On most afternoons, 17 year-old Yoshi Shinya would leave his house in Japan and travel to a stretch of road in the Akagi mountains for a few hours on his Honda NSR 250 motorcycle. But unfortunately, while cruising the canyons one day he had an accident, which resulted in a broken back and the loss of the use of his legs. Not one to call it quits, Yoshi approached Atsushi Ito from Weld Techniques Factory to craft him a vehicle that would get him back in the driver's seat, drifting on the same canyons where he had his accident.
Getting away from life as an IT consultant, Yoshi would take out his custom Nissan Chaser as often as he could, indulging his passion for drifting while he dreamt of ditching his corporate uniform for a racing suit to play with the big boys of the D1GP. Technological advancements in steering and clutch control for the disabled have given Ito-san the ability to build a one-of-a-kind drift car, controlled strictly by hand and utilizing high tech pedals and light sensors. Today, the 24 year-old Yoshi controls his car in a rhythmic dance of hand movements that few could master.
As the CEO of Weld, Ito-san is known for his fanatic attention to detail in custom fabrication, and he has a quality reputation for crafting some of the best drift cars in the scene. For Yoshi's Toyota Cresta, Ito-san started the 1JZ-GTE's build-up by fully porting and polishing the head, and adding a GReddy TD06-25G turbo with a Trust intercooler, radiator and wastegate to heave the horsepower up to 480hp at 6500rpm. Engine electronics are handled by an A'PEXi Power FC which replaced the factory ECU and gave Ito-san the ability to fine tune all aspects of fuel, boost and ignition control.
To hold the Cresta's power to the ground, Ito-san installed his own D1-spec engine-mounted aluminum front tower brace. As drifting involves more finesse in brake control than regular racing, Weld's slotted rotors and Type R brake pads were installed with TRD calipers fitted inside a set of high-strength one-piece aluminum 18-inch Work Emotion XD-9's. The soft compound of the Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R tires provides just enough traction for hard cornering on the tight turns in the canyons of Japan.
Safety and convenience were crucial to Yoshi considering how often he took to the mountains for some creative driving, so after stripping out the front and rear seats Ito-san opted to install a 16-point rollcage, effectively wrapping Yoshi in the front of his semi-bucket Bride seat and strapping down his wheelchair behind him in a compartment where the rear seats used to be. Four Defi gauges wrapped in a custom carbon fiber pod project the meters outward from the passenger side dash. The gauge arrangement helps free up space to give Yoshi more visibility during his evening drifting sessions while still allowing him to check out the car's vitals.
The inner mechanics of gears and clutch control come from Italian manufacturer, Guidosimplex. Installed by Ito-san, they allow Yoshi to direct everything with his hands. Controlling the works is a major feat for regular driving, but throw in the fast response required for drifting and you get an idea of how well-attuned Yoshi has become to his car. A Nardi Gara leather steering wheel was refitted to include an inner-circular accelerator control and the brakes are now handled by a pull knob left of the steering wheel. While the original hand brake is still in place, a new one was installed on the left side that sits higher to give Yoshi more pulling leverage during turns while he holds the steering wheel with his right hand. Clutching is controlled with a push lever which sits beside the shift knob, altered slightly from Guidosimplex's original. Adding a larger angle clutch bar helped Yoshi handle the tight drifting angles he encounters in competitions and in the canyons. Before Yoshi even entered the car, Ito-san made sure to test every piece of added equipment for safety and ease of use.
The drift car's bold exterior is a combination of screaming red candy paint by Weld and vinyl graphics by Art Factory in Japan. Nothing could be more fitting than Yoshi's choice of a fire-breathing dragon in a wheelchair to warn others of his formidable abilities behind the wheel. The Vertex body kit was chosen for its performance-minded styling, with a mix of carbon fiber and fiberglass. Ganador side mirrors keep his competition in sight and the Xanthic forward-facing hood gives him full access to his engine.
Yoshi, a Yokohama native, has had the car for four years with this $50,000 setup. "No one is doing this with hand controls," he explains, "and I have yet to make a mistake when drifting!" While his mom was not too happy about him returning to drifting so soon after his accident, after watching him in the car she has come to support him in his efforts, and enjoys watching him win at the drifting events he attends in Japan. Asked of his next goal, Yoshi admits "being able to enter D1 races would be fantastic! I hope to try and get my license this year." As for future projects, he is tempted to give Weld his wheelchair to have it fitted with an engine and spec'd out for drifting. Considering Yoshi's talents and determination, we may just see a new sport emerging on ESPN!
Owner Yoshi Shinya
Hometown Yokohama, japan
Daily Grind It Consultant
Power Est. 480hp at 6500rpm, 420 lb-ft at 5800rpm (19 psi of boost)
Under The Hood 1JZ-GTE; Weld head tuning, suction pipe, full polished, port polished, Div Flame, power-steering tank, heat sink cover, exhaust system; HKS intercooler, camshafts; GReddy TD06-25G turbo; Trust exhaust manifold wastegate, air cleaner, radiator, timing belt, oil cooler; Nismo R33 fuel pump; A'PEXi 1.1mm head gasket; Sard fuel regulator 530cc injectors
Drive Train ATS Carbon twin clutch
Brains A'pexi Power FC; Weld SP Type-D CPU setting
Rollers Work Emotion XD-9 18x9 +30 offset (front), 18x10 +38 offset (rear); Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R 235/40R18 (front), 265/35R18 (rear)
Stoppers Trd Calipers; Weld slotted rotors, Type R pads
Outside Weld candy paint; Vertex body kit; Xanthic red carbon tilt-up hood; Art Factory vinyl graphics; Ganador mirrors
Inside Modified Guidosimplex Weld Handicap System-steering, shift and brake systems, 16-point rollcage, four and single pod carbon meter panels, engine starter; Nardi Gara steering wheel; Bride semi-bucket seats; Defi System gauges