lug nuts

When drifting started to hit the US import scene in the early 2000s, it sent an even bigger surge through the already electric import culture. Yeah for a minute there, there was a real sweet spot where it all came together. There was so much energy. The cars were getting bonafide ‘legit’… but not so overboard to the point where it took ‘em off the street & put ‘em all on trailers. Hell in 2005, I got viciously passed on the interstate by an S13 Formula D car… on the way to Formula D. Ok here – let me tell you about the glory days real quick. 

clean S13 coupe

By 2000-ish, the import scene was hitting big time…

A new generation of hot-rodder had emerged, and we were taking the automotive industry by storm. The import culture at that point was inspiring Hollywood, video games, entertainment, music, sodas… damn near everything that was targeted towards a younger consumer. Man it was awesome. The mall parkways turned into raceways… alive with the sounds of blow-off valves, vtec, nitrous-purges, and earthquaking stereo systems.

S13 headlight vent Cwest

The world at that time was basically just pushing limits all around…

The youth-nation was intense. South Park, Chapelle Show… Eminem, Lil Jon, Sum 41… that’s what we put in our brains. So what do you expect? That was kind of our overall mentality. 1-upping was the way. If something offended you, lol that was the point. So naturally – obnoxious, flashy, over-the-top mods/styles was what we gravitated to. 

lowered S13 coupe

As a young car culture, we didn’t know nearly as much as we collectively do today..

But we made up for that with blind confidence & peer pressure. It was somehow all more fun, and mods were more epic when you couldn’t just google a million reviews & photos. You just had to go for it. Nowadays – what we know owns us. Search bars & FB pages have replaced youthful exuberance & experimentation. Everything was more organic in the early 2000s. More real. People drove with their windows down. Take Off Your Pants And Jacket was the album of the summer.  

Cool was cool back then…

And keyboard nerds frankly had no platform to speak. Their ‘anti’ attitudes just got drowned-out by things that were much more awesome than them. Fact. 

The only opinions that mattered… were the ones close to you, from friends. Gas was cheap & life made sense. We didn’t order pizzas online. If there were 7 of us hanging out & we wanted food, we ALL drove to the pizza shop… in a mob… where we dominated the parking lot. And where the owner, Frank, sported an electron blue boosted/kitted SI out front. He gave us the pizza or subs for free, and we stuffed the tip jar for the crew. That was the way. 

S13 15x9

We were in the moment… free from all these digital distractions.

We weren’t preoccupied with the phone in our pocket. We weren’t fueled by likes. Our life-worth wasn’t a channel or a page. We didn’t take 10 pictures of our car every time we parked it. We just parked & walked into the store like self-proclaimed badasses… while our cars kept running because they all had turbo timers lol. 

S13 coupe vs hatch

We didn’t know what a selfie was back then…

We probably would’ve just figured it was some sorta masturbation slang. And it kind of is if you think about it. 

Our parents taught us not to be followers because it’s lame & weak. And the only influencing we did, was in person… when we told you that you were a little bitch if you didn’t come bar-hopping with us that night. Nowadays – dudes drink White Claw while sitting next to an outlet so their phone can charge.

S13 BWave wing

The point is: It was better then.

But it has the potential to be even better now. Because I’ll be the 10th to admit – there’s huge benefits to all the progression in knowledge & communication & worldwide information-sharing platforms. But we don’t know where to draw the line. As a whole, we tend to overdose on it & enslave ourselves to it… until the benefits start to become blockers, blinders, & barriers. 

240sx pig nose

Anyway – I just went down memory lane because Tyler Halko’s only 21 or so.

Tyler owns this S13 Coupe. He’s a cool/grounded dude, with tons of excitement for drifting. And when we got to talkin’, it took me back. He mentioned that a lot of the 1st-generation US drift guys were obviously hugely inspired by ‘what was going on in Japan’ at the time. But what those guys don’t realize is: younger guys like Tyler Halko here… are hugely inspired by THEM for paving the way. And he should be inspired by them, but not just for drifting lol. Because I know some of those dude’s who’ve inspired Tyler. And maaaaaan Tyler has no idea how nuts those guys got!

Text by Wooley     Photos by Sam Igel II



OEM pignose front lip, OEM Silvia Aero sideskirts & rear valances

CWest headlight vent

EastBear mirrors

BWave wing

Drivetrain / Suspension

KA24DE engine from a 95 S14

Cold air intake, 4-1 headers

HKS HiPower exhaust

Welded Stock Diff – nothing fancy

GKTech suspension accessories throughout 

HeatMaker B-Knuckle cut steering knuckle

No fancy angle kit… just simple cut knuckle

BC Racing coilovers

Stock cable handbrake w/ Project Mu rear pads. No hydro.

– SSR MK2 wheels up front 15×9 +0

– SSR MK3 wheels in the rear 15×9 +0

Like this S13 coupe?? Check out this purple S13 hatch.

240sx drift car