9AM Driver Spotlight: Trevor Rowland (@twodogs6.7_)

9AM Driver Spotlight: Trevor Rowland (@twodogs6.7_)

  Here at 9AM we truthfully do our best to celebrate our grassroots drivers and builders. The backbone of all of the motorsport communities are the people who commit themselves to participating, promoting, and supporting small events and public knowledge. We aren't going to blow our whole quarterly marketing budget to get some top 5 corporate sponsored drivers for multiple reasons. The first is we straight up ain't breaded like that, and the second is that to most of us, that dude isn't relatable. Thus, we celebrate those who are working a nine-to-five to fund their passion. Those who are spending their free time making not only their vehicle better, but also providing services and products for the community, you know people like us! Today we sit shotgun with a shining example of the above, our friend and all-around shredding driver and builder Trevor Rowland!



So you have had a few cars, tell us about them!:

  "My first car was a 1999 Subaru RS coupe 2.5 with an STI Swap! That was the car that got me into motorsport and was absolutely a blast! Unfortunately, I decided to turn the boost up a little bit too high and windowed my block or put a nice hole in the piston. I can't remember the specifics but she was blown with oil on the ground and we all know what that means haha! Typical Subaru activities when you are chasing power."


I freaking love the 2.5RS coupes but as with any modded Subie, those problems are bound to happen! What was next on the list?:  

   "My next car was actually my favorite and truthfully the vehicle that got me into drifting! The car was an FD RX7 that had an LS Swap! The cool thing for me being a Californian was that it was CARB Legal! The previous owner swapped everything over from a GTO and took the time to get it BARD. That car was amazing to be able to run on the streets. It was exceptionally cool. One of my earliest memories of drifting (if not earliest) occurred during a night, heading out with a couple friends to an industrial area here in San Diego. We set up a lil mini course and I was able to hit not only my first skids, but link transitions as well! From that car forward I was hooked!"



  "I eventually took the FD to Apple Valley when they had their old layout (which was a blast), and sure enough my first day out I was hitting some 3rd gear initiations which was mind-blowing! All good times do come to an end and unfortunately one of my laps I ended up taking out a track fence! With that, I had to introduce myself to the owner of the track haha! He was nice about his destroyed property and totally understanding! I was definitely more upset about crashing the car than he was about his track fence, but that's drifting!"

  "After that crash, I decided to go a bit hotboi and went with a new body kit, either origin or shine, I forget. The car looked cool and got a lot of attention. As we all know, all good things end and eventually, I found the dreaded water and oil contamination and knew it was time for a rebuild. The plan was to turbo the LS and make it a pro car (which I don't suggest to anybody) and it became the internet's most popular paperweight haha! The car never got completed, I got lost in the sauce and was overbuilding."



"With the overbuild consuming my life and robbing my seat time, I decided to get an S15 Autech as a shell and transfer the LS over. Truthfully, If I knew then what I know now, I would have put literally any other motor in there (KA SR, etc.). To nobody’s surprise, I once again got lost in the sauce and overbuilt. The S15 had now become exactly like the RX7 and once again became a paperweight. Overbuilding is dismal; learn from me and don't get lost in the sauce!"

*we will touch more on overbuilding shortly*


"An FD and an S15 are extremely desirable cars but I get it man, we have all chased gremlins and such and need to move on!"

   "Eventually, the day came when a new (to the community) chassis in drifting became popular and affordable. It provided essentially everything needed to have fun, was reliable, had great aftermarket support, and did not require a crazy swap or build. That car was a C5 Corvette! My C5 Corvette was essentially a simple build and only required a hydro handbrake and racing seats! I went against the entire formula of what I had previously been (over) building and kept it super simple. The car had a cam and long tube headers, which made a solid 400hp and honestly was perfect for my needs: a fun, good, reliable car which is exactly what I needed to enjoy driving. However, as I started driving more, and hitting more events, the car became older and older. I came to a turning point where I could build the car and upgrade a lot of worn-out old components, or upgrade to a different vehicle altogether, making sure there’s something I can continue to drive."



  "The decision was made to upgrade to a C6 Grand Sport which is the car I have today! The C6 LS3 has a factory dry sump which allows for great oiling as well as a bunch of other mechanical and technological advances. My C6 sits nicely on Silver coilovers, hits lock on an FDF Mantis Kit (which I got tuned down to 60 Degrees of angle due to my big 3pc wheels), 2 Status racing seats, an FDF / Kibbie Tech hydro handbrake, and a soon to be cage! The butt-dyno says around 470hp and I absolutely love it. That car has truly propelled me into drifting. Truthfully, I feel it's crazy; I never thought I would be where I am at in the community, and now the car and myself are incredibly recognizable on track and in the media. Most notably, there was a recent viral video of a dirt drop at Horse Thief Mile. I'm heading back there in two weeks and plan to absolutely not do that again hahah!"



Yeah man that dirt drop was wild! I think the whole internet saw that video in slow-mo! Anyway, You have also started a business around the C5 / C6 platform?:

   "Some years ago I decided to modify the factory Corvette tail lights by switching the red to clear! The community really liked it as well and I was able to get sets of those lenses out to the public for sale. The product actually gained a lot of traction even without having formal marketing or branding, however, I was just happy to provide the community with a cool product. Sometime after that, I recall scrolling the forums and seeing that Nick Harper at Lucky Garage was offering full replacement lenses, I thought “Well there goes my business” and wasn’t sure what the future of that product would look like. However, Nick reached out to me and offered me the opportunity to be a certified installer! I accepted and ceased operations of my version. Quite frankly, the Lucky Garage replacements are much nicer than mine, and I want people to have the highest quality product. I am happy to be able to provide quality to the community regardless if it is from myself or another manufacturer. Most recently, I have been able to provide the lights to big names such as Luke Fink, who competes on a large stage (hotpit, D1, Etc.). He's such a great guy and an amazing driver and to see the product on his car is an amazing feeling."



