Every now and then you come across a car that just seems to jump out of the page and grab you. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what or why, but they always seem to have that ‘it’ factor. It might not be the shiniest car or have the world’s longest parts list, but they all seem to have that little something which sets them apart from the next build, a presence they seem to emanate when rolling down the street.
These days Robbie Ward is a household name within import circles, and a regular name in NZPC. Like many, he first featured in NZPC in Under Construction, in issue six, circa 1997. He had been playing with Nissans for a few years, and sent in a picture of a Datsun 1200 coupé he was building as his serious drag car. Oddly that picture, or perhaps the solid mustache he rocked in the accompanying photo, saw him win win the monthly prize, a V1 Link ECU. Which logo can now be found on Robbie’s door? That of Link’s Vi-PEC, of course.
A couple of weeks after being here in Japan, I’d been to a few events but was missing the joy that comes from spending half a day with one car and a bunch of camera gear, so I decided it was time to find a cool car to shoot for an NZPC feature. The thing was, I didn’t want to go into yet another awesome Japanese tuning shop and arrange to shoot one of its admittedly amazing showroom cars, I wanted to go out and find a real car. A car owned by a regular enthusiast, something that you might see out on the local touge or street meet. Of course, it had to be damn cool as well, but in Japan, that’s not exactly the hardest thing to find. I decided my best course of action was to ask my local contact and good mate here, Toby, if he knew of anything fitting the bill. He had a long list, but it wasn’t until he showed me a crappy phone camera image of the menacing 1998 Toyota Aristo V belonging to his friend, Kai Hamada — or Hamakai, as he is more commonly known — that I stopped him immediately. “That’s the one!” I said. I’ve always had a thing for big-body cars, especially sliders, and after a few more questions and a quick message to the man himself, we were on for a late-night photoshoot.
The team at Possum Bourne Motorsport is in the midst of a full build on a very special Subaru BR-Z project for Gary Morgan. Once it’s completed, the plan is to contest endurance races here in New Zealand — including the Highlands 101 in November and possibly Targa New Zealand — before heading over to take on the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2015
It was an exciting day in the office last Friday when we got to crack open the first box of NZPC 214 fresh from the printers. Now don’t get us wrong, it’s always exciting to check out a new issue, but NZPC 214 meant that much more to the team as we have been slaving over the refreshed look for the past four months, and this was the first time we could see it all come together in print.