In stabs and ricochets, a deep-lunged bellow thumps out of the gloom.
Far over to our right, beneath the ageing concrete flyover, a square-edged shape pivots through 90 degrees and launches into the sunlight. Squinting, you can make out a pair of kidney grilles and a Hofmeister kink: BMW motifs swimming into focus.
But this is no middle-lane, middle-aged d. Eight angry cylinders shake in the open engine bay, beneath acres of ducting and a spinning, screaming supercharger. The BMW skids across the width of the arena, holding a constant angle and trailing clouds of bright white smoke. Squealing tyres and jabbering motor, alternating between deafening blasts and silence. Somewhere beyond the action, a crowd overflows through the spectator area, the walls, the pavement and shrubs of grass on the hill high above.
The driver slashes at the handbrake, locking the rear axle, and the car bounds back the other way. A second later, less than a blink or a breath from the concrete wall, the tyres are spinning again, in a single horseshoe drift that sprays sound and smoke over the crowds. Tiny pellets of vaporised rubber rain down in its wake, coating everything with a thin film of sickly-sweet black. Drift Outlaws is in town. Outlaws is the brainchild of Matt Chiappa, a previous Drift Allstars professional drifter who slid his orange S13 Silvia all over Europe, coming up against some of the biggest names in world drifting.
His first attempt — the Retro Drift Challenge — continues today under different ownership but Drift Outlaws, a series that held its first events in , is his current passion. Coventry MotoFest, where we caught up with the series, was a prime example of the Outlaw spirit.
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About a dozen drift cars, ranging from near-standard road cars to purpose-built, ex-Formula D bombshells with over bhp, took turns to wow the crowds on an open tarmac area. Behind the arena, the pit area offers an opportunity for curious car-nuts to meet the drivers and admire their machines at close quarters. Beyond driver and spectator safety, which Matt very carefully enforces, there are no rules out on the track. Some slide alone, others drift in tandem. Some arc around barrels and bridge supports in delicate doughnuts and others light up burnouts until their tyres explode.
The crowd responds with fiery whoops and cheers as the smoke begins to clear. The Outlaws ethos is easy to understand, and one that appeals in an over-regulated world: buzz over bureaucracy; spectacle over sector times.
It seems that the bog standard, straight out of the factory version of the AE86 was always well-disposed to kicking out the tail. Subsequent generations of the obsessed have of course created a ". But it's become one of the most popular motorsports in the world. Its popularity is testament to the appeal of accessible motorsport.
Mark Buckle is one of the stalwarts of ". The manga scene turned its gaze onto the Hashiriya street racing scene in the mid-nineties. The road is as straight a ribbon of blacktop as an ironed liquorice chew, and fires you directly at an imposing ring of rust-coloured mountains.
It was in the afternoon of the day made memorable by his interview with the deacon that another adventure befell Sam. As it exhibits him in a more favorable light than usual, I am glad to chronicle it. He was lounging about, waiting for something to turn up, when he felt a little hand slipped into his, and heard a small voice pleading, "Take me home. I'm lost. Sam looked down in surprise to find his hand clasped by a little boy, apparently about four years of age.
What attracted him to Sam is uncertain. Possibly his face seemed familiar to the little boy. Then I couldn't find her, and I'm so frightened. Let me guess. Do you live in Twentieth street? An idea struck him. He went into a neighboring druggist's, and, asking for a directory, turned to the list of Daltons. There was only one living near Union Park; this one lived on Fourteenth street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues. Sam decided to take the child into this street, and see if he recognized it. The experiment proved successful. In brief, Sam took Bertie home. He found the family in great distress.
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The nurse had returned, and declared incoherently that Master Bertie had been carried off, and she couldn't find him anywhere. A message was about to be sent to the police when the young truant was brought home. The mother clasped him fondly in her arms, and kissed him many times. Then she bethought herself of Sam.
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Dalton saw that Sam was ragged, and her grateful heart prompted her to do something for him. Without you I shudder to think what might have become of him. Maggie, see that this boy has a good meal. Take care of him till Mr. Dalton comes home. Then I will see what can be done for him. Sam had no objections to this arrangement. He was never at a loss for an appetite, and the prospect was an attractive one.
He made himself at home in the kitchen, where his rescue of little Bertie and the evident favor of Mrs. Dalton made him the recipient of much attention. He felt that he was in luck for once in his life, and was convinced of it when, on the arrival of Mr. Dalton, he was offered the post of errand-boy at five dollars a week, with a present of five dollars in advance.
He asked no time for consideration, but accepted at once. Can you find it? He was invited to fill an humble but respectable position. Would he give satisfaction, or drift back after a while to his vagabond habits?