Hey, my name is David Van Der Haas. I’m not a very good spectator, I feel frustrated if I am not part of the fun. So going to speedway etc as a kid, stuck on the sidelines… This didn't interest me so I didn’t really understand the appeal of cars.
When I got my license, though, everything changed! Having a car with a full tank of gas gave me a sense of freedom like nothing else I’ve experienced. Things escalated from there, now I’m the “car guy” of the family, haha.
Why did you choose the Carina?
I previously had a more modern vehicle for track days, which I found very frustrating to work on. Many jobs required the whole engine out in order to remedy a reasonably simple issue.
Or, you needed an arm with three elbows in order to undo that last bolt. This made fixing things while at the track an unpleasant experience, if not impossible.
Switching to a front engine RWD chassis, means a lot of these tasks are now very simple.
This means more time on the track and less time on the sidelines. An older car made sense to me, as they’re generally smaller and lighter than modern equivalents.
What upgrades and work has been carried out to the Carina?
It started life with a four-speed gearbox and a 3AU engine (single-cam carbureted 1.5-litre engine). It also had a lot of rust, haha! Every removable panel from the car was binned due to rust. The actual shell of the car was a good starting point, though, so it got a panel and paint after some better panels were found.
It’s now gone to a more modern twin cam two-litre engine, six-speed gearbox, and it has some more modern tricks up its sleeve. As well as much better suspension and brakes etc.
I’ve spent a lot of time fine tuning the suspension to get it handling nicely at the track, while still being nice on the road. There’s been a lot of trial and error on nearly everything to get to this stage where it’s handling nicely and has decent reliability.
What class/event do you wish to take part in?
Street Class, Prowear NZ Superlap series.
Images: David Van Der Haas
Vehicle: 1983 AA60 Toyota Carina Coupe
Engine: Rebuilt and balanced VVT-i BEAMS 3SGE engine from a Gen 5 SW20 MR2, 11:1 pistons, ported head, 440cc inboard/1000cc outboard injectors, Link G4+ Xtreme running E-throttle, launch control, cruise control, staged injection, knock sensing, 100hz data logging, Aim LCU one wideband controller, modified 4-2-1 HKS headers, 2.5-inch mandrel bent exhaust, 8200rpm rev limit
Driveline: TODA Chromoly flywheel, Exedy heavy-duty clutch, Altezza six-speed gearbox, F-series diff setup from an MA40 GT Celica, Cusco one-way LSD set to mildest settings
Suspension: AT141 Corona struts converted to Coilovers, 6kgmm front/3.5kgmm rear springs, Cusco camber tops, T3 rose-jointed castor arms, T3 RCAs, custom front swaybar, Whiteline rose-jointed Panhard rod
Brakes: (Front) Nissan R33 four-pot calipers, Citroen Xantia Brembo discs with Ferodo DS2200 pads (Rear) Nissan P11 Primera vented discs, Facelift SW20 MR2 rear calipers Wilwood bias valve
Wheels/tyres: 15x7-inch (-2mm offset) Impul ProSpoke, 205/50R15 Advan AD08Rs
Interior: Full interior, apart from sound deadening removed, factory dash cluster gauges converted to digital input and recalibrated to work with a more modern engine
Power: Estimated 130kW (at the wheels)
Lap times: 1:21.7 at Hampton Downs on Advan AD08R