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Turbo V8 BMW vs Police Car

Norbertas Daunoravińćius

Norbertas Daunoravińćius

Norbertas Daunoravińćius is at it again, producing some pretty damn cool drifting videos. I’ve blogged about his Norbe Films venture before, not just because he drifts BMWs but more because his films are beautifully produced and he manages to convey a sense of anarchy whilst doing so.

Norbe Films

Norbe Films

Norbertas Daunoravińćius has some serious skills when it comes to making a car go sideways. Whilst there are many many drifting videos posted on YouTube, Norbe Films are shot for pure entertainment as well as showing off the skills involved in drifting. 

Take one BMW E36, one V8 engine, one turbo charger and one iPad. Once warmed up add copious amounts of oversteer and a police car and… ACTION!

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Sideways For The Price of A Smartphone

HeLLga, my E36 325i Coupe

A drift missile for the price of a smartphone? Hmm, sounds a little far-fetched, I know, but trust me on this.

When I first noticed drifting, it wasn’t through the channels of its Japanese origins; drifting made itself known in the form of Hulk Hogan’s son, Nick, and his dabbling with the pros in his yellow Supra – the one he eventually crashed and left his best friend paralysed with.¬†After a stint in jail, Nick faded away from the scene and that was that, but for the few episodes I saw him drift, I couldn’t help but notice the seemingly large sums of cash needed to partake in the sport.

That was nearly¬†a decade ago, and ever since that yellow and chrome monstrosity, I’ve been fascinated, studying the varying styles and cultures surrounding international drifting. The sport has made a such big impression since the States transformed the Japanese parking-lot precision driving into its FormulaDrift series, virtually every petrolhead on the planet has tried kicking out the rear of their car and holding a drift.

That’s what’s so great about the sport – with a little practice, anyone owning¬†a relatively light RWD car with¬†around 150+ bhp and 150+ ft-lbs of torque can drift it (on closed roads or track, of course).

This has led to the formation of drift clubs both big and small, drivers meeting up and getting their missiles sideways. Drifting has managed to knock down barriers and bring different car genres together, from German coupes to Japanese turbos to American muscle, all shredding rubber together on track.

Owning a drift missile doesn’t have to be costly either, as the title of this article suggests. For the price of a leading smartphone (¬£600-¬£999), you can pick up a solid, high-mile BMW E36 325i/323i/328i or a Mk1/2¬†Mazda MX-5. After ripping out the entire interior and installing¬†a secondhand roll cage and bucket seat, you’re virtually ready for some handbrake/clutch kick action.

Although this article comes across as a poor man’s answer to drifting, it actually backs up the original Japanese¬†theory that less is more. I wrote a piece for Motor Ward featuring¬†the drift king himself, Keiichi Tsuchiyai, the grand master and inventor of drifting. He says¬†drifting a car with limited power (anything under approximately 140-bhp)¬†is far harder than sliding¬†a more powerful car, thus throwing a cheap missile around means you’ll eventually develop uber drifting skills – it’s harder to kick out the rear of¬†an old 130-bhp Toyota AE86 than it is ¬†a 400-bhp Skyline.

HeLLga’s Loving Leather Embrace

If the interior is in decent condition, you could sell it and put the extra cash into a super chip or re-map for that extra 25-bhp. Give the car a full service, especially the engine and all of the fluids. Tape up the lights, fix a sports steering wheel and drift brake lever, finally spraying/wrapping your weapon matt black, and you are ready to shred.

Okay, so once you’re hooked and you get the hang of it you’ll ruin yourself spending out on power gains, superior¬†suspension components, racing clutch kits and body panels, but how much more adrenaline do you expect to spill for the price of a phone?

iPhone or iDrift?

Easy…

 

 

 

BMWs & Preparing Lithuanian Sledges

Owning a BMW E36 325i (HeLLga) and possessing a passion for sideways action, it was only a matter of time before I’d stumble across the ‘The Ugly Duckling’, the¬†incongruously¬†placed BMW above. Its owner hails from a part of Europe boasting scented forests and pristine lakes, a seemingly serene and peaceful place…¬†until you look a little closer.

There are some pretty cool goings-on taking place in Lithuania at the moment, a combination of old school BMWs, mad driving skills, and a creativity and enthusiasm captured in a series of short films.

Norbertas Daunoravińćius (pictured above) is the brains behind Norbe Films, a vision shared through his¬†website and YouTube channel. Here he reveals both his love of retro Bimmers and his ability to make them slide.¬†Referring¬†to what is commonly known as the ‘Drift Missile’, Norbertas prefers the name ‘Sledge’, a term coined from the current Lithuanian car culture.¬†

Norbe Films presents useful videos on Sledge preparation, primarily involving an old BMW and wrenching on it until it will drift. The film below is the longest Рand perhaps considered his feature piece РThe Ugly Duckling. Although the 15 minutes of footage features hardcore Hooning and antisocial driving, Norbetas manages to convey intelligence, humour and a real passion for cars. The Ugly Duckling also captures the spirit and culture of Lithuania, its people strong-willed, inventive and industrious.

