Gary Castillo - Import Racing OG and Fabricator of Iconic Pro Drift Cars (S2E5)
Play • 2 hr 52 min

Gary Castillo is an OG who has been a part of the early import drag racing days in the 90s all the way to today’s premier pro drifting series Formula Drift.  He started as a mechanic, became a magazine editor then turned into a fabricator.

Gary witnessed almost the entire spectrum of import car culture in the USA as he watched both import drag racing and drifting go from their illegal street racing roots to professional series.  He was a part of the scene as Hondas tried to break into the 9 second quarter mile, and he was a part of drifting when Daigo Saito competed in the first 1000+ hp car in Formula D.

In 1991, Gary Castillo started his journey into import racing by helping his friends work on their cars in San Diego, CA.  As import racing was in its infancy in the United States, he shares his memories as Americans were learning how to make their Japanese sport compact cars faster as DIY projects, without the availability of aftermarket support that we see today.

Gary was a mechanic on David Shih’s infamous Silver Bullet CRX (the first 10 second Honda in the ¼ mile) and then became an editor for Turbo magazine and then Import Tuner.  He left his job of being an editor to pursue his passion for building cars and was soon building/working on some of the most legendary pro drift cars, such as the RS-R S2000 (Alex Pfeiffer), RS-R Scion tC (Ken Gushi), RS-R Supra (Manabu Orido), and the Bridges Racing SC430 (Daigo Saito) and SC300 (Robbie Nishida).

On top of all that, he is a great guy and an even better storyteller.

Follow Gary Castillo on IG @designcraftfab

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This episode and all episodes of Season 2 are brought to you by Falken a supporter of drifting since 2003 and a major reason drifting is where it is today. Check out their ultra-high-performance(UHP) Azenis RT660, Azenis RT615K+ and their UHP Azenis FK460 at

#drifting #driftinghistory #driftingpodcast #importracing #dragracing #battleoftheimports #formulad #formuladrift #turbomagazine #importtuner #garycastillo #designcraft #designcraftfab #daigosaito #robbienishida #alexpfeiffer #kengushi #rsrs2000 #rsrtc #rsrsciontc #bridgesracing #achillesracing #rsrsupra #manabuorido #orido #oridosupra #daigo

12:41 Describing the DIY culture of the import racing scene in the late 80s and early 90s

23:00 Creating the first tube chassis drag Honda with Dynamic Autosports/David Shih and his Silver Bullet CR-X

26:00 The innovation during the Honda race to break into 10 seconds and then 9 second quarter mile

31:35 Joining Turbo Magazine as a technical editor

45:08 D1 drivers from Japan doing a low-key drifting demo at NASCAR

51:06 Learning to fabricate roll cages for drift cars

54:25 Building the RS-R S2000

1:14:15 Building the RS-R Scion tC (the first FF converted FR in Formula Drift)

1:26:20 Building the Falken G35 driven by Calvin Wan

1:35:28 Working with Orido on his RS-R Supra

1:44:38 Working with Achilles Tires/Bridges Racing to build and maintain Daigo Saito's SC430 and Robbie Nishida's SC300

2:17:11 Covering the Blitz R34

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