It’s the little details that count with Kerry’s perfect Datsun 1600
About halfway through last year, we were quietly sitting in our office when the phone rang. It was Azhar Bhamji at 4&Rotary on the other end, and after the usual shit-talking, he asked: “Oh hey, do you remember a car called ‘SQWRT’?”
“The blue Datsun from down south that used to win everything at shows?” the Ed. replied.
“That’s it,” said Azhar, “The owner is bringing it back out of retirement for the V 4&Rotary South Island Champs.”
To be honest, with so many cars coming and going in our scene over the years, it can be easy to let some of the less remarkable ones pass from memory, but in the five years since we last saw Kerry Martin’s 1969 Datsun 1600, we’ve never forgotten it. In fact, there’ve been a few times in the office we’ve asked, “Whatever happened to the SQWRT Datsun?” An inch-perfect, tastefully modified, early Datsun packing some pretty serious grunt and a bootful of show trophies isn’t something you forget all that quickly, especially considering we’d never actually managed to get it featured in the magazine.
So, whatever did happen to the SQWRT Datsun, and why has it suddenly reemerged? After travelling down to Nelson for the South Island Champs late last year, we were able to ask Kerry in person, and finally get the angry little blue machine nailed down for a shoot.
Japanese car culture can often be a confusing world to try and navigate, especially when you’re desperate to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Everyone throws out terms like ‘boso’ and ‘shakotan’ when describing their cars here in New Zealand, but though more often than not their heart is in the right place, there are not that many cars here that could perfectly fit in at a Japanese VIP, Kaido Racer, or Kyusha meet. It’s not just because we’re not very good at it; the truth is, as anyone who has delved into the world of shakotan, hippari, and oni-kyua will know, it’s just not practical — not in any sense of the word. Too low, too stretched, too wide — it’s an absolute nightmare for the average Kiwi enthusiast. Aucklander Vick Bhatti, however, is not your average Kiwi enthusiast.
Josh Hill gives up his Evo VIII for something a little more refined
Twenty-five-year-old Josh Hill, a Napier local, is no stranger to fast Mitsubishis. Prior to building his stunning 2008 Evolution X street car, he spent years working on an Evo VIII, taking it from stock standard to a hard-tuned street-legal monster. But you’ve got to ask why someone who’s already kicking around in a fast late-model Mitsi would bother to start all over again with another, some might say less popular, machine?
“I got sick of seeing VII- to IX-shape Evos floating around, all looking the same, producing the same sort of power, so I decided it was time for a change. I listed the car on Trade Me and it was snapped up pretty quickly by a 65-year-old guy from Cromwell who wanted a club track car. He saw the car and flew up to buy it — it was a pretty funny test drive trying to drive that clutch, but he ended up taking it home with him and caging it out straight away, which was cool to see,” Josh explains.
In this clip, the 2014 Formula One regulations are explained by Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. These rules are argued to be the most complex the sport has ever seen.
You will visually see the regulation changes taking shape and coming to life as the two drivers race around the track in transforming race cars.
This explanation of the rules, and unique way of viewing the technology at work inside the vehicle is worth checking out.
What a huge afternoon in the Naki! We’ve uploaded a bunch of images below for you to check out and will be running full coverage in the next issue of NZPC, due out in shops March 31. A big thanks to all those that came along and everyone that helped out, especially Ross and Liam from Dobson’s Dyno Tune and the good people at NAC Insurance. NAC should be uploading a bunch more photos to their Facebook page later today, so swing by and check them out!
Earlier this week, Infiniti revealed the engine that runs the new Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge and it’s exactly what we had hoped for. The car is powered by the VR38DETT 3.8 litre twin-turbo V6 from the Nissan GT-R with 560 horsepower and 600Nm of torque, which stirred up excitement at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show where it was revealed.
The Q50 Eau Rouge is a high-performance concept car that has been based on the award-winning Q50 sport sedan. When it was revealed at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January it was showered with positive comments and feedback.
Global automotive manufacturer Mahindra has been confirmed as the title sponsor for the first-ever North Island Endurance Series taking place this year.
The three-round series sees the first lot of sponsorship Mahindra has ever got behind in New Zealand. The company is already a major sponsor of Nascar and Moto GP, and has its own team in the upcoming Formula E series.
As well as having title sponsorship of the new endurance series, it will also provide the official safety cars for the event.
For most prospective car buyers, the dream is always to find that one-lady-owner, mint condition, never been past 5000rpm, and still with the plastic on the door cards classic — that of course has a ridiculous (she didn’t know what she had) price tag. But the reality is, most desirable models have long since left the careful ownership of some old lady, and spend their time thrashed within an inch of their lives and buried deep in the red. For Craig Davis, his 1974 Mazda RX-2 fitted squarely into the latter category, in fact Warren Overton from PPRE had owned the sedan as a teenager, and the photographic evidence supplied to us that shows the sedan chained to a concrete pad in a haze of tyre smoke would prove our earlier point.