One of the coolest cars I got to check out while over in France was Maxim’s CA18 powered S13. As one of the organisers of Drift Bash Party 3 he was pretty busy all weekend dealing with everything from setting out the track barriers to signing drivers on, but he still managed to find time to kick it on track himself too.

From what we were told the police in France are pretty strict when it comes to modified cars. When I mentioned that it wasn’t uncommon in the UK to drive home from a practice day minus a rear bumper and with a smashed light or two, they assured us there’d be absolutely no chance of getting away with that in built up areas of the country. In that sense, their cars must remain presentable at pretty much all times they’re used on the road.

As a daily driver, Maxim’s S13 has been built very conservatively . While it might only have a very low spec in some people’s eyes, it’s a very effective setup nonetheless – something that’s definitely a good thing for a guy who enjoys driving and drifting his car at every opportunity, as opposed to it sitting in the corner of a workshop or garage gathering dust.

The CA18DET under the bonnet remains almost as stock as the day it left the factory, with only the APEXi cone filter having been added. Even the stock radiator and side-mount Intercooler remain but, it must be noted that the car didn’t suffer from a single overheating issue during our trip. It didn’t miss a beat on our 250km drive to the track, let alone while actually been drifted on track.

The interior modifications have been kept to a bare minimum, with a focus on everyday comfort. That’s not to say a few essential parts haven’t been added – the dished suede steering wheel, drift handbrake button, weighted shifter and Bride bucket seats take care of the key areas.

As a perfectly useable every day street and track drift car, Maxim’s S13 ticks all the right boxes for me. I can understand people’s desires to pump a ton of money and effort into their drift toys but I still fail to see the point in them spending 99% of their existance locked away, only to be pulled out for the odd track day. If I’d spent all that time and money on something, I’d be pretty gutted if I wasn’t able to use it on the regular, otherwise I’d end up resenting the damn thing.

Of course, each to their own I guess, but this S13 emphasises everything I love about having a road legal and perfectly useable drift car. Get out and drive.

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