Everyone knows that Japan is where the sport of drifting first began, with both their cars and love of going sideways spreading all over the globe, including here in Australia.
Former Australian drift champion and internationally renowned driver Luke Fink was in need of a new drift car in Japan, but with current Japanese car prices being sky high, it got him thinking outside the box to get himself some wheels to go sliding in the land of the rising sun.
“The last car I bought in Japan was $2000 Australian dollars, a Nissan C34 Laurel that was a running, driftable car,” Luke says in his video. “The cheapest, bottom-of-the-barrel car I’ve seen now is $15 grand! For a beat-to-crap S-Chassis!”
Luke was the recent lease holder and operator of the Archerfield Drift Park just outside of Brisbane, which was forced to close its doors when the neighbouring Archerfield Speedway was shut down and put up for sale with the drift park.
Having had ‘round-the-clock access to his own drift track, it’s no surprise Luke has quite a few drift cars at his disposal. One of those is a non-turbo BF XR6 Falcon, which he’s now decided to send to Japan to be his next drift car over there. “I’ve always thought about how crazy it would be to take a car from Australia to Japan, and we’re gonna make it happen,” he says.
Queensland-based vehicle and parts importer Dori Junkie has been tasked with getting the BF to Japan, where it’ll then live with Power Vehicles at Japan’s famous Ebisu Circuit.
The Falcon may not just be relegated to race tracks though, with Luke hinting it could see a stint on the roads of Japan as well: “There is a very small chance we’re going to be able to drive this car on the road in Japan, and go visit all the coolest spots that you see all the Japanese legend cars at,” he says. “Daikoku, Shibuya crossing and so on.”
The car will remain a basic, simple and reliable machine when Luke has it shipped over in a few weeks, opting to keep it non-turbo for now. “We’ve got Shockworks coilovers, a [steering] lock kit and a proper rollcage in it, but we’ll build a bulletproof turbo engine here and then ship it over later on,” Luke says. The car is also undergoing a conversion from the fragile T5 BorgWarner manual ‘box to a later and much stronger Tremec TR6060 six-speed.
If at this point you’re thinking a BF Falcon being used as a simple Ebisu drift missile is all well and good, Luke says his hopes for the Falcon go beyond just that.
“I really think they could be as competitive – if set up right – as a [Toyota] JZX, so there’s the potential to do FD Japan,” he says. FD is short for Formula Drift, the pinnacle of drifting competition, with both the US and Japan holding their own championships. “Imagine seeing a Barra-powered Ford competing in FD Japan!”
Luke has been documenting the build process of the Falcon on his YouTube channel Fink & Co, and will be meeting the car in Japan in early November.
This isn’t the first time we’ll see an Australian car drifting in Japan, with Power Vehicles having offered a black Holden VE SS ute as part of their fleet at Ebisu for some time now. It’s now for sale.
We’ve also documented both an RB-powered XC wagon and Mad Max-style XB coupe living in Japan, and our rumour mill also suggests Japanese tuners JUN Auto imported a BA XR6 Turbo around 2004 or 2005 for R&D on the then-new Barra platform.
Australian Daniel O’Grady has also documented a number of Australian cars he has encountered in Japan on his WasabiCars YouTube channel, including a VY SS ute, an abandoned EK Holden, several Mazda Roadpacers and this rusty but very cool HZ ute!
We wish Luke Fink all the best on his drifting ambitions with his BF in Japan, and will be following his progress with interest to see how the Japanese react to Australia’s take on a drift weapon!