"A deal was struck, and we made the two-hour trip back to our hostel carrying them [Focus Racing] on the train during peak hour"
1982 Toyota Corona Mark II (GX61)
Name: Jesse Broughton
Location: GX Kingdom, Auckland
NZ Performance Car: Hey, Jesse, that’s one killer-looking Mark II. It’s not every day that you see them being thrashed around the corner at Meremere; what made you choose the X6 chassis?
Jesse: Thanks, guys. I had my first X6 chassis when I was 20 years old and always wanted to build one with enough power to have some fun in. The first one was a New Zealand–market version that comes stock with a live-axle diff, and the handling was terrible. I bought this Japanese version that has independent rear suspension from the factory and decided to chuck the new engine in.
I wanted to build something I could use fairly quickly and hone my skills in it, rather than take a few years building a Pro-Am–spec car
You’ve spiced it up by doing the 2JZ-GE non-turbo conversion — why did you opt for the NA version over the bigger-power GTE?
I guess price was a big factor. The difference between GE and GTE meant I could spend money in other departments, like wheels and suspension. The principle of the car was reliability, low, and wide 14s. I wanted to build something I could use fairly quickly and hone my skills in it, rather than take a few years building a Pro-Am–spec car and not actually see any seat time for the duration.
Those Focus Racing wheels really do set the car off, and we’ve heard they’re pretty rare — did you source them locally?
Actually, a friend and I were lost in Japan after a mission to Up Garage when I bought them [laughs]. We had jumped on a bus not knowing where it was going and got off after spotting a train station. While walking there, I caught a glimpse of a few wheels at the front of a very small store. We went in, and there was an older guy in some overalls playing with model aeroplanes. Translation was a struggle for a bit, but we eventually managed to find out that he used to race a Datsun 510, but these were never used, and they were new old stock. A deal was struck, and we made the two-hour trip back to our hostel carrying them on the train during peak hour.
Rad, what a way to find parts! But that’s not the only cool shit here — what’s the deal with that motorcycle-style throttle hanging off the steering column?
It’s made from a chopped-up BMX handlebar which is bolted to the steering column and a custom cable I had made at a brake shop. It works off the old auto-transmission cruise-control sleeve on the throttle body [meaning the foot pedal is still the primary option]. They are mostly used by bosozoku guys, just for making f*ckloads of noise. Either that or one of the rev sticks, it’s how the Jingle Bells 1G-GE video was made [Youtube that shit].
That’s something yet to make its way to our shores. Any future plans for the GX61?
Yeah, more wide 14s to skid on. A few more suspension components — roll-centre adjusters up front, BC Golds for the rear, and maybe play around with diff ratios. Otherwise to drive it as much as I can.
Cheers for the chat, Jesse.
Engine: Toyota 2JZ-GE (JZA80), pod filter
Drivetrain: Toyota W55 five-speed, Exedy five-puk clutch, locked 3.9:1-ratio differential
Interior: Custom motorcycle throttle, Droo-P fixed-back seat, Sabelt six-point harness, Peyton woodgrain steering wheel, cassette deck with detachable faceplate
Exterior: Chinsupo, rust, bog, rubber
Wheels/tyres: (F) 14x8-inch (-14) Enkei Focus Racing, 195/45R14 Toyo Proxes T1R, (R) 14x9-inch (-24) Enkei Focus Racing, 165/65R14 Linglong
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers; Keto Steering Systems lower control arms, knuckles, and caster rods