NZ Performance Car - - Editorial - Jaden Martin Email: jaden@per­for­mance­ In­sta­gram: jaden_nzpc­magazine

hen you’re one of the big names that rule the roost in the au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing world, you can pretty much do what­ever you damn well please. And whether it stems from lazy mar­ket­ing ploys, or the de­sire to pool re­sources to make more cash, au­tomak­ers have struck deals to share mod­els/ tech­nol­ogy with one an­other — and re­badge them as if they were their own — for many years. This weird prac­tice has meant that many great cars could be sold in mar­kets they would oth­er­wise have never been seen in. But it didn’t al­ways work out, and just as many were mashed into hor­ren­dous parts-bin cre­ations.

Some of the bet­ter ex­am­ples were the likes of the 4G63-equipped Mit­subishi Star­ion, sold as a Con­quest un­der the Chrysler, Dodge, and Ply­mouth brands in the US, and the 13B-pow­ered Holden HJ Pre­miers known as the Mazda Road­pacer in Ja­pan (al­though this one is still un­der de­bate amongst the au­tomaker’s fans, and has even been dubbed the worst car ever made). I rate it, even if they were se­verely un­der­pow­ered for their weight, and cost a small for­tune to ac­quire.

Then there were the fiz­zlers: Toy­ota got the short end of the stick in a deal with Gen­eral Mo­tors (GM) when it was bur­dened with re­badged right­hand-drive Chevro­let Cava­liers to sell in Ja­pan. The Saab 9-2X took a se­cond-gen Subaru Im­preza and did lit­tle more than slap a ‘facelift’ on it that I would liken to the orig­i­nal ex­am­ple be­ing driven into a wall head on, and then bogged over to cre­ate a smooth fin­ish.

There are thou­sands of the bas­tards out there. Hell, even my Com­modore joins the list of re­badged specials. While it may look a fair sight dif­fer­ent, the VN body is ac­tu­ally a re-en­gi­neered Opel Omega/ Sen­a­tor, and per­haps as a clause within the afore­men­tioned GM and Toy­ota deal, it went on to be re­badged as the Toy­ota Lex­cen for the Aus­tralian mar­ket. I’m not too sure how that was re­ceived by the pub­lic back in 1989, an Aus­tralian-made car with ‘Jappa’ badges on it? Blas­phemy.

Re­gard­less, it was this un­likely pair­ing that ce­mented my de­ci­sion — as I re­cently an­nounced on In­sta­gram (@jaden_nzpc­magazine) — to make my en­gine bay home to a 2JZ-GTE. The mo­tor and box are al­ready fit­ted, but there is still a fair way to go be­fore it starts look­ing like a com­plete car again.

Keep an eye on the ’gram for reg­u­lar progress up­dates.

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