21 September 2010

My Story - Part One

I have been thinking about the fact that this site has been running for a few months now and more & more people continue to drop by each day and 99% probably don’t have a clue who I am! So I figured it is probably about time that I explained a bit about me, and what made me start this blog in the first place.


Well, this is me. I’m James Gascoigne, I’m 23 years young and I live near Birmingham in the UK. My previous car history is pretty much dominated by old classic Mini’s. Pretty much the only Front wheel drive car that I am still proud to say I owned! I had two old mini’s and when you are 17 there is nothing better than hurling what was effectively a go kart with a radio around country lanes most nights with your mates. Mini’s taught me a lot about tasteful car styling, as I learnt that simplicity is often the key to success in making a good looking car. A few years went by and I ended up having to sell my last mini after getting pretty bad back pain due to having to curl my 6ft 3” body up just to get inside the thing, it was time for a change but didn’t know what direction to go in.

My old Mini Cooper Sport. Photo taken here when it was used at the launch of the R56 shape "New" Mini.
I got into Corollas and Drifting quite late in life compared to some of the other guys around and that was in late 2006, I was about 19. I can 100% put the blame on my initial small obsession onto two guys, Jay Walker and Adam Holt. Around the time I met both of them, Jay was busy sticking it to Nissan’s at various drift events up and down the country in his 20v 86 and Ad was working on his Silver KE70 beginning the process of making it awesome.

This 2 door was probably my biggest influence when I first got into Corollas.

My first and only previous experience’s of an 86 was vague memories of having seen completely stock UK Corolla GT’s driven around by old men and from playing Gran Turismo continuously as a young lad but I was completely un aware of their potential until I met Ad & Jay. The first two AE86’s I ever saw tearing a track up was Jay’s 20v and Paz’s 16v Trueno and I was left speechless to be honest! Whether it was a mixture of the mental driving, the awesome noise or just the fact they were possibly the best looking cars I’d seen ripping around a track for a long time but either way I was hooked. Many an hour was spent searching the Internet for any photos of Levin's, Trueno's & KE's where ever I could find them and hassling the hell out of Ad & Jay asking questions and finding out as much as I could.


I tagged along to as many events as I could like Big X and Night fight at the old Teeside autodrome, or to the larger EDC events the following year at Silverstone with Paz, Jay, Ad & Kenny taking in as much info as possible over the years. The time came (2008) when I had the opportunity to buy Jays 86 for a price I couldn’t refuse and I jumped at it. I had looked and thought about quite a few other corollas but something stopped me each time, so I finally struck a deal with Jay and his old trusty ex-Golden Nugget Corolla GT was now mine. The car was basically a rolling shell with standard suspension, a non running 20v and no interior…at all, so the project began. I knew the car had a tonne of history within the UK Drift scene so I couldn’t just re-build it half arsed which meant a fair bit of time & money was going to be spent to make it awesome and alive once again.

The beginning of the project. The day I got it back to my house.

I will write another post up about the rest of my story soon, To Be Continued…


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