Drift scene
UK Drifting clubs

Drifting the real beginning.

Drifting according to many sources began in the Touge in Japan. Here is the real story of the early drifters dating back to the 1930's. Drifting is almost as old as the car itself and can be traced back to Britain.

Henry T Fird (not to be confused with Henry Ford) built his own stripped down racer in his spare time using experience he had gained working for Roll Royce. He proudly named this car the Sannis S1 - an early prototype which had 4 incarnations ending in the S4.

Motor racing was also in its infancy and Henry was probably one of the first pioneers of the rally. He practiced his racing technique in his fathers farm land which had a large gravel area where the cows would wait for milking. At weekends he would be seen charging around this gravel area practicing his control techniques. He was motivated by control of a car rather than raw speed and quite by accident on a corner he lost the back of his Sannis S1, by some miracle he counter steered and maintained control. Some of his friends on the Farm witnessed this and not realising it was a mistake congratulated him.

The second time he tried this he lost control and his Sannis S1 crashed into a deserted chicken coup. Undeterred Henry rebuilt the S1 with low friction rear tyres and heavily grooved front tyres.

In a short time other car enthusiasts joined him and they started a scoring system very similar to that of modern day D1 racing. He called this new style of racing "Field Sliding" which has sadly been long forgotten. One notable female driver Sue Teacher became a phenominal sucess and certainly one of the first women champions of equal rights winning a total of 4 consecutive seasons races in her sponsors D-Type Jaguar. Due to a number of high profile accidents the road traffic act was formed and this outlawed "Field Sliding".

Fird in his Sannis S2 giving a lesson in control.

This article was first posted 01042006 we wish to thank the British University Lending Library of Motor Sports for opening their archives to us for research.


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