Every day, I wake up and go to work. I mean my real work – the one that actually pays the bills. It’s in an office building downtown. My job isn’t really the stereotypical grind that you’d expect, and to be honest, the perks aren’t all that bad. In fact, some of them are outright amazing. But the thing is, I don’t work at my dream job; it isn’t what I aspired to do when I grew up. I like it just fine, but that “millennial” part of me wonders if there’s more or if I should be doing something I love. It’s for these very reasons that I enjoy visiting SerialNine so damn much.
Don’t get it twisted – I’m not saying I want to design and build car parts for a bunch of Japanese import cars. That’s not in my wheelhouse at all, but I do love that Gerard de Peralta and Kevin Petersen are doing it. There are few things that make me as happy as when I see someone’s passion become their work, especially when they’re really freaking good at. And that’s what I see every time I visit SerialNine.
Right now is an especially exciting time, as the guys are about to dive back into drifting. SerialNine is notorious for style and their distinct understanding of Japanese automotive culture. More specifically, the fact that they mostly work on/drive RWD Japanese sedans is what really gets me jazzed.
So, it should come as no surprise to discover that their 2016 drift cars are Toyota sedans. Gerard has been working on a six speed, 2JZ GTE-powered Toyota Aristo. The car has been decked out in all those great SerialNine parts, including the Breed fender set and trunk lid. On top of all of that, Gerard installed a very fancy GETRAG V160 six speed and HKS twin plate clutch.
Kevin has taken on the difficult task of turning his once “Stancy” Celsior into a stylish drift machine. This means that a car, which is almost painfully luxurious and only equipped with an automatic transmission, must now also be converted to a six speed.Let’s face it: the Toyota V160 isn’t the cheapest option on the market, and the r154 can be hit or miss while they slowly fade into extinction. The abundance of 350Z six speed transmissions make it an obvious substitute. Well, it’s an obvious substitute for Toyota guys once you pick up one of the many adapter plates on the market and the shifter relocation kit that SerialNine is currently working on.
The six speed swaps were what brought me out to the shop, but the longer I hung around, the more interesting the shop became. As I said earlier, I enjoy watching passion become work and I think their shop is a testament to that very idea.
It’s been just over three years since the guys at SerialNine decided to make a go of the whole thing. At first glance, the shop looks like some of it may have been used for storage space.
Once you realize what you’re looking at, you start to understand that the shop is crammed full of character and relics from the past.
Also, you can’t go far without stumbling across some cool wheels…
Or some random SerialNine parts in their signature green and white colour scheme. (Full disclosure: I moved that Canadian Tire money into the frame to make a patriotic point.)
The process has evolved since they first started. Now, way more research and development go into each product. The process for building, testing and marketing their product is a pretty involved experience and something that’s outside my realm of articulation.
It’s really impressive to see a Canadian company cut out their own corner in what could called a niche market. What’s even better is all their hard work is paying off. Touge Factory just became their American distributor.
I don’t know much about business or how to get paid for the things you love doing, but I think the guys at SerialNine have it pretty sorted out. If I have to wager a guess on how they did it, it would probably be that they see potential in things that others might not think twice about. Don’t believe me? Just check out their product line-up.