I have always wanted to have a project car with my dad. Always imagining spending every weekend in a garage, up to my elbows with grease and motor oil, wrenching away with my old man. Well, that did not happen. My old man isn’t a car nut like I am. Though, I hope I will be able to do it with my future son. Maybe I too can keep my pride and joy until my kid comes to that age where he can indulge into the passion that I have.
Eddie has always been into cars since during his younger days. Started off working on Mazda’s until he got married and started a family of his own. Being the responsible man he is, he has left his passion for motorsports on hold. Cue to the year 2006/07, Eddie has finally sorted out his priorities and it was time to go back to the car scene. At that time, Kenneth was still in high school and he vaguely remembered that he and his dad were in the market for a proper car that can double up as a family ride, and also for some spirited driving during the weekends. What better way for a father & son to bond than going hunting for potential cars to be modified to their likings? Every weekend was spent going around car dealers and importers to look at the cars that they had.
Eddie initially wanted to get a BMW E46 325i (one with SMG II gearbox) and was pretty serious in getting one, and eventually found a perfect candidate. A silver colored E46 325i equipped with the SMG II gearbox. Being a very particular guy, Eddie made a lot of inquires in regards to the gearbox. From the condition of the gearbox until the cost of maintaining one. In the end, he scrapped the idea of getting a BMW E46 because of the high maintenance cost. Also not forgetting that the cost to fix the said gearbox, IF, something happened, it would cost a bomb to repair or replace.
After that plan went out the window they were back to square one again. This time, Eddie was thinking about a more reliable car. What is more reliable than a Toyota? Eddie preferred a four-door sports saloon, as he is after all a family guy. This was when Kenneth initiated the idea of a Toyota Altezza.
At first Eddie was quite skeptical about the Altezza but they went ahead in looking for one anyway. They went through quite a number of Altezza’s but none of them captured their attention. Just when they were about to forgo their search, they eventually stumbled upon a fine looking Altezza (the car you are looking at right now), in a rare grey colored tone that they have yet to come across on any Altezza. In a heartbeat, the Altezza became a part of their family treasure. From then onwards, everything else was a history.
Throughout the years, as Kenneth was growing up, he was part of the process of building up the Altezza with his dad. That passion of his continued growing each day as they indulged more and more into the build. Kenneth has always told his dad that if he ever had the intention to sell the Altezza, he would have first dips on it. Fast forward to the year 2013, Kenneth has stepped foot into the working world and is getting his own income. Being brought up by a petrol head father, it came naturally that Kenneth himself is addicted to cars. At that point of time, Kenneth was in the market for his own project car. He was looking at the Nissan Silvia S13 and a Nissan Cefiro A31. Eddie stepped up to the plate and offered his prized possession to Kenneth. What a way to carry on a legacy.
Many times Kenneth has been thrown the same question; “Why are you driving such an old car? Why don’t you get a 2-door car? Why not a more modern car with better features and functions? You are still so young, why don’t you get something more fitting for your age?” Kenneth is just the complete opposite. He has been involved with the built since day 1, hence the personal connection with the car. Plus he loves the timeless looks of the car and not to mention the healthy roar of the high-revving NA engine from the 3SGE.
Throughout the years, the price of the Altezza has dropped drastically but personally, both Kenneth and I still thinks that it is worth more than what it is currently valued at. The Altezza is reliable as hell and trust me when I say this, that it is a lifesaver. Although there are many negative remarks thrown towards the Altezza, Kenneth personally believes that the car has high potentials. Ditto. You could ‘plonk’ in a 1JZ / 2JZ engine into the car, turbocharge the 3S or, like what Kenneth and Eddie has done, supercharging it.
According to Kenneth, the Altezza has gone through a lot of transformation since day one. The car started out its life as an automatic transmission, full-on daily driver. When they found William Chong of Trial Tuning/Riyoz Racing, things went a different direction in a flash. The automatic transmission was removed to give way to a manual transmission, and the engine was refreshed, balanced and fitted with oversized pistons.
A few more years down the road, came the mild cams and then the supercharger kit. The car is currently making decent reliable power and when the orgasmic wail of the supercharger kicks in, that is a different story for another day. Initial plans were to track the car, go for spirited touge runs while maintaining the ‘daily driven’ status. But at the moment, the father-son pair has other plans up their sleeves. That is again, another story for another day.
Kenneth and his dad are planning to continue developing the Altezza. Their next target is to see the car running a 4-throttle conversion, yet maintaining the supercharger. This is going to be epic when the ‘whine’ comes in while also making sweet melodic drama through the open throttles.
At the current moment, Kenneth and his dad is busy getting their hands dirty on another family project, but he will never forgo the Altezza just yet. He mentioned that the first time he drove the Altezza around, it was the happiest day of his life.
Kenneth has been waiting to drive the Altezza ever since the day the car came home with them. After many years of waiting, he finally gets to call the car his own.
– Stock body with TRD lips all round.
– Ducktail spoiler
– IS300 HID headlamps
– Late model Altezza fog-lamps
– Late model Altezza dark chrome taillights
– Recaro SR3 semi-bucket seats
– Personal Pole Position steering wheel
– Modellista cluster meter
– 6-speed manual
– Blitz supercharger
– HKS cams
– Aftermarket extractor
– Supercircuit custom mid-pipe
– Kakimoto Regu 06&R exhaust
– Lightened flywheel
– Endless brake pads
– K&N open pod filter with HKS intake pipe
– SARD fuel regulator
– D2 coil-overs
– Goodyear A2 tires (215/45/17)
– Apexi Power FC
– Custom airbox
– Cusco front tower bar
– Cusco anti roll bar
– Cusco oil catch tank
– Maintained with SPEEDMASTER oils
– Tuned by Riyoz Racing