Monday, February 18, 2013

Farewell Beetlejuice!

My friend Nicole is selling her first car, so on the weekend we decided to take some photos of her and Beetlejuice before they part ways very soon. The car is a '66 Beetle and is all original, even the interior - and she has owned it for ten years! I love how these photos turned out so I thought I would share a few on here...

Fun times! x

Sunday, February 17, 2013

4 & Rotary Nationals 2013

Upon my arrival at this year's V 4 and Rotary Nationals Show 'n' Shine competition, I could tell that I was thinking the exact same thing that everyone else was thinking...

... that there are some seriously cool cars here!

Getting heavily involved in our automotive scene in New Zealand has allowed me to meet so many new amazing people, and this also means I've been able to get some idea of just how much hard work and extreme dedication goes into so many of these builds. As well as the financial aspect of it, just the sheer amount of brain power and mental and physical energy that people are putting into these cars is truly overwhelming to me. Knowing what has gone on behind the scenes with a lot of these cars gives me a huge amount of respect for so many people!

One of those very dedicated people is Marcus (the Assistant Editor at Performance Car Magazine) who has been busy at all hours of the last few months working on this E36, project 'Drift Hack' as it's been named. The German Stuka themed BMW features a 1UZ-FE conversion with big 55mm ITBs, 350Z six-speed gearbox and satin black Enkei RPF01s.

Project Drift Hack isn't quite done yet, but holy balls it's going to be crazy once it's finished. Here's Marcus' babin' girlfriend Michelle sitting in it for the first time and seeing if she can reach the pedals!

I remember last year I was told about this rotary-powered MX5 build in progress and I was disappointed to not see it at the Nats last year!

This year however, the owner Willy had the NB ready to show-off to the public and it certainly got a lot of attention with its 13B PP powerplant!

As I was expecting, Dale's FC3S RX7 had the most outrageous stance with its new Weds Kranze LXZ set-up (front and rear) with some insane tyre stretch going on.

Neck breaking stuff!

Carl's four-rotor GS300 was definitely one of the stars of the show, attracting huge crowds of people throughout the day - especially when the 1000HP 26B motor was brought to life!

The 18x10.5 and 18x12.5 Work Meisters look so tough in all black with the gold bolts! If you haven't read about this car yet make sure to read the Speedhunters feature here and you can also pick-up the latest copy of Performance Car magazine this month to see more too!

I'd never seen this 180SX before - it looked like it could be straight out of Japan.

Nice fitment with 19-inch Kranze LXZ again.

I spent a bit of time over on the Speedtech Motorsport stand, where Andre and the crew were introducing their new HPA brand - The High Performance Academy.

If you didn't sign up on the day, you can still enter via their Facebook page here to win a $5000 Tuning 'Boot Camp' package!

I got a nice surprise when I saw the video that Ben (STM's Operations Manager) made for me was playing on their stand! If you haven't seen it before you can watch it here on Youtube!

Over on the Rapid Radio stand, Speedtech's new 'Project 86' was looking super rad with it's new graphics designed by Mark Curran. The double sided colour scheme gives the car two completely different looks...

On one side the Enkei Raijin wheels are painted purple...

...but they're blue on the other! Now that the car is finished cosmetically, I can't wait to see what Andre and the team have in store next for Project 86!

I really liked the styling choices on Noujan's NA MX5 - the staunch camo-inspired colour scheme is not what I'd expect on a girl's car!

You might recognise the Project-G G-string roof too!

Although I didn't have the Z on the CJC stand this year, after seeing their line up of cars I kind of wished that mine was on there with them! They had a really interesting collection of different cars, yet together they all combined elements of great style, aggressive stance and a good amount of thought into performance modifications too. Their group display ticked all the boxes for me.

Hands down, my favourite car was Kelvin's Mazda Capella which was unbelievably looking about 10 times cooler than it was last year. Who knew that was possible!?

I didn't even recognise it at first as the retro Castrol livery, black-centred SSR Mk3 wheels and big front air damn give the rotary-converted 616 a completely different look. The fact that the race-inspired paint scheme was done by hand makes it that much cooler too. It's the attention given to details such as this that makes this car so amazing!

