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photos by Tony Walls

This world of professional top-tier drifting is an increasingly corporatized sport. And the trick is, how do you mesh the roots-culture of drifting – which at its core is so anti-establishment, rebellious, illegal, and anti-corporate…… how do you mesh that, with the growing ‘organization’ & corporate influence settling in the sport of professional drifting?
Most of these Formula-D level drifters didn’t get good by playing on the varsity highschool drift team, if you know what I mean. They got good by breaking the law – a lot. And now sponsors want to endorse them because of it. It’s kind of like endorsing a getaway driver haha. But how much are these drifters willing to go clean-cut for a sponsor and a paycheck and a little limelight/popularity? As the sport of drifting continues to gain exposure and a wider audience, this will only become a larger pill to swallow. So how, as a driver, do you stay true to who you are… as you’re coming up through the ranks? At some point, these guys are gonna have to look this in the eye, and make a decision.

And so are you.

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Metaphorically, I really do believe that this is one of the big tests in all our lives – no matter what we do. Staying true to yourself AND finding a way to succeed in the process. And I also realize that for a lot of us reading this mag these days… this is our test right now! You’re in the middle of it. We are in a transition point in life, at this age… where we can still pass or fail this test. We get out of school, and/or we get out of college… and we start finding our place in the real world. Sorting out our dreams. For some, it happens quick and easy. For others, it takes a little longer. (And if it happens quick & easy for you – then you’re in even more danger, because you might not really know who you are yet… and you haven’t tasted the struggle.) We get the beginnings of a career going maybe. And it’s not long before we start to get some first-hand experience of how manipulating and deceiving the real word can be.

Welcome to – The System.

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The System is everything around us that we accept as truth & reality… but in reality, totally blinds us from real truth. Yes – that can include our big government, our big business, our schooling, our media, our marketing, our religious institutions, our law enforcement… our leaders, our CEOs, our teachers, our preachers, our judges, and potentially even our parents. It is the real, nonfiction Matrix (and the whole time you thought it was just a make believe movie). The System lurks where power & trust has the potential to be abused and misled. The system wants you to compromise yourself, and fall in line. The system doesn’t give a shit about ‘who you are’, because the system is going to mold you into ‘who you need to be’ in order to benefit the system. The system tries to tell you that your dreams are from the heart of a child, and they are irrelevant and childish… and that you’re and adult, what really matters is stability and financial security. The system wants you to make decisions that do not feel right to you in your soul… but are justified in the names of ‘success’ and ‘strength’ and ‘moving forward’.
But if they do not feel right in your soul, there is a reason for that. Your soul knows what’s up… your soul knows the drill. But your mind and your body are easily deceived by what’s around you in your environment. I’m gonna tell you right now – all the things that we think of when we think of ‘success’… are so far off base from what ‘success’ is really supposed to be. Our modern society had just fucked that word all to hell.
What’s the first thing you think of when somebody says, “Oh, that guy is successful?” You think he must have a baller house, and wicked cars, and that he knows how to make important decisions, and that people do what he says. But under the surface, that guy could be stressed, unhappy, anxious, unloved, and not truly satisfied with any of his possessions… because it’s all empty. But we just look at the surface – the possessions and the money. And we’re envious of what we see. But real success has a lot more to do with being confident in who you are, taking satisfaction in your work & what you create, seeing the world around you, and knowing true love.
On the same token, real ‘strength’ in your career-based actions, has to do with making the moves that feel right in your soul. The move that your heart knows is the best move. But often times, we make decisions based solely on profit and personal gain… and we call that strength. We call it strength, because that makes it easy to justify. But it’s the opposite. That’s not strength… that’s weakness. Most people have this wrong; they mistake weakness for strength. And that brings me back to the system.
The system wants you to think that you know all the right answers… so that way you stop asking dangerous questions. But when you stop dreaming, and you stop following your dreams… you’re dead, and they’ve got you. There are always going to be people who go this route. History shows – the masses will end up going this route. They will end up falling in this oxymoronical herd. But is that gonna be you too? Or were you made for something else.

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As I got to know Nate Hamilton, the owner of this car, I got a good sense of his perspective, and of his character. And I can just tell that he is on the right side of this thing. See – Nate knows in his heart that he was meant for this. To be a driver. That is his dream. And if everything goes according to the master plan, Nate will go pro next year in Formula D. So he’s kind of staring his dream right in the face these days. For a lot of people, that would be a very unnerving place to be. For him – it’s the calm before the storm. And the storm is gonna be calm too… because that’s just the way he is.
But when you’re dealing with trying to become a professional driver, there is a lot of temptation and attention pulling at your sleeves. One of the first/foremost job requirements – is to actively set out to gain popularity. Not only for your sake, but also for your sponsors’ sake. It’s just part of it. You need to get yourself noticed a little bit. And there is a fine line – but becoming popular is not a sell-out move. Where you cross the line, is where you start making compromises to who you are, and what you stand for… in an effort to become popular. That’s your sell-out move. But really, think about it. All you’re doing is selling yourself out. So what’s the point there?
We are all unique people to this planet… why would you fake it while you’re here? It seems like a waste of your time here – to me. The world deserves to see all of us in our real skin. And we owe it to the world to at least give her that much. Let that sink in… we really do owe it to the entire world, if not to ourselves, to be real. It’s bigger than saying, “Yeah, but will they-all like me?” We have one shot on this planet… to do the best we can, to be who we really are, and to let that count for something. It’s our ‘voice’… our little temporary watermark on this planet. So why would you ever cut your voice short, and let the world see a compromised half-version of you. For personal gain? Yeah probably… that’s why most people do it. But what are you really gaining, and at what cost? It goes back to ‘true’ success.

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No one sells their soul all at one time. You part that shit out haha… and sell it piece by piece until there’s nothing left. I laugh there, but really, I’m serious… and it’s true. Look – it’s the little things that come up in life along the way… that will try and deceive you, and make you stray from the big picture of who you are. Envy deceives you, because you want to be like the guy who (you think) has it all figured out already. Jealousy deceives you… because you want it now. Pressure from peers, family, and society deceive you. These things imprison your character, and they shackle part of who you really are. But like I said, your soul usually knows what’s up… so what is it telling you?
And I know it may sound like I’m going too deep and off-topic/opinionated for a car mag. But I’m not, because what I’m doing, is trying to describe Nate Hamilton to you… at his core. And I’m painting a picture of how this dude carries himself, and what values he keeps close to him. I’m also trying to let you know… that YOU know what path is best for you. Nate Hamilton is a guy who will represent this sport honestly. I see it in him. He is approachable. He’s excitable. He’s passionate. For Nate and his crew, the journey to the Pros keeps continuing on just the steps that they make naturally. There is no second-guessing. They just let things come, and they just know that they’re where they need to be at that particular time. It’s faith, not chaos. There is faith that they are chopping down the path that is right for them. And as long as you stay motivated as hell, and stay true to yourself – the rest of everything will follow. I’m telling you, it will. And no matter what happens, you will find contentment in it.

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WHEELS
Front- ENKEI RPF1’s 17×9.5
Rear- ENKEI PF01’s 18×9.5

ENGINE
We have a LS2 / LS6 motor built by LG MotorSports
T-56 6-speed transmission
ACT Clutch.

SUSPENSION
Stance coilovers

KIT
We are running the full 6666 Touge Factory “Rocket Bunny” kit!

WRAP
BlueMedia out of Arizona wrapped the car. This was our way to bring skateboarding and drifting together! We have a purple woodgrain base with our 80’s / 90’s logos over the woodgrain. Just apositive fun vibe for the car in 2012.