If you haven’t got 15 minutes to spare, check out the excerpt above, a little taster, a lesson in Lithuanian parking.

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My Swan Vs The Ugly Duckling

 

If you’ve read the previous post about my latest¬†acquirement you’ll know I purchased a mint BMW E36 325i coupe that left me a little confused. Having wanted a potential drift missile to stamp my mark upon,¬†the words “strip”, “gut” and “hoon” all circulated my mind as I drove HeLLga (yeah, yeah, yeah, I named her) home. I knew from the pictures and paperwork she was a great example, but I had to keep reminding myself she was a 19 year-old car as I looked around at the pristine leather and marvelled at the familiar raucous engine note (I owned an E46 M3) and the solid ride.

The aforementioned words circulating my mind seemingly matching the engine revs and picked up speed, a full-on whirlwind reminding me why I bought the car – “I’ve bought the wrong car,” I countered, knowing my appreciation of well-maintained and non-molested cars wouldn’t allow any of these words to be directed at my Bavarian beauty.

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I have, however, installed a K&N panel filter and bought a straight through back box with DTM tips for both aesthetics and to enhance HeLLga’s fantastic vocal range. Although the straight-pipe on the M50 engine is a symphony of spitting, crackling and popping, going down this route seemed a little undignified for my clean E36 – imagine Mariah Carey singing vocals for Slipknot – entertaining for a few songs but a bloody headache after an entire album.

So whilst I will try my best at maintaining HeLLga’s stock appearance and refraining from any more sideways action when it’s a little damp (on quiet and empty roads), I’ll have to make do with videos until I find a suitable E36 beater missile. Check out The Ugly Ducking below, what a beauty… hang on, that didn’t make sense. Ah well, you know what I mean.

My New Girl, HeLLga

Hellga

I’ve been very busy of late. My mind has been 24/7 on cars… mine in particular. The picture above is my latest affair, a German coupe that took a lot of searching for and a lot of changing of minds. Up until purchasing her I’ve also been very confused, and now she’s mine, I still am. You see, it’s all to do with drifting…

HeLLga takes the place of my Subaru WRX. I loved my Scooby and it’s surge of turbo but the AWD didn’t allow for drifting unless you entered at high speed, murdered the engine and felt the horrible¬†resistance¬†of Jap technology – a lot of noise and unsettling vibrations – reminding you a trip to the bank was¬†imminent. As we all know, RWD is the only way to go if sliding is your game, so I watched more videos, read more articles and had my mind on something a little different. However, HeLLga wasn’t on the list at the beginning.

I ended up dismissing the RX-8 and S2000 because of their low torque compared to other rivals. The RX-7 and Nissan 240ZX were out of the question, as were the Skyline R32 & 33 because I simply couldn’t bring myself to butcher and abuse such great classics. As for the Silvias, meh, they just don’t do anything for me. Although the S13 could’ve been a possibility, finding a solid example¬†that wasn’t automatic and painted gold was impossible – they’ve all been snapped up, slammed, and had their¬†innards¬†ripped out by hardcore drifters.

So I was 100% sure I wanted an MR2 Turbo, the mid-engined lunatic above I knew could be drifted (albeit with some different approaches and methods). Yeah, I was going to be a little different and the MR2 Turbo was going to be my daily/drift missile…

…until I remembered the late Giorgi Tavzadze and his¬†BMW E34 M5. I then found myself re-watching the E34 325i chase scene in Ronin. I’d seen some mean-looking old-school Bimmers as drift missiles before, and the¬†decision¬†was finally made after witnessing The Ugly Duckling, a stock-engined E36 325i climb a carpark sideways.

Having owned an E46 M3 and remembering how powerful yet planted it was, I did¬†a little research into why the former E36 M3 and 325i models were so popular as drifters. Because they are lighter, have a 50/50 weight ratio and good torque, the E36 chassis was perfect for the job. The 325i seemed the most popular because of its bombproof and revvy 2.5-L inline 6, plus its cheaper repair and¬†maintenance¬†bills over the M3. Many welded the diff, too, something I was thinking of getting done. Although turbos were a popular add-on to the 325i, I’ve seen enough videos to know they can be drifted with the right set-up.

However, after I handed over the cash and sunk into HeLLga’s leather embrace, I realised what a beauty I had aquired. Spotless, 62K miles all accounted for with 8 BMW stamps in the service book. The small white torch, tool kit and first aid kit were all present, and as for the interior, well, I knew I wouldn’t be ripping it out any time soon. I realised all of this whilst driving her home, a car I couldn’t believe was 19-years-old. She was solid, taut and her 6-cylinders hummed and let out that familiar hiss and BMW rasp at high revs.

So what do I do now?

After a rather reserved effort but enough to maintain a slide (this was on a quiet road in the evening with no traffic whatsoever), I came to only one conclusion: Buy a high mileage 325i beater, of course.

 

Ed: If you enjoyed this post or love old school Bimmers, check out the 2nd part with HeLLga.