A 1:1 Project, Starlet Style
One Idea

The concept of a 1:1 project car isn’t a new one, but it’s still intriguing.

I constantly find myself looking at cars, built for whatever purpose, trying to figure out if they are Speedhunters cars. I’ve always been of the opinion that pretty much anything automotive related goes around these parts, regardless if it’s the latest hypercar or something homegrown and humble. What I feel we’ve been missing here a little bit of late though, is getting in on builds from the very beginning of the process and documenting them all the way through.

There is a reason for that as a lot of project cars don’t make it to the end. There’s never a guarantee that any will be finished, and as such it can be a risk to commit so much time and travel to shooting a ‘maybe.’

2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

Regardless, I feel that this is one of those projects that’s worth taking the risk on. Even at its most basic form, it’s an interesting build that at the very least is worth talking about. If it gets to the end, which I do expect to happen, it’s going to be one of those cars that will be talked about the world over.

The car belongs to a long time friend of mine, Brendan Gordon, who has previously put his name to some outlandish projects. This is no different. It currently resides at Stone Motorsport and, obviously, is at the very beginning of what will be a long-term build process. The car is still recognisable as that of a KP61 Toyota Starlet, a lightweight rear-wheel drive hatchback from a great era of Toyota cars.

2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-14

There’s not a whole heap of Starlet left here at the moment, nor should you expect there to be much when the project is eventually finished. As you might have guessed from the title, the goal with this car is a 1hp-to-1kg power-to-weight ratio. With a target weight of around 850kgs (1,873lbs, Americans), that’s going to need a considerable amount of horsepower to match. We’ll get to that in a bit.

2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-3

850kgs is maybe on the heavy side for a KP, but you should bear in mind that it’s going to have a full roll-cage along with an engine capable of producing a comfortable 850-900hp. The current idea is to run a Nissan S15 front subframe with a sequential gearbox and a Winters Performance quick-change rear end.

2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-16
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-8

Horsepower will be supplied by a 2JZ-GE which will of course be rebuilt to GTE and beyond specification. The engine placement has been mocked up already, with what I believe to be at least two cylinders behind the bottom of the windscreen. Not only is the minimum weight important, but the placement of the weight will be key for driveability.

There should be no shortage of rubber either, with 15×10-inch -25 front and 15×12-inch -51 RS Watanabe wheels already created with a 5×114.3 PCD, to take the most amount of tyre as possible.

2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-18

There’s a long way to go here, but the intentions are so good, that it’s absolutely worth covering from the get-go. There isn’t currently a timeframe for the car to be finished (why rush for an arbitrary reason?), so it’s going to be a case of it’ll be done when it’s done. There is a plan to use it for hill climbs, but it’s main purpose will be to deliver a driving experience that is practically unrivalled, which itself is a pretty interesting reason.

Now, the waiting game begins…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
Facebook: Paddy McGrath

More Builds on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-4
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-6
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-7
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-10
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-11
2017 Toyota Starlet OneOne Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-12


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Mees Superjesus Kohne VonJaski

Not much starlet left there, very ambitious project should be incredible when it's finished.

Speaking of unfinished projects, What ever happened to the widebody honda powered mk1 golf cabrio I believe one of the speedhunters was building?
That was a pretty cool ride they were building.
This one:


Thank you paddy for the cool shots, delighted with the spotlight. Instagram account is team.chihuahua btw, also building a couple of other cars but not to this level


I don't think it's officially dead, but there aren't any plans for it at the minute either.

Christian Clark

This was the first thing I thought of when they mentioned forgotten unfinished projects....Speedhunters' own!


Anyone know where to get genuine RS Watanabes from?


The Watanabe wheels for this car were custom order from JDMDistro.


Techno Toy Tunning supplies them and as a plus they are a great company too work with.


As a kp61 owner i have to say that im trully happy with the idea and i can't wait to see the final result! I never thought that a 2jz could fit in this enginebay and not even with that kind of horsepower! Its nice to see more people getting their hands on these cars and push them even further than their capabilities!

Matthew Everingham

#Subscribed to build.

E Monroe Wilson

What ever happened to the Golf mash-up project?


Answered below :)


Does the owner have an instagram acount




Will be watching this...


Unique driving experience indeed. Saw the cover photo and thought "gigglemobile". Then I read that there's going to be a 2jz squeezed into it! Sounds like a riot.

Reinaldo Gonzalez

OK, i'm absolutely interested on this one!


A man after my own heart. I was sent this link due to our projects being similar . @s2kwabbit. Cant wait to watch this progress


This is terrible... Terrible that I will have to wait in so much anticipation.

This may be the only build I care about in existence for now.


Its looking like we will be running a k24 turbo engine now, take down the weight by 100kgs and the power to match but would still be running 800-850bhp