Back in Issue No. 242, we ran James Horner’s once derelict rolling-body 1969 Crown MS51 coupe that was deep in the build, having a fully modified chassis whipped up and a 2JZ-GTE prepped to be dropped in. And, while that main project — one that would bankrupt most people as it is — is still underway, James has managed to find a few more pennies in the bottom of his piggy bank to start another project on the side — a KE26 wagon.
He tells us that it wasn’t something that he had intended to do, but, when you’re offered up a proper bargain, it’s hard to say no: “It was a good buy: rego on hold with heaps of new-old-stock parts. It even came with five motors!” exclaims James. “It has heaps of rust, which was no surprise with these things, so that has been the main thing to sort out.”
With the rust work being fixed, James turned his attention to fitting up some form of running gear. A 12A extended-port was pieced together using the best parts that came with the shell. The old mounts were chopped off and a fresh set fabricated to suit the new heart, while, behind it, the firewall was chopped to accept an RX-7 five-speed box.
But he tells us that it won’t be seeing any skids for a while, because, though it will have the huss to throw down, the standard pencil diff will remain for now, which means instant death as soon as the clutch is dropped. In terms of finishing touches, it’ll be the classic Christchurch rotary licked in spray-can camo, with chrome ‘Rotahavik’ door decals — the results of a decision made to “bring back the OG style”. Lowering springs up front, blocks down back, and factory steelies with hubcaps will keep it all humble.
It’s destined to always be a quick slap-together that doesn’t divert away too much of the Crown’s build funds and can be hacked about at the upcoming V 4&Rotary South Island Champs.