Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, in the high desert of California, there’s a small race track. An unassuming circuit which usually hosts go-kart races, bike races, and small drift events. A track where part of the fun is surviving the rough dirt road leading to the venue: Grange Motor Circuit. It’s hot and civilization is miles away, yet despite this Grange is the place to be if you want to be a part of the greatest celebration of drifting outside of Japan. For one full weekend of non-stop drifting, this is an oasis of the coolest cars, best drivers, and one of the greatest automotive communities around.
This is Super D.
With that said, strip back your pretense of what drifting events have become in the US. Formula D, this is not. Brought to us by the Matsuri organizers with help from Wolfreign Motors out of Oakland, this event has attracted the best grassroots cars and drivers from all over: California, Washington, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Canada, Japan, and more.
Picking up right where Final Bout left off, Super D continues the tradition by sticking to the roots of drifting and ups the ante by including Japanese guest drivers Naoki Nakamura, Miki Takagi, and for the first time on American soil, Nishio Mitsuyoshi.
Yet even at this high level, at its core the grassroots drifting community is extremely welcoming; you will always leave an event with more friends than you did when you arrived, and if you didn’t, it might be a “you” problem. If that’s the case, get some help. Where else would you see one of the star drivers of the event rolling around the venue on a Honda Motocompo? At the end of the day, the whole point of drifting is to have fun sliding a car with some friends, and this is the best example of that right now in the states.
Auto Factory Realize
Auto Factory Realize (minus Gary, who was in Japan at the time) were out with a cool tent setup boasting a nice flat-screen, so you can watch cars on TV if you get tired of looking at cars in real life. Unfortunately Teddy broke an axle early on, sidelining the Skyline for most of the weekend. Besides a couple runs in the middle of the night, the R32 lay dormant, shaded from the hot California sun for the remainder of the weekend. But hey, at least it looked cool.
Animal Style have been a fixture of Super D events since the start, and this was no exception. The weekend saw each attending member of Animal Style driving hard consistently, putting on some of the best shows of the weekend with some of the best looking cars, featuring liveries from D Magic. Jason’s growth as a driver has been especially fun to watch, as he held his own among the Japanese guest drivers.
Front Street Drift Club
Representing the east coast were Front Street Drift Club of New York, with Josh’s beautiful freshly painted Silvia, outfitted with Origin Racing Line aero and Silver Carbon Type 2 hood.
Also from Front Street was Tom’s excellent hatch, with the famous Signal Auto splash down the side.
Rounding out the east coast representation, we have FACTION! of New Jersey. Frankie’s car was a favorite of mine that weekend, with a perfect combination of BN Sports aero, Ganadors, and a rare Koguchi Power hood, all sitting on a set of Blitz 03’s. This is 180 style, at its finest.
Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, were GLEAM. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of the thriving community in Chicago and the influence of the city’s numerous builds, dating back well over a decade. I could go on for hours on Chicago’s place in drifting and all of the amazing cars built there, but that’s a story for another day.
GLEAM’s cars have a look reminiscent of early 2000’s Japan, and that never goes out of style. With an SR swapped R32, 13B swapped NA Roadster, and naturally, an SR powered S13, their cars were some of the most eye-catching of the weekend. Among a sea of already eye-catching cars, that’s quite an accomplishment.
Taking a short break from team coverage, there were many drivers in attendance that weren’t part of a larger team but still came out to drive.
John in his cream colored zenki was consistently putting on some amazing driving the whole weekend. So good in fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking he had an SR or 1J to drift the way he did. On the contrary, the car had a twin-cam, naturally aspirated KA resting under the hood which reliably propelled it sideways that whole weekend. Setup with Taco’s fantastic eyeball alignment, this car proves that you don’t need to complicate a build to have a solid drift car.
Hailing from San Mateo, California, BLVCKMOON have been a long-lasting presence in Northern California’s drift community. As their name suggests, all of their cars are painted black, they’re all low, and they all look cool. Scott’s S14 pictured here is also KA-T powered, further driving home the importance of keeping engine setups simple for the sake of reliable performance. If that isn’t cool enough for you, the GS in the background boasts a supercharged 1UZ!
