This page contains information about me and particularly about my interests in cars and motorsport over the years. I have briefly listed the previous turbocharged cars I have owned and will eventually add pictures of them and, further details about these and my other cars and generally more information as I remember it.
Use the links below to position to a particular section.
Who Am I
My name is Martin Farrell, I live in Chester in the UK and I am a Toyota Celica GT4 enthusiast. I am a member of the UK GT4 owners club GT4OC and like to meet new owners and attend the meetings held in the UK.
For a living I work as a Senior Technical Specialist in the Information Systems industry for the frozen food retailer iceland.co.uk.
Click here for further details about me and my career.
Since I passed my driving test in 1985 I have had a keen interest in cars and motorsport. My first cars were minis which I raced and rallied. I then migrated to Vauxhall Astras and Novas before quiting competition due to financial constraints in the late 1980's.
Check out my rallying page here.
I bought an MG Maestro EFI in 1989 and performed a DIY turbo conversion using a Garrett T3 turbocharger and a bespoke exhaust manifold made by Tube Torque in Macclesfield. I added a fifth injector to improve fueling and installed the cool, well I thought so, digital instrument panel with 'talking' computer. Messages included 'low oil pressure', 'lights on', 'low fuel', 'warning low fuel', 'handbrake on' and my favourite 'please fasten your seatbelt'.
In 1990 I bought my first Ford a MK3 Ford Escort XR3 with a turbotechnics conversion. This used a blow through carburetor setup with a Garrett T3 turbocharger. I soon learned that adjusting the boost pressure was VERY easy, with a 10mm spanner, and I was hooked.
Next followed a Ford XR2, again with a T3 turbotechnics conversion. I only owned this car for a few months as it was a bit of an impulsive buy which never really grew on me. I would say that the viscous coupling LSD in the gearbox worked a treat and scared me a few times.
A car that I had desired for some years previously was next on my list, namely a MK1 Ford RS Turbo Custom. I kept this car for about a year by which time I had started looking for a 4x4 turbo of some kind. All of my previous cars had been front-wheel-drive and I fancied a changed.
Probably my most 'fun' car came next - a low mileage Mazda 323 4x4 1.6 DOHC Turbo. This car was a stormer, a real wolf in sheeps clothing. Over the next four years I added a stainless steel scorpion exhaust, superchip and suspension modifications. I really enjoyed owning this car but after 4 years, the longest I had ever owned a car, I fancied something more exotic.
The next target car was a Nissan Sunny GTI-R but at the time, late 1995, Japanese imports were not a big thing. Only 74 cars had been imported into the UK by Nissan and finding one was very difficult - despite a friend who worked at Nissan Motorsport UK. I started to consider other 4x4 turbos and set my mind on the Toyota Celica GT4.
A work colleague pointed out that there was a limited edition Carlos Sainz model and, after seeing one in the flesh, realised I had to have one.
Finally in 1995 I located two Carlos Sainz models at Grosvenor Garage in Guildford Surrey. They were regarded as a UK specialist of GT4's at the time, having now become a Honda dealer. I had a choice of a white or black one and went for the black one with the peculiar number plate K1ANO. The rest, as they say, is history.
I have only recently decided to create a web site and rather than make it a general GT4 based site, of which there are many, I thought that I would dedicate it specifically to my car and introduce relevant GT4 links and other resources as I go along.
Alas in April 2003 on a trip to the Nurburgring my GT4 was written off on a mountain road by my girlfriend at the time, and no we didn't split up because of that. My beloved Carlos was shipped back to the UK but it was beyond repair so I robbed it of bits and the CS plaque and contemplated my next purchase.
So in April 2003 I decided to buy an ST165 which I found on findit.co.uk a great site for non mainstream care which not many people seem to know about. I bought the ST165 from a guy in Howden Humberside. It was a bit rough round the edges but I spent most of the summer restoring it with various bits of welding and paintwork. I also did a trip to the Nurburgring in it in September 2003. It was a stormingly fun cars to drive and own. Here are some details, history and pictures on my ST165 page.
