheels. A custom Plazmaman intake manifold with custom six drive by wire individual throttle bodys reduce the clutter even more; with associated wiring hidden below it and tucked away neatly. Custom carbon fibre rocker covers and cooling plate contrast neatly with the pearl white paint job. The Varis bonnet, while painted, has left the edge near the vent in raw carbon for more contrast. Outside, rare Ganador mirrors and a lip kit finishes off the GTR 32’s iconic looks, while massive 18in BBS wheels sit at each corner complete the look.

BRIAN’S BMW E36

Another wild chassis and engine combo we encountered was Brian’s 1JZ powered BMW 3 series E36. While an uncommon swap in most motorsports discipline, the 1JZ is well loved by drifters for being reliable and ease of making power with just a turbo upgrade. The unassuming black paint and exterior hides a custom tubbed front and rear end, with a full roll cage inside. In Brian’s drift sled, it’s been tuned to make 320kW at a safe 18PSI on E85 fuel. A custom cross member made by Brian holds GTR33 drivetrain and rear differential under the car. To make the interior pop, it’s been resprayed in white. The interior is completely stripped bare as well, with only bucket seats for the passenger and driver, and a fire extinguisher in case something goes haywire. The custom dash only shows the bare essentials; oil temp, pressure and water temp. The Momo Drift steering wheel is removable for ease of ingress and egress. With nothing distracting him, Brian slides the BMW around like butter on a hot plate. Watching him linking corners at Eastern Creek was pure joy, with the 1JZ screaming and revving its head off, while the turbocharger whistles at every gearshift.

BENJI’S VOLKSWAGEN VENTO

The Euro scene is getting more and more popular as Volkswagen and Audi performance models populate the roads. This has caused a resurgence of interest in older Euros, and one that really stood out was Benji’s Volkswagen Vento. He found this bone stock in Melbourne and drove it back up before starting to work on his vision. Painted in PPG Vibrant Sour Green, the colour suited its blocky 90s design extremely well. Inside, SRK Custom retrimmed in the interior based off 90s Recaros, with seats, door cards, and roof lining copping it. A rare genuine BBS steering wheel ensures pure driving joy every time Benji gets in. A set of rare BBS E50s were re-barrelled and restored to exact specs, so it would sit perfectly when the Accuair suspension gets aired out. The chavinspired mods needed a chav-inspired plate, that’s why it’s rocking YEBRUV as a tribute to the Max Power magazine inspired mods.

SAMUEL’S SR20DET MAZDA RX7

Rotary lovers would defend to death their magic spinning triangles, but Samuel doesn’t seem to care when he plonked Nissan’s venerable SR20DET into Mazda’s superb sports car, the RX-7. Samuel used to compete at a national level, thanks to his sponsor Wollongong Auto Supplies (coincidentally a big Bendix stockist). After he crashed his original SR20DET-powered Toyota Levin, his sponsor offered him this very RX-7 that was built to compete in Targa Tasmania, with one caveat; it would come with no engine. That suited Samuel just fine, as his forged 405rwKw SR20DET was still intact despite the accident. The engine bay had to be prepped, the firewall modified, and even the chassis had to cop some work to get the RB25DET gearbox mated up to the RX-7 rear differential. As Samuel was a painter who was handy with welding, he sorted out the body work and kit himself. Instead of ubiquitous riveted wide fenders, he subtly widened the guards, and customised the front end with R-Magic headlight kit and a special front bumper. Sitting under the fenders are 18x9.5in Enkei RS05RRs front and 18x10.5in rear. The wheels add incredible presence to the car, and it’s one of the neatest drift cars we’ve come across.

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