9 December 2012

Luis Pinto, the perfectionist


Hi again Brothers! Tonight I'm bringing you the story of Luis Miguel Pinto. Born in 1986, he has been around the Portuguese Corolla scene for many years, an original pioneer of the 86 life.


Luis is one of those type of guys that doesn't say much when you first meet him. Quite shy and reserved. When he opens his mouth to speak you can expect he's going to say either something really clever, or something really funny, that's what gives him such carisma and personality.


His AE86 started its life as a track day only car, owned at the time by one of his mates and still-to-date Corolla owner Joel, a.ka. "AE86Driver" in the community forums. When the car switched hands, Luis started working on it almost immediatly, returning some daily driver conforts to the car so it could undergo the rigorous portuguese mot process to get it road legal again. That included an amazing new interior carpet made from scratch and the removal of the weld in roll cage.


Luis always had big plans for the little Corolla. Little by little he spent a lot of time and money making it look
very cool, with a Panda color scheme, new XXR Wheels, TRD wing and OEM sideskirts. A very simple and clean look, in accordance to his early 90's japanese style influences. Before owning the 86, Luis always had KE20s and other retro Toyotas, so going for a Twincam was natural evolution.


Between finishing his engineering degree at Oxford Brookes University and securing an internship at the very prestigious ARC Sport rally team AND M-Sport Team (Ford WRC Team), Luis traveled frequently to his homeland in the north of Portugal, where he was a regular presence at many trackdays.


It's fair to say that the mechanical modifications that were made in the car were all race track purpose built, since the car spent most of its life stored in his garage, and was only used for racing whenever he went to visit his family. Luis gave it a new stainless steel exhaust, rose jointed panhard and 4 link, uprated tension rods, tie rods, etc. He even build his new coilovers using Tokico inserts and TRD springs. Handling and feedback feel was top priority for the project, and it always put a smile in his face.



Being the curious spirit that he is, he aquired a Megasquirt ECU setup, built it from scratch and started fiddling around with some maps, while still retaining the almost standard 16V engine. However, in early 2012, Luis returned home for good and had loads of time to step his project to the next level with...


...a Blacktop 20V engine! The ITBs you see in the picture are a result of his extreme obssesive compulsive disorder with perfection! Luis teamed up with a our mutual friend Ricardo Mendes and together they are building what will probably be the cleanest blacktop in history, with every part being soda blasted, alongside other very interesting modifications that will be featured when the 20V is ready. So stay tuned for this!




I will leave you with a final picture of the interesting stuff Luis does, like testing the 20V coilpacks to see what Dwell values he should use for the future mapping. And he still has free time to paint retro helmets with Toyota inspired livery. Coolness.

Hope you have enjoyed this feature, next week I will bring you a very special Trueno Black Limited build from South America. See you then.

-Jonny

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