As human beings, we’re constantly learning, questioning and gaining new knowledge of the things that we’re passionate about. For me, and no doubt you as well if you’re reading these words, that means every day I’m excited to learn more about car culture. Just over a week ago, Paddy and myself flew to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, to go Speedhunting. To be honest I didn’t know what to expect… and I’m still trying to take it all in. Rod had set up a feature with the beautifully aggressive Volkswagen Caddy that you see here, but the rest of the three day adventure was yet to be confirmed. In fact, Rod might well have mentioned what else was on the agenda, but as soon as I saw a photo of this 1JZ-powered VW on my phone, I lost track of everything else that was happening.
Was I excited? Damn straight. Seeing a car build like this and not knowing anything about how it came about is pretty exciting from a storytelling point of view. I had so many questions: was it a no-limit, chequebook-out type of build? A big money demo car? Who owned this absolute weapon and what were their plans for it? But allow me to explain the answers to those questions in just a moment whilst I take a brief trip back in time.
Y’see, there’s something very special about this Caddy. It reminds me of the mental cars that used to find their way onto magazine covers here in the UK back at the turn of the millenium. In the late ’90s and early ’00s two car builders stick firmly in my mind for pushing the boundaries of what was possible. Ian Birch of Dubsport fame was one of these guys; he put together many rear-engine conversions and a handful of twin-engine powered cars (all of the VW variety) that graced the covers of many automotive magazines. Another name you might remember, if you were into the turbocharged Ford scene, is Squint of MJS Performance and his positively bananas rear-engined Ford Escort and even more insane twin-engined RS Turbo pick-up truck. These builds were the ultimate pinnacle of insanity, albeit of a good kind.
But then much of this awesome shoehorning of big power motors into places they didn’t really belong seemed to kind of stop in the UK. Sure, it still happened. But in the VW community there was a shift toward factory-look motors with big power or very clean engine swaps that looked awesome, but didn’t really gain any sort of high score bonus for mentalism.
And that’s why I think this 1JZ-powered Volkswagen Caddy truck, which has been lovingly built by its inspirational owner, Viktor Martensson, is so very special. Not only does it bring together a crazy engine swap and elements of different car cultures but he and his friends at the Japcrap Bombsquad are all about having fun with their bonkers automotive creations. Viktor and his friends embody everything I love about the automotive scene. This guy started out as a humble metal worker in Stockholm, and with the help of the Japcrap Bombsquad, has put together a vehicle that he is able to have stacks of fun with.
I’m fascinated by the pure insanity of the build. Simply down to the fact that it breaks all of the rules. This Caddy is a perfect Euro/JDM mash-up and Viktor has also managed to combine many elements of various scenes to create a car that everyone seems to be talking about. It’s all-encompassing. This vehicle represents the Euro, drift, JDM and stance movement all in one hit. It’s a German car that’s been created by a clever Swedish guy using Japanese power. With this in mind it could be some sort of United Nations car culture project!
From the outside it may look like just a pretty bonkers Volkswagen Caddy with a side-exit exhaust. But actually, there’s a whole other complete car involved in the build, as well a load of fabrication work. Rather than just fit the engine from a Soarer, Viktor completely re-engineered the whole body. The front end is pretty much all Soarer with the Caddy panels cleverly disguising the happenings from this dead-side shot. The rear sub-frame is all Soarer too. Rod put it better than I could on the shoot when he said, “There’s a ghost of a Soarer living inside that Caddy.”
Maybe that ghost is why the front of the Caddy almost has a personality; a kind of mad, one-eyed face that shouts, “I’m gonna physically harm you if you don’t get out of my way!” And Viktor’s not afraid to push his latest creation as these awesome photos taken by Paddy at the incredible Gröndal Eskilstuna Motorsport Arena show.
In fact, I found it pretty hard to believe that this was only the second outing for the car and the first time it had been used to its full potential in its current guise. Viktor has recently made some changes to make the Caddy more track compliant. The external wastegate used to sing its battle cry via a wild screamer pipe that looked similar to the handbrake and gear shifters used inside the car. This screamer pipe exited straight up out of the engine bay and looked crazy, but also sounded pretty violent, too. Violent in a good way, that is… unless, of course, you’re a racetrack scrutineer with a dB meter. With noise reduction being the name of the game, Viktor has re-engineered his Caddy’s turbo’s wastegate system. Despite this though, the motor still sounds very tough indeed.
