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.