From a beater to a drift monster!

Honda Civic conversions happen more frequently than most people realize. Most of these conversions usually involve turning the front-wheel-drive compact car to either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, usually for reasons that involve one form of motorsport or another. These conversions aren’t difficult to do, and that probably explains why a lot of Civic conversions aren’t as well-thought-out as we’d expect them to be. They get the job done, sure, but the finished product still left a lot to be desired. Then there’s this Honda Civic conversion that comes to us by way of Jimmy Oakes of Oakes Garage. Not only was this build completely thought out, but the painstaking process and attention-to-detail is something to behold. To think this Civix started out as a beater and turned into a fully formed drift car is a testament to the work put in by Oakes and his peeps.

You can’t understate how impressive this Honda Civic build was. That’s especially true when the components that were ultimately added were sourced from a different model and different automaker. It did help that the Civic was probably a pair of speed bumps away from falling apart. That made the strip-down job relatively easier since no component, inside and out, was spared from the teardown.

Make no mistake, though. This was far from an easy build. The fabrication alone to fit all of the components from a Nissan 240SX — the turbocharged 240SX-sourced KA24 engine being the most prominent — took up a lot of time and effort. Even the interior was ripped apart to accommodate the intestinal reconfiguration to fit a bevy of parts and pieces, including the custom-made transmission tunnel.

Watch How a RWD Honda Civic Drift Car Comes to Life in Just 10 Minutes
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In the end, though, Jimmy Oakes and his people at Oakes Garage showed their mettle and proved why they’re go-to people in the world of Civic conversions. From stripping down a 2000 Civic EX to all the fabrication inside and out to tidy up the build with all the welding, seam sealers, and fresh paint, the finished product is nothing short of sensational.

Ultimately, Oakes Garage wanted to turn this Civic into a full-blown drift car, and that’s exactly what it did.

You might have even noticed that the front suspension was set up to be able to accommodate the kind of steering angles that make for great drift cars. The 240SX-sourced engine also provides ample power — 257 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque — to effectively smoke out those rear tires.

Watch How a RWD Honda Civic Drift Car Comes to Life in Just 10 Minutes
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We don’t know how long Oakes Garage worked on this Civic drift car build, but at this point, that hardly matters. We saw the finished product rampage along beautifully at the end of the video. That was more than enough for us to consider this build a success. More than a success, really. It’s a remarkable build that not a lot of garages are capable of pulling off.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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