Thanks for all the replys so far. I haven't had a face to face meeting with the shop techs yet, so if they haven't had too much experience with Toyotas, I just might bite the bullet and get a RHD import instead. I found an Aristo for about $7500 CAD on a local importer's site. Cheaper and already fast, but damn I can't stand RHD. Every left turn has me paranoid.
Then again if they HAVE done plenty of Toyotas, and won't ask for too much, I still might steam ahead with the project.
A built 3S-GTE for 350+ HP is the goal I am actually aiming for. I was leaning towards the 3S because it's got more aftermarket support than the 1MZ. Once again, it all hinges on what the shop says they have done in the past regarding those engines.
A 2018 V6 Camry is 301 BHP, $40,000+ CAD, but weighs approx 3600 lbs. 350B HP in my 2000 Camry (approx 2890 lbs now) for 10-15K$ CAD is still better value IMO.
Also, around these parts (Edmonton)
Nobody expects a 4th Gen to have 350+ HP.
There's several caveats here, I can save a bit of money by upgrading the suspension, shocks and brakes myself, since that sort of thing is 1st-year stuff (I was a 2nd year apprentice when I got out of the trade).
The body & engine only has 160,000K (99,500Miles) on it. For a 18 year old car in Canada, that's astoundingly low. Most cars around here reach that by 5-7 years. My uncle never took it onto the highway.
I can likely sell the old 5S-FE engine (same as NA 4th gen MR2 IIRC).
The interior is absolute MINT.
And I have a second car I can use.