NZ Performance Car - - Contents -

Back in 2016, Aaron de Vries caught our at­ten­tion with his crazy clean MkII Es­cort es­tate after driv­ing the old girl from Christchurch to Auck­land for the 4&Ro­tary Na­tion­als. And while it would go on to nab a Cruise Mode fea­ture in Is­sue No. 244, Aaron tells us that the build was cer­tainly not over, blam­ing that drive on putting the plans in mo­tion after suck­ing back over $1K in fuel dur­ing the jour­ney.

“It made around 187hp [139kW] at the fly on the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated [NA] build, and don’t get me wrong, the big side-draughts sound cool, but it guz­zled the gas, which wasn’t cool at all,” ex­plains Aaron. “Mark [at NZEFI] sug­gested build­ing a cus­tom in­jec­tion unit for it to fix that is­sue. But, re­gard­less, it was pretty tapped out on power, which is where the turbo came in.”

Sit­ting on the limit of the 2.1-litre Pinto’s power lev­els in high com­pres­sion, NA form, some­thing needed to give. One phone call to Tur­bocharg­ers New Zealand and a brand-new twin-scroll Sch­witzer S200 (56/65) turbo was on the way, specced to suit the Ken­nelly Cams 300-de­gree cam. It still makes use of the Subaru pis­tons and Dat­sun 1600 rods, with a cus­tom in­take man­i­fold tak­ing the place of the old carby.

A Link G4+ Storm will call the shots, and Aaron hopes to make a good 224kW at the wheels run­ning 7psi of boost. To back the pack­age, he’s think­ing that the old five-speed will give up the ghost so is look­ing to fit up a Toy­ota W-series box in­stead. The en­gine bay will re­ceive a fresh lick of paint be­fore the mo­tor goes back in, while the long-term plan will see a set of SSR Star Sharks and a short­ened Hilux diff fit­ted up, and Re­caro Fish­nets will re­place the cur­rent bench seat.

Aaron would like to ex­tend his thanks to those who have helped so far: Mark Graver, Peter Ken­nard from Ken­nelly Cams, Phill from NZEFI, and his fi­ancée Jess.

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