Coming from the south bay of Nor Cal were stylish pals, Run Up! with a healthy assortment of cars representing every stripe of drifting. From rotary, to JZ, to KA, to SR.
Chad’s KA-T powered S14 was a favorite, even getting BH’s seal of approval as his favorite car of the event. Every car in Run Up! is built to a high level, living up to the old rule of style in drifting.
Also from Nor Cal was Gold Star, and more particularly, Auto-Collect STORM. Auto-Collect STORM has made a splash in the community recently by offering great new products that the community didn’t even know it needed, like fender braces, bumper guides, and harness shields. Debuting their new liveries at the event were Roy and Max, representing the Auto-Collect STORM green with their fantastic looking cars.
Unfortunately Max’s car had a glazed clutch, and did not participate in the event. Instead it served as an attraction at the AutoCollect booth, complete with strobing lights, which seemed to have worked in bringing people in as the booth was busy most of the weekend, making it difficult to snap some photos!
Speaking of booths, representing for Koyorad’s booth was Kemritte with his gorgeous Levin. Every time we see this car, it gets better. Unfortunately the Levin did not get to drift, as it was a booth car all weekend, but damn it looked good.
We’ve detailed this pair of JZ-powered MX83’s before in our Jimmy Up Matsuri article, but they’re still looking as good as ever!
Daring Partners from Washington were out in full force with some of the most unique cars out there, all of them yellow, all of them cool.
Chief among them was Daniel with his coupe. With BN Sports blister widebody, East Bear headlights and insanely rare B-Wave mirrors, this style can only be pulled off when done with pure conviction and dedication to the look, and Daniel pulled it off flawlessly. It may not be for everyone, but it was definitely another favorite of mine that weekend.
Derek debuted his 326 3D Star kitted S13 at Super D. This car has had an insane amount of work put into it ahead of its Super D appearance. Built in secret over the months leading up to Super D, the kit is actually adapted from one meant for an S15, as 326 Power doesn’t yet produce a S13 3D Star kit. Attention to detail makes or breaks a good car, and with this car, every little detail adds up to an exceptional build. The owner even elected to reproduce the OEM body line on the rear over fenders as they come factory without them. With how much is going on with the exterior of this car, it would be easy to just leave it at that, but not for Derek; the interior has received the same treatment, with Thrash Racing seats for the driver and passenger, and every fabric in the interior redone with what appeared to be Gucci fabric. (Apologies if I’m mistaken, I don’t know designer fabrics very well. I’m poor!)
Under the hood was just as tidy, the SR sitting in a beautifully uncluttered engine bay,
The best part is that yes, it’s drifted. Although the oil drain plug backed out at first draining the car of its oil, it was later fixed and back on the track.
Coming out of Washington as well were Destroy Drift, all sporting a similar paint scheme reminiscent of older Advan liveries with the color scheme reversed.
Debuting his freshly painted car was Kyle, with what was possibly the lowest car of the event to drift. Watching this car sliding was eye opening. Every time I saw it move I thought to myself, “How is that possible?” yet there it was, laying on the ground yet somehow drifting…and drifting well.
How cool is that?
That was the sentiment throughout the entire event. Seeing so many amazing cars in one place at once is something that comes around once in a million years. Add to that the people and the atmosphere, and it’s one of a kind. We count ourselves lucky to have been able to witness it. The team competition was held later in the day with team Broken Aero winning. Their team consisted of the most unconventional cars such as a VQ powered S12 (no, not an AE86), a BMW-faced S13 coupe, and BMW-faced BMW.
In closing, that wraps up our coverage of the first day of Super D Matsuri, and what an incredible experience it was. I and everyone of us at Exciting Hero thank you for reading this far. I hadn’t intended for it to be this long, but there was a lot to say, and still much left to be said that will be in part 2.
The following are photos of the rest of Day 1. I believe they speak for themselves.
See you guys next time for our continuing coverage:
Super D Matsuri 2018 – Night Drift + Day 2