It’s a deliciously smooth straight-six sound that the 1JZ turbo lump serves up. A sound that is completely unexpected. It’s not something you associate with a VW and certainly not a little Caddy truck. The smooth engine note is complemented by the equally slick rolling stock which this vehicle sits on. The OZ Racing Futura is one of my all-time favourite wheels and Viktor is running some super-wide 17×10-inch items out back…
… with a pair of 17×8.5-inch versions up front. At the moment the vehicle is still being developed, so this set-up could change but the stance of the vehicle is pretty much right on the money if you’re a fan of aggressive wheel fitment. Personally, I love the look. The timeless design might make me slightly biased, but I can think of no better wheel set-up; the Futuras add a classic blend of style to this nutty build.
And speaking of the build here’s the man responsible. Viktor’s first car was an E30 BMW, so rear-wheel drive vehicles are his roots. His fabrication skills were learned first before he became accomplished in vehicle bodywork. In fact it would seem that this guy is very much into trying his hand at everything.
The dash installation, wiring and cool little touches inside the Caddy are all Viktor’s own handiwork and an expression of his personality. I for one really like it when people inject some of their personality into a build rather than simply installing ‘must have’ parts in an effort to tick boxes.
This car has been built for the driver. Everything is exactly where it should be. Sit in the hot seat and you can easily access the well positioned gear shifter and the hydro-handbrake (or e-brake for people in America). Despite the Caddy having the looks of a stance car, this is very much a driving machine.
The top of the S13 dash pod more than hints at the seriousness of the pedal box conversion that Viktor carried out.
OBP, or Optimum Balance Products as they’re also known, have been used to ensure that the Caddy is even further focused towards the driver. Viktor used to be into Moto X racing, and despite it only being his second time driving the Caddy, out on track it was very apparent that he’s a natural drifter.
A further view of the interior shows that this is very much a function over form affair. It’s something that I really admire: I like cars that have a clear theme throughout. Just look at this photo. The interior’s just so raw! It’s totally in keeping with the rest of the build and hits home how angry this car is. In fact, it’s beyond angry. It’s super mad!
But this is just the beginning. Viktor and his crew have got more plans for the Caddy and its heart, the 1JZ motor. Just a few days before the shoot the car was dyno tested at 310 wheel horsepower. That was at 0.6 bar of boost, so there’s still a lot more to come from the engine.
So then… about that 1JZ motor. As you can imagine the swap was not at all easy. Viktor actually had the Caddy sat around in his workshop for four or five years, but didn’t ever start the project. Then a turbocharged ’91 Soarer packing the all-important 1JZ motor came into his possession and 12 months of hard work commenced.
The front end of the Soarer has been expertly grafted onto the Volkswagen Caddy. Soarer suspension parts have been used throughout and that includes the 5×114.3 hubs allowing for more interesting wheel fitment than the usual 4×100 Caddy offerings.
Parts-wise, Viktor has opted to use a mixture of basically anything he can get his hands on. Some parts have been specifically sourced for the build, like this Tial wastegate, whilst other parts have been gained from other builds or sourced at a bargain price. I’m really into this hunter-gatherer ethos and the result is a machine that commands respect. It’s clear that this truck has been built by someone who’s resourceful as well as inventive.
One thing’s for sure: this car has a massive character about it. You can’t not like its quirky demeanour. Even the engine bay screams coolness with its purple and black combo working so well alongside everything else in the build.
Forcing air into the motor is this GT35 turbo; the sound is absolutely incredible. The fuel consumption is pretty insane too… with the turbocharger allowing the 1JZ motor to eat 10 gallons of fuel in less than 120 miles when being used to its full potential!
A birds-eye view of the motor install shows how far back the lump sits. The install is tight up to the bulkhead and clearly this is nice for weight distribution. A testament to Viktor’s fabrication work is how well this car drifts. I went for a ride in the passenger seat and it was a pretty cool experience… if this is how it feels now, I’d definitely like another ride along when the car has been developed further.
