The Heavies

Vehicle Search Engine: Over 150,000 vehicles at auction weekly, plus thousands more on dealer lots.
Let’s find the ideal car for you today!!


When you hear from your buddies at the track that importing a used drift car direct from Japan is the best way to get a serious turbo drift machine in good condition and for reasonable money, you think: “Yeah, let’s do it! Drift City, here I come!”

Drift cars: The Heavies

Then you let your imagination run wild: “I can buy anything, anything I want: A Chaser: bump it up over three hundred horse power and ‘Thwap!’ I am king of drift. Or I can get a Silvia S15 from Japan, clean as a whistle, nearly new, and I’ll dance around the drift track like I was born for it.”

Drift cars: The Heavies

Yeah, well, hold on, Tex. You’ve got a few more things to decide and questions to answer before you can really move on importing a used drift car from Japan. First, check that the government of your country will allow you to have one of these machines, a surprising number of countries will not. If you live in the U.K. or Ireland, you have a lot of freedom and can get pretty well any drift car from Japan that you want. If you live in Canada or New Zealand, or Taiwan, you are pretty free here, too, and have lots of choices. If you live in the States or Australia, your choices are a bit more limited but you can still access a good drift machine from Japan.

Next, before you go calling used car export companies in Japan, like us, you need to decide what car, or what type / class of drift car you want.

You can divide drift cars basically into three classes: the light, the medium, and the heavy. I put the light drift cars, like the Toyota AE-86, at around 1,000kgs or under, and less than 1,800CCs; the medium drift cars, like the Nissan Silvia, at around 1200kgs and around 2,000CCs.

Drift cars: The Heavies

In the earlier articles in this Japanese drift cars series we looked at one of the very best of the medium class: the Nissan Silvia. In this article we’ll look at some of the popular heavies among Japanese drift cars. These powerful FR machines typically have turbo-charged engines of over 2,000CCs (usually well over), and tip the scales at around 1,400kgs and over (often well over).

We are looking at drift cars now like the Toyota Chaser, Supra 70, and Supra 80,

Drift cars: The Heavies

 

Drift cars: The Heavies

the Nissan Skyline GTS25T (R33 chassis), the Skyline GT-T (R34),

Drift cars: The Heavies

and the Nissan Laurel.

Drift cars: The Heavies

There are others but let’s look at these cars for now since they show clearly what the advantages of the “Heavies” are in the drift car world.

Let’s look at some typical weights for Toyota’s good drift cars: A 1995 Toyota Chaser Tourer V (JZX90 chassis) will come in at about 1,450kgs. A newer Chaser, say a 1998 with the JZX100 chassis will be a bit up on that at 1,470, while the final version of the turbo Mark 2 (JZX110) will tip the scales at 1,520kgs. The last year Supra 70 with the 2.5 liter straight six is even heavier at 1,560. So these are not light cars.

Over on the Nissan side, things are a bit lighter with a 1999 R34 chassis Skyline 25GT-Turbo coming in at 1,410kgs; but an R33 based GTS25t Type M of the year before will be a bit lighter at 1,370kgs.

In the world of sporting machinery there are many guys, especially the sports car purists, who would say: “No way should a sports car be so heavy.” But drifting is a different world, my sports car friends, and many things that count as pluses for pure sports cars, like light weight and front to rear 50/50 weight balance, are not what you want in a drift car. What you want in a drift car is what you get in a Chaser, or a Soarer (one of the most beautiful of Toyota’s designs ever, in my opinion),

Drift cars: The Heavies

or a 2WD Skyline: Nose heavy weight distribution and a massively powerful and very strong, and very tunable, engine. The Japanese drift car Heavies give you all this and more:

