Ladies and gentlemengs!
Come one! Come all! Witness the beauty and awe that is, THE TOFU DRIFT PREVIA!
What’s that?! You have never heard of such a thing? A wild man drifting the massive mother ship that is a Toyota Previa? Well you sir or madame, are in luck! For we have today Paco and his madness.
Your eyes do not deceive you. That is indeed a massive Toyota Previa letting its ass slide all around and showing off for the crowds. I have for today an interview with the man behind this giant and maddening endeavor.
Paco and I did a little (read: Inappropriate) interview. Enjoy it, bitches, this man is doing big thangs!
OMG Pancakes - Tell us a little about yourself?
Paco - Hi, my name is Paco and this is Drifting a Minivan 1.0
I’m a Spanish/Mexican immigrant (100% legal, lol) born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. Been living here the US for 7 years. I’m an Industrial Designer focused mainly on Automotive Design but currently working as a Civil Engineer at a construction firm in Phoenix, Arizona. My love for cars come from my dad who used taught me how to do basic mechanic work and since I was a little kid we used to work on our own cars instead of taking them to the shop.
When it comes to cars I’m usually looking for the rarest and unconventional vehicles, some of the best I had were my 1989 Buick Reatta (the one with the factory touchscreen) and my 1992 Subaru SVX with manual transmission swap which I love to death and I’ll get buried in that car when I’m gone.
Paco - Well, I was looking to build an all purpose drift car instead of beating up my weekend driver and I wanted to buy a cheap car and start from the very bottom but I didn’t want the typical 240sx, RX-7s were starting to become popular and BMWs are a pain in the arse to work on, so I decided to buy the most unlikely car you’ll see at the track. One of my options originally was a Volvo Wagon or an old Chevette but I saw an ad on craigslist for a manual transmission Previa with 328,000 miles for $1000 which I ended up getting for $900…… not bad huh?
OMGP - What is the story behind your wacky relationship with the Tofu Drift Previa?
Paco - So far it’s been a love story with its usual bumps, I wanted to run 24hr of Lemons (where you race a crappy $500 car and gets all beaten up) and since everybody gets the weirdest wackiest cars to race that I was like “I gotta do a minivan” and since they are RWD or AWD and manual transmission was an option it would be perfect. They are also mid engine so to me it was like an oversized NSX… well, more like an oversized MR2, but since the cars get all beaten up I thought the mid engine configuration would help to keep the engine safe from damage during the race…. I never really made it to Lemons, but the idea got stuck in my head that I wanted to race a minivan at the track.
OMGP - Who would you Fuck, Kill, and Marry: Hillary Clinton, Will Farrel, and Kate Upton
Paco - Fuck Farrel, Marry Hillary and who is Kate Upton??
OMGP - WHO IS KATE UPTON? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!
Paco - Why? Because Farrel is funny and has money, Hillary is responsible and has money and who is this Kate Upton again??
OMGP - Why the Previa?
Paco - Why not?? Lol.
If there was more RWD Manual minivans available in the market I would have tried something with a bigger engine, but the Previa is popular for being reliable, cheap and oddly shaped like an egg… have you ever seen an egg go sideways??
OMGP - Were you a drifter previously?
Paco - My first drifting event 6 years ago was on my 1978 Datsun 280Z, but then I decided I was going to restore it so I started drifting with my 2000 Corvette LS1 6 speed and it was fun but the car is made to hug the turns, so it was hard for a noob like me to figure it out, plus I wasn’t very constant and I was causing a lot of damage to the car.. s I decided to get a 100% drift only car instead…. so I sold the Corvette and upgraded to the high life of a Previa Minivan :D
OMGP - Other motorsports experience?
Paco - Yes, drag racing in Mexico in my 16 second 280Z and a 1978 Camaro… but I grew bored out of it really quick.
I also have SEVERAL hours of Gran Turismo since the very first one and right now I have a racing rig simulator at home which I’m setting up for off season drifting practice…. lol. Oh and I have a PhD on Midnight Wangan Maximum Tune… What?? What do you mean those last two are not real racing???
Paco’s hydraulic brake setup.