The side-exit further highlights the pure craziness of this build. You’ll no doubt hear this car coming before you see it courtesy of the twin two-inch exhausts.
And I really do hope that you get to see this car in the metal. I hope you get to hear that 1JZ motor sweetly and smoothly howling around a track because believe me – it’s a real treat for the eyes and the ears. It’s lovely to see a VW built with no element of predictability. This is out-of-the-box thinking and execution at its very best.
Viktor has taken the element of craziness that was around maybe 12-15 years ago in the Volkswagen scene, and of course other scenes too, and he has applied it to his amazing Caddy build. Furthermore, the dialled-in stance ensures that this car has a very modern twist to the theme and that makes it super cool in my opinion.
On the day of the shoot Viktor’s Caddy put a massive smile on the face of everyone who saw it and you can’t help but admire his ingenious approach to the build. This isn’t a big money build. Quite the opposite – it’s very much a blood and sweat type of affair. Viktor and the Japcrap Bombsquad are bringing together the best of many different car cultures and are also having loads of fun in the cars that they build together. And that is, without a doubt, something everyone into car culture should celebrate.
Additional photos by Rod Chong
Viktor Martensson’s 1JZ-powered VW Caddy
Toyota 1JZ motor, GT3582r turbo, Tial 38mm wastegate, 3″ downpipe, aftermarket plenum with 80mm throttle body, BMW F10 radiator with two 12″ electric fans, 19 row oilcooler, GReddy blow off valve
BMW ZF gearbox, ACT paddle clutch, home made driveshafts
BC Racing BR coilovers, stock Toyota Soarer brakes
OZ Racing Futura 17×8.5 (front), 17×10 (rear), Federal SS595 195/40/17 (front) and Nankang NS-II 215/40/17 (rear)
Full respray in Japcrap purple, home made wide fender, side exit exhaust, complete custom rear bay with 10 gallon fuel cell
Flocked modified Nissan S13 dashboard, home made eight-point roll cage, hydraulic handbrake, Sparco Sprint seats
Photo by Paddy McGrath
Photo by Paddy McGrath
Photo by Paddy McGrath
Photo by Paddy McGrath
Photo by Paddy McGrath
Photo by Paddy McGrath
Photo by Rod Chong
Photo by Rod Chong
10 gallons of gasoline for 120 miles of drifting is not bad. Why are saying that? Ten gallons means 37 litres for 200 km. That's 16l/100km. I'm doing 12l/100kmh in a Soarer for normal use. And its stock.
Also, again, this new site is AWFUL.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EdWH-k61N0 here you go guys:)
Ohh i'm so jealous about your job right now ! nice machine ! if "he" can talk i wonder .. what language that it will be
im really digging this one. is there a video of this thing around. ill like to see it in action. crazy truck builds are one the rise i see. the gtr faced truck, the little drag nissan truck with the vq swap , and now this. nice pics and article
while this is not really my kind of thing, i am very impressed with the build, and the finished product looks very badass!
What happened to it?
My favorite speedhunters article! Seriously, this really encompasses all the right things in my opinion. I'm speechless
I absolutely love this Caddy....but I'd love it just that little bit more if the rear diff was shorter and those amazing Futura's had more dish!
It's not a proper drift machine until it's got some battle scars and damage, it's just way too polished and shiny haha.
Intersecting build, would never think to use that chassis for drift. Been seeing more drift pickups recently.
Absolutely astounding. Much like everyone else, the builds to come out of this region of the world continue to blow my mind. Thank you Paddy and the rest of the Speedhunters crew for sharing this excellence! And does anyone have anymore info on the rear engine escort or twin engine pickup?
Awesome. I am constantly astounded by the mental cars of Sweden. They don`t seem to care about trends and fads, just building what they want. Which generally seems to be fast, well engineered and crazy cars. Go Sweden.
Absolutely sick (asides from the crappy BC coilovers).
One question, why does he rock a "Japcrap" banner and rocks a 1JZ? I don't get it.
@atodorock99 Go home and get a long sleep bruh! You have no friggin idea about japanese cars!
@dadecode Haha. I'm glad it makes you smile. It's even better in the metal. Such a fun build!
