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Readers' Cars

Jaguar, 2 Skylines and a Toyota T18.

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Jaguar Junkie

Jan Wikstrom used to be a motoring journo himself and dared to call us "kids" in a recent e-mail. But out of respect, we've let down our guard and included his Jaguar XJ12C on our site for you to admire.

It's a 1977 Series 2 model powered by Jaguar's all-alloy 5.3 litre V12. Originally destined for endurance racing, the bottom end can endure 8,000 rpm all day (not that Jan tests it like that!). The coupe (of which only 90 came to Oz) came with a high 9.0:1 compression ratio engine and produces about 300hp at just shy of 6,000revs. The V12 has "torque that just won't quit" and it's sooo smooth.

The trans is a GM Turbo 400 whose only virtue is great strength, according to Jan. With good power and aerodynamics, the car's alleged top speed is 240km/h with acceleration from 0-100km/h (62.5mph) taking 7.8 seconds. Fuel consumption, is 20-24 l/100km (9.6-11.5mpg!) but as he says, you need to buy an new XR8 to keep up in a current car - and the A$160,000 difference buys a lot of Super!

The coupe is based on the short-wheelbase model's floor plan and so when Jaguar stopped production of the short-wheelbase 4-door, the floor-pan supply dried up and so did the coupe. On Jan's site he dispels myths of the V12's complexity and unreliability. All you need is a shady tree, a jack or ramps, a grease gun and normal tools. The factory Repair Operations manual and Owner's Handbook make life working on a Jag much easier too.

The big cat has some pretty cutting-edge technology in it (from that era, anyway) - four wheel discs, IRS, central locking, power steering, electric windows and a "walnut gentleman's club interior". Just the thing for older people, eh?!

Terror T18!

Being a uni student Mark has had to modify his T18 on a very tight budget, focussing mainly on performance rather than appearance or the sound system. Looking at his burnout shots, we reckon he's enjoying this a heap more than an expensive two-pack respray....

Powered by Toyota's 3T-C 1770cc 4-cylinder engine, around 120hp is produced by the modified engine. It breathes through a re-jetted Weber 28/36, Ramflo/Lynx air filter while the head is rebuilt with a ported exhaust side, Crow dual valve springs and a Crow 280i/286e 0.4007 lift reground cam. Improved ignition performance is provided by an Echlin coil, NGK plugs and Top Gun 8mm leads. The exhaust uses tuned 2-inch pipes and a single glass-pack muffler.

Outside the T18 2-door looks vastly better with 13-inch Cheviot Hotwires fitted with 205/60 Falkens. Inside there's an interesting mixture of components; a pair of 12-inch subs, an NYS 250W amp, Nippon door-mounted speakers, 7-inch Voxson seat speakers ("le velcro'd to the back seat") all wired up to a "crappy radio and GE". A short-shifter and SAAS steering wheel rounds up the interior package.

A G-Tech performance timer has been stuck to the front window and has credited the car with a 0-100 time in about 9 seconds and ? time of 16.5 seconds. Mark says it has "'nuff grunt to wipe the floor against a 1996 Falcon wagon". Apparently his mate wasn't too happy about that one...

But big plans await the humble T18. You see, there's this 3T-GTE engine with a dirty big T03/4 hybrid in the wings which will hopefully be going into the car early 1999. It's hoped around 380-400hp should be realised - which will thoroughly spit-and-polish the floor against a 4-litre Falcon!

Gas Turbo Skyline

After months of toiling away with a Datsun 1600 which was to be fitted with a turbocharger and LP gas, Rob Ward of Adelaide turned his attention towards this R30 Skyline. Why? With its superior chassis and aerodynamics it would surely be a much better platform - plus it already had LP gas fitted. With the car's original 2.4 litre motor still in place, Rob managed to secure a complete 280ZX turbo kit which included manifolds, oil feed and return pipes - the works.

The car uses a modified 280ZX throttle body which has dual throttle bodies; one 25mm, the other around 38mm. Another throttle body (the original L24 item) is plumbed into the compressor inlet pipe. This prevents possible backfiring on gearchanges and also better transient response. The 280ZX intake manifold has had its injector holes plugged up with short lengths of lathe machined aluminium hex bar. This was needed because the car no longer requires any fuel injectors - it runs on LP gas only. It uses an OHG type converter (similar in size to Impco L-series) and will soon have a different gas lock on the J-size converter, as it cannot flow enough.

The whole exhaust is done in 2? inch mandrel bends from the turbo through to the driveshafts, where it changes to 2? inch from there back. A breathe-easy straight-through muffler is used. To cool intake temperatures that have been boosted by the turbo, an R31 air-to-air intercooler is mounted in front of the air con condenser, with all pipe work performed by friend Colin Townsend (owner the turbo-gas Valiant featured in AutoSpeed). Looking at the pictures, you can see that a beautifully integrated factory look has been achieved.

After only 5 weeks the car was up and running. On 5psi boost with standard ignition timing, the engine made 96kW at wheels, while on 7psi it went up to 102kW but detonation was starting to creep in an this point. With some extra fuel added and the ignition timing backed off, the result was 113kW (151hp) at 8psi.

All from an engine that's traveled 234,000kms and running on "taxi fuel". You can find out more about the car and "trials and tribulations" here.

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