OMGP – Dude, what is your favorite tween/teen girl movie?
Paco - Meet Joe Black for a lot of reasons
OMGP - Any other projects?
Paco - My 78 280Z which I want to do a right hand drive conversion and RB26 swap, my 92 SVX which Im working on an STI inspired front bumper right now, my daily driver an 04 Pontiac Aztek AWD with mud tires, spacers and working on lifting it a couple inches, my roomate’s 93 FD RX-7 twin turbo which we are about to rebuild the engine and I’ve been dreaming on buying a 2nd gen MR2 and swapping in an electric motor to make it my daily driver… We’ll see how it goes.
Paco - Between me and my roomate that’s alreay 4 nipples….
OMGP - What have you done to the the Tofu Drift Previa to make her driftable?
Paco - The very first day I bought the van I stripped down the interiors, also It was originally a rear drum brakes van so the first real mod was buying a disc brake axle ($80 at salvage yard), lock welded the differential and swap it in. After removing all the weight the van’s suspension got jacked up high like a 4×4, so I had to cut the rear springs from 1″ down to only 4.5″ and then “installed” a pair of footballs inside the coils for a little better ride (they blew up after the first event, lol). I also ordered a set of used Cusco front coilovers and adjustable camber plates from Japan and right now they are sitting at the lowest setup… but I still need to go lower. I also installed a hydraulic rear hand brake, got rid of the exhaust muffler and did a silly quad tip setups instead, got crappy ass racing seats to start with and added a quick release steering since the driving position is so bad it really helps to get in and out. Other than that I’m still running the old tired 2TZ 2.4 liter 4 banger. I’m also running on 17″ x 7″ Motegi LC5 wheels and Federal EVO595 tires (those tires are the bang for the buck).
OMGP - Future plans for the Tofu Drift Previa?
Paco - Yes. Right now I have the rear half of an S14 240sx which Im going to transplant into the van’s rear to make it Rear Independent Suspension and this way I can just buy upgrades made for 240s instead of hunting for used crap made for Previas and paying ultra high shipping prices (what we know as… overnite parts from Japan). I also bought a 1UZ-FE 4.0lt V8 engine out of an SC400 which Im going to cram behind the front seats to make it an even more mid engine setup… its going to be like the Lexus LFA of the minivans. Obviously roll cage and reinforcing everything and lowering it a loooot more.
Paco - This weekend I had formula D driver Corey Hosford ride with me a couple times and he drove the van another couple times to give me an insight on what needs to be done and tweaked on the van, some drifting tips and tricks and he told me I should try XDC (Xtreme Drift Circuit) once I do the engine and suspension swap. Honestly that was like a lot of encouragement to do things right and get serious in the not so serious looking van. So I’ll be trying out on XDC’s next season as soon as I finish the swap and learn how to drift properly at our local events.
Now… Formula D?? I don’t know, that’s a huge commitment and it costs a LOT of money and the bar is set so high (+800HP just to stay competitive) that it would have to become my main job, besides I am just a noob who dreams of going sideways, I shouldn’t be dreaming about becoming be the next DK…. lol
OMGP - Why do you have an erection right now?
Paco - Duuuhhh… Because of Corey Hosford’s sexy mustache…
OMGP - Are you a van/wagon guy or is the Previa just a fluke?
Paco - I love all kinds of cars but I sure have a thing for wagons. My panties get wet when I see an SRT-8 Magnum and I totally get off when I saw the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon…. OMG that thing is soooo damn sexy. But I always liked the european wagons like the Jaguar XJS Shooting Brake, Ferrari 456 Venice Wagon, and the new Mercedes CLS AMG wagon also makes my spider sense tingle. But pretty much I just like rare/weird unique cars.
Paco - Lucy Liu… that lesbian hag drives me nuts
Paco - I want to find a way to bring a Toyota Sera to the states and I want to restart working on my beloved 280Z…. it’s been sitting for so many years :(
Well, I hope this begins a long and sexy journey that Paco, OMG Pancakes, the Tofu Drift Previa, and George Clooney will all embark on.
Peep some more of Paco’s super sexiness and I guess the Previa is there too.