Wednesday, 28 February 2018


Period perfect.
Something special, stumbled upon on the once-wider-world-wide-web, currently for sale at a dealer (CarShop LEAD) just north of Tokyo, Japan..

A HKS Superchaged, 5A-G-stroker, 1984 AW11 Toyota MR2 G-Limited; 1000kg of tuned Toyota Mid-engine'ry dragged right out of mid-80s Japan..

The star of the show. The main attraction.

From the listing:
HKSスーパーチャージャーキット/HKSカムシャフト(IN:256 EX:256)/カールシュミット82φピストン/HKSコンロッド/5AGクランクシャフト/HKSメタルヘッドガスケット/HKSインタークーラー/FUJITUBOエキマニ/HKSマフラー/スーパーチャージャー用燃料ポンプ/HKSインナーシムビッグバルブ/寒冷地用セルモーター/TRDエンジンマウント/OS技研強化クラッチ/ルート6 4速クロスミッション/TRD LSD/TRDクイックシフト/ビルシュタインショック/cuscoアッパーマウント/RSオリンフロントバンパー/共豊コーポレーション15インチホイール/HKS追加メーター(ブースト・排気音)/HKS PFC/HKS EGC/NALDIステアリングなど
HKS superchaged and intercooled 4A-G (1984 is pre Toyota 4AG-ZE remember!) with HKS 5A-G stroker crank, rods and 82mm pistons - bumping that 1600cc to near 1.8litres - plus HKS 256degree cams, valves and headgasket, Fujitsubo manifold, HKS exhaust, and so on. There's a lot to like here.

That classic HKS muffler, either still available or not long discontinued; I came very close to buying of these for my AW11 (going with the Fujitsubo instead)..

The early "MK1A" interior and trim, with highlights in the original yellow fabric. That trim and the dark metallic paint visible in the engine-bay leads (ha) me to think the car was possibly a green-on-gold two-tone car when new.

The TRD short-shifter and ball knob. Over on the door, a tease of possibly some period aftermarket audio, and a controller of some sort in front of the passenger's right knee.. 

The other controllers are stuck right up there on the dash: an early HKS PFC F-CON GFC (Graphic Control Computer for the Programmable Fuel Controller) and EGC (Electronic Governor Controller). Ah, there's that "STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY"..

A HKS Compound Meter, angled, is sitting where the wiper controls would usually be. I guess this car never saw much rain!

Also angled? The camera, severely, for this shot of those period-perfect (not surprisingly!) 15" AME Windmuhle alloys... wrapped not-so-ideally in some also period-perfect (*cough*) Bridgestone Potenza RE810s. Pah! An easy fix.

While we're on an AME Windmuhle note; I actually bumped into couple adverts for the wheel when flicking through some (1986) magazines recently:
..and Windmuhle acht..
Painting us a picture, and ohh.. it's very stylish.

..and on another related tangent back the other way, see the HKS 4A-G supercharger kit in a little more detail here, including scans of a Carboy-sourced article from the 1987 HKS catalog.
A bit of gold for an AW11 tragic..!

As for this red car? Seemingly untouched from its heyday, with a supposed 28,600km on the clock, for a whisker under 2million yen? Yep. Surely. Surely.

As always (and then some, because AW11), here's hoping this one goes to a good home...

Monday, 19 February 2018

One *very* XE ESP...

Spotted at South Coast Nationals late last year: an early-eighties Aussie Falcon with the lot...
1982 (XE 1982-1984) Ford Fairmont Ghia ESP. Top-tier for Ford Australia's standard-wheelbase, rear-driving sedans in 1982, and absolutely loaded with additional work done before delivery to the original owner.

On top of the "European-Sports-Pack"-equipped Fairmont's de-chroming, orange bumper inserts, the wild asymmetrical wheel and cloth Scheel sports seats; on top of the optional power windows and V8/auto combo; this Fairmont left Courtney and Patterson's Heidelberg dealership with that spoiler, a sunroof, bonnet-vents, sinister solid-black paint...

...aaaaaaand a two-door conversion done by Spanmor Limousines in Brunswick. Yeah. They went to some effort.

An Australian Ford dealership, 1982: "Options? Yeah, I'll have everything..!"

With the 'regular' Fairmont Ghia ESP already a keen $20,000AUD in 1982 (remembering the base Falcon sedan was a whisker under $8000); the don't-hold-back optioning would have surely made this the most expensive vehicle you could've bought with a Ford badge. 

And I'm stoked it's survived. And is looking so well cared for. Because it sure doesn't hurt that the only Fairmont Ghia ESP Spanmor Coupe I've ever seen is looking its best!

Saturday, 10 February 2018


Reverse rim.
True directional design.

A favourite right here; it's high-end 1980s tuning from TOMEI Race Car Engineering.
The ingredients are there: a unique and easily recognizable design (almost iconic if not for the rarity), simple but quality construction with no corners cut, and a product of a well respected tuner. That they're a bloody good looking wheel is just a bonus!
I picked up this tidy and very original set a couple years ago now. I'd long been meaning to post a detailed photo-set of them - as I've done for so many others over the years - but time... priorities... argh. We'll get there.
I actually took this photo-set back in June 2015! Winter is not the right time to do one of these; the poor lighting doesn't do the face design justice. I wasn't happy with how this turned out and had sat on the photoset since. But enough's enough. I may update this with a more vibrant set at some point in the future, but for now - let's tour. 

Kicking off with the obvious: "Turbo" here isn't so much the "HIGH-TECH EVERYTHING IS TURBO" fantastical use of the word that was so common in the era, but literally a reference to a turbo's impeller. They've run with that for this design and did not hold back. As a result? Some very aggressive spokes...

The large cast-alloy centre-cap. The earlier design was smooth, with a wedge-shaped "Turbo, Tomei Racing" decal at 3 o'clock.

The cap is held in place with a single (security) socket-head cap screw..

..supported somewhat by the joining face of the spokes. Turned here to remove...

O-ring seal. We don't need water in there..

"L" to indicate "Left". Just like my AW11's SuperVolks, the spoke cuts into the air. It pulls underside air through the wheel. Not the blowtorched-spokes-and-clutch-dumped look that so many people incorrectly assume..!

"This wheel is reverse, please install the tire form the inner side..."

If the large chrome fasteners on the front face weren't recognizable enough, maybe this "Inspection Passed" decal and paint-checked nuts might ring a few bells?
It's all Very Southern Ways.
The "Taneisha" here may actually be revealing the true manufacturer for all...


A January 1985 casting for the face.

The date in the Inspection decal above reveals the date everything has come together:
"60. 9. 12" - Showa 60. 9. 12. -  the 12th of September 1985.


December 1985 advert for the updated TOMEI TURBO wheel. Even a casual flick through the magazine will smash you in the face with half-a-page of the wheel design, right there on the outer edge. The writing may be a bit of nonsense, but that's sure a striking ad regardless..

And we're done. It's a classic.