At long last! Some free time arose, I snatched it and ran for the hills. Rodney, my 2004 Toyota Altezza has been somewhat neglected lately, sitting dust-covered in my downstairs garage. A pile at work mounded though and there were a few cheeky upgrades I wanted to install. Before any of this could happen, though, the Altezza was well overdue for a detailing session. I kicked it in the guts, snow-foamed, rinsed, cleaned and coated it. Then, pushed it back in the garage.
After a long wait, our Nardi shipment landed at work. And, with this order was my Nardi-produced Personal Grinta steering wheel, measuring 330mm and wrapped in suede, stitched together with yellow thread. Honestly, I never have seen anything so gorgeous in my life!
nother interior you will no doubt spot is the addition of a Recaro SPG-N fixed-back seat. I have wanted a Recaro SPG for longer than I can remember, so when this leather with red stitching SPG came up for sale on my local community page, I jumped on after minutes of it being posted for sale. I didn’t care too much about the size, as the price was crazy. However, I was surprised to find it fits me perfectly. To me, the interior is now just how I like it.
The next issue to tackle was my braking. Over the year I have had the brake kit on, I have noticed the braking has gotten progressively worse. After some thought, I thought it may be a similar issue I had with my Subaru, Rex. With pads not up to the task of the abuse, I had managed to glaze the pad right over itself and, I had done the same with Rodney.
After discussion with William Au-Yeung of PZ Tuning (yeah, that guy!) he recommended I try the DTC Hawk range. After talking about the driving I do, he thought I should give the DTC50 a try. So, in they went and god damn, the bite and overall braking is phenomenal! I cannot wait to get them out onto the track.
Alright, everything is done. The wheel is on, pads in, and a few little things tidied up. I got invited down to a drift event to witness the debut of a good friend’s new project, so I made my way down State Highway one, exited off at Hampton Downs and ended up outside the Toyota New Zealand racing facility. Now dubbed ‘GR’ after the release of the new Supra, the colours matched my theme perfectly; red and black.
I couldn’t help but enjoy shooting the Altezza outside this facility. Inside, purpose-built race cars are built with mega budgets. Outside, my Altezza was parked — a car built with the sole purpose of being affordable fun. Maybe one day, you never know where you will end up in life. All I can hope for is that I have a shed some day half as big, with a hoist. Then I will be happy.