1) Engines: 2.5 liters on a Toyota 1ZJ and stock torque coming in at around 37kg/m. 3.0 liters with the 2ZJ which can fairly easily be swapped for the 1JZ (the Supra 80 comes with the mighty 2JZ out of the box), and now you’ve got 44 or even 46kg/m of torque at an amazingly low 3,600rpm. Stock. And from here you can tune. These two iron block straight sixes are nearly bullet proof, immensely strong units.  You can have them in the Chaser, Cressida, Soarer, Supra, Cresta, and Mark 2. Over on the Nissan side you’ve got the RB25DET giving you stock torque from 30 to 35 kg/m (and coming in as low as 3,200rpm) depending on the year of engine; and you can even swap in the RB26DETT from the Skyline GT-R (I’ve seen more than one car at the speedway with this swap.) to get yourself even more torque and horse power. These Nissan engines, too, are solid units. Although I will admit that, after my buddy blew something fast and hard out through the crank case of his tuned RB26DETT (There was a hole blasted through the lower crankcase! And whatever came flying out of there, we never found it.), I tend to think that, when it comes to sheer strength, the Toyota units may have the edge; but that’s just my feeling, I don’t really have any solid data on this.

2) Bodies: On the Toyotas the JZX chassis on the Chaser and its brothers the Mark 2, Cressida, and Cresta; the JZZ30 chassis on the Soarer, the JZA chassis on the Supra 70 are all very solid bits of iron, as are the R33 and R34 chassis on the Nissan Skylines; and the GC30 series chassis on the Laurels are also rock solid.

So with the Heavies you’ve got mass power and a solid mass of weight to take the stresses of the sport of drifting. Engines are tunable and swapable and suspensions are tunable and robust. Which brings us to the question of:

3) Mods: This is fairly simple to comment on in a general way: There are lots of good mods for these cars: Engines and suspensions are well served by the aftermarket and there is lots of parts cross over within the chassis families; and on the Toyota side, even from one chassis family to another.

And then there are other pluses when you go for one of the Heavies for your Japanese turbo drift car: It’s easier to carry extra tires and tools to the track with you inside these full size sedans. In some ways the bigger car gives you a bit of a nicer ride home when you’re all tired out from a day of burning rubber. And then….well there are just these “imponderables” that make certain machines so good for drifting. And with these Heavies, for me, it’s the sheer, open violence of these cars: The roar and howl of big over-boosted iron block straight sixes with way more volume and way more power than any civilized man would ever need. The complete ease with which these cars will spin the wheels, smoke the rubber, and deafen the spectators. These are wild cars, Babies, and you do not want to mess with them. We are getting seriously beyond the fringe of civilization when we boost a Chaser to 450hp, or drop a tuned RB26DETT in to a Laurel. These cars are wild, nasty wild.

 

If you seriously want to import a Japanese used drift car in the Heavy class, come on with us here at Japan Car Direct and we’ll help you find your ride that will take you where the wild men go.

CONTACT US

google-review
  • 5 star review  Mathew at Japan Car Direct has been a HUGE help and continually went above and beyond with assisting me. It was my first time bidding on vehicles at auction and having them shipped to the US. He even helped me arrange a mechanic in Japan to do some work on the Hiace I purchased so that it would arrive in the US in tip top shape and be ready to hit the road. I look forward to doing more business with Mathew in the future and you should too!

    thumb Charles Gross
    8/12/2020

    5 star review  I was totally clueless and was having a really hard time finding someone that I felt I could trust to help me with these auctions. A couple folks recommended Mathew over at JCD and I very reluctantly reached out. Yeah, I have trust issues. Dude put me at ease and really walked me through the whole process. After a couple months I didn’t end up buying a vehicle, but that’s on me. When I changed my direction, Mathew helped me wrap things up and wished me well. I have zero reservations about reaching out to these guys or recommending anyone else to do so. Very helpful, knowledgeable, prompt and everything I needed. You won’t be disappointed.

    thumb largejohn77
    7/17/2020

    5 star review  Ordered an Acty Van with these guys. five star service all the way. everything went perfect!!!. I was so afraid to import a car myself. JCD made it seamless. I would import wit them and only them again and again. Thanks guys!!

    thumb Scott Irby-Ranniar
    7/17/2020
  • 5 star review  Discovered KEI vehicles about a year ago and spent many hours searching the internet in hopes of finding an affordable van state side, to no avail. That is until I sent a message to Mathew at JCD. He was quick to respond, answered way too many of my silly questions, and worked diligently to find the right van for me. He is thorough, clear, and timely. Made the process simple and enjoyable. I am more than excited to work with him again. I highly recommend the service these gentlemen provide.

