NZ Performance Car: Hi, Jacob. Sweet KP — how did you end up with it?
Jacob: Hi, guys. It was originally my grandparents’ car, which they bought back in 1983. As a kid, my brother and I were always off for drives in the KP to the fish and chip shop, or out to the middle of nowhere with a box of racing pigeons in the boot — the wee 2K and four-speed were no match for the pigeons on the trip/flight home though. From around the age of 12, it became my dream car, and when my grandad stopped driving and it came up for sale, I had to snap it up. That was the start of 2010.
Cool it’s stayed in the family. Did you always intend to modify it?
Yes and no, as I had always planned on switching out the wheels and suspension. But, back then, that was just a set of Modgies and some super lows. In early 2011, I took it off the road for some ‘minor modifications’. It sat in the driveway untouched for a year or so before I got stuck in to the 4A-GE motor swap and a few other bits. Being a naive teenager, I didn’t listen to my parents telling me to leave it original — I knew best of course, and nothing’s changed now either, as it’s ended up even deeper with the S13 IRS swap.
And we understand that it’s boosted now, too?
Yeah, I was planning to use a CA18DET that I already had, but that idea quickly changed to run a naturally aspirated 4A-GE. After the car was painted and pieced back together, the engine bay felt like it was missing something, and, with the money spent at that point, [I thought] why stop then? I had not long picked up a 4A-GZE AE101 that I intended to part out, so the GZE long block was just sitting there. That went in, and I’ve been feeding it money ever since, as you do.
Bit of boost never hurts. Did you try to keep things simple exterior-wise?
The car has gone through a few phases since I’ve owned it, but I’m definitely glad I changed my mind so many times and ended up with what I have now. The original look (besides slightly modified guards and shaved door locks) suits it. The resprayed red with double white pinstripes is true to how it was when my grandparents owned it, and I bought a set of tidy mis-matched SSR Star Sharks, fitted guard mirrors, and import number plate lights.
What’s it been like as a cruiser?
I’ve only put about 100km on the clock so far, but I will say it’s the best 100km I’ve ever done. It’s a rough ride — what old schools aren’t? — although, it’s actually nice to drive and handles like a go-kart, being the size it is.
She’s a great old girl, Jacob — thanks for the yarn.
Name: Jacob Davidson
Occupation: Panel Beater
Engine: Toyota 4A-GTE 16V, 1600cc, four-cylinder; 4A-GZE long block, custom intake manifold, Nissan throttle body, Subaru four-post coil, Evo 560cc fuel injectors, Sinco top-mount exhaust manifold, Garrett T28, TiAL 38mm wastegate, GReddy oil-filter relocation kit, Haltech Platinum Sprint 500 ECU, twin Walbro 255-litres-per-hour fuel pumps, custom alloy drop tank with built-in surge tank
Drivetrain: Toyota T50 five-speed, Nissan R200 limited-slip diff (LSD), shortened axles
Interior: New carpet, Bride driver’s seat, period-correct head unit fitted with a Bluetooth chip
Exterior: Resprayed red, KE70 guard mirrors, shaved locks, modified front and rear guards
Wheels/tyres: (F) 13×7-inch (-1) SSR Star Shark, 165/55R13 Nankang; (R) 13×9-inch (-25) SSR Star Shark,165/55R13 Nankang
Suspension: AE86 BC Gold front coilovers, Wilwood four-pot calipers, 255mm rotors, shortened S13 Silvia rear subframe, D2 rear coilovers
Fuel type: BP98
Tuner: Rapid Performance
This article originally appeared in NZ Performance Car issue No 254 — you can get your grubby mitts on a copy by clicking the cover below