There are very few places on earth were you will find such an incredible amount of insane engineering talent in the one place as New Zealand. With a population of a little over 4 million this country punches well above its weight in many regards with so many insane builds created there and also there fair share of super impressive driving talent. One name that shines at the top of both of these is the name Hartley.

One of the Hartley brothers Brendan is busy etching a successful motorsport career abroad. Firstly with Porsche in WEC endurance racing and is currently in Formula One with Toro Rosso Scuderia Racing, one of the Red Bull teams. The elder brother, Nelson, has remained back home in Palmerston North carving out insane bespoke race engines out of anything that rolls through the door and the results almost defy reality. 

So when the father and son team of Kester and Jaron Olivecrona came knocking to create something extra special for Jarons S14 drift car, no one would have been prepared for what evolved. You see Kester is a bit of a dab hand in the fabrication department and he wanted something for Jaron that no one else had, something that “sounded like one of the old F1 cars” but had to be reliable and make some serious grunt too. 

“Everyone does the typical Chevrolet V8, Toyota 2JZ or Nissan RB-powered cars. So when the V12 came up in an auction in Japan we thought ‘hey, lets build this” said Kester “and once we showed Nelson he said ‘hell yes I have always wanted to do a V12’ so the crazy journey began” 

The engine began life as a Toyota 1GZ-FE V12 not so commonly found in the Toyota Century Limousine. But we can assure you all that remains of this engine are the block and head castings, everything else is bespoke and either made or designed in house by Hartley Competition Engines. And we mean everything from the individual throttle bodies, redesigning the cylinder heads, manufacturing forged internals – the lot.

Once Nelson Hartley had weaved his magic the engine was shipped back to the Olivcrona workshop were Kester and Jaron weaved their magic and made it all fit and fabricated all the necessary hardware including the super trick equal length headers to Hartleys demanding specification.

“Seeing and hearing this car in person is truly a unique experience” said Superlap CEO Ian Baker “it has a high pitched note all of its own and it really encompasses the true spirit of drifting in it is as much of a show as it is a competition, and the build quality is simply amazing. We are all looking forward to seeing Jaron hit the track in Sydney in October that is for certain!”

To see more about Jaron Olivecronas V12 S14 check out the Speedhunters article by Richard Opie.