2012: A Nostalgic Look Down Memory Lane

Yep, it’s that time of year again: we’ve just about finished off eating the Christmas leftovers (turkey soup anyone?), we’re desperately trying to arrange which dingy nightclub or house party we’ll be attending so we can drunkenly stumble into the new year and, of course, where would we be without those ill-fated New Year’s Resolutions involving the words “gym”, “diet” and “healthy” that are all but forgotten as we’re demolishing a greasy kebab to sober us up at 4am on New Year’s Day. It’s also the time of year when I decide to look back through all of my posts from the last twelve months to see what I’ve actually been doing with myself – let’s take a look at what 2012 had in store for ej9.co.uk…

My first proper feature of the year was Ant’s nicely slammed E36, a car that has definitely come a long way since. Now rocking a stunning set of Borbets that suit it down to the ground it’s definitely not lacking in character or style.

Next up was a photo shoot with Riky’s S14a – I remember dreading the task of typing up the spec list for this feature and rightfully so; it’s nothing short of extensive. Unfortunately its SR20 heart expired shortly after and the car hasn’t been on the road since. The last I heard it was patiently awaiting an RB conversion – we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds.

I also ended up on a rather interesting (read: unsettling) drive with Ross Burgess and the four door R33 Skyline that he was trying to sell at the time. After taking some pictures for his for sale advert we ended up in the countryside that was conveniently covered in snow at the time – the perfect conditions for a turbocharged RWD car that was also sporting 9.5J rims and some well-used drift rubber…

In February I got the chance to have a poke around Alex Law’s S14a shortly before its maiden voyage into the world of the British Drift Championship. It’s since taken a bit of a beating (both mechanically and cosmetically) but it’s certainly been a bit of a weapon in Alex’s hands, with obtaining his Pro license and a 3rd place finish at Round 6 at Knockhill being some of the car’s highlights.

Speaking of the British Drift Championship, on a very cold, wet and windy Sunday in March I headed to Silverstone to cheer on the aforementioned Alex and a few other mates at the Licensing Day being held there. While I was expecting (somehwhat misguidedly I must add) to be watching 100mph entries on the Grand Prix circuit I was a bit let down when I was presented with what essentially was a car park and some cones. Nevertheless there was some great drifting to be seen and it was great to see Alex get his license upgraded from Semi-Pro to Pro and also for Joe Ankers to be awarded his Semi-Pro license – good work!

A definite highlight of the day was seeing this Porsche 944 being skidded – upmarket drifting!

While there I also got the chance to get up close with Steve Moore’s “practice” S14a

…and this SR20 powered Mk2 Escort.

I also took it upon myself to write a review of the then-newly released Outsiders film from Driftworks. In case you can’t be bothered to read the review, I liked it (if you were wondering).

As I mentioned right at the start of this post, Ant’s E36 got treated to some nice shiny Borbets in April, so obviously I had to take a few pictures.

As May came round it was time for the first of many trips to Buxton for one of the Drift One days.

The drifting season was well and truly underway by this point and it wasn’t long before before I was heading to Teesside for Round 1 of the BDC

…and then back to Buxton.

At the beginning of June I thought it would be wise to take a few pictures of Struggle’s S14, fresh out of the workshop after a winter rebuild. I knew it wouldn’t look this clean for long…and I was right!

I also took the opportunity to take a few snaps of Seb’s Mx-5, a car that was definitely an opinion divider.

We kicked July off by dropping an SR20 into Jonny’s S13 that was originally packing an Automatic CA18…

…which was shortly followed by going back to my roots and attending an MCR-VTEC meet.

While I was there I also got to ‘shoot Craig’s FD3S

…and Tash’s EE9 Civic.

August was soon with us and with it came what proved to be my favourite event of the year: Round 4 of the BDC, held at Lydden Hill in Kent. I’d never been to Lydden before (primarily due to the 270 mile distance between it and my house) but I will happily say that I was blown away by the circuit, the standard of drifting and, of course, the atmosphere.

It wasn’t just the drifting – it was the people that the event what it was. Spending the weekend with your mates, some of whom were competing, some of whom were acting mechanics and some of whom spent the majority of the time BBQing burgers for us all made it an event to remember.

I also had the opportunity to release the inner hipster within me and did some ‘shooting in 35mm with my dad’s 1970s Pentax. The end results gave the site a very Instagram feel, just without the hashtags and pictures of peoples meals.

I thought it’d be rude not to do a small feature on this cool Zenki S14 I saw parked up in the camping area.

Closer to home there were many long summer nights spent with great friends…

…as well as a trip down to Santa Pod for one of their ever-popular Drift What You Brung days.

A new phenomenon was brought to our streets as we headed into Autumn: drift triking, which also led to the formation of Driftrikeworks. As a slightly less dangerous and more socially acceptable form of drifting on the street it took off rapidly and the guys have been holding bigger and better meets ever since…

…although it didn’t stop everyone from doing the version of skidding involving engines and big smokes.

As the year started winding down it was time for one final trip to Buxton which was suitably wet and windy – I’m still amazed I found the motivation to leave my car and stand in the cold taking pictures.

This cool Zenki S14 in the pits cheered me up though.

Shortly afterwards was a trip to Anglesey for the first ever drift event to be held at the stunning circuit they have there. To say it was impressive would be a huge understatement; the whole day was incredible. I can’t wait to get back there in February and to get to grips with the three courses.

Speaking of all things Welsh, I finally got round to doing a feature on Joe’s Onevia when he came up to visit…

…which was shortly followed by a trip to JDM Garage North for an MOT.

And of course, who can forget the truly fantastic Christmas Day that we had!?

Personally, things have been all change for me this year. I bought an E36…which promptly met its demise at Buxton.

And I eventually got round to selling my FC3S…

…only to replace it with a slightly ropey S13. To be fair the car was coming along great until the 157,000 miles young CA18 died on the M60 one day after calling quits on living life on the limiter. Taking its place is a slightly less ropey SR20 which will hopefully see the road very soon.

Employment-wise I also finally managed to leave the world of IT and move into the modified car industry – you’ll see a lot more from me on that front once the drift season kicks off again in 2013.

So, what’s in store for the site in 2013? To put it blunty, a lot more content. I want to get to a lot more grass roots drift events (hopefully having my own working drift car for once will be enough encouragement to attend) and I’ll be attending each round of the BDC. Of course I’ll still be attending all the random meets and local events that crop up, as these are often the most fun things to go to.

I also want to write a few articles on random matters and issues here and there as well. There’s always something to talk about in the world of modified cars and it’s an avenue that I don’t see explored very often away from forums.

Hopefully I’ll get to see a few more ej9.co.uk stickers on cars as well!

Oh, and in case you were about to ask: yes, I will be finishing the 2012 Summertime Video very soon. It may well get released in a year different to that in the title but, believe me, there’s an awful lot of footage to sort through! Be patient…

And on that note I think all that’s left to say is: Happy New Year, try not to get too drunk tonight (maybe this time I’ll actually listen to my own advice?) and I’ll see you on the other side!

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