Polishing Project STurdteen with KBD Body Kits - Part 1

by Rathyna Gomer

A few years ago, this ridiculous trend swept the drifting community after the introduction of what us drifters call a “missile car”. The trend was led by professional drifters, Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck. For those of you that aren’t familiar with what a missile car is, check out this video. In a nutshell, a missile car according to Urban Dictionary is, “Ratty, cheap cars (usually of Japanese origin) built primarily for drifting. They are often made using spare parts or whatever is lying about on the workshop floor at the time. Cars are built to be thrashed and beaten about, hence the cheapness of parts and production.” The caveat is that in order for one to be able to own a “missile” car, he or she must also own a “nice” drift car as well.

I bought this S13 with the intentions of having something much more low-maintenance and affordable when my main competition LS3 powered 350Z was down. For the last few years the whole “no f*cks given” mentality swept the drift scene. I know it’s difficult for non-drifters and genuine car enthusiasts to understand how it could be fashionable to have a shitty looking car. I honestly can’t really explain it either, but I know I got a ton of street cred for having so many battle scars. And even though I’m sure you’re all rolling your eyes by now, my S13 has been my gem – I loved her regardless of her exterior.


Well the MotoIQ guys have been trying to convince me that having a crappy looking car isn’t very cool, hence the project name “STurdteen” (I obviously didn’t choose that). In the introduction article, Kojima even referred to one of S13’s scars as butt fungus I am starting to wonder how he knows what butt fungus looks like. Mike if you’re reading this, I know a REALLY good dermatologist that you could go and see.

During a track day a few months ago I was doing some tandem runs and ended up getting hit after I spun out and went off course by the follow car. Of course the other car came out unscathed, while I was left with a completely destroyed rear quarter panel, door, and door jam. This is where the phrase, “Don’t Tandem with a Random” originated from (see video).

Well since my 350Z has been down, I’ve decided to make my S13 my Pro-Am competition car for the 2016 season. The Pro-Am series that I participate in (Top Drift and Southwest Drift) follow Formula Drift’s rulebook for most things. In effort to combat said “missile car” trends and to have companies and fans take drifting more seriously, most of the Pro-Am series have made it a tech rule to have full aero, paint/wrap, and have a reasonable looking car overall. So in anticipation for the season, a part of my priority was making the car look good!

If I haven’t already proved it to you, drifters destroy everything – side skirts, fenders, doors, bumpers, and more. Unlike other forms of racing, it isn’t necessarily about the lightest, most aerodynamic parts – it’s about the most durable parts! For the reason, I decided to go with KBD Body Kits, owned by parent company American Plastic Technologies. So before I jump into the installation of the kit, let me know show you call what went on behind the scenes.


As you can see here, the door doesn't line up to the body or close at all. It wasn't as simple as slapping on an overfender!
Here's another angle. Pretty gnarly.

After assessing the damage to my quarter panel, the only plausible option was to replace it. If there’s anything I’m really good at, it’s finding a bargain. I was able to score a replacement quarter panel (actually, pretty much a 1/4th of an S13) for 40 bucks, delivered to me! The piece even included part of the door jamb and taillight assembly that I had messed up when I hit a pole mid-drift once. Yes, I know I crash a lot.


I got lucky - the new QP was even red!
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016 9:19 AM
Whatcha gonna do with the fronts?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 10:53 AM
Hahaha, need fronts!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 11:03 AM
The term Missile car actually came out of Japan. Missile cars are a spiral, there is no such things as a cheap missile car, to have fun, it has to be reliable and somewhat strong and good handling. The good guys I know have missile cars that are actually pretty trick cars if ugly. Some guys like Odi have Missile cars that are better than most peoples comp cars!
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 6:30 PM
From the ground up, creation at its finest. I love project cars.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 10:28 AM
Whoa, how have I not heard of this shop in my hometown. Did they used to be GarageWorks?

Also, pretty cool that they knocked it out so quick, I may have to stop by...
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