Drift Missiles: Corvettes Could Be the Next Big Thing

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Low-cost imports have been dominating the American drift scene, but now people are realizing Corvettes make awesome drift missiles.

Recently, it’s been noticed that Corvettes are starting to show up more and more in the drift community. That makes a lot of sense to us. The amount of people spending the time and money to engine swap a rear-wheel drive import is almost comical when you consider the fact that LS engines already come pre-packaged in ‘Vettes.

Corvettes make great drift missiles

Rear-wheel drive imports such as Nissan 240SXs and BMW E36s have been the steady staple of the drift scene for a while. Late 90’s cars tend to be inexpensive to buy and have huge aftermarket support. However, to get into track and competition territory it gets expensive to modify them. For the same money spent buying the car then modifying it, you’re into decent C5 money. That’s a car that comes ready for big wheels and tires and already has a desirable V8. Most importantly, unlike sporty cars like E36 BMWs, they are actual sports cars from the factory.

Balance and handling are as important to drifting as any form of grip racing. To that end, the aftermarket on any Corvette is there and taking a Corvette to the next level is relatively straightforward. Then when you look at salvage titles for all-out track only drift missiles, a Corvette C6 is absolute prime meat.

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The move to Corvettes seems to be coming from the top down. Top tier drifting pro Daigo Saito has been blowing people away with an ex-GT300 race car he turned into a drift machine. It’s also something American Formula Drift pro Matt Field realized, and we’ve been enjoying his build series on YouTube. He mentions that he didn’t need anywhere near the level of fabrication his Nissan 240SX required to make it competitive. He also didn’t need to change the engine, and instead could put the time into the existing LS.

Why didn’t this happen earlier?

We believe it’s down to how drifting originated and moved to the U.S. The first hero cars of drifting were, understandably, Japanese. As drifting became popular here in the U.S those cars were the cars people saw in videos and understood as being suitable for turning into drift missiles. Sporty Euro models such as 3 Series BMW’s also suit the bill, and prices on older models have bottomed out. Well, they had bottomed out. What’s become known as the Drift Tax has become a reality, and prices of E36 BMWs and Nissan 240SXs have risen in value as they’ve been bought for drift builds.

Our only fear is that C5 and C6 Corvettes may end up becoming subjects of the drift tax. That’s fine if you have one parked in the Garage for weekends, but for people looking for great value and performance American V8 sports cars, it could have a very real impact.

While we ponder the implications, let’s enjoy Dick Stratton’s lunatic level of screaming V8 and tire shredding C6 Corvette at Hyperfest 2017:

Ian Wright is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites. Check out his podcast Both Hand Drive.

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