Kelvin also brought along his daily GS300... many cool cars can one guy own!? COME ON!!!

Antz Wongs' K20A-powered Civic was looking perfect as always. It's one thing to see a build of this standard and quality in a car show on display, but then also seeing it being driven around on the regular is another. This is what a real street car should be about!

The 'Jerkshop' theme was cool too, and I loved their mouthwatering collection of vintage wheels on display....

MMMM maybe a bit too much!

Tank's EX Turbo Lancer on Equip 03s.

A very sweet Toyota Corona on Watanabes.

Having sold his FD RX7 after last year's show, this year Paul Sanson brought along a new project to show off - this 2009 WRX STI...

...on enormous Motegi rims!

Another car that I know many sleepless nights have gone into is Mark Strawbridge's Mazda Capella (also rotary-powered) on a clean set of wide Simmons. Shortly after the Nats weekend Mark got the car running for the first time! 

I was happy to hear that Ben Phillips' 323 wagon on Work Equip 01s won best wagon AGAIN this year! I couldn't believe my ears when Ben told me that he was unhappy with the car and that he had so much more he still wanted to do to it (a lot of swear words were edited out of that sentence) but it's that exact level of perfectionism that makes his car so worthy of winning above the others. Care, attention to detail and quality are all key factors in this build. 

Typically it was one of Mad Mike's vehicles that stood out as one of the most craziest, this '83 Chevrolet Silverado. Inspired by Mike's young son Lincoln's favourite character from the movie Cars (Towmater), 'LowMater' is Mad Mike's version! So insane... and Mike hopes to have it road legal very soon too!

Across from LowMater was Mike's fiancĂ© Toni's Maserati looking fly. Love this car!

Speaking of cool girl-owned cars, Tiffany from Old Skool Rydz had dusted off her Impala and brought it along to show off along with the other lowriders. Tiff has been working on the car as an ongoing project for some time now, so it was exciting to see the car out and about and looking really good! This photo doesn't do the amazing glitter flake paint work justice. 

After seeing some of the sweet pimped out family vans in Japan when I was over there, a new Nissan Elgrand is definitely on my list of cars that I want to own one day. This one was super sweet!


And such a plush interior... ooooh! Do want!

It was cool to spot quite a few iheartstance stickers around the place, including my new Low Dreams (Fitment Queens) decals.

This Impreza on CE28s was one of them!

There was a really cool collections of old Beetles on display this year - this one was my favourite!

Tyler Richardson's Escort looking good!

This Polo attracted a lot of attention with it's surrounding rainbow 'ball-pit' theme! But the actual car itself was really clean too - I'd happily rock this as a daily.

Back at the Performance Car stand all sorts of weird stuff was going on...

... and some tall dutch guy posing for a photo with our car... interesting. Actually it was just Damian from CJC.

My favourite part of the day was getting to show off our 280Z build finally! I’m definitely happy with the exterior of the Z, and I feel as if the replica G-nose, rear spoiler and ZG fender flares are a perfect addition to the S30 chassis. Although the car is actually a left-hook US import, I like how this gives it a point of difference here in New Zealand; and although vintage-inspired, the full polished Work Meister CR01s add a modern touch to the overall classic nostalgic look of the car. 

It was cool that other people recognised the 240ZG styling choices too.

Most of all, the Z makes me happy because I've created something that not only fulfils my own automotive dream; I’ve created a car that inspires other people and perhaps might even spark the beginning of their own love affair with a nostalgic Japanese car, just like me. I was worried with the departure of my MX5 that I might lose the interest of some of my readers, but instead I've been overwhelmed by messages and emails from Z enthusiasts, new and old, from all over the world! The support and positive feedback I've been receiving is amazing!

I can't wait to get stuck into the next phase of our project, which is going to be painting, detailing and tidying up the engine bay, and fitting the triple 40mm Mikuni carbs that we got our hands on a few months ago. Seeing so many cars built to such a high standard definitely inspired me to want to better the Z and make it look and function to the best of its abilities! I can't wait!