Bookmark DriftingStreet Subscribe to the RSS What Is RSS?

History Of Drifting

Extreme Imports

Japanese History of Drifting

The history of drifting as we know it today goes way back to the 1960’s to the winding mountain roads of Japan. Back then a group of racers called the Rolling Zoku raced on the twisty mountain roads of Japan trying to set record times between point A and B.

As the racers improved and their lap times became faster, these racers started going over the grip limit of their tires. They found out that by going over the limit the car was still controllable. In the end it didn't seem to be faster, but it sure was a outrageous and exciting way to show off car control skills. It was then that racers in Japan first studied this driving technique.

Later on in the 1970’s there was the All Japan Touring Car Championship. The racers were heavily competing against each other, and each lap the racers increased their lap times bit by bit, testing the tires’ grip to the limit! This resulted in an awesome spectacle of car control where the racing drivers drifted their cars incredibly fast through the corners.

The Real History of Drifting Started With The HakosukoOne of those drivers was a former motorcycle driver, Kunimitsu Takahashi.

Takahashi's drifting technique was unmatched by anyone else. He was able to hit the corner’s apex at high speeds perfectly and caused the car to oversteer.


With with great control he mastered the drifts and reached great exit speeds...

Combined with the fact that he was driving a car that was build for the win, the Nissan Skyline KPGC10, or “Hakosuka”, he accounted for more than 50+ straight victories on a row and captured several championship titles along the way. The spectacle of burning rubber made the crowd love Takahashi, under whom was a boy named Keiichi Tsuchiya.

The All Japan Touring Car Championship later evolved into the racing organization called JGTC (Japan Grand Touring Championship), or Super GT, where today Takahashi is the chairman of.

Keiichi Tsuchiya was an ordinary street racer and was a big fan of Takahashi’s drifting technique. Inspired by Takahashi’s driving skills Tsuchiya joined the Fuji Freshman Race in 1977. This is how his professional career started, but he was still a street racer. For day and night he practiced the drift techniques on the Japanese tight and twisty mountain roads (also known in Japanese as “touge”) with his 1986 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GTV.

Dangerous Touge Battles On The Mountains Of Japan

Touge (pronounced “toe-geh”) literally means mountain pass. Throughout the whole history of drifting it has been an infamous place known for its illegal drifting. Well aware of possible oncoming traffic, cars go head to head on a downhill or uphill battle, or just to have fun driving the mountain roads.

Top Of PageTop Of Page

Drifting ExplainedReturn to Drifting Explained

DriftingStreet HomepageBack to Homepage

What's New  |  D1GP  |  Explained  |  Drift Parts  |  Techniques  |  Drift Cars  |  DVDs  |  Videos

Email Us!