Peel back the endless layers that make up the trials and tribulations of a ground-up build the likes of which you’ll find on these pages, and you’ll see they always follow a pretty straightforward equation, an equation that dictates exactly how far things will get out of hand. That end result relies on three simple factors: how much time you have to dedicate, what budget you’re willing to commit, and how willing you are to reach the vision in your head. Max out all three and you’re building the car to end all others. However, as many have learned, no build is ever that simple, and when levels begin to fluctuate, it’s the ultimate test of how much you want it. In that make or break moment, when time becomes limited and the cash demand never stops, hard decisions are made and plans are pushed well beyond what they were ever meant to be. It’s a tough test, especially when you’re venturing through uncharted territory; though, more often than not, it makes for one hell of a finished product.
Jonas Mallinson is no stranger to the process. Having built and abused a staunch Toyota JZX100 that rolled on a set of big johnnie Work Equip 05s, when it came to chasing the next step in the car’s progression, the calculation indicated that it made more sense to sell the car and start afresh rather than undo the radness that had already been pumped into it.
Exterior styling is a simple, albeit effective, package that sees factory aero combined with a 326Power rear spoiler and Origin Labo front canards, finished in that glorious Mazda 46V hue
It was right around this time that the model’s 20th birthday ticked over, and import laws meant that a flood of X100s poured into the country. They quickly become a go-to base for modifiers, and, with Jonas seeing one around every corner, he lost interest in the chassis real quick.
Fiending for the tough-as-nails 1JZ-GTE that he had become accustomed to, it would be the JZX100’s younger brother that caught his attention.
“With [the JZX100s] coming into the country and everyone having one, it was harder to set that bar. Then I found this JZX110; it’s not the most desirably shaped car, but it was unique, and I’ve done my best to make it look good,” he explains.
A 2000-spec Toyota Mark II, it was imported into the country as a factory IR-V, packing a 1JZ-GTE heart with an automatic trans slapped behind it, before a previous owner enacted a complete manual power-train swap with just 67,000km on the clock. With enough juice and the car now in Jonas’s ownership, the first port of call was to sort out the stance. A big-bodied four-door with chunky lines, it required a serious amount of low and a sufficiently sized set of rollers to pull it off. Luckily, Jonas had retained the Work Equip 05s that the X100 had worn, but, after having them rebuilt to 18×10-inch (-6) and 11.5-inch (-16) specs, the wheels stuck out by what seemed like a metre from the guards.
The solution was to drop the car off to Infamous 1081 Customs, which was tasked with making it ‘Jonas-proof’; that meant semi-tubbing the rear arches and throwing the entire Hardrace catalogue of adjustable arms at it to dial in a ton of camber. Even with that, the guards still needed to be cut, pulled, and extensively massaged with a rubber hammer to ensure that the chassis rails sat millimetres from the tar-seal.
To seal off the guard work, Jonas said, “F**k it; let’s paint the whole car”, and called on good friend Fritz Leaning to man the gun. Jonas initially wanted a candy red; it was Fritz who suggested the Mazda 46V, also known as ‘Soul Red’. Laid over the factory IR-V aero paired with a 326power wing and Origin Labo canards, the effect helps slim down the big body, especially at the rear end.
The car would see multiple trips to Mexican back roads in this form while Jonas broke in the new chassis and hoarded away parts on the side, itching for any excuse to pull the trigger on the next stage of the build. That day came with a blown clutch after a particularly enthusiastic departure, and he wasted no time in getting it to Haydn from Driftdirect to get underway. The first task was to drop the running gear so that the engine bay could be tidied up and resprayed, while a new hot and cold side was mocked up on the engine.
As Jonas quickly learned, aftermarket support for the X110 is pretty damn limited, and there’s a whole lot of misinformation out there murking up the waters. It was this, mixed with a well-timed push to reveal the car at the 2019 Chrome Expression Session, that saw a huge effort to squeeze every last drop of power out of the package — including a five-man, four-day marathon at the 11th hour! A Holset HX40 was selected to sit pride of place on the driver’s side, while an Elwood billet intake takes care of the incoming boost on the cold side. In between them lies a custom front-mount intercooler, crafted by Bernard at Bespoke Fabrication, which uses a Plazmaman core. Bernard was also instrumental in a number of other fabrication tasks, including temporarily correcting an error with the turbo manifold.
