Two Canadian west coast builds that shocked the world on the SEMA stage.
Tucked away in an alley of Penticton, BC, you’ll find partners Chelsie Losnoski and Cole Marten working away on a variety of projects at any given hour on any given day. The two of them make up Throttle Thrashers Garage - a shop that dabbles in a little bit of everything, but made its name rescuing and restoring R32 Skylines. Marten does a lot of the fabrication, and Lesnoski manages the body and painting side of things. With just the two of them running the shop, they’re quite the dynamic duo!
Some long time readers may recognize Losnoski’s RB-powered FR-S from years past, which was already a crazy and impressive build, but the two of them individually stepped up their game for SEMA 2021 with even more outside-the-box projects. Marten’s ongoing project leading up to the big show was his LHD-swapped 1991 R32 Skyline GT-R, and Lesnoski had her RX-7 FD3S in mind with big plans to shake up the game. Sitting out of SEMA 2020 due to the pandemic, the pair of them had some extra time to up the ante.
The results of their hard work became two of the most talked about builds inside SEMA 2021, and for good reason. Unconventional engine swaps were among the most notable modifications to each. Marten’s R32 engine bay boasts the iconic 2JZ, and surprisingly enough maintains the vehicle’s AWD drivetrain. Lesnoski’s RX-7 takes things even further - it’s the world’s first rear-engine Audi 2.7L V6-swapped RX-7 FD. In fact, it might be the world’s first rear-engine Audi 2.7L V6-swapped anything! The two of them truly delivered on uniqueness in their builds.
A closer look at Marten’s R32 Skyline reveals just how much the car has been altered. Veilside body panels like the front fenders, rear bumper, side skirts, and molded quarter panels stand out right away thanks to the car’s beautiful dark green paint job. Carbon fiber vents are found throughout the exterior, also molded into their respective panels. The front fenders are adorned by vents from the Ford Mustang, and the custom hood also features ventilation on the hood scoop in carbon fiber. The carbon fiber accents continue by way of the front lip, grille, lower skirts, and the roof wing. ZLED tail lights and N1 headlights with retrofitted halo rings round out the entire look.
Inside the Skyline, you’re met with an unfamiliar LHD setup. A custom dash and center console shift driver’s position to the proper North American side, and a steering rack from a 240sx bridges the new steering wheel position to the custom front subframe. Custom door cards and the majority of the interior is reupholstered beautifully in suede with yellow stitching, which matches the roll cage, as well as the hardware on his 17-inch Work Equip 05 wheels. Sparco seats, a steering wheel, and shift knob make up the driver’s position, PRP Racing harnesses - in yellow of course - hold driver and passenger snugly in place.
Of course, we can’t talk about Marten’s Skyline without mentioning its wild drivetrain. The 2JZ itself is built to the nines from the bottom up, and boasts a GReddy T88-34D turbo. Keeping the R32’s AWD intact with the 2JZ required a custom AWD oil pan conversion, and custom transmission adapter to the RB transmission, which has been raised in a modified transmission tunnel. The clutch kit from Action Clutch employs the best of both worlds: a 2JZ flywheel mated to an RB pressure plate and RB splined disc. With a custom firewall and a shaved bellhousing, the entire drivetrain setup fits nicely beneath the R32.
On the other side of the garage, you’ll find Lesnoski’s RX-7 - a true Frankenstein build in its own right. Certainly the world’s first RX-7 with a rear-mounted Audi 2.7L twin-turbo engine, there’s more than meets the eye at first glance, but that first glance is still appealing. A custom metal widebody with integrated ducting all over radically transforms the shape of the FD while staying true to its original form. Carbon fiber accents are found across the exterior, and a custom two-tone brown paint job makes every body modification pop. Custom peek-a-boo headlights and retrofitted triple-X taillights give the RX-7 a futuristic look.
Like Marten’s R32, Losnoski’s FD features a beautifully reupholstered interior with TTG stitching on the seats so you know just who built this thing. The entire cabin is made up of custom pieces, featuring carbon fiber and two-tone design throughout, as well as an iPad digital display in the console. Immediately noticeable when you step into the cabin is the bulletproof plexiglass rear window that showcases the now-relocated engine bay in the rear.
Located behind that plexiglass window is the heart of the beast - the Audi 2.7L twin-turbocharged V6 that Lesnoski decided would power this RX-7. The 2.7 is bolstered with billet fuel rails, 750cc injectors, a twin set of Garrett GT28-60 turbos, and custom manifolds and piping. The engine is mated to a custom VW Passat transmission, and power is routed to the rear wheels through custom welded axles. All in, the Audi transplant is expected to be good for 700 horsepower to the wheels once it’s broken in. For SEMA, Lesnoski settled for moving under its own power.
With both Lesnoski and Marten competing in SEMA’s prestigious Battle of the Builders under the Young Guns category, the duo went up against some of the industry’s most impressive young talent to be recognized on the world stage. Much to their elation, both of their builds made it to the Top 12 bracket, and subsequently to the Top 3 in the finals! All of those late nights, stressful days, and crunch time leading up to the big show had finally paid off.
