FB Gallery Driver
Name: John Ruiz
Who influenced you to develop the drift style you have and when did you first get truly excited about drifting?
My immediate thought is my buddy in high school showing me a poor quality mpeg4 japanese videos on his computer. At the time I owned a em1 civic si, and all i knew was skateboarding and "street racing." I knew absolutely nothing about drifting or did anyone else in in my group of friends, but it was something that we all obsessed about. Summers I would visit my uncle in southern California, and coincidentally one of my visits was the same week as D1 Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway. This event that I was lucky to attend was THE reason i truly fell in love with drifting and this particular era and style. Up to this point I had accumalated option videos, doriten magazines but it wasn't till seeing it in person that I knew this was for me.
The idea you could express yourself in your car and type of driving was something most important to me, and D1 showed me that. For me STYLE, was everything. With skateboarding my idols i looked up to Andrew Reynolds, Marc Johnson, Chad Muska, though not considered the best, you could argue they had the best style.. To me that was more exciting to watch. What was more exciting, dudes with incredible ability with no finesse, or the skaters with 'buttery' style? Everyones different but this also translates to me in drifting. Style will forever be number #1, but with now being an old man I've made some small compromises haha.
After D1 I sold my honda civic and bought a partially built 1995 240sx with rb25. This was 2004 so rb25 swaps were still somewhat rare. Being a incredibly broke college student, the car was left alone for couple years. There weren't any canyons or tracks in Florida, we had huge empty parking lots. Its where I started. I still laugh at those days of empty parking lots with friends talking about techniques we should try after watching Keiichi Tsuchiya Drift bible. Such dorks.
What cars influenced your car’s style?
From option, and doriten magazines I fell in love with the Team cars. Night zone, abo moon, Team Marionette. The list could go on... but it wasn't till i got a dvd called JDM Insider that showed Team Night Walkers. This video and team, I knew i had to have a 4dr drift car. It was 2008 and the only option back then was an IS300. Its funny cause i actually didn't even like the car, it was just the closest thing I could get to jzx100. I so wanted to have that Yokohama style, it was literally everything to me. To much disappoint the car was left stock till 2011 when i went to my very first drift event.
Why did you choose to take the path through drifting that you did?
I go back and think about those rainy days in empty parking lots with friends. Nothing has changed years later, yeah cars have evolved, on actual tracks.. but that time with friends is still the same. To me those moments with friends, cars, the adrenaline you get, there's absolutely nothing better. As I type this I realize drifting was a huge factor in relocating to California for work. Drifting has allowed me to have an incredible life, great friends, rad experiences. That is what drifting to me is truly all about.
Engine: 1JZGTE VVTi, Apexi Power FC
Drivetrain: Koyo N-FLO
Footwork: BC Racing Coilovers, heatmaker Knuckles, BattleVersion Multi-Links
Aero: Bn Sports Aero, Rays Factory GT wing
Wheels: Blitz Type 03
Interior: Thrash racing bucket seats, keys racing wheel
Special Thanks!!! ~ to all the photographers that supplied photos! Be sure to check out their respective Instagram accounts - THEY HAVE AMAZING PICTURES! @tfworks @theryanlopez, Street Sweeper Gang, Blackwood Motorsports, @stickydiljoe @naritadogfight, KDF Keep Drifting Fun (if your photos are being used in the post and would like them to be tagged please DM us ~ THANK YOU!)