Putting that 376kW power figure to the ground is a set of Work Equip 05s that measure in at 18×10 inches (-6) and 11.5 inches (-16), wrapped in 235/45 Hifly rubber at all corners
You see, the X110 is specced with the later VVT-i 1JZ-GTE, which has a different flange configuration than the more common earlier versions. With Jonas set on using a coveted Hypertune unit, it meant a world first for the Australian fabricator. It went as far as sourcing a VVT-i unit to make it happen, although, due to the lack of X110 on its shores, engine-bay clearance was complete guesswork. In the end, the gamble didn’t pan out, with the twin wastegate ports just fouling on the chassis rail and strut tower. Bernard corrected this with fresh flanges that were sent over by priority air, but it was enough of a delay in an already shortened time frame to mean that the car wouldn’t spin a wheel at Chrome.
The hurdle tested all three of the equation factors, soaking up precious time and funds, along with dealing a solid hit to motivation, but Jonas used the extra downtime to take care of a few pieces of the puzzle that might otherwise have been overlooked in the haste.
A fresh Hypertune unit, complete with updated X110-specific measurements, is currently being made, while the modified example takes care of things in the interim. As it sits, James at JT Performance was able to squeeze out a mammoth 391kW at the wheels on 26psi — which, Jonas was told, was the absolute brink of what it could handle — then opted to dial it back to 24psi and a very potent 376kW, complete with flame-spitting twin wastegates out the bonnet! From what we can gather, Jonas wouldn’t be too upset if it were to fail, as he’s using it as a bit of personal research on seeing what an unopened motor can handle. When the time comes, the stock bottom will be switched out for a built 2JZ unit, retaining the current head with bolt-ons before being pushed to the limits of that set-up.
Clearly losing sight of the vision was never an issue for Jonas, and, as long as there’s enough time in the day and treats from the mahi flowing in, the car simply ain’t done yet. But hey, with a car that looks this solid, with that road-banging ride height and 376kW of silliness on tap waiting to blow the tyres off the rear — which strangely is an increasingly regular occurrence when Jonas gets behind the wheel — the sum of that equation was never going to be anything but radness, right?
LOCATION: Waiheke Island
BUILD TIME: One year
LENGTH OF OWNERSHIP: One year
THANKS: Stephen Price at Honest Imports, from who I bought the car; 1081 Infamous Customs, which did all the stance work, guard work, fitting all the arms, and setting up the ride height; Fritz Leaning, for the paint job; Hadyn Storey at Driftdirect, who has been the main chief of the build — a big thanks for the general build, fitting all the aftermarket parts, ECU, clutch install, and all the engine-bay details; Teek and Shay from Classic Performance Imports, for sponsoring some parts and providing a place to shoot the car; Elijah Mallinson for helping me do all the little finishing bits
ENGINE: Toyota 1JZ-GTE VVT-i, 2492cc, straight-six
INTAKE: Elwood Parts billet plenum, 90mm throttle body, custom Bespoke Fab intercooler with Plazmaman 100mm core, Bespoke Fab three-inch intercooler piping
EXHAUST: Bespoke Fab four-inch stainless-steel turbo-back system, custom resonator
TURBO: Holset HX40, billet core; Hypertune twin-scroll manifold
WASTEGATE: Twin Turbosmart Gen V Hyper-Gate45, Bespoke Fab bonnet-vented screamer
FUEL: Walbro in-tank pump, E85-rated braided lines and fittings, Turbosmart fuel-pressure regulator (FPR)
IGNITION: VAG coil packs, Cooper plugs
ECU: Haltech Elite 2000
COOLING: Fenix twin-core radiator
GEARBOX: Toyota R154 five-speed
CLUTCH: Quartermaster twin-plate
STRUTS: Zeal coilovers
BRAKES: (F) JZX Tourer V calipers, slotted and vented rotors; (R) factory
EXTRA: Hardrace arms, Kazama steering kit, semi-tubbed rear
WHEELS: (F) 18×10-inch (-6) Work Equip 05, (R) 18×11.5-inch (-16) Work Equip 05
TYRES: 235/45R18 Hifly
PAINT: Resprayed Mazda Soul Red by Fritz Leaning
ENHANCEMENTS: Origin Labo canards, Origin Labo vented front guards, 326Power wing
STEERING WHEEL: Nardi
INSTRUMENTATION: Apexi gauges
FUEL TYPE: E85
TUNER: James Wildon at JT Performance