Ever since vehicles were first conceived man has strived to push the boundaries both physically and mechanically around the world in all disciplines. Whether by setting land speed records on the salt flats at Boneville or pitting ourselves against one another in fast paced enduros at Laguna Seca; we have built a culture imbedded with innovation and style that many fail to understand or sometimes even accept. Here at Slam’d Mag we appreciate a well-rounded dose of just about anything; provided it meets our only two requirements (#1 is low, #2 is badass – easy enough right?!) and for our latest feature we decided to step into the world of grass roots Drifting for a little change of pace… and by step we mean completely sideways for a reverse entry crash course into the life of one such enthusiast.
Photos: Mike & Jesse of Dub Dynasty | Words: Steve “Chance” Berndsen
Drifting as we know it has evolved quite a bit since its initial conception in Japan during the ’70s. With major championships around the world including the D1 Grand Prix in Japan and Formula D right here in the States, the spotlight has hit what was once considered an amateur/underground sport and has brought it right into our living rooms via network Television and it’s safe to say that drifting is now mainstream and isn’t going anywhere. Enter Paul Harrison and his Turquoise ’72 Toyota Corolla “Mango”, named so after the Philipino nickname given to this particular body style. Growing up as many of us did with influences from Lego, Matchbox, and build-it-yourself model kits – Paul learned early on the enjoyment that comes from building something and making it his own.
“I have been into customs since I was born, it’s in my blood and I’ve never stopped customizing things. I never left anything as it was, as it came, or as it was meant to be.” –Paul Harrison
This itch to build stuff eventually grew into a full on automotive passion and learning to send a car sideways followed not long after. This isn’t Paul’s first foray into the JDM world though, he’s got quite the stable of Japanese horses at home awaiting their chance at glory including an ’85 Toyota AE85 and an ’87 Toyota AE86 not to mention the ’87 Ford Escort GT for those that prefer to stick with the domestics. Wrenching and driving go hand-in-hand so setting out to master both was Paul’s mission from the start. The satisfaction one gets from turning a vision into reality with their own two hands is what sets us apart, and Paul’s skills in both arenas have developed quite a bit over the years.
The first thing that really strikes you about The “ShaDynasty” Corolla is the unique color, and like a sore thumb it just can’t be ignored. It also has the added advantage of being a standard rattle can color, which Paul has shared really comes in handy should the backend get a bit loose and decide to tap the wall here and there. The Corolla sits low and wide bearing little resemblance to her former self, with big metal-flared hips and vintage SSRs stacked up perfectly beneath her dumped body.
Power is derived from the Toyota 3SGE Blacktop which pushes out more than enough horsepower to persuade this 30 odd year old lady to get up and go sideways at any time and the handling capabilities that once bore the hallmarks of a basic grocery getter have been heavily upgraded to handle whatever stress Paul wants to put her through. Swapping out custom GT Celica suspension and a Supra rear with a host of custom upgrades, Paul is now very well versed in most of the Toyota generations. After some trial and error and dialing in the mods, he is now very happy with the custom setup and assures us the ShaDynasty is as fun to drive as she is to look at!
“I love drifting because it’s a true performance art; you build a jaw dropping car, make it loud, low, and cool, and then throw it sideways around a track. The driving becomes as much an art form as the car itself.”
Like any good motorsport event the friendships and bonds formed between both man and machine form an integral part of why we all do what we do. Having to travel hundreds of miles each year to be able to participate in events at his home track in Seattle doesn’t dissuade Paul from going back year after year because of both his love for the sport and his addiction to build something bigger and better each visit. This kind of dedication only comes from someone with the drive to live and breathe the lifestyle down to the last smoking tire at the end of a long weekend.
Owner: Paul Harrison
Vehicle: 1972 Toyota Corolla
Hometown: Alberta, Canada
Front: 85’ Celica GT struts and brakes, short stroked, Ground Control coil-overs, T3 camber plates
Rear: ’79 Supra axle, disc brakes, custom leaf springs de-arched, custom lower pivot adjustable for corner weight, custom upper links and panhard bar
Control Arms: Battle version weld on inner hiem kit
Shocks: KYB AGX shocks
Frame Mods: Notched framerails, full roll cage tied into all suspension points, hidden structure in rockers
Brakes: ’85 GTS calipers, ’79 Supra discs, Willwood master on custom hydro hand brake
Performed By: Owner
Shaved rain gutters
Custom oversized metal fender flares
Custom made front spoiler, rear spoiler, and vented hood
Paint: Green, Cloverdale paints, spray cans
The car gets beat up pretty good, so having spray cans around to do touch ups is essential
Performed By: Owner
Engine: Toyota 3sge
Blacktop BEAMS (Breakthrough Engine with Advanced Management System) head designed by Yamaha 2000cc 4-cylinder
Intake: 4age Blacktop AE111 47mm ITBs, custom adapter built by Owner
Header/exhaust: High rise SS, Tig welded, 4-1 stepped primary, designed and built by owner
Transmission: Toyota J160 6spd
Rearend: ’79 Supra
Adaptronic E420D basic select standalone management, custom engine harness built by Owner
Performed By: Owner