    thumb Benjamin Ferguson
    7/09/2020

    5 star review  Matt made importing a few mini trucks for our farm a breeze. Super easy to deal with and transparent with all the details involved in bidding and winning auctions, the import process, and everything in between.

    thumb Ben and Maggie O'Brien
    6/30/2020

    5 star review  My truck had been stolen and Matt was helping me bid on mini-trucks to replace it. Of course once we started bidding the truck was recovered, but Matt was upfront and very helpful both getting into and out of our auction based relationship. I would not hesitate to work with JCD again!

    thumb William Gundy
    6/28/2020
  • 5 star review  I worked with Mat and i believe i couldn't have done any better. This was my first time dealing with importing, Mat was so patient and helpful through this purchase. I also feel he got me the best deals, i have since the first purchase made two more and will continue to do business with Mat.

    thumb robert barnowsky
    6/16/2020

    5 star review  I purchased three vehicles from auction with Matt, he made it extremely easy and was available whenever I needed him throughout the entire importing process. This is not the last time I will be dealing with them. I plan to order more vehicles in the near future! If your looking for a trustworthy company to order vehicles through I highly recommend JCD!

    thumb dylan christner
    6/07/2020

    5 star review  Mathew was super helpful if helping me get more info and bid on cars I was interested in.

    thumb Matt Sparkman
    5/16/2020
  • 5 star review  Mathew and the gang were great with helping me with the acquisition of my 1994 Subaru Sambar dump kei truck. I was so excited about getting a truck I was ready to buy just about anything. Matt put the breaks on that and used his experience and knowledge to weed out the potential problems. I use my truck almost daily around our farm moving things and as a work surface. It is great. Mathew and Japan Car Direct helped my sister get a kei truck as well and I have and will continue to recommend them to anyone who has expressed interest in my great little vehicle.

    thumb Eric Amon
    5/12/2020

    5 star review  I purchased a 1994 4wd Suzuki Carry Kei truck through JCD. Yoshi helped me during the process and after nearly 3 months and over 100 emails back and forth between questions and translations of auction sheets I finally decided on a truck. I've now had it for nearly a month and couldn't be happier with the purchase. They are extremely promt with responses and answered all questions I had. Being completely new at the importing process I never felt uneasy with my decision. If I ever decide to import another vehicle I will definitely use them again.

    thumb brandon spaur
    5/06/2020

    5 star review  Excellent service from beginning to end. I registered over the new year holidays and received an automatic out of office response and also still received personal response indicating when auctions resumed. The process takes doing your own due diligence to study the cars you want but the guys at JCD will assist where they can as well.

    thumb Mike Witting
    4/10/2020
  • 5 star review  When I thought about importing a vehicle from Japan, I was a little apprehensive. I read some real horror stories. Once I got in contact with Yoshi, he put me at ease. The entire crew at Japan Car Direct made the process effortless. From translations, to inspections, to the auctions, I felt comfortable with the entire transaction. The hardest thing was waiting for the ship to arrive at port with my new truck. I highly recommend JCD to anyone considering a vehicle import from Japan.

    thumb Doug Uken
    4/08/2020

    5 star review  The entire Team at Japan Car Direct has been incredible at making purchasing a vehicle from Japan quick and effortless. Matt and Yoshiro are extremely friendly, and have performed above and beyond my expectations from start to finish. No matter how many questions you may have, these guys will know all the right answers! If you’re looking for a vehicle from Japan then look no further than Japan Car Direct. 10/10 ⭐'s

    thumb Tanner Whale
    3/10/2020

    5 star review  After ordering my minivan from Mathew and the folks at JCD, I will definetely use them again. Took three months to get the van but I am on the other side of the world. Van arrived in better condition than I expected although battery was dead and gas was extremely low. Other than that, the documents were sent to me promptly and the process of registering was seamless with the supplied documents. Thank you Matt and team and I look forward to working with you in the future!

    thumb Grant Kirby
    1/29/2020

We accept refundable deposits by PayPal to ([email protected]). Log into your account, and lets start working together today!
paypal-logo3

Please share with your friends!
Back to top
JCD Menu logo