Toy­ota Star­let

OWNER: Johnny Rolton Lo­ca­tion: Christchurch Oc­cu­pa­tion: Car de­tailer

NZ Performance Car - - Driven Daily -

NZPC: Sweet lit­tle KP, Johnny. How did you come to own it?

Johnny: Thank you. I’ve al­ways had a soft spot for them ever since I was young, and have owned a few of them over the years. This ex­am­ple was on Trade Me, ad­ver­tised as an un­fin­ished, non-run­ning project. It was pretty rough, and the guy told me that he wanted to “up­grade to a Sil­via”.

How did the 4A-GZE come into the mix?

It was ac­tu­ally part of the orig­i­nal pur­chase, which I put into my KE70 Targa / track car for the boosted set-up, and I planned to put a 4K into the KP to sell it off. The KP turned out to be an awe­some wee daily, and I got too at­tached. I also dis­cov­ered that the 4A-GZE was slower than my orig­i­nal NA 16-valve 4A-GE [in the race car], so ended up tak­ing it out and putting it back into the KP. It has been a def­i­nite up­grade.

Hav­ing the close-ra­tio box must make the com­bi­na­tion pretty fun then, yeah?

Oh yeah, the close-ra­tio gear­box and high-ra­tio diff with the low­down power pro­duced by the su­per­charged heart make for a great com­bi­na­tion. Off-the-mark ac­cel­er­a­tion is in­cred­i­ble, and it pulls off some great launches, even against the likes of four-wheel-drive cars, which is the big­gest head turner.

That pulling power is com­ple­mented by those ag­gres­sive wheels, too. What are they?

They are fac­tory steel wheels off a Ja­pane­se­mar­ket KE70 that have been widened to suit the KP’s flared guards — the per­fect wheel com­bi­na­tion in my eyes. The typ­i­cal Spit­fire wheels and Eager tyres sit un­der the bench at home col­lect­ing dust, where they be­long [laughs].

Be­ing so low, is it dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate the roads in the shaky city?

The roads are pretty ne­glected here [in Christchurch], which makes it a bit in­ter­est­ing swerv­ing all over the roads to miss holes, some of which are al­most big enough to swal­low the whole car — peo­ple prob­a­bly think I’m a drunk driver. Luck­ily, I had the right peo­ple help me get the springs cus­tom made to suit its du­ties, and main­tain the per­fect height.

Cheers for the yarn, Johnny.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.