The Nissan Silvia, Toyota AE86, Nissan Skyline, Mazda RX-7, Toyota JZX, the GT86 – drifters tend to stick to what they know when it comes to choosing a suitable machine to slide around in. Don't get me wrong, these chassis are popular for a reason; they usually represent the best balance in performance, styling, reliability, tuneability and the availability of upgrade parts, but at the same time you've got to show a bit of love to those who chose to shun the status quo in the pursuit of something, well a little bit 'different'.
Without further ado, here are five of the most oddball drift builds out there, in no particular order…
1. Jaguar E-Type
Who would be so daft as to sacrifice a classic E-Type in the name of drifting? Built by two brothers, this Toyota-1JZ-powered E-Type was thankfully in a sorry state when it came into their possession. In fact, it was in two sorry states – and literally in two rusted pieces! A full metal restoration was the only way to save this E-Type, and what better fate than to be destined to slide around racetracks for the rest of its days?
2. Volvo 240 Estate
Volvos are fairly common practice/missile cars here in the UK, thanks to their relatively low cost. Many have called the little Volvo 340 'Sweden's AE86'! But not many have opted for the large 240 estate as a drift car, even less a fully caged, turbocharged competitive choice. Built by Marc Huxley, the car was previously used in the British Drift Championship for a few seasons before being sold. I believe it's now in use as a street car – madness!
3. Mercedes Diesel Estate
Think diesel drifting and you might conjure up sketchy moments on wet roundabouts outside of fuel stations, or you might think of Black Smoke Racing. This Finnish drift team have made a name for themselves by pursuing the art of drifting large diesel wagons. And few are more bonkers than their OM606-engined W203 Mercedes diesel estate. With enough torque on tap to spin the Earth backwards, it doesn't seem like such an odd choice.
4. Jaguar XJ6
For sliding in style it doesn't come much more grand than this. Built by Xcessive Manufacturing in Portland, Oregon, this classy XJ6 has been overhauled into a drift monster. There's a manual conversion, lots of trick suspension parts and a turbocharger hanging off the side of the original 4.2-litre engine. A lot of custom work was involved in making this thing slide, but by God does it look classy doing so.
5. Volkswagen Passat
Wait, what? That's right – this thing was a Formula DRIFT Pro competition car back in 2015. Piloted by race driver Tanner Foust and powered by an LS crate engine, the formerly-front-wheel drive car needed an entire custom transmission tunnel to be made (because, you know, prop shaft) along with a complete overhaul and rethink about the suspension and geometry. The car was never especially successful for Tanner, but it had all the right ingredients. Fredric Aasbø's newest Formula DRIFT machine, the Toyota Corolla iM, goes to prove that front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive conversions can be competitive.