RICK Bartley’s Toyota Starlet has broken the internet and hearts at the drag strip a number of times over the years, because it is one of the best sleepers in the country! Based on Toyota’s humble pint-sized 90s hatchback, Rick’s Starlet has seen a variety of turbo and nitrous set-ups under the bonnet, and is quick enough to demolish many production sports and supercars, as well as plenty of modified toughies.
The turbo 1.5-litre weapon has run low 10-second quarters with a manual ’box and front-wheel drive. It’s a hilarious bit of gear, but it has been off the race track for a little while now, receiving some upgrades. Rick has recently fitted a sequential gearbox with straight-cut gears, a new Garrett GTW3684 turbo and a Wolf V550 ECU. While he was at it, he upgraded the fuel system to run E85 juice and tweaked the cooling system. On the dyno, the new combo laid down a very impressive 501hp at the front wheels at around 40psi boost! Remember, this is a 1.5-litre engine. Rick’s Starlet uses a 1.5-litre Paseo engine with a 1.3-litre Starlet cylinder head.
Rick is hoping the upgrades will see the car run into the nine-second zone. He recently gave it a run at Heathcote Park Raceway, where our mates from FullBoost saw the Starlet run a new PB of 10.24@141mph! It definitely has the trap speed to be running nines with the new turbo; now it’s just about getting off the line smoothly without roasting the tyres.
So if you ever pull up alongside a washing-machine-white Toyota Starlet at the lights, beware – it might be a lot faster than it looks!