When I first picked up my camera in 2010, I was lost in the world of drift. I was just a fan with a camera, trying to figure out who owned which car and how my little camera worked. After going to an event or two, I met a group of cool guys with a handful of vibrant Japanese tuner cars and was invited to a local meet at a Sonic for fun and cool cars. The leader of the pack, Marco Tellez, stepped out of his green 240sx coupe and handed me a sticker for their meet and we kept talking since. Fast forward a few years and a handful of changes for that green car and we find ourselves a V8 powered teal monster.
I was headed to Orlando to shoot the soccer match I posted on earlier and I asked Marco if I could swing by the shop and do a feature on him. I met with him at D Spec Motorsports, Marco’s new home shop since January. According to Marco, its is an all around race shop, doing anything from custom engine swaps, suspension setups, wiring installations and all kinds of custom turbo set ups.
Before I even spotted Marco, it was easy to figure out where I needed to go. With the variety of tuner cars sitting in front of the shop, I soon found him stepping out of his daily driven Miata.
So let’s introduce you to the man of the hour, Marco Tellez.
BB: Before we learn about the current version of you, what is the history of Marco Tellez?
MT: I first got into drifting after I bought my first 240sx s13 hatchback. One day it was raining outside and I started messing around and slowly started getting the hang of sliding. Next thing I knew, I met people that did the same thing and slowly began to drive together and practice every night. After a bad crash, I slowly but surely began replacing my chassis. I started upgrading my SR for more and more power, until it was either completely build the engine or replace for a bigger one. So I bought an ls.
As Marco and I walked to the back of the shop, he explained to me that they had just finished up a new angle kit for the car, a fresh offering from their own shop at D Spec Motorsports. Since I had a lot of time on my hands, I let him get to work putting everything back on the car while I ran around the shop snapping away.
BB: What involvement have you had in the drift community?
MT: I’ve been driving for over 6 years now, started just messing around here and there, then going to local tracks like OSW and CFRC. I progressively got better and decided to drive pro am events to see how I compare against other committed drivers.
BB: What sort of modifications have you made to your competition car?
MT: The car currently has a cammed ls1 with 1.8 crane rockers, harden push rods, ported heads and new race bearings, ARP rod bolts and head studs, BC racing suspension and custom made lca’s, angle mods and custom tube rear made in house by D Spec Motorsports.
BB: What are your plans for the future?
MT: For the future I want to get my pro license and drive Formula D and continue to do shows and demos all over the U.S. or who knows, the world some day.
With the costs of drifting constantly on the rise, having access to these custom parts is a huge help for the aspiring driver. With Enjuku Racing close by and D Spec doing their part on the angle end of the performance spectrum, Marco has kept most of his modification needs as local as possible.
Of course not everything has needed an upgrade, with the purple carpet still gracing his dash from the many years before when I first saw his car. I’m also fairly certain those stickers are the same ones as well!
The car still showed some signs of damage from his last event where he got a little too cozy with the wall. Fortunately for him, he can throw a fresh panel over the damage and it looks as good as new. If you aren’t getting a little damage here and there, you probably aren’t pushing hard enough!
Every shop needs a tool box or two and what better place to have a little inspiration for the single guys around the shop. Unlike my experience around tool boxes, Marco was able to find all the tools he needed to finish up.
Of course music is a necessity to keep the morale high as everyone hurries to finish their builds along with customer cars at all hours of the day. These speakers make my little desktop setup look like ants!
BB: So I noticed that one of these things is not like the others, what’s the deal with the BMW?
MT: The Beemer is owned by Alberto Rosa, partner and brother with Pablo at D Spec. He is my mechanic and crew chief for SWD (Street Wise Drift).
Pointing at a fresh, clean V8 sitting next to Marco’s car, he explained that Alberto is planning on using it in his project with the BMW seen above. Should be a nice fit!
Before Marco finished putting together everything, I snapped a few photos of D Spec’s angle kit mated with the BC Racing Suspension. The gold accents with black really adds a touch of class to the otherwise bare wheel well.
