Here’s a Little Japanese-Style Drift Car Rain Dance

When you shoot enough amateur drifting, you come to realize that photos look a lot better when the cars are tidy.

Ah yes, another frame from my other life as an amateur drift photographer. This was from a rare rainy day in SoCal, even rarer at the historic (read: “preserved”) Willow Springs International Raceway. I was at an event hosted by drift-themed apparel brand Jimmy Up, called Jimmy Up Matsuri. Matsuri is Japanese for “festival,” and it takes after the famous seasonal matsuris at Ebisu Circuit in Japan. Normally, events at the Balcony skid pad are pretty boring with beat-up drift cars, but this event was magnetic towards gorgeous Japanese-style drift cars and driving.

  • Car: Autofactory Realize S13 and R32 Skyline GTS-T
  • Location: Willow Springs International Raceway, Rosamond, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twit @Chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Canon 5D Mark III w/ 16-35mm f/2.8L

The cars in the image are the cars from a drift team made up of dudes from Auto Factory Realize, a private shop where they make faithful drift machines that ooze with presence. They’re part of a drifting trend that was huge in the mid-2010s: forming up a three to five car drift team with matching paint schemes and styles, all faithful to the original style-oriented Japanese drifters of the 2000s. Hallmarks of these cars are usually low stance, big camber, deep-dish three-piece authentic wheels, and chrome graphics.

If you ask me, it’s a side of drifting I adore very much. When you shoot enough amateur drifting, you come to realize that photos look a lot better when the cars are tidy. Tidy cars are a rarity in that scene. Bonus: peep my old nerdy watermark from back when. Ah, the good times.

As big as we could get it:

Here’s a Little Japanese-Style Drift Car Rain Dance
Chris Rosales
Chris Rosales

Chris has owned 12 cars of questionable quality, is an experienced motorsports photographer, and a good all-around wrench. When he isn’t tinkering with his car in his home garage, you can catch Chris in the canyons around SoCal. He also hopelessly hankers for Euros, but he honestly knows he should get something Japanese, eventually. Contact the author here.