DMF Motorsport: The House of 90’s JDM FR Cars
If you visit the various tuners and shops around Metro Manila, chances are they’ll either be filled with Hondas, Toyotas, Subarus, or even supercars. It’s understandable given they’re the more common platforms to build in the country, and these shops do need to run a business after all. If there’s one shop in town that’s filled with 90’s JDM goodness though, it’s likely DMF Motorsport. Not too familiar? Well, maybe you know the place by its old name, DMF Drift.
Ring a bell now?
DMF is owned and operated by David Feliciano, the man who pioneered the sport locally by tossing his cars sideways during autocross events in the early ’00s’. Aside from the driver, the shop has long since been a staple of the local tuning community having been in the same location on the corner of Boni and Katipunan ever since. Heck, you can even call it an institution already. Just take a look at the stickers on the shop door for some nostalgia.
Since David put up shop in 2003, the place has been through the rise, fall, and the recent re-emergence of professional drifting the country. It’s safe to say there were a good number of competition-spec drift cars that competed in various drift events throughout the years built at this very place.
When you compare other homegrown drift cars to their stable, there’s just something different about how DMF-built cars are built. They’re not just mechanically sound, they have to look good too. The trend with most shops is to make a platform that will be able to take the punishment of professional drifting - with aesthetics and the rest coming second. At DMF Motorsport, that just doesn’t cut it - your car has to look good, and you have to drive in such a way that it’ll stay that way.
The variety of 90’s japanese metal is quite diverse considering a huge portion of them are rear-wheel drive cars. In one corner, you’ll spot a competition-spec S13. Then in front of it, a couple of street-spec S15s. Towards the back, there are a few AE86s together with a 2JZ-swapped owner-type Jeep. Let’s not forget the Pandem-kitted S30 Z that’s been in the shop for a long time as well as DMF’s personal rally cars.
If you notice, most of them are rocking a body kit, wheels with proper fitment, and even a semi-sorted interior. But take a peep under the hood, and they all mean business. Big turbo 2J, competition-spec SR20, 3SGE with ITBs, you name it, and it’s there.
Perhaps the best example of how David builds cars is the DMF school car. The clean A31 Cefiro you see here is DMF’s new drift toy to teach people the basics of going sideways. If I didn’t mention it, you’d probably think it was a client’s build.
It’s rocking a set of R33 wheels and slammed low to the ground. There’s even a full interior; only the driver’s seat has been replaced by a fixed bucket. Under the hood, it packs an SR20 instead of the usual RB-swap. We definitely need to take a better look at this next time.
Even if it’s a school car that will be abused, it has to look good. The same applies to other vehicles in the shop, both his personal and customer builds. To give you a better idea, we’ll be featuring some of the other cars built by DMF Motorsport soon.
There’s a Seafoam Green S13, a red IS, and a white S15… and a certain black IS that’s been missing for quite awhile.
Words and Photos by Jose Altoveros