euro cars

I feel like this article has one key point that can apply to a lot of people, so I’m gonna try and get there quickly. Dan Perlenfein got into drifting around 2014. Relatively speaking, that hasn’t been that long really. And to get his feet wet, Dan traded some old non-running junk for some new (to him) non-running junk & acquired this 1992 Lexus SC300. Yes – Dan’s first drift car is still his current drift car. 

turbo LS Lexus SC drift car

The Lexus SC300 in the beginning 

Initially, Dan put an old-school IROC Chevy motor in the Lexus SC, and starting hitting local drift events. The first year, it was really all about learning the basics, linking the course, and controlling the car. He’s fortunate that the Midwest has some great drift groups/organizations like Drift Indy (more on that in a second). As Dan progressed, he swapped the old SBC engine to a more modern LS. And to stay competitive with the evolving horsepower of drift cars, Dan turbocharged the LS, went to a rear-mount radiator, caged the car, etc.

LS turbo Lexus SC

Cut to today…

Dan Perlenfein has been drifting the same ol’ Lexus SC300 for almost 10 glorious years! AND – he is now the general manager of Drift Indy! 100% – Dan attributes his 1) lack of destroying cars and 2) his progress as a driver… to the quality of the events that he’s attended. 

turbo LS Lexus SC

And here is the point: 

The events you attend can make a huge difference in your skill development & consistency. So this is key: Make sure that you look for an organization that WANTS you to learn. A group that puts a focus on driver development. You will experience so much more *of the best* that the sport has to offer. While minimizing the frustrations, plateaus, confusion, carnage, costs, downtime, etc. No one starts-out awesome. It’s all about seat time & the people around you.

Photos by Sam Igel II

rear mount radiator

LS turbo Lexus SC

LS-swapped, turbocharged 1992 Lexus SC300

turbo LS Lexus SC

drift Lexus SC LS swap

rear mount radiator


Fortune Auto coilovers – 16k front & 8k rear

Figs Engineering pro angle kit with modified knuckles

KBD Body Kits aero craft style 4pc bodykit, with front fenders, rear overs, and duckbill spoiler

Cosmis Racing MR-7 wheels – 18” x 10.5” rear & 9.5” front

Tubular front & rear

Turbo LS

rear mount radiator

rear mount radiator


5.3 LS engine swap

Haltech Elite2000 standalone EMS 

Forged h-beam rods

Weisco pistons 10.5:1

BTR stage-2 turbo cam & valve springs with Ti retainers

Hardened push rods

Professional Products intake manifold

Borg Warner 75mm T6 turbo

Treadstone intercooler with custom tanks

Tial MVR 44mm wastegate & 50mm blow off valve

C&R Racing radiator with 16″ Spal fan & custom shroud

560whp @14psi. 760whp @18psi.

drift turbo LS Lexus SC


GForce GT4A side-shift 4-speed dogbox (NASCAR trans)

QuickTime SFI bellhousing

Tilton hydraulic release bearing

ACT 6pk single disc clutch & HD pressure plate

drift car roll cage

sparco seat


Custom dash made with 1/8″ sheet aluminum, 1/2” cosplay foam, & vinyl fabric shaped to mimic a Supra dash.

AIM Strata full color digital dash and billet buttons

Sparco seats with BridgeMoto harnesses

Dimple Die floor plates

8-point roll cage

Haltech drift

Lexus SC vented hood

ls swap Lexus SC