This Toyota 2JZ-Powered Lamborghini Gallardo Breaks the Mold11/05/2021
Bryce Yeager, owner of Street Aero, has been hard at work building one of the most controversial builds you’re likely to come across in the halls of SEMA 2021. The wild look and even wilder engine choice were sure to delight as many people as it pissed off. Was Yeager trolling, or simply flexing his brand’s ability to put something together to steal the spotlight from the largest automotive annual event in Vegas? You decide.
The Perfect Starter Car
If you don’t know Yeager by name, you know the viral video clip he put out that floated through every automotive-based Instagram page for months, which featured a woman doing a backflip on top of a 350Z and smashing right through the rear window. Since then, there’s been less flips and more building, specifically this 2005 Lamborghini Gallardo that Yeager picked up early last year. We’re sure it wasn’t cheap, but certainly less costly than a running, driving one. You see this one had no engine and the interior had been badly burned. It proved to be the perfect starting point as Yeager planned to swap the engine and build out the interior his way, and he would’ve removed the factory versions anyway.
So, you get where this is going. The Gallardo would serve as the eye-catching vessel, but it’s the 2JZGTE engine swap that pleases some and offends others. In terms of elbow room, the Toyota 3.0-liter I-6 and its components fit just fine, though lengthwise, with the car’s native transmission attached it sat a bit too long. No worries; the car just needed to be chopped and stretched a few more inches. To be clear, the Lamborghini Gallardo was cut basically in half, and the frame lengthened to make more room for a Toyota engine to settle in. With everything installed, a custom rear diffuser and a series of planes make up the rear and no, a bumper was never in the cards.
Handling the Handling
Original plans called for a cantilever suspension setup in the rear with both sides crossing one another just behind the turbo. That was completed but ended up taking up too much precious space, and the result was an experimental approach that now seats the coilovers perpendicular to the factory suspension’s orientation, just above the rear wheels.
Up front, the cantilever idea was fully hashed out and sits beneath the dash. Small “windows” cut into the custom metal dash provide a peek and allow damping adjustment. That metal dash connects to a one-off center console and shifter surround that houses a switch panel, and you’ll spot a Haltech digital dash behind the Street Aero forged carbon fiber steering wheel. Rather than a passenger seat, two Nitrous Express bottles are mounted securely in place. Hey, if you’ve gone this far, a pair of bottles only makes sense.
If you look closely, you’ll notice a crack on the custom vented front fenders and that came about as the car was being loaded for SEMA. Cars this low never do well with ramps and though they were careful, the car’s front bumper took a hit and immediately pushed up on the fenders violently. Yeager laughed it off as just part of the process and that video clip, something he hasn’t shied away from making public, only garners more interest in this unique take on the Italian exotic.
We Got the Meats
The car’s naked rear is highlighted by 19-inch Govad Turbo5 forged wheels in a champagne finish with contrasting black lips, with 345/30 Toyo Proxes R888R in the rear, 245/35 up front. The flash of the deep-dish wheels, wild Street Aero custom body additions and even the see-through doors and vented fenders all play a part, but the star of this build is that Garrett turbo that sits high above the engine.
The custom turbo manifold points almost straight up in order to position the turbo where Yeager wanted and the exhaust portion of the equation splits into two symmetrical outlets using meticulous pie-cuts. More than just an eye-catching aesthetic, Yeager says the single turbo set up is good for 1,000 hp. Management is handled by Haltech’s ultra-versatile NEXUS R5 that serves as an ECU, PDM, data logger, and dual channel wideband.
So, where do things go from here? Yeager’s Gallardo breaks all the rules, crosses all the boundaries, and invites stereotypes with open arms, that we know. It’s the sort of creation that gets as many “some guys just have too much money” quips as it does “I love seeing something outside the box” comments.
Whether this build is a sample of what is and isn’t possible, or merely a high dollar trolling exercise, all eyes have been on Bryce Yeager’s 2JZ Lambo this week, exactly the way he planned. When we asked what the build was intended for, he stated, “Mainly to have fun building something that’s never been done before and have a crazy street car. Also, personal networking as well as networking for my business.”
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