Photo courtesy of Sam Igel
I'm hoping my story can be relatable to some and will motivate some others to take the next step or keep pushing. I’ll talk about how I found my desire to just constantly try and take it to the next level. Growing from a clapped-out rx7 into the s13 I have now, and how it helped me grow as a person along the way. Let's get into it!
I'm going to start from the beginning with this one. I got my start in this action-packed life just like a lot of us, riding BMX for the last 15 years. I was never that good, but I made sure to eat a lot of shit and kept trying. If you went through that then you know it doesn't end there, you fail and you get up and try again. As I get older, falling and getting up again isn't as easy, but that's where drifting comes into play. The only thing that gets hurt when you fail in drifting is your pride, which is manageable.
I was about 22 when I first experienced a rear-wheel drive car. Being a Honda kid from the jump trying to go fast around corners, I immediately realized RWD was the move. Being able to drive through the corner instead of pulling the car around them like it didn't have any legs. Fast forward to 2015 and I traded my RSX for a busted, LS-swapped FC RX7 and I was hooked. I’m grateful for this beginning because it allowed me to make all my mistakes without any remorse for the car, something I think everyone should experience. The lack of remorse really allows you to let go and just have some fun!
Photo Courtesy of Craig Mearns and DMVM
With most of my learning out of the way, I found a great group of guys to move forward with: Bobby’s Crew. It was time to look good and drive gooder. 2019 was a big turning point for me. At the time I was working 2 jobs and then working on the car late into the next morning. This was mentally and physically draining for me even with the help of my wife and the JEM-Sport guys. Hell, for anyone it would be, but I wanted it so bad. Over the next few years, this fire I had inside me kept me overworking myself to the point that I became a very short-tempered asshole.
Estey competing in his FC during an early DISL volume.
“Hey kid, don't forget to have fun.”
It took me a while to realize all of this. In 2020, I traded the FC to Derek King for his R33 and it was another big turning point for me. It re-lit the fun side of things in my career that led me to where I am now. The R33 ended up breaking and I panicked and bought the FC back just to realize I hated it and had to make a new plan. S13! 1JZ! The perfect recipe.
Estey in the R33 leading Mike Steele during DISL practice.
Let's start to tie all of this together. I ended up selling both cars the same year and purchased the s13 just before 2021.
The good ol’ S13. This car was the best decision I've ever made for my drifting career. The perfect wheelbase between the short FC and the long R33. The FC having an LS and the R33 having an RB25 led me right to the JZ: the perfect engine for the job. The LS engine was just so boring compared to the R33 that there was no way I could get away from a turbo car. Turbo cars are sick, guaranteed fun every time, but the RB scared me. I knew I wanted over 400hp, and I didn't ever want to worry about reliability because the LS, although boring, was very reliable. So single turbo JZ it was!
Josh ripping in his S13 at DISL Volume 10.
2021 would've been the first year on track with the s13 and now we are rolling over to 2024. That’s 3 years of constant abuse and tons of fun. I currently have the S13 all apart getting it ready for hopefully its final form. EcoBoost swap, all new wiring and a new look! I’m very excited to show this thing off at DISL this coming season and get back to putting on the show with the homies!
Now that you’ve got a little backstory, you might be wondering where I'm going with this. Well, so am I. I talked about my start, I talked about the learning stages, and touched on where I'm at now. I think a big part of why I wanted to tell this story is for the person who might be out there right now going through the same things I went through wondering if it's all worth it, or wondering where they might end up. I can tell you it is absolutely worth it. You can get lost in what you love but at the end of the day at least it’s what you love.
If you are thinking about diving into a project, make a few plans and go for it. There’s only one way to find out. Be passionate, Be strong, but most of all don't forget to be YOU.
Create your pursuit of progression.