If you have been following the British Drift Championship over the past few seasons then you will be more than familiar with Marc Huxley’s RA28 Celica. A timeless Japanese classic which has been transformed into a trophy winning drift car. But, if you’re like me I’m sure you would have asked yourself the same question. Why risk such a rare classic?
Well, I’m sure that same question has been chipping away in Marc’s head as he’s just recently announced that it’s officially retired from competitive drifting after only two rounds of this year’s BDC. And now it’s up for sale.
Marc wasn’t scared of throwing this Celica against walls. And his aggressive but fair and fluid style of driving saw him finish second overall last season in this very car. Only falling short to Jack Shanahan who had a car with double the power.
There is not much to dislike about this road legal, yes road legal (well within the UK) pro-spec drift car. And there was nothing quite like it on the grid at the BDC. A timeless classic that comes with an aggressive stance.
Anything bigger than the 15inch Work Equip 03 wheels would have been overkill for this chassis. Many drivers on the grid have previously said 15s wouldn’t cut it at the top of BDC, so after fighting his way to countless podiums Marc has officially put this theory to bed. Being 9inches on the rear and 8.5inches on the front, custom-made arches had to be fabricated to keep the rubber contained.
During its time as a drift car it has picked up a few scars along the way. It still carried a few from round 2 and finding panels for a mid 70s Japanese sports car isn’t easy. This has led to the rear quarters having been fab’d up on more than one occasion.
Clearly a lot of custom fabrication has gone into getting it to sit like this yet be competitive. The front end is made up from AE86 parts which are more readily available within the drifting community. A familiar set of BC racing coilovers sort out the front end, whereas the rear is made up of a set of GAZ coilovers and a Mustang axle. Marc has a big thing for classic Mustangs which explains the fastback styled window vents. These are fully functional as they vent air into the rear mounted radiator.
Back in the 70s the Celica came with a range of engines in variable configurations with the 20R being the most reliable and powerful. But at the heart of this Celica is a tried and tested SR20 with a GTX307 turbo. Coupled with a set of 740cc injectors this SR makes just short of 400HP. Which some would say in our drift community is a little short on power. But given this car’s history it would suggest otherwise.
Marc has guaranteed that there isn’t many cars on the road that are quicker than this and with the near perfect balance between weight and grip it doesn’t hang around. After seeing it launch just a small distance, it properly goes without a hint of lag.
My favourite part of this build is the dash. Being a sucker for 70’s interiors I was glad to see the stock dash taking pride of place up front. It’s another small detail which adds to its character which most drift builds overlook. One thing you will notice is the missing shift knob – that had been stolen and put in his borrowed S13 which Marc is using for the remainder of this season.
Putting this up for sale is a decision Marc couldn’t have taken lightly. Having built almost the entire car by himself he would have sunk many man hours into it. Something which he will never get back. Marcs not scared of a bit of custom fab work something which he makes a living out of. And in his workshop aptly named Huxley Motorsports there were more than a few interesting projects.
I’ve always been a fan of retro Fords, and this MK2 Escort was being fully caged and prepared for an SR20 block and box. A very interesting yet different way of thinking, a combination we are unlikely to ever see in this region.
This S14 was sat down at the end of the workshop. It was being completely rebuilt after getting hit whilst parked up. Marc was also using this to test out a few new custom body parts he is making under his brand Huxley Motorsports.
Hidden under a sheet was this classic Mustang which features a newly built crate motor from the US. Being a huge fan of Mustangs, Marc expressed his desire of owning one eventually. Who knows what route he would go down if he gets his hands on one.
Outside still sat on the trailer from round 3 of the BDC, was Marc borrowed S13. One of the best looking S13s I’ve seen for a while. Another sorted looking car that gets some abuse on the track yet wouldn’t look out of place at a stance show. It featured some of Marc’s custom Huxley Motorsports aero parts which if they go to market, they will no doubt end up on some of the most sorted Silvias out there.
At this point in time Marc’s Celica is still for sale at a very reasonable price. Regardless of what happens to it, it is going to be sorely missed at the BDC. With so much pedigree it would be unjust if it just disappeared. It’s unlikely we will see it getting sideways in a competitive series but someone needs to give this the home it deserves.