Tokyo Drift: The Forgotten Nissan Silvia S15
If you thought we were done dropping mind-blowing Tokyo Drift facts, then you’re mistaken! Former technical adviser Craig Lieberman is back with a brand new video digging deep into the movie cars and stories behind them. This time, he is doing things a bit differently.
Generally speaking, when Lieberman discusses cars from any of the Fast and Furious films, they were featured because a main character drove them. He tends not to do deep dives on background cars because those cars are mostly rentals from private owners and are only used for one scene. Thus neither the studio nor Craig kept records on the car or spec sheets.
However, there is one car that his viewers have requested constantly and also falls into a bit of a grey area. It’s a car that was only featured briefly in Tokyo Drift’s surprise ending.
The Forgotten Tokyo Drift car
Tokyo Drift fans may remember that at the end of the movie, the character “Sean” defeats “DK” and becomes the new guy to beat in the local Tokyo drift scene. Sean and his friends are hanging out in the same parking garage where he failed so miserably at the film’s beginning. Just then, he gets a visit from a surprise challenger, Vin Diesel’s “Dominic Toretto.”
Toretto is behind the wheel of his trademark Dodge Charger while Sean is driving a silver Nissan Silvia S15 with an elaborate livery. This scene is the only time in the film that that particular Nissan Silvia S15 shows up. The car was originally a background vehicle, but the production crew chose it to feature at that moment. So, while it was technically a character car, the studio did not keep much data on it since it was still privately owned. Thus Craig never made a video about it. Until now.
The Tokyo Drift Nissan Silvia S15 was an actual drift car
Craig Lieberman got several requests over the years to create a feature video on the silver Nissan Silvia S15, but since he lacked information about it, he was never able to put one together to his satisfaction. Recently that changed when he tracked down the current owner of the car. A picture car wrangler named John David Wiser knew more about how the S15 ended up in the film, but unfortunately, Wiser died in 2019.
As far as Lieberman can tell, Wiser had contacts in Japan, and those contacts helped him arrange the rental and transportation of the S15 from Japan to America. The famous surprise ending was shot, but what happened to the Nissan after that was a mystery. Craig was able to track down the most recent owner; a Formula Drift Pro-Am driver named Matt Friedmore.
According to Matt, the S15 was already famous among drifting fans before the film and continued to be a well-known car after the movie. Matt had just returned to America after living in Japan temporarily and found the car for sale by another Formula Drift driver.
Matt recognized the S15 from competitions he had visited in Japan, so he bought the car. At the time, he had no idea the car was featured in Tokyo Drift. Eventually, Matt sold the vehicle, and currently, it is being rebuilt by another driver who intends to campaign the car in the 2022 season of Formula Drift.
We recommend watching Craig’s video above for the whole story. This Nissan Silvia S15 has been on quite the journey, and it appears that the journey is still ongoing.
Every car has a story—especially movie cars.