With wheels and tires back on the car and steering wheel cranked hard, the difference in angle was unbelievable. Marco loves entering backwards and now he can better control his wild style with the new kit.
Everyone was excited to see such a great improvement from a product made in their own shop. After all the hard work from the first half of the day, it was time to clean off and get some grub!
BB: I noticed you all have a really tight relationship, what’s the story of you and D Spec?
MT: Before the 2013 SWD FD pro am season started, Pablo and Alberto from D Spec Motorsports hit me up about working together to team up and run the series together. We have been working together since January 2013 now and its been amazing! Great people and a great shop to back up any driver.
Now that I knew how they started, it was time for them to feed me some lunch! So we jumped in the creeper van and headed to their favorite Chinese place down the street. No matter how hungry I am, I can never put the camera down, even with sweet and sour chicken right in front of me.
With our stomachs full, it was time to take the car out and see how the new angle kit looked on the ground. Turns out I didn’t even need to take pictures since everyone was on top of their Instagram game. Follow @drifthappy for his photos!
Keeping the pop up headlight style front without the actual pop up lights was an interesting choice for the front end. A few commenters pointed out it reminds them of iron man with the LED bulbs and I think I am slowly starting to see it! Good call!
Since I rented a little bit longer lens than normal for the soccer match, I took it out and started snapping Marco’s car from the other end of the building with some nice separation. Hopefully I can put some money together and finally buy some new lenses for more variety on here!
One or two more snaps from here and it was time to move the car around for some more photos.
With the day being mainly a static day, we could only check out the new angle as the car stood still. I can’t wait to see what this car will look like at full lock out on the track with smoke billowing out from the rear end.
But until then, smoke will still flow, even if its from a handful of burnouts in front of the shop. Disclaimer: D Spec loves their neighbors, so they keep everything tidy once the fun is over! Remember to Hoon responsibly!
Marco has had three different color schemes since I first met him and I have to say this has been my favorite so far. The teal pops with the red stickers and dark concrete, setting a mood that made me giggle like a little school girl.
With wings making a comeback in the drift world, it was no surprise to see a color matched spoiler floating above the trunk lid. The war on downforce vs. drag in the drift world will probably rage forever, but if the wing makes the owner happy, then that’s all that matters!
Since I have neglected to show the rear of the car thus far, here is the view you’ll see when following during tandem at your local track day.
After a couple hours of burnouts and taking pictures, it was time to put away Marco’s race car and do a last run around to see what else the guys at D Spec had been working on.
Sitting right out in front of the shop was this S14 wearing the Silvia badge of honor and it sparked my interest immediately.
BB: So is the black S14 another customer car or one of the shops creations?
MT: The black S14 is the shop owner Pablo’s car. Its a nice looking kouki with an sr20det in it and a custom top mount set up. He drives that car all over the place and its well known at some meets for being pretty quick on the strip. He built it himself when he first opened the shop and its come a long way.
With the street car scene constantly striving for that slammed, stance look, it was quite a change to see this car sitting at a more moderate drop.
The interior was immaculate for a now 20 year old car, I could almost smell the new car smell coming from inside. The famous ‘S’ from Silvia once again made an appearance on this gorgeous car.
The only real qualm I could have an issue with was the large can poking from the rear, but if the owner loves it, who am I to say anything!
It’s really just entertaining to look at the rough, dirty drift car of Marco compared to Pablo’s clean, street car.
The builds don’t stop in the D Spec family, with this customer’s AE86 receiving a KA24det with custom mounts, custom turbo manifold and custom exhaust and piping all done by D Spec. It is still a work in progress, with the owner still funding some parts to get it finished. You all know how that goes, the building never stops.
With builds coming from D Spec like this, the future is looking bright for any car sent through them for upgrades. With a Toyota getting a Nissan heart and American power flowing into Japanese and German bodies, the shop here is full of surprises.
With so many grassroot drivers striving for glory, we have only touched the surface of drivers attempting to prove themselves in the competitive drift world.
Marco would like to thank all his sponsors that have helped him throughout his season.