CROWNIN’ AROUND

NZ Performance Car - - Construction Under -

The lower South Is­land seems to have a firm grip on old Toy­ota chas­sis, and James Horner’s lat­est pur­chase is no dif­fer­ent. The now derelict rolling body is a 1969 Crown MS51 coupe and, although dereg­is­tered, is in­tended to be a low-slung street­pa­troller. As with any­thing good in life, you must go back­wards be­fore you can go for­wards, so the body has been stripped out and, at time of writ­ing, is ready to go back to bare metal in a few weeks’ time, with the plan to have a few licks of paint on it be­fore the year is out.

The driveline will in­clude a diff up­grade from a 1981 Crown MS112, with disc brakes on the front and rear to rid the car of the cur­rent drums. James plans to C-notch the chas­sis to suit a much, much lower ride height, and will achieve such an un­der­tak­ing us­ing an airbag setup. While some may say static is the way to go, we chal­lenge them to make that work, con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent state of south­ern roads …

The body it­self will re­ceive a full Ja­pane­se­mar­ket front con­ver­sion, which will in­clude the grille and head­lights, while the in­te­rior will be re­trimmed in Yakuza black.

All this is well and good, but the crown jewel of the build for many will be its heart. Will it be Toy­ota 1UZ? No. 4A-GE? No. How about RB30? No. Power will be taken care of by a 2JZ-GTE with rel­e­vant man­ual gear­box — if that doesn’t make you smile, then, damn, we don’t know what will.

James hopes to get things mov­ing and wrapped up at a quick pace, and we’ll def­i­nitely be do­ing a fol­low-up on this one at a later date.

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