Keiichi Tsuchiya, a man who needs no introduction and certainly no driving lessons.We all know what he does best and how big the list of his accomplishments is, but which one changed the Japanese car culture for ever?Well, it was a series of Pluspy movies made by tuning companies and car magazines to show off how much fun you can have on the touge.
It all started in 1987.Japan was doing better than ever and they were starting to produce some of the greatest cars of their history, providing young people who were able to afford them with the perfect machine to match their local touge.The car industry was booming and so were the countless tuning shops surrounding it.Some of them decided to create one of the wildest advertisements ever by enhancing one of the most popular FR cars of the time, the Hachiroku, with their parts, putting Tsuchiya-san behind the wheel and then filming it all.Pretty smart move considering the driver they chose just earned the nickname Drift King by drifting through the longest corner of Fuji Speedway, the Fuji 100r corner, in the rain.
The first film originally called ‘’The Touge’’ starts off with Keiichi Tsuchiya’s initials and the meanings he gives them, we also get a brief history of his career and then we get to see the Drift King and the 86 in fast beautiful sideways action.A nice mix of slow motion shots of the iconic GTV Levin going through the Usui touge, his home course, to show us the art of drifting in the best possible way.
The second movie, ‘’The Touge Part 2’’, follows the same recipe but this time showing an equally iconic GTV Trueno at Gotemba touge in the same beautiful very a e s t h e t i c h 80s style.Keiichi also talks about street racing for a couple of brief moments explaining his ‘’dream’’: ‘’My dream? I don’t want to join a Formula 1 team, unlike Mr. Nakajima. Nevertheless, I like cars and I wish to drive them for the rest of my life. This is my dream…’’.This reminds me of a very special character from a very special anime, Takahashi Ryosuke from Initial D.Ryosuke forms a street racing team called Project D and later in the series we find out the D stands for Dream, he also says that street racing is a dream to him.It doesn’t surprise me that Keiichi carried over his racing philosophy onto one of the main characters of the anime considering he was a consultant for the series but it’s cool to know where Ryosuke’s philosophy comes from.
The third movie ,called ‘’Sendai no Nishi’’(West of Sendai), features Keiichi attacking Hi-Land Circuit with his very own AE86 Trueno.The movies could be bought at +P’s tuning shop in Kanagawa or together with Carboy magazines.Naturally the authorities quickly took action and pulled the tapes from the market because they promoted illegal drifting.More importantly they also deprived Tsuchiya-san of his racing license.There are very few Pluspy VHS tapes left and they are ofcourse highly sought after.Don’t worry you can watch them all on Youtube here.
These 3 revolutionary, for their time, films are the ultimate showcase of pure drifting.They display DK’s skills at their earliest stages, so we get to see him fighting understeer on a few corners and even spinning out a few times, but we also see that a nearly stock 80s Corolla is enough to enjoy the art of drifting.These films even though quite short had an immensely big impact on young drivers.It was basically a tutorial for having fun with your car and many followed the tutorial thus starting the greatest era of drifting.And it all wouldn’t be possible without the living legend born exactly 64 years ago today.Happy birthday Tsuchiya-san, we thank you tremendously!
No comments found.