Top Ten: Drift buckets

Building a drift car in South Africa has its share of limitations. In conjunction with the rarity of rear wheel drive cars in our land, we also considered three more factors to further limit our choices.

• It shouldn’t be too rare or else panel replacements will be a nightmare

• It has to be affordable, so under R100 000 was the goal.

• With serious drift-damage being a major concern, we shifted the bar to 1980 models and up

MX5 with the popup lights

1) Mazda MX5

Yes, it’s a bit rhymes with hay. Get over it. It also sports the best drift chassis on the planet in its factory guise. Early models came with those obligatory pop-up lights!

Price: R80 000

E30 is perfect for sideways action

2) BMW E30 325i

A better budget drift Bimmer there never was. Go on and try one. You’ll love the simplicity of it.

Price: R55 000

rear-wheel drive old school Nissan

3) Nissan 200SX

The Silvia series of Nissans continues to be the best budget drifter with its 1.8 turbocharged motor ready for tuning.

Price: R55 000

the late liftback

4) Toyota Corolla 1.8 SE Lift Back

Rare, but the closest we’ll ever (legally) get to an AE86. Be wary of rust-buckets.

Price: R20 000

5) R31 Nissan Skyline 3.0 SGLi

Also known as the ‘New Era’, with its potent 3-litre engine churning out 130kW, it’s more than capable of breaking traction.

Price: R25 000

Last of the rear-wheel drive Toyotas

6) Toyota Cressida GLi-6

If you can look past those old-man looks and honeycomb grille, a 24-valve lump awaits you. Approach with confidence.

Price: R25 000


7) Ford Sapphire 3.0GLX

Forget the Sierra, this RWD gem should still be in good nick thanks to its “daddy‘s car” image.

Price: R25 000

still relatively new

8) Opel Omega 2.5 V6

Can’t afford a Chevy Lumina? Get this instead! It’s cheap and uses the same chassis with a capable 2.5 lump.

Price: R75 000

M3 has a very playful rear end

9) BMW E36 M3

With the E90 M3 impending, you can pick up the legend that started it all for just under a hundred grand.

Price: R90 000

make it so

10) VW Beetle

Okay, we’re taking the piss, but only just a little bit. Truthfully, with the right amount of tweaking (see engine-transplant) you could get a Volla sideways.

Price: R6 000


Welcome to my corner of the automotive world! I'm Mandy Lawson, better known as mandla85, and I'm absolutely obsessed with everything related to cars and motorsports. You bet I'm interested if it has four wheels (or sometimes two!) and an engine. For me, cars aren't just a means of transportation; they're a passion, a lifestyle, and an endless source of fascination. I love diving into the world of automotive engineering and design, exploring the latest trends, and uncovering the stories behind the machines. Email / Facebook