July 8, 2015 9:27 pm - Published by


So hello everyone, I am new here at Combustion Punks and my name is James Parker. After reading a couple of great blogs on this website, I felt compelled to get involved and share my own story, so I got in contact with Matt, and well here I am!

I decided to call the blog Money Pit because, well, what project car isn’t, and it has been quite a journey from the day I bought it.

The way I wanted to structure this blog is to start from the very beginning, explain the predicament I was in car wise and what drove me to getting an 86. Then what I plan to do daily is write a different blog detailing all of the modifications I did in their own timeline, taking us up to the current day. Once I am up to date I can explain my current plans and where I want to take the car next.

At the moment I have a bucket load of parts, including turbo kit, sat in my room waiting to be bolted on the car, but more on that when we have caught up 😉

To start with, here is the car in it’s current up to date guise, with it sitting on the drive right now:



And here is one of the engine bay in it’s current guise:



A Few Details

Toyota GT86 non aero.


Got the SatNav and Parking sensor options (both free through dealer mistake, funny story!).

Mileage sits at 18k now (picked her up with roughly 10,500 on the clock May 2014).



Modifications so far

Japan Racing JR3’s 17×8″ ET35

TEIN Springs (25mm)

Blitz intake pipe and panel filter

ACT 6 puk heavy duty clutch and lightweight flywheel

Borla UEL Catless Manifold

IWS Developments Catless Front Pipe (2.5″)

IWS Developments overpipe (2.5″)

Invidia N1 Catback Exhaust

Samco Cooling Hose Kit

Front Strut Brace

Whiteline Positive Shift Kit

Fensport ECUTEK Remap with 4 custom maps, Launch Control, Flat Foot Shifting and Auto Blip.

230-235hp at the flywheel.


Modifications To Put On (Sat In My Room)

4.55 Revolution Final Drive

Beatrush Master Cylinder Brace

GFB Pulley Kit

Speed By Design Turbo Kit


Moving On

So let’s rewind then back to the very start of the journey, the day I picked it up from Colchester Toyota, and what my plans were at the time for the car.




A handsome thing in stock form isn’t it? I had read all about the car when it was first launched in 2012. I never paid too much attention to thereafter as I was having a “sensible stage, driving round an old Alfa Mito hatchback. I had read about it’s handling balance, driving position and substance as a true drivers car, but because I wasn’t in the position to consider a new car at the time, who cared about that?

Then It Happened

That all changed, when after a few months, a Toyota Dealership was up and trading near the Colchester United Football ground. At the time, I was spending a lot of time at my girlfriends house in Kelvedon and my trip into work meant I had to drive past the dealership on a daily basis. At the very front of this dealership was a Toyota GT86 on a stand. Around May time last year I had got to the point where I had saved enough money by being “sensible” with my cars, that theoretically I could move out with the missus and we would settle down.

But by being boring for 1 1/2 years with my cars, my petrolhead, childish urge in me was craving something a bit more exciting, a bit more urgent and most of all, something I could personalise. It was after the 3rd week of passing by the car on the stand, that I gave in to my urges one lunchtime at work, and went to have a look.

Once I got into the dealership, I prowled round the car initially like a vulture, assessing it’s stance, it’s curves and most of all it’s appeal to me as a driver.

gt86 inside


I sat inside, and the whole thing just screamed drive me, the seating position was perfect, seat bolted on to the floor giving you a nice low down viewpoint, steering wheel fully adjustable to meet you nice and closely chest height, and the gearstick had a lovely short throw. It was at that moment that something dangerous happened, I had already decided to myself that I wanted to get this thing on the road and potentially buy it.

So I jumped out and ordered a test drive of the car I was hopefully going to buy. I spotted a lovely Silver one on the system in Ipswich, which was an ex demo with 10k on the clock.  I had missed the initial depreciation and looked to be a perfect base to learn from and then personalise.

People say these cars don’t have enough power, me being one of them at first, but unless you drive one, trying to explain to someone how it feels is pretty much impossible. Everything just feels… well.. right.

On my relatively short drive with the dealer representative sat next to me, all this started to click into place. Whilst the engine was a bit breathless in the mid range, up top it sung its heart out, and it rewarded you for that by feeling eager and excitable. The turn in was positive thanks to the great steering feel, chassis really adjustable on power , and the gear change was lovely, short, and precise.

Decision Made

That was that, I  stepped out after 10 minutes and I signed away my mortgage savings immediately, which funnily enough made my girlfriend very mad (still making up for it). But do I regret it looking back? Absolutely not, the car has grown with me these past 14 months, I have learned to love it, and my journey has only just begun. Don’t once think I always thought that though.

There was a time when I did look back and wonder, but the more miles I put on it, the more enjoyment it yields, and with current modifications it is just a riot.  I have always wanted a project car, always wanted a RWD drivetrain and something relatively cheap, this just happened to fit the bill perfectly at that time in my life.

My passion has always been driving, motorsport and cars, if I said anything different I would be lying. I was worried that if  didn’t pull the trigger now and invest in a long term car I can build, it would never happen at all, so I am so glad I went with my heart and put my money where my mouth was.


Signing Off

So there we have it, I think it would be a nice note to end my first post on. If you see me around the Colchester area, be sure to give me a wave or flash of the lights, I am always happy to stop and chat to people.

I plan to now schedule these posts on the blog daily, and next up will a look back at the first 6 months of ownership and the first modifications I did to it.

In the meantime, if you made it this far, well done, and I will catch up with everyone again soon.


James P



Categorised in: ,


  • ScORTED says:

    Top intro, welcome. I too was very tempted by the GT86/BRZ when it was launched I tested both the paddle shift and the manual But decided it wasn’t a 30k car. I’m very interested to see where this goes 🙂

    James (ScORTED)

    • jamespk44 says:

      Hi James,

      Many thanks for the warm welcome, I will try and keep this updated as often as possible. They are closer to 25k brand new, but luckily I got mine for £18k with 10,000 demo car miles on the clock.

      I would never buy brand new any way as you just take the initial depreciation hit.

      Money is a bit of a stretch so improvements after turbo will be slow until the new year, but I will bring the entire blog up to date in the meantime so everyone can read about it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *