Jan 15, 2008 | NZPC

As the celebrity trend for long, eye-skimming fringes rages on, Britain’s female motorists are putting themselves and their passengers at risk. Almost 190,000* admit that they have had an accident, 'near miss’ or made a sudden manoeuvre as a result of their vision being limited by their hair whilst driving.  Shiela’s Wheels didn’t interview any emos, so we’re unsure of how many males also have this problem.

The research conducted by female-friendly car insurer Sheilas’ Wheels, reveals that a massive 67 per cent of women currently have a hairstyle that can fall in their eyes whilst driving. However, despite this risk, only a fifth of women (21 per cent) always secure their hair off their face before getting behind the wheel.  More than 9 million female motorists say that they never secure their hair back before driving.

The most common reasons cited by women for not securing hair back in the car include: not believing it necessary (33 per cent), not remembering to bring a hair tie (8 per cent) and not wanting to ruin an existing hairstyle (8 per cent).

Considering more than half of women (53 per cent) prioritise style over practicality when it comes to hairstyles, and more than 9 and a half million female drivers admit to giving no thought to how their peripheral vision might be affected when sitting in the hairdresser’s chair, this is an issue that women should be taking more seriously.

As well as obstructing female motorists’ sight, the latest hair trends are also distracting women’s attention in the car — 57 per cent of women confess to taking their hands off the wheel to rearrange their hair or push it off their face, leaving them temporarily out of control of their car.

Women in Northern Ireland are the most trend-conscious, with a massive 80 per cent admitting to changing their hair to follow their latest celebrity or style icon. In contrast, female motorists in the North East are the least fashion-following, with over half (55 per cent) saying that celebrity hair trends never influence their hair style. Female motorists in the South West are the safest drivers — 53 per cent of drivers in this region rate their hair style as 'totally practical’.

Martyn Maxey, hairdresser to the stars, commented: “For some celebrities, a change of hairstyle is headline news. Take Kate Moss and The Fringe for example — in recent weeks we’ve been inundated with requests for the long fringe and despite it falling over the eyes, it’s now a fashion statement and people want it.”

Martyn Maxey’s top tips for safe driving and gorgeous hair (emos, please take note):

  • It is easy to keep a simple headband or alice band in your car’s glove compartment at all times
  • For the extremely style-conscious there are a variety of hair slides that are fashionable at the moment from classic tortoiseshell to diamante 'bling’ for a night out
  • If you have a long fringe and want it to look immaculate when arriving at your destination, leave in a chunky velcro roller to hold it out of your eyes. When you remove it, your fringe will be styled perfectly
  • For the ultimate in glamour, a pair of Chanel sunglasses secured tightly on the top of your head will push all stray hair away from the face

The following hairstyles were voted the top three most dangerous on the roads:

  1. The long fringe (50 per cent)
  2. Sweeping fringe (44 per cent)
  3. Short layers to frame the face (5 per cent)

Sheilas’ Wheels understands that fashionable hairstyles are not always going to be the most practical, which is why they are appealing to female motorists to keep hair accessories in their glove compartments at all times.

Jacky Brown at Sheilas’ Wheels, comments: “Not many women [or men, for that fact...Ed] think of their hair as a potential driving distraction, but with the latest trends all requiring styling around the face and eyes, it’s essential that female motorists are aware of this safety issue.

“There are so many hair accessories available that can secure hair in place without compromising style, it’s just about finding the right one for you and making sure it’s handy whenever you step behind the wheel.”

* Sheilas’ Wheels used the independent online research company MyVoice who surveyed 1,000 of the UK’s female drivers, from across the country aged 18 and over, on 5th December 2007

Jan 15, 2008 | NZPC

Nissan GT-R crash

We found this unfortunate mess on the North American GT-R Owner’s club site. Obviously a total muppet has underestimated the sheer grunt of Nissan’s GT-R and has come a cropper with something large and heavy. It’s a shame that we don’t even have one over here yet and people are disposing of them in sacrilegious ways in Asia. Obviously the four-wheel drive and numerous electronic aids couldn’t overcome the lack of talent this driver had. Of course, we’re assuming it was the driver’s fault, and our other assumption is that it is in Hong Kong.

Nevertheless, RIP GT-R!

Jan 14, 2008 | NZPC

GT500 Nissan

The GT500 specification Nissan GT-R racing car, which will vie for the 2008 Super GT series, made its public debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon, followed by the “Osaka Auto Messe 2008” (February 9-11, 2008 at Intecks Osaka), the country’s two largest annual custom car shows.

The new works livery — which will be featured across Nissan motorsports activities during the 2008 season is shown here. Nissan will vie for the Super GT Championship in Japan, one of the world’s most demanding GT race series, with the new machine built on the same multi-performance super car concept of the Nissan GT-R road car.

The new livery resulted from close collaboration between Nissan’s design team and NISMO, its motorsports affiliate company, and incorporates feedback from members of the “Club NISMO” fan club.

The signature wide “brush stroke” design motif, synonymous with the current Fairlady Z race car, was carried forward into the new GT-R racing car as Nissan’s racing fans worldwide could immediately associate with the design. The livery design swipes forward from the rear in bold red and black — the red symbolises the passion for racing, while the black signifies the high performance of the new Nissan GT-R.

Further details of the GT500 Nissan GT-R including technical specifications will be announced on 31 January as well as Nissan’s full range of global motorsports activities for the coming season.

Jan 14, 2008 | NZPC

tokyo auto salon

Thanks to Japanese Used Cars we can bring you pictures of the drift demo, a tasty Blitz Nissan GT-R, and Kumakubo’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

Jan 14, 2008 | NZPC

1983 lancia

First up is the 1983 Lancia 037. If you’ve a space US$450,000, it can be in your garage looking cool.

It’s 1 of 20 Racing Version Cars (EVO.1) with the colors of Martini Racing, and was purchased by the current owner in 1989. With the 037 having been conceived solely as a means for Lancia to win the World Rally Championship, no-one was particularly surprised when the competition version made its debut just days after FISA had officially granted the car homologation into Group B.

Typically weighing in around 200kg lighter than the 1170kg Stradale, some 037 competition cars were little more than 960kg although this did vary according to the nature of any given event. Wheel size and width also varied, but when in definitive tarmac trim, the stock 037′s 16-inch diameter rear wheels were exchanged for taller 18-inch pieces and shod with Pirelli’s latest generation P7 Corsa tyres.

Other set-up changes included a 5mm drop in ride-height and while Lancia’s hands were tied by FISA when it came to making major changes to the 037′s underpinnings, there was considerable scope for engine developments. In this first batch of 1982 cars, Abarth’s diminutive two-litre was tuned to produce no less than 280bhp thanks to an increase in supercharger pressure and compression (from 7.5 to 8.0:1). There were also new Champion N84G spark plugs and a problematic Bosch mechanical fuel injection system that was periodically exchanged for Weber carburettors during the course of the year. The gearbox was a five-speed Abarth-modified ZF unit with single-plate Valeo clutch and ceramic alloy gasket. Although bodywork for these first series cars was identical to the high-winged Stradale’s, when they were finished in Martini’s stunning livery, Pininfarina’s beautiful design was given a new air of urgency.

Inside, what little soundproofing Lancia had fitted to the road car was removed along with all unnecessary trim, the stock dash getting extensive Borletti instrumentation while competition seats with harnesses were also fitted. First shown to the press in Turin during mid-December of 1981, Lancia had built the 200 necessary Stradale’s by late March ’82 and homologation was confirmed in time to compete in the Costa Smerelda Rally beginning on April 1st.

This 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution is in brand new condition and was purchased directly from Ford in Europe by the current owner. Its 2.1-litre Cosworth single turbo engine pumps out  650bhp. It is one of only 24 made and will whip you to 96.5kph in 2.1 seconds. Yes, that’s just 2.1 seconds.

The RS200 was banned from rally competition in Europe in the late ’80s because it was too fast (and consequently believed to be too dangerous), but they can now compete in hill climbs, vintage rallies and the like.

It’s US$350,000 – a bargain compared to the Lancia. But if you want something slightly cheaper, click to the next page to read about the stupidly quick 400bhp Metro 6R4

The 6R4 Project was first announced in February 1984. Built under contract by Williams Grand Prix Engineering. It started out as 2WD, later permanent 4WD was developed. It was mid-engined 250bhp, 12v, 3-litre V6 (a modified 3.5-litre Rover V8, as fitted in the MGB GT V8). Later specifications of the engine increased the power to 400bhp. Unlike other Group B cars, it was not turbocharged, but fuel injected.

At just US$250,000 it’s the cheapest of the three.

All photos copyright their respective owners. Cars are offered for sale at www.autocollections.com.

Jan 14, 2008 | NZPC

SIK AZZ Honda Integra - Into The Red

English teachers around the country must be spewing. I mean, despite all their efforts, best intentions and tireless devotion, the kids they teach spend most of their time talking in a flipside fashion. What do I mean by flipside? Well, consider these examples: if you’re being all correct, the word 'fat’ tends to mean 'large’ or something similar, but to kids these days fat has become 'phat’ and it means that something is cool. Then there’s the word 'mean’, which commonly describes a person who’s not very nice. But mean to today’s youth once again translates as something that is pretty damn cool. The word 'sick’ is another example: to most people when someone or something is sick, it’s not all that flash, but to kids, once again it means something is cool!

So, when it came time for Aaron to choose a personalised plate for his Honda Integra, sure he could have pleased his English teacher by going with something correct like SONICE, FLASH1 or even 2COOL. But no, that’d be crap. His car was pretty damn fine, so something like SIKAZZ would be just the ticket.

As you can see, however, there’s a hell of a lot more to this fine machine than its well-chosen number plate. The immaculate Honda is fully decked out, with not one area escaping Aaron’s modification-crazed touch. It’s been a three-year assault turning the car from mundane get-about into a ball-tearing piece of eye candy. But seeing as Aaron treats the enhancement process as a hobby, his efforts were no more than an enjoyable pastime that resulted in one hell of a cool ride.

Wanting the perfect mix of both 'go’ and 'show’, Aaron knew there were some vital ingredients required to reach the standards he had set himself — and that would blow the minds of all those who cast their eyes over the car. Right near the pointy end of this list was a decent engine, and as luck would have it, that’s just what Aaron came across early on in the project. Saying the engine is decent is a bit like describing Pam Anderson as! 'shapely’. It just doesn’t tell the whole story.

It’s just a little bit of an understatement. What I can say is this Honda B20B VTEC turbo is a minter; built stronger than Todd’s hair gel and has more kick than our nasty office coffee dubbed 'lax’. A B20B turbo huh? Yes indeed, it’s a little different, but judging by the performance it’s got on tap, it’s a well-worked and very capable package. The block of this bad boy is actually from the two-litre Honda CR-V, which isn’t usually that impressive in standard trim. The internals of this particular one, however, are far from standard. The block itself was fully stripped, acid cleaned and re-decked, and then for extra durability and life under its soon-to-be-boosted conditions, a set of forged JE pistons with a 8:9:1 were planted inside. Hanging on to the beefed-up pumpers are a set of equally sturdy shot-peened rods.

Considering the block had the goods to handle the increased stress and force to be unleashed upon it, the head of this powerhouse had to be brought up to an equal level. Although the block is of two-litre capacity, the head mated to it is actually off a Honda B16A 1.6-litre twin cam. But it’s been subjected to a thorough working over as well, to ensure maximum pony extraction. In addition to being port-matched to aid flow, the B16A head also received a three-angle valve grind and set of Kelford re-ground cams with adjustable cam gears to precisely dial them in. It’s plain to see why all that heavy-duty and quality gear was in place — there’s a nasty-arse Garrett turbo hanging off the front of this mill!

That’s right, this sucker’s got puff power provided by none other than a Garrett T28 ball bearing turbo. Attached to the VTEC mill via a custom exhaust manifold, the Garrett huffer draws its air through a Kool Blue air filter. The large amounts of inhaled atmosphere are then rapidly sent through a front-mounted intercooler that effectively drops the temperature of the charge before it arrives at the intake manifold. Boost pressure not lucky enough to make the journey is dispatched by the HKS super sequential blow-off valve, while air that makes the grade gets a hot date with a whole lot of fuel. Ensuring this fuel gets to the party on time is a 500hp in-tank fuel pump feeding the good stuff down enlarged braided lines to the larger-than-life fuel rail. From there it’s fed into the Series 5 RX-7 primary injectors, which dispatch it to its explosive rendezvous. Of course, no party is complete without something to get it started; but never fear, that’s where the MSD blaster coil, 8mm leads and NGK spark plugs step up to the plate.

Although this is one party that definitely goes off with a bang, it’s one that creates some unwanted guests — spent exhaust gases. That’s not an issue around here though, as those gases are quickly shuffled out the back door via a 2.5-inch straight-through exhaust system. Chaperoning the entire affair and making sure everything behaves itself is an Integra Link ECU.

With the engine making good power, ensuring it effectively gets to the road is the next task. The standard five-speed gearbox remains, but its inner componentry got a bit of a tickle-up. Helping to fight the battle is a lightened flywheel and a four-puck brass button clutch with re-surfaced pressure plate.

The Integra’s suspension package was another area Aaron was keen to sort out for handling and aesthetic reasons. A set of coil-overs on all corners definitely took care of both elements: not only does the car handle like a dream, it’s low and looks very mean (remember, that’s as in 'cool’). To further aid the rigidity of the Integra’s package, Aaron also fitted aftermarket strut braces. Not too far away from those tasty coil-overs, you’ll find the standard braking system, except with upgraded pads. At this stage Aaron says the factory brakes are okay, but an upgrade is definitely on the cards. The rims sitting over the brakes, however, are anything but standard. They are, in fact, 17-inch EVO Rs from the TSW stable — a very nice set of wheels that work nicely with both the styling and era of this particular car. These rims make a decent footprint on the black top, too, thanks to the 215/40R17 rubber they wear.

If you cast your thoughts back, you may recall that I mentioned Aaron wanted to achieve a perfect mix of 'go’ and 'show’ when building this car. Well, it’s fairly obvious he got that 'go’ part sorted, and looking at this machine’s inside and exterior, it’d be fair to say he got the 'show’ part nailed too. In addition to the TSW rims, Aaron transformed the exterior of the Integra with a body kit featuring Jetspeed front and rear bars with Foxton Aerotech side skirts. Although the car still wears its factory paint colours, there’s no denying it looks awesome. Even so, Aaron assures us the Integra’s due for a new hue in the very near future.

Head indoors and it’s very clear to see it’s a well-appointed affair. A full re-trim was carried out with the seats remoulded and re-trimmed in white and maroon marine vinyl. To complement this, the steering wheel was upgraded to a Momo Apache number, and likewise, the standard gear knob was sent West in favour of a Jap Race item. A host of gauges have also gone in to keep Aaron informed on what’s going on under the lid. There are air fuel and boost gauges from Autometer; oil temp, oil pressure and water temp gauges from Auto Gauge; and a monster tacho from Splitfire to