6 Of Weirdest Drift Cars You Will Ever See

July 26, 2022

Drifting is a driving technique in which a driver intentionally loses traction (usually in the rear wheels) while oversteering around a corner. This lets the car seemingly 'slide' through corners while the driver maintains control by countersteering the vehicle. Drifting started in Japan in the 1970s when drivers raced illegally on mountain rounds. The drifting technique of cornering allowed these drivers to turn corners at much faster speeds, which was necessary for navigating the winding mountain roads. Drifting has been a competitive activity in Japan since the 1970s but did not spread to other parts of the world until 1996. Since the early 2000s, many countries have hosted lucrative drifting competitions. These competitions have fostered a distinct 'do-it-yourself' culture within the world of drifting, which has led drivers around the world to create some truly unique drifting vehicles. Check out the six weirdest drift cars of all time.

Ford Sierra Estate

James Deane is an Irish motor sport competitor and is currently a five-time European Drift Champion (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2016), five-time Irish Drift Champion (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2015) and even a Guinness World Record holder for the longest tandem drift (17.7 miles). His humble Ford Sierra Estate, a car many people associate with family trips or their grandmother's shopping trip to the mall, is what started his career in the sport of drifting. He barely modified it, except for adding a locked differential and hydraulic handbrake, making this car one of the weirdest almost-stock vehicles ever seen in the drifting community. James and his brother currently run Deane Motorsport, a successful company located in Ireland that modifies and tunes racing cars.

Jaguar E-Type

When people think of drifting, they usually envision a Japanese car that has cheaper parts and more interchangeability with its sister vehicles. European cars are not very popular in drifting because they contain expensive parts and can be quite rare. This Jaguar E-Type defies this trend. It contains a Japanese engine and a rear-end from a more commonplace BMW E39. The engine used in this beast of a Jaguar is known as a 1JZ and is manufactured by Toyota. It was previously featured in such vehicles as the Chaser, Cresta, and Soarer, all of which are popular and cheap rear-wheel drive Japanese drift cars. The instant recognition this Jaguar receives is the reason why it was restored and is now one of the weirdest and most unique drift cars on Earth.

Isuzu Piazza

This odd-looking vehicle was designed by legendary Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who has designed many everyday vehicles and super cars. This vehicle, in particular, was designed by Giugiaro when he was commissioned by the Japanese company Isuzu in 1978. By 1984, a two-litre, turbocharged engine had been introduced to the Piazza, replacing the naturally aspirated engine of the early designs. These cars are ideal for drifting due to their power-to-weight ratio; the rear-wheel drive turbocharged Piazza weighs 2732 pounds and pumps out around 140 horsepower. The Isuzu Piazza may look weird, but it was far ahead of its time in terms of performance. Nowadays, it is also extremely rare.

Mercedes C-Class Estate

This particular version of the Mercedes C-Class Estate is a station wagon. Station wagons are uncommon in the drifting world, and high-end European station wagons are especially rare. This car is diesel powered, but as the photograph illustrates, it has plenty of power to drift and compete at a high level of motorsport. Diesel vehicles that are turbocharged tend to have plenty of low-down torque and power, which makes for a more controlled, easier drift because the driver does not have to get the car up into the higher revolutions per minute that are common in drifting. The vehicle's relatively long wheelbase also makes drifting easier. For this reason, many people who do not have access to Japanese vehicles have started using this kind of turbo-diesel car for drifting.

Morris Marina

Many North Americans will not recognize this vehicle because most of its manufacturing and distribution took place between 1971 and 1980 in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. This classic British car is a unique choice for a drifting vehicle; many underpowered cars like this one require upgrades to the engine, drive-train, suspension, and interior to make competition safe. The vehicle has a welded or 'locked' differential, which makes drifting somewhat easier in underpowered cars. Perhaps the weirdest aspect of this vehicle is not that the owner uses it to drift but that he uses it as his daily car.

Volvo 240

Like the Ford Sierra Estate, this car is more likely to be found in a grocery store or school parking lot than on any type of race track. Marc 'Hux' Huxley is the owner and driver of this vehicle, which competed in the British Drift Championship during the 2010s. This range of seemingly lumbering, family vehicles was produced by European manufacturer Volvo from 1974 to 1993. The rear-wheel drive Volvo has little weight over its back wheels, which lets them drift around corners more easily. This strange drift car has inspired many people to use Volvos as a cheap, European option for drifting because of their weight distribution. In fact, many Volvo owners find they can often use Japanese car parts in place of factory parts. For example, Japanese cross-members, suspensions, brakes, and wheels can be used in Volvos with little modification to make them fit.