Eventually though I had itchy feet and had already decided to buy another car. Unsure of what to buy I considered the obligatory Subaru and Evo options and eventually decided on an ST205 WRC. The full details of the decision and purchase are on my ST205 WRC page. I have to say at this point too that a good friend of mine David Patterson (known as DavyP in the GT4 community) came along to meet up when I bought my ST205 from Scotland - he is the baldy looking guy in the pics. He sadly passed away this year and is sorely missed by many many people.
The ST205 was a great car and one which I am glad that I owned. It was very fast, sleek looking with some choice modes as you can see from the page link above. I only sported the Rally Lamps once at a Castle Combe meet - it looked super ;-)
I somehow don't think I was destined to have the ST205 WRC long without some major work. My long run of reliable GT4 ownership came to an end in April 2005 on another one of my Nurburgring trips. I don't know the exact point in time the terminal engine event (TEV) took place but so far as to say that a couple of says after getting back from the Nurburgring I decided to investigate the lumpy idle I was having problems with. Removal of the rocker cover revealed the dreaded smoke indicating ring-land failure. Full details of the subsequent engine rebuild are on my engine rebuild page.
Whilst my engine was being rebuilt I had to have a car to run about in. Barry Cross (Bazza) from the GT4 owners club had a black ST185 CS for sale. I decided to buy this as a 'run-around'. So a bit of a deja-vu occurred when I was again the owner of another GT4 Carlos Sainz !
I ran the Carlos for a few months doing a few bits and bobs but it was a hoot and proved to be a great run-about. If anything though the ST205 engine rebuild took longer than expected - mainly due to the fact I was not pushed to get it finished ! I had to get it finished in the end though as I had a call from my friend Saf from Australia who said he was coming over to the Nurburgring in September. I had about a month to finish off the rebuild, install the engine and run it in. Talk about pressure - he he. Anyway I got the ST205 engine finished and made the Nurburgring trip which, as usual, was a hoot.
Once the ST205 engine rebuild was complete I sold the Carlos Sainz to Brian from Macclesfield. Well the sale wasn't quite as straightforward as you might imagine - why ? Well Bryan had an ST185 RC (The Japanese version of the Carlos Sainz) which had a minor front end impact - basically a cat C write-off. I actually part exchanged my CS for Bryans RC. The intention was to use the RC as a track car. In fact the RC was in such good condition that I repaired it without needing to buy any panels !
This then meant that I had two GT4's, an ST205 WRC and an ST185 RC. A friend of mine was desperate to buy my ST205 WRC so I decided to sell it to him - minus the OZ wheels and Hybrid Turbo (so that I could fit these to the RC). This then left me with a decision as to whether to run around in the RC or buy another car.
About this time I had become disillusioned with some infighting in the GT4 Owners Club. The club wasn't quite what it had been originally when I had joined as a founding member back in 2000. Car clubs evolve aswell as the owner base as the cars become cheaper and the 'old timers' disband to other cars or interests. In addition two other splinter clubs had formed diluting the core membership. These clubs each had their own nice two. One being the GT4 Drivers Club and one being the GT4 Enthusiasts Club.
So I decided to buy a different car and something altogether different ...
Lincoln, a friend of mine at work, had been talking about Renault V6 Clios one day. I asked what they were and he showed me on Autotrader and from then I was hooked. The money from the sale of my ST205 WRC and some cash I had saved up over the years was about to be put to some good use.
I researched the various cars and prices, especially using the V6 Clio Club and PistonHeads, and eventually decided I wanted to go for a late model Mk2 model in black - this is the 255 bhp model with the facelift fron-end. Luckily I managed to find one about 20 miles away and after a test drive, some haggling and a chat with the bank I became the owner of car # 232. Here is my first V6 Clio page.
I call my new cart 'the Onion' on account of its French heritage - oh la la, as my girlfriend Sandra says !
Another question you may have is what about 'K1ANO' ? Well this registration number will probably go onto my V6 Clio so I expect this site will live on and evolve. I will always be a fan of GT4's as they have and are likely to continue to play an important part in my life - not least of all because of the many friends I have made over the years. I also thank everyone who has contacted me over the years and those who have benefited from and been inspired by my GT4 musings.
Muse are my favourite band by the way - check out their page !
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