It was Super Bowl Sunday that started it all. While most parking lots around the country were packed with tailgaters, one in particular was completely empty, with no one around for miles. Law enforcement no doubt had other matters to attend to. It was now or never. Armed with an SR-powered S13 coupe and guided by the knowledge of close friend Mike Burns, Joe Haven was introduced to the world of drifting. The rest, as they say, was history. A history that netted the four-and-a-half-year build of the slammed, stylish, yet purposefully built Silvia-converted killer seen here.
Joe originally purchased his S13 with intentions to road race it. The appeal of the lightweight rear-drive coupe on the handling front was too great to pass up, and Club Racing AZ events (now NASA AZ) at tracks like Firebird Raceway and Phoenix International Raceway were nearly in his backyard. But once the organization began holding events for drift competition, things changed. Joe entered his first with a few friends, and when the smoke cleared and his tires were properly destroyed, a whole new game plan was in the works.
Embracing the challenge with open arms, Joe began to participate and compete in local events, building his skill level and confidence to where he began exceeding the performance of his car. And as is usually the case when you drift anything for more than two events, things started breaking, shattering, over-heating, and malfunctioning. Joe was pushing the envelope; the envelope was pushing back. Collisions with K-rails and cones necessitated the regular repair of body panels and suspension components, the stress of repeated third-gear clutch kicks and E-brake entries at speed took their toll on driveline components. Increased performance at the track begged increased power-which increased wear and tear-and Joe's garage evolved into an all-in-one repair bay to keep up. He ramped up his skill set to include welding, body work, paint, and whatever else was needed for him to come home from an event and immediately put in work for the next. His preparedness and performance on the track began to pay off. He was hanging with the best in his area (guys with XDC podiums and FD Pro licenses to their names) and moved up in classes quickly. But Joe needed an edge. It was imperative that he take the modification of his S13 in a more radical direction.
From a performance standpoint, Joe needed to cover all the bases. Prodigious power, reliability, steering angle, and perhaps most importantly style, were all equally important factors to consider. Joe started from the ground up, and chose to fit the car to the wheels rather than the wheels to the car. He originally had a set of Work Emotion CR-Kai's that didn't quite fit under the stock fenders. With his newfound talent for bodywork, Joe decided to try his hand at rolling the fenders himself, which he did a little too well; he rolled them so much that the lip actually bent outward, and his wheels went from poking to sunken in a matter of minutes. Thus began the story of one of the more uniquely styled aspects of the vehicle-its rear fender flares.