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What Happened to the Hotboyz? DODO Catches Up With Eric Zapata

What Happened to the Hotboyz? DODO Catches Up With Eric Zapata

Hotboyz? More like the LostBoyz, am I right?!?!

Although playing into the joke that Hotboyz somehow vanished from the scene is fun, it is inaccurate. And the more I think about it, the more I realize calling them Lostboyz is way off-base. Think about it: the Lost Boys were those hooligans in Peter Pan’s gang who refused to grow up. In real life, the Hotboyz did eventually grow up, get married, buy houses and become professionals. Now before you go outside and pour a 40 for those 3 tan-coloured cars, you should tap the brakes and hear me out.

Dodo_eric_shoot_jesseI’m as sad as anyone that those 3 tan cars will never tandem together again and I’m even more sad that “tan-dem” never caught on as their team colour. If history has taught us anything, it’s that if you want to be a great drift team in western Canada, you’d better paint your cars matching colours. The second thing we’ve learned is nothing stays golden forever and eventually that drift team you swooned over on the internet will just disappear.

Dodo_eric_shoot_mike-32This is how it’s been in the past, but is it how it always has to be? Should we heed the warning of Icarus and not fly too close to the sun? No, of course not. I’m just being overdramatic about three guys who drove three cars and now have new cars.

Dodo_eric_shoot_jesse-3The Hotboyz aren’t dead, lost, or over it. Want proof? Enter Eric Zapata – a.k.a. “Zap.” Zap was known to pilot the Hotboyz 1JZ-GTE-powered S13 that sat low atop those Work Emtiz. So, what happened to that S13? It ended up being parted to make way for a new project.

Dodo_eric_shoot_jesse-6The new project: a 1999 Nissan S15 Silvia. “Why a Silvia?” you might ask. Actually, I don’t think anyone is asking this. If you know Eric in the slightest, you know he belongs behind the wheels of a s-chassis.


finalbout11The S15 as it sits now is a far cry from what we’re used to seeing from Zap. Usually when we catch up with him, his car is several different colours and ripe with battle damage that’s inherent with his style of drifting. Don’t get me wrong – there was the odd occasion when we saw Zap’s S13 in one glorious piece, but nothing could prepare me for his S15.


Dodo_eric_shoot_mike-13When I think of Zap’s style, I think of more fiberglass than metal, matched with an almost impractically low ride height and some big shiny wheels. At first glance, you’d probably think the S15 doesn’t look anything like Zap would build. Maybe you’re right – or maybe we’ve entered a new era.
Dodo_eric_shoot_mike-7Let’s go with a new era (for now). As it sits, it’s different than what I’ve come to expect from Zap. But when you get right down to it, his new venture still has the same heart. I mean this in the most literal sense, as Zap kept his 1JZ-GTE from S13 and transplanted into this S15.

Dodo_eric_shoot_mike-4The 1JZ-GTE is equipped with a Borg Warner s200sx Turbo and the factory injectors have been upgraded to 1,000cc injectors. The frustrating business of dealing with the wiring harness was sorted by a Panic-Wire custom engine harness. The engine has a bunch of other obvious goodies like a Greddy frontmount intercooler and a Koyo radiator, just to name a few. All of this is tied together quite nicely by a Apex-i Power FC.



Dodo_eric_shoot_mike-31Zap plans to keep the car subtle for as long as possible. This makes sense, because for the last few years he drove a stripped-down S13 built for one purpose: to drift with his teammates and friends. As you can imagine, getting into a street car after buzzing around in a track car is obviously going to be a joyful experience.


Dodo_eric_shoot_mike-2That’s not to say that everything is stock. Thanks to the good people at Stance, Zap was hooked up with a set of Super Sport Coilovers with a custom spring rate. They also set him up with Rear Upper Camber Arms (RUCA), Rear Toe Arms, Solid Subframe Bushings and Solid Diff Bushings.



Dodo_eric_shoot_mike-39He went in a more traditional direction for the wheels and made his dailies 1-pieces, which is a weird choice for Zap but a welcome change. Up front, he’s running a pair of Rays Gramlight 57d’s that measure in at 18×9.5 +12 and in the rear, he’s got a pair of Work XD9’s that are 18 x 10 +18.


Dodo_eric_shoot_jesse-2I think that’s the point with this S15 – it’s a welcome change. The problem with change is it’s most often met with resistance or in the car world, there are internet rumours that you fell off or your best days are behind you. This happens because there’s a certain amount of probability connected to that equation. The problem is it’s technically considered an appeal to probability, which is logically a fallacy. Just because something has happened before doesn’t mean it will happen again. And that’s exactly what Eric “Zap” Zapata has proved by moving on from his old ride.

Borg Warner s200sx
Tial mvr 44mm
Greddy Fmic
Injector dynamic 1000cc
Performance fuel injection top feed rail
Automotive stealth pump
Automotive fuel regulator
Panic-Wire custom engine harness
Apexi PowerFC
Koyo radiator
Custom 3″ down pipe
3″ straight pipe exhaust

Super sport coil over custom spring rate
Rear toe arms
Solid subframe bushings
Solid diff bushings

Gktech abs delete kit
Z32 front brakes
Project mu pads
Nismo 2 way
Custom 1 piece drive shaft

Bride VIOS 3
Sparco rally suede wheel
HKB boss kit

A special thanks to Mike McConnell and Jesse Schinkel of The Dub Dynasty for the photos!


  • what about the other 2?

    • Yuta, those are stories for another day.

  • great well-written article with a lot of truth about accepting change

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