Since we have both done it, and nobody wants to admit or talk about it; let's talk overbuild:

  "Do not overbuild! The overbuild is so bad now man it’s sad. Think about how much seat time you could have had in like four copy-paste fun cars, built in the same amount of time with the same budget. Overbuilding is the delusion of grandeur; You are emulating these pro cars that are doing good. Yes, it's loud and shiny and fast, but it's probably a 100k custom build that most of us would take years to accomplish. Alternatively, you can build a fun car, with a simple angle kit and hydro, and a reasonable amount of power that will get you on track and progress you as a driver. 10/10 Do not overbuild your car, if there is a car bible out there this verse needs to be quoted “Thou shall not overbuild your shit” Haha!"

You have been traveling quite a bit for events, what are your favorite tracks?:

   "Oh man that's a hard one, each track has its own special characteristics to love. There are two that I could honestly drive every day and it's a close tie between them. Those tracks are Horse Thief Mile and Affinity in Oregon. Affinity has this “rollercoaster” section where you can really practice and hone your skills for reverse entries which is super unique. The track is also super off-course friendly and offers some safe-ish dead zones, in the event you go off, that shouldn’t total your car! The rain in the PNW adds to the excitement as well, you can hit that track forever in the wet, and honestly, it's true nirvana. Definitely a close tie there. That being said I also have to shout out to the local Apple Valley as well haha!"



I'm from a literal redwood rainforest, I inherently love some wet skids, what are your thoughts on rain drifting?:

   "Dude the rain is literally the best. I remember it raining at Affinity and chasing a 4dr E36 and oh man, what a blast! The driver of the E36 had a full car of passengers. During a run, and to my surprise, the rear passenger door swung open mid-drift! This event invented my new favorite game haha! Seriously the rain provides the best talent, you can have so much fun with a level playing field for all drivers. My suggestion is to buy a cheap car, go drift in the rain, learn the basics, and have fun!"



It's a strange time right now, what's your take on the current car scene?:

  "Honestly; I think we need to change the development of what direction the scene as a whole is moving towards. The IG clout needs to die down, man. I have seen friends become “too cool” because of the internet clout. Keep it humble. Don't get me wrong I love a bunch of likes and follows as much as the next guy but it's not about that, it's about having fun! Don't gatekeep, I hate that, we need to build the community not keep people out. That being said there is some awesome grassroots stuff going on and I fully support that side of the scene. I don't really go to meets these days but I do enjoy hanging out with like-minded car friends and the grassroots events are great for that!"

You have been keeping some serious momentum in your driving, what are your plans for the future?:

  "Right now I am making a body kit for the C6 Corvette! I plan to get that kit to a larger market/manufacturing and hopefully get that to the public sooner rather than later! Also, I am currently working with ‘Concept 841 Headers’ that make an 8-4-1 wild exhaust system! It sounds so sick and reminds me of a supercar. I have a couple of plans with that product and one of those plans is a bit controversial: a single exit exhaust! It's in the development stage but I am excited about that! I have plans to do a grassroots comp in Norcal coming up as well!"



    "Speaking of, big ups to the NorCal drift scene; those dudes gave me a humbling experience and honestly are nuts up there! I remember Hitting a comp in Thunder Hill a couple of years ago. A buddy and I left late from here in San Diego and drove through the night. I ran the next day on an hour of sleep. After hitting a couple of runs I reached out to the judges and asked the question “What can I do better”? I highly suggest drivers do this, the judging feedback is second to none in competition. I got some input, adapted that to my next couple of runs, and to my surprise heard my name called on the top 16! I did eventually take the L on my second run due to what I would call a combination of both a lack of sleep and being shook from a run previously (got my door hunted and ear slapped by a wastegate haha!) But my general plan for the future is to just drive as much as possible and enjoy drifting!"

Anyone you want to give a shout-out to before we go?:

  "Oh absolutely! First would be 9AM for getting me on here to give my take on all of the above! So rad to be here and share with you guys and gals! I would also like to give a huge shout-out to Ryan Kibbe at Kibbie Tech for setting the standards for all my builds. Ryan’s builds are works of art for trophy truck racing that take serious abuse (much like drift cars). Lucky Garage for creating great Corvette products and trusting me to represent the business and install those amazing products! 945 Garage for giving me awesome tips and tricks to keep my Corvette going and using their sexy fat fenders that fit these 3pc wheels! Darren at JPG Visuals, He has that street-style skate / BMX old-school style (we love) in all of his videos, his style matches mine so well and I love working with him!  And finally, all my friends and family who have supported me throughout all these years of drifting, are the reason I can continue loving what I do!"



We can not thank Trevor enough for not only sitting down with us to chat but also being a shining star of what the drift community should be all about. We can't wait to see him kill more tires at his future events and hope you will give him support via the links below!


  Follow and connect withTrevor Rowland:
Trevor Rowland Instagram - @twodogs6.7_
Trevor Rowland Facebook - @trevor.rowland.14
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