For a little while I wasn’t really thinking too much about cars. I know what you are thinking. How can you not think about cars?! I hear you. I spend a lot of time thinking about my car and am always looking for a new project to start. Unfortunately, there were a few things that kind of pulled my attention for a while. One was focusing on work. For a while I was spending more and more time sitting in front of a computer doing work. The second was that I had some close friends leaving and was spending time with them and helping them move (there is a up side to that story as you will see later). The last was that the wife was constantly using my car, so I didn’t get to spend much time with it other than maintenance.

Well, things have changed! Remember that “up-side” of the story I was telling you about? My friend was moving and no longer needed his 1999 Toyota Starlet Glanza V. For those of you who haven’t heard of this car, it’s has a turbocharged¬†1.3 litre ¬†engine that puts out about about 130 hp. While that might not seem like much, the car itself is pretty tiny, weighing in at about 970kg (2138 lbs). It’s hard to find cars that light now days. To give you context, the new Toyota FT-86 (Scion FR-S) weighs 1251kg (2,758lbs). The Starlet even weighs less than my roadster (Miata)!

My friend took immaculate care of it and had been tuning it for the last 8 years. The engine internals are mostly still stock, but just about everything else on the car (turbo, intercooler, ecu, suspension, BOV, stereo, tires, rims, racing seat, steering wheel) has been upgraded. It’s a pretty fun car.

Since it will seat 5 people and has more cargo space, this is actually now my wife’s car. That means I get my roadster back. Since she wanted the car to be more easy to drive, I got upgrades for my car. I put her seat and and steering wheel back to stock.

I ordered a bride seat rail, and swapped out my beat up Full bucket Sparco EVO for the semi-bucket JDM Bride Ergo. It is much easier to get in and out of the car now. It’s also nice to be able to make adjustments without having to remove the whole seat.

I also swapped out my old wheels and tires for a new set. I live on a small island which means that the roads have a lot of debris and a lot of salt in the air. The chrome from the pervious wheels was basically destroyed.

Unfortunately wheels and tires here in Japan are extremely expensive so I found a set in decent shape that had pretty new tires for a much lower cost. I still need to clean them up a bit, but they look much better than they did before.

The Apexi CAI was put on for a couple of months, but then recently removed. It sounded great, but didn’t really add any power. It actually felt as though it took away a little low end torque.

I have added a GoPro Camera to my tools and will be making some cool videos soon. These pictures where actually all taken with the new camera.


  1. says:

    Congrats on the Starlet, I hope you’ll visit our site and join our forums since not many of our members actually take so many pics of their cars or let us know much about the Japan car scene. I was impressed when I visited Japan myself though, anyway hope to see you on the forums and feel free to link to some of your posts here when visiting.