OWNER: Johnny Rolton Location: Christchurch Occupation: Car detailer
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.