The pair of them are now back in beautiful British Columbia on Canada’s west coast, working away on Throttle Thrashers Garage customer cars and tinkering with these two projects when they have the time. If we know anything about these two, it’s that they’re never quite done, so we expect to see more out of these two stellar builds. We’ll be keeping an eye on TTG for a long time, but in the meantime a hearty congratulations is due to both Chelsie and Cole for their hard work getting it all together for SEMA. Good job, guys!
Photography by Timmy Gregson (@timmygregson)
Chelsie Lesnoski and Cole Marten are the cover feature on PASMAG #169. ORDER HERE
Owner: Chelsie Lesnoski
Vehicle: 1993 Mazda RX-7
Location: Penticton, BC
Engine: Audi 2.7L Twin-Turbocharged V6
Horsepower: 700 (est.)
Club: Throttle Thrashers
- Audi 2.7L twin-turbo rear engine swap + Billet fuel rails + 750cc injectors + Garrett GT28-60 turbos + Custom (intake manifold, exhaust manifold, intercooler piping) + ECU Classic
- Custom exhaust system + Vibrant Performance mufflers
- VW Passat transmission + Custom welded axles
WHEELS / TIRES
- Weld Racing Prostar wheels - 15x8 (f), 15x10 (r) + Mickey Thompson tires
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION
- Flat bottom floor w/ cross bracing + Custom chopped rear subframe exoskeleton + 18g safety wall + Aftermarket coilovers
- Custom (metal 6-inch widebody, air ducting/vent system, rear aero vents, brake cooling air ducts, rear bumper, hood vents) + Carbon fiber (front lip, side skirts, diffuser, rear window louvers) + Molded duckbill wing + Chopped roof w/ moonroof + Custom peek-a-boo headlights + Two-tone custom paint + Carbon fiber skinned (door handles, mirrors) + Custom window inserts w/ cooling ducts + Triple-X retrofitted tail lights
- Custom reupholstered (seats w/ Throttle Thrashers Garage embroidery, steering wheel) + Custom two-tone dashboard w/ carbon fiber + Custom carbon fiber (center console, headliner, door cards) + Custom (heel plates, pedal assembly, shift knob, gauge and switch panel assembly) + Sparco 4P harnesses + Bulletproof plexiglass rear engine/transmission bay window + Carbon fiber skinned trunk and pillars
AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS
- iPad display
- Precision Glass Penticton + Status Racing
Owner: Cole Marten
Vehicle: 1991 Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
Location: Penticton, BC
Engine: Toyota 2JZ-GTE 3.0L Turbocharged I6
Club: Throttle Thrashers
- Toyota 2JZ engine swap + JE 86.5 pistons + Manley rods + ACL bearings + ARP studs + MLS head gasket + Billet timing tensioner + Modified oil pump + Ported head + BC (valves, dual valve springs, titanium retainers/keepers, 276 cams, adjustable cam gears, cam bolts) + MAC intake manifold + AUS 1300cc injectors + GReddy T88-34D turbo + LS coil packs + 16-row oil cooler + Tial BOV + CX Racing front mount intercooler + 20AN converted coolant hoses + Aluminum 3-row radiator + Custom AWD oil pan conversion + Custom firewall + ECU Masters classic + Custom engine harness w/ wire tuck + AEM 400 fuel pumps (3)
- Custom (3.5-inch exhaust to dual 3-inch exit, bottom-mount T4 turbo manifold
- Custom (transmission adapter, modified transmission mount) + Action Clutch custom clutch setup (2JZ flywheel, RB26 pressure plate, RB splined disc) + Shaved bellhousing + Custom raised transmission tunnel
- Work Equip 05 wheels - 17x11.5 (f/r)
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION
- Sikky Mfg S13 rear sway bar + Ikeya Formula front control arms + AB-Flug coilovers + Custom front subframe + 240sx LHD steering rack
- TBO style front bumper + Carbon fiber (front lip, grille, lower skirts, roof wing) + N1 headlights w/ retrofitted Halo rings + Clear smoked signals + Custom hood w/ scoop and carbon vents + Carbon fiber hydrodripped cowl + Veilside (front fenders w/ Ford Mustang carbon vents molded, rear quarters, side skirts, rear bumper) + Ganador style mirrors + Rocky Bunny Pandem carbon fiber wing + ZLED tail lights + Custom rear diffuser + Custom green paint
- Custom (LHD dash, LHD center console w/ armrest and cup holders, door cards, rear seat delete) + Suede reupholstery w/ yellow stitching + ECU Masters digital display + Sparco (seats, steering wheel, shift knob) + PRP Racing harness + 60L fuel cell + Custom trunk
AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS
- Microsoft Surface display
- Precision Glass Penticton
(Click the Facebook logo for full gallery)
Two Canadian west coast builds that shocked the world on the SEMA stage. For the full story, go to...Posted by Performance Auto & Sound Magazine on Friday, June 24, 2022