Barry Manon needs no introduction in the import scene, and neither does his Toyota Levin. Barry has owned this particular car since 2006, and it’s been through several facelifts and upgrades during Barry's near decade of ownership. After owning it for only six months, Barry converted the Levin to a 7A block, with a 16-valve head. He then added a turbocharger for good measure, and the next thing he knew, his 7A-GTE combination was producing a stonking 330kW (443hp) at the wheels — a 330kW Levin that Barry used to drive daily to university! It was no joke, punching out a 10.88-second quarter-mile in 2010.

In 2008, Barry made the move away from the drag strip and focused his efforts on the circuit. He competed in NZ Superlap back in 2008, coming second in Street class at Pukekohe and first at Taupo. After taking a few years off to develop his business MRP — many of MRP’s components are showcased on the Levin — he’s back in the game, but this time with a car that’s seen some serious development.

Barry designed several aero components himself, and replaced the 16-valve head with a black-top 20-valve head from a later-generation Levin. The move has paid off, and can be seen in his results. At round one of this year’s NZ Superlap, Barry managed to wrangle the 400kW-plus front-wheel drive to a 1:12 around Hampton Downs Motorsport Park — although, in the past, he has managed an impressive 1:10.73. After suffering a gearbox failure, Barry was out for the count, but would come back stronger than ever during the next round. One of the coolest things about Barry’s AE92 is that he drives it to and from the track, and it’s fully road legal — pioneering that true hyper–street car attitude.

1988 Toyota Levin GTZ (AE92)


  • Model: Toyota 7A-FE, 1800cc, four-cylinder
  • Block: MRP 1900cc stroker kit, 90mm MRP billet 4340 custom crank, MRP billet 4340 long rod set-up, custom MRP CP pistons, MRP crank girdle, Toda billet oil pump gears
  • Head: Factory 20-valve black-top head, Custom 7/16 ARP head studs, TRD head gasket, Supertech valve springs, Tomei VVT Poncams, Gates Racing timing belt,
  • Intake: Factory individual throttle bodies bored to 47mm, MRP two-piece plenum with velocity stacks,
  • Turbo: Turbonetics T3/T4 billet with billet compressor wheel, custom twin-scroll manifold
  • Wastegate: Two 38mm TiAL wastegates
  • Fuel: E85 AEM intank fuel pump, surge tank, 1250cc FIC injectors, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, modified factory fuel tank
  • Ignition: M&W CDI, Magnecor ignition leads, Denso spark plugs, Mitsubishi Evo coil packs
  • Exhaust: Three-inch stainless steel system, Varex muffler
  • Cooling: HDi GT2 tube and fin intercooler, Setrab oil cooler, MRP thermostatic adapter plate, Audi alloy radiator with swirl pot, 10-inch electric fan, eight-inch electric fan
  • ECU: Autronic SMC
  • Other: Custom alloy catch can


  • Gearbox: Toyota E52 five-speed gearbox, 4A-GZE gearset
  • Clutch: MRP Tilton twin-plate
  • Flywheel: Billet
  • Diff: TRD
  • Other: Billet axles


  • Struts: Fortune Auto 510 coilovers, Swift springs
  • Brakes: Braided brake lines, (F) Wilwood Superlite four-pot calipers, 300mm Wilwood two-piece discs, (R) factory, Endless brake pads
  • Other: Half cage


  • Wheels: 17x9-inch JNC001
  • Tyres: 255/40R17 Hankook Z221


  • Paint: Custom blue pearl
  • Enhancements: Custom front lip, splitter, and undertray, universal fit flares
  • Other: Signwriting by Attract Signs


  • Seats: Border bucket seats
  • Steering wheel: Sparco
  • Instrumentation: Auto Meter boost, oil pressure, water temperature, and oil temperature gauges
  • Other: TRD gear knob


  • Power: 410kW (549hp) at the wheels on 26 psi of boost
  • Hampton Downs: 1:10.73  

Driver profile

  • Driver/owner: Barry Manon
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Auckland
  • Build time: 9 years
  • Length of ownership: 9 years  
  • Thanks: Fortune Auto, Turbonetics, Mike from Mspec, Manon Butler Motors, Carl Robertson, Chris Burrett

This vehicle was featured in NZ Performance Car Issue No. 228. Grab a print copy or a digital copy to add to your collection below:

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.