@hanablemoore Pleased you enjoyed the story. No videos that I have seen, although YouTube might turn some up. We need to start taking short little video clips that can be added to the stories. I'd really like to see that happen.
@Peter Miles Thanks Big Pete!
@StuartBurns Oh so raw!
@LouisYio The Engineeredtoslide boys have been busy with a 370z for a while (it'll be about 10months since I've seen either) I've heard around that'll be at world time attack as a drifter this year. Can anyone else shed some light??
@otar Thanks for the kind words. It was quite an adventure to make this story come to life. Well worth the effort though!
@apex_DNA well ok then :>
@Spaghetti The car is still in development - aren't they always? So these things may well hapen!
@KietaPhillips Very cool choice of chassis!
@bradjh 5D MKIII & a combination of lenses (24-105 L & 135 L)
@ConnorKellerman I will see what I can dig out on the Escort builds.
@JDMized Yes, like Paddy says, it's just tongue-in-cheek irony.
@JDMized Just out of curiosity why do you say BC coils are crappy? They are probably one of the better affordable coils out there.There are better options but there are also faaaaaar worse choices as well.
@JDMized I think it's just an ironic name. Their other car is an RB26 180SX which also falls under the same club banner.
@RodChong Interesting, I guess it does look a bit like Midnight Purple.
Gents I hate to piss on your parades, Nigel (Engineeredtoslide) has the drift ute nearly finished, he's just finished the wiring loom and had it mapped
check that shiz out
@KietaPhillips The thing, you JUST started using them. Give it few months (or 6 months)....then you will see what I am talking about.
Read what apex_DNA wrote. BC Racing like Megan Racing, like Raceland and many others, are just a bunch of garbage. Your BC Racing WILL start having issues. The quality of the components INSIDE the shocks are machined at very low tolerance. Anyway, that's your ride and your choice.
I think this build is sick, but the guy obviously skipped on the suspension department. A set of Ohlins or Bilstein would have fit the bill better IMO.
@DaveT @JDMized Because it's another Chinese coilover under a different name...I mean if Japanese coilovers are sorta crappy (depending on the price range of course) compared to European offerings, how do you thing Chinese-made crap even stacks up? Affordable shouldn't even be in the same sentence, because you'll have to upgrade to something better in the future anyways...
@apex_DNA @Daode Until you gravel trap it and you'll be grateful there what's holding your bar on!! Lol
Don't worry, they attack me too. Much like everyone else on here. I dunno what to say, grow some skin.
Whether or not your friends track their cars frequently, those BC Racing won't have a long life.
Now the question is: wouldn't it suck to change coilovers soon? (soon is very subjective matter I know). Personally I wouldn't want to change brand (unless something is broken) more frequently than 5 years.
If you track your car, you would want to send them in (to the company) and have them rebuild (if you're serious about tracking). If you are a hard parker, probably not.
At the end, it's just a bunch of money dumped into a hobby. Up to the Caddy guy what he wants to do. It seems he trashes his VW nicely, which I'm all for it.
I see a 1JZ swap, with all the bells and whistles (Wiggins Clamps and what not).....I don't see why skimping on shitty coilovers.
That's my argument. (nothing to do with my POS Civic, my lack of windshield wiper, my vinyl, nothing about my daily).
I think we should keep the discussion about THIS feature.
@JDMizedYou've been driving around for years with no wipers in the rain you're the idiot :)
@JDMized It's true most of my friends do not have dedicated track cars. This doesn't mean they have not seen track time.I have a love hate relationship with MotoIQ. They often have great info but they can at times personally attack people for no real reason other than a difference of opinion.I DO know that shock dynos have proven that BC's adjustment is far less than they advertise.
@DaveT Maybe your friends don't track their cars. That I don't know. Since my words are just words, and whatever I say is shit (Domokun reminds me on a regular basis).
I would suggest you log onto www.MotoIQ.com and ask those QUALIFIED engineers what they think of BC Racing, and if they ever had any issues.
@DomoKun Dude, you are a straight up idiot! What does my Civic have anything to do with the argument we are having here?
I said, the Caddy is sick, and the BC Racing coilovers are garbage! Yes I tried them personally and do not recommend them.
