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.