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Misadventures of a Drift Newbie, Part 9: From the Junkyard to International Recognition!

Since my last post the Lemon House team and I have been working on the car as well as our plans for it’s future. I’ve also been reflecting on where we started and how far we’ve come since then. On one hand I feel kind of like a seasoned veteran, but on the other I still feel like an infant in this world of drifting!

Hard to believe that this was just a few months ago.

It was early this last spring when we dragged home this junkyard-bound hulk of a 300ZX and got to work on it. The gross moldy carpet, bent and broken seats, nonexistent keys and dead fuel pump seem like distant memories. It’s fun to think back on all those days in the garage (and driveway, before we were able to drive it into the garage.) The car, as well as our team, have been growing and improving steadily, and the momentum is still with us! Nate, Travis, Frank and myself have all become much closer as well, I think the way we’ve bonded as friends has been my favorite part of this whole journey.

Any seat time is good seat time.

Since the last event I’ve been driving the car as much as possible, there’s no substitute for seat time! It helps to get as familiar with your car as possible, both on and off the track. It’s also a lot of fun to drive, even just running random errands. We’ve been gathering suspension parts so we can start addressing some of Chizuru’s shortcomings that we discovered at the first Novice Clinic. Aftermarket support for the Z31 platform is basically nonexistent, so we’re having to get creative with S13 parts. Those cars enjoy a massive aftermarket, and their parts are readily available for cheap. It only makes sense for us to adapt as much S-chassis as possible to our 300ZX.

Nate’s truck loaded up from our Woodbridge parts run.

I found a guy on Facebook who deals in used Nissan parts, so we piled into Nate’s support truck and made our way to Woodbridge to collect our bounty. Huge thanks to Collin of S-Chassis Parts and Service for the killer deal! We picked up some z31 body parts, an extra rear diff for us to weld up, and a complete s13 front suspension setup. Collin also gave us some good advice on how to make the new setup work on our car. I’ll cover the process in a future post.

Senpai noticed us!!!

In other news of things that I never would have expected, Chizuru is becoming a bit of a celebrity! Awhile back Sammit, an Australian YouTuber living and drifting in Japan, put out a call on Instagram to tag him in a photo and he’d talk about some of them on his channel. Much to my surprise, he loved our car, as well as my Previa! He even made my photo the thumbnail image of the video. I’ve embedded the video below, our feature starts right at the 5 minute mark.

Who would have thought that in less than a year our car would go from the junkyard queue to being internationally recognized! Since the video aired we’ve even gotten our first piece of fan art! I can only imagine how this thing will be received once we finish the bodywork and get the rest of the itasha wrap on.

How cool is this?!

Our next event will be the Spirit.jp Novice Clinic on September 1st. Hopefully we’ll get some of this suspension work done by then, but even if we don’t it’ll still be a good time. Hope to see you there! Thanks for reading.

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