Japanese van racing and drifting is a good way to kick off your week


Joy. #dajiban @axlejor

A post shared by Sam Smith (@thatsamsmith) on

There are a number of automotive writers whose content I enjoy reading, but there are very few whose stuff I love. Generally, it’s the stories crafted by Zach Bowman, Brendan McAleer, and Sam Smith that remind me when I’ve been stationary for too long and need to head out in search of adventure. Mr Smith is currently doing just that in Japan, as he’s on assignment for Road & Track, and this particular tale looks to be one filled with larger than life characters driving oversized and unexpected track machines.
This is Japan’s race van culture, and it appears to be amazing.
Sam has been sharing his trip on his Instagram page, and I highly recommend you follow along. The video clip above is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a fantastic place to start. Did you expect to see a full-size van drifting around a corner at Ebisu to start your day? No, but it’s a great way to get up and tackle Monday head on.
These Japanese van lovers are living their best life… so how about you? 
Personally, I can’t wait to read about this adventure when it arrives in either print or web form for R&T.


      1. No, that wasn’t it, as that’s actually an outstanding idea. It was something along the lines of “Blah, blah, original, manufacturer-stated curb weight may not exceed 4200 pounds, blah, blah” as I recall.

        1. Yeah I knew that was it, but why be too sensible?
          Also, got to have a line in the sand somewhere otherwise how many people do you think would want to race school buses etc?

      1. Travelalls are body-on-frame but I consider their factory height to be perfectly adequate for endurance racing. I mean, maybe with a modest lift kit if there’s room in the budget…

    1. To the other racers, you would be more a challenging obstruction feature in the circuit that would pop up (frequently) in random spots than a fellow competitor. Seems they could allow one or two of these, but next thing you know, your Lemons race looks like a couple of guys in old BMW’s doing a gymkhana video in a school bus parking lot.

    2. Why would an IH Travelall be Lemons-worthy? Those trucks are sweet! Unless it’s rusted beyond repair, I’d invest in bringing that one back to life.

      1. As the owner of a 1970 1200D my sympathies are strongly on the side of Corn Binder preservation. Nonetheless the particular Travelall that I had proposed is pretty far gone.
        And it would look great on a road course.

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