IAN LATTA 1953 MOR­RIS VAN

Paint: Blue

Street Machine - - Sleepers -

DONK

Type: Mazda 13B-REW In­let: Stock Turbo: Gar­rett GTX35 ECU: Mi­crotech LT-10 Ra­di­a­tor: Koy­orad alu­minium

SHIFT

Box: Mazda five-speed Diff: Hilux, 4.5:1 gears

BE­NEATH

Front end: Stock Shocks: Mon­roe Brakes: Vented discs (f), drums (r)

ROLLING STOCK

Rims: 14in steel­ies Rub­ber: 175/75/14 (f), 245/50/14 (r)

IT’S LIKE HAV­ING A COM­MODORE OR FAL­CON WITH 700HP AT THE TYRES, BUT IN SOME­THING WITH A MUCH SHORTER WHEEL­BASE AND THE AERO­DY­NAM­ICS OF A WHEELIE BIN

Gar­rett GTX35 got the nod in­stead. The en­gine is run­ning 850cc pri­mary in­jec­tors and 1200cc sec­on­daries, and it’s all con­trolled by a Mi­crotech LT-10 ECU. By to­day’s stan­dards, it’s a pretty mild build for a turbo ro­tary, but you have to re­mem­ber how lit­tle it has to push along.

Ian’s plan­ning on tak­ing it to the track soon, so while he doesn’t have any times­lips yet, you’d have to think it would be good for a mid-12, maybe even an 11-sec­ond quar­ter – if he can get it to hook up and get through the gears hap­pily. One change Ian has made since we last saw him is a new set of brakes: “It had disc brakes be­fore, but they were off a Mor­ris Ma­rina, so I got a set of big vented discs out of the UK. It was meant to be a bolt-on fit, but you know how that goes.”

There are also a few cus­tom touches on the body; some sub­tle, and some not so sub­tle. Flares have been added to the front and rear guards to al­low the fit­ment of widened 14-inch steel rims, which wear 245/50 Bridge­stone Eagers on the rear. That might not sound too fat by mod­ern stan­dards, but it’s about twice as wide as what was on there orig­i­nally. There’s also a flip-front util­is­ing the orig­i­nal sheet metal, moulded into a one-piece unit. As that would mean ev­ery­thing was on show once the front was flipped, the un­der­side has been fin­ished off as nicely as the top­side. In­side is a mix of old and new, with RX-7 seats and an XU-1 dash to keep an eye on things.

Most of the work on the car was com­pleted in Ian’s shed over a pe­riod of about seven years, and the hard ef­fort has paid off with sev­eral tro­phies, in­clud­ing Top Wagon/ Van at the WA Hot Rod & Street Ma­chine Spec­tac­u­lar. With its short wheel­base and peaky power, as the plates say, it’s just a fun way to get from A to B.

LEFT: RX-7 seats add a bit of mod­ern com­fort and there’s a To­rana XU-1 dash keep­ing an eye on the vi­tals

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