If you look a bit further than your nose, I have THOUSANDS pics on my flickr, with shit I broke myself, or car parts destroyed from friends or acquaintance. Get off my nuts!
@DomoKun Domokun. I owned a WRX prior to the Coupe and the Hatch (Civic). I did have BC coilovers. Who is talking shit?
@JDMized @KietaPhillips Or he could have went the classic Koni/Eibach combo...and it probably could be had for pennies on the dollar too, with close proximity to both manufactures and all.
@JDMized I just find it weird that I also know a handful of people who have had no issues with BC coils. I'm actually surprised (Based on your other comments) that you would run BC coils. Most people who bash them have never run them and are just doing so based on name/price point.
@JDMized You talk some shit have YOU ever used the coilovers in question? You drive around in car with no wipers in the rain for years as you said. Your opinion on anything car related after doing such a retarded thing is void. You drive in the rain with no wipers you're a danger to yourself and everybody around you when your in your vinyled up civic. Then you get home and come on here trolling telling people whats what dude you need to take a look at yourself lol.
@KietaPhillips You're right, not everyone drives the same. Some people beat the living shit out of their cars. Others don't drive it that much, while others just go to car meets and shoot the shit.
Either way like I said, I'll be VERY surprised if your coilovers will last over a year without issues.
@DaveT Why do you think "I'm assuming".
Have you asked yourself:
"Maybe Alex has tried them?
Maybe Alex's friends tried them and they blew?
Maybe Alex has seen the internal components (hardware of the BC coilovers) and are truly garbage"
What I am getting at, I have seen LOTS of Chinese coilovers' internal. Many blown one, and even driven few of them. I am not an expert, but I've seen my share of Chinese garbage. Experienced first hand and second hand.
@JDMized I usually give it a year before deciding, not everyone drives the same and when I get a new set we'll see.
@DaveT @KietaPhillips @JDMized You can't have it all as they say...I rather have a good damper with cosmetic flaws then the opposite. As for Eibach, aren't they guaranteed not to sag past a certain percentage? Another thing is you should've matched dampening with the springs you were using...otherwise they end up "fighting" each other (I'm not sure if that makes any sense). You could've also used Ground Control sleeves with custom spring rates (up to 550 lbs on non-revalved "yellows").
@JDMized @KietaPhillips Koni is definitely in top 5 when it comes to dampers i.e shocks...and speaking of funds, they're the "affordable" ones of the bunch.
@apex_DNA @DaveT @KietaPhillips @JDMized *shrug* I feel I got a good return for my dollar on my bc coils and I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again but I doubt I can convince you otherwise so I will let it die here.At the same time this does not mean I wouldn't consider other options (KWs seem to review great).
@DaveT @KietaPhillips @JDMized Being on the budget does not make it an excuse to buy crap. Your factory spring and shock combo is probably better designed than any Chinese or lower-end Japanese coil-over. You either go big or go home as they say, anything else and you're wasting money that could've been easily used on something worth paying for.
@DaveT @KietaPhillips @apex_DNA Crappy means very low tollerance in terms of internal hardware. The piston/seal don't actually seal properly and leak thru the chambers. (not outside the shock, but from chamber to chamber). The material choice is not great either. The finishing sucks too.
Essentially you get what you pay for. You cannot expect much R&D in a set of shocks that cost $800.
Like apex_DNA said, some cheap Japanese coilovers are not much better (they are better, but not by much). The low end Tein is a classic example. But if you were to buy a Tein Super Racing or the Tein N1, the quality is there. Even still, those are not exceptionally great.
If you want to talk about great dampers, look into Koni, Sachs, Penske, JRZ/ Moton, Nitron, Quantum. Those are top notch shocks....but I understand the lack of funding issue.....
Furthermore what do you mean that affordable can not be used in the same sentence? All projects have a budget and we all want our money to stretch as far as possible and let's face it a set of Moton's for a daily driven vehicle is overkill.I daily drove my BC setup for three years ALL year (Canadian Winters) and never had an issue with seizing or blow dampers. I was also able to obtain different rated springs from BC and, had I needed it custom valved dampers.The BC's were used to replace my previous sagging Eibach/Koni yellow setup. Neither of which are a Chinese brand.