Drifting is not only an exciting and almost trance-inducing form of to race and showmanship but also a possessive hobby among enthusiasts. However, the much-loved S13 Nissan 240SX is a valuable asset and may be out of reach for many would-be bums. In addition, drifting can often lead to severe wear and tear, so a cost-effective car such as a Nissan 350Z may be the way to go. Don’t listen to me though; listen to these three Formula Drift pro drivers tell you why the 350Z is the best drift car for beginners.
Why should you consider the 350Z?
The Nissan 350Z is a solid beginner drift car. First, the Nissan coupe is affordable for enthusiasts on a budget. For example, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says you can get a 2003 Nissan 350Z with average mileage for under $8,000. That’s less than half the average price of a Nissan 240SX.
Better yet, the 350Z is rear-wheel drive and extremely tunable. The 3.5L V6 is a sweetheart in stock configuration, and even some of the earliest 350Zs produced just a few steps below 300 horsepower. Better yet, the car’s “mid-engine” layout creates what Car and driver calls “decent” weight distribution. The result: a modification-ready, balanced and budget-friendly alternative to the collectible 240SX.
Jeff Jones says you should find a Nissan 350Z or BMW E46 you feel comfortable with
Jeff Jones, a Formula Drift (Formula D) pro driver, recommends the Nissan 350Z. However, he does not just introduce the Nissan. He told our own Braden Carlson that any party interested in starting their drifting experience should choose a car where they are “OK working on every day.” In addition to the 350Z, he recommended BMWs like the E46 generation if you’re used to it.
Furthermore, Jones says you should choose a car that you are willing to love and hate; he said no doubt you will spend time scolding that vehicle.
Dustin Miles is quick to recommend the Nissan 350Z as the best beginner drift car
Dustin Miles, a Formula D Prospec driver, recommends the Nissan 350Z as a bona fide starter car. Besides the Nissan, he recommends a Lexus IS300, BMW E46 or BMW E36 for a vehicle to set up as your own drift-day scalpel. In addition to the 350Z and the company, he says you should look for “anything with some power and manual clutch.”
Odi Bakchis has some advice for those who think of a Nissan 350Z as a beginner drift car
Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis, a Lithuanian professional racing driver, also recommends the Nissan 350Z. However, Bakchis also has some useful tips for enthusiasts who want to get started with a 350Z. He recommends looking for a budget-friendly earlier model, such as the 2003 or 2004 model year. Furthermore, he insists that potential owners make sure that there is indeed oil in the engine.
Other than that advice, Bakchis recommends making sure the engine has no rod knocks and the vehicle is not smoking. Finally, he recommends adding non-synthetic oil to your Nissan 350Z starter drift car. Either way, be prepared for your drift journey and lifestyle. Scroll down to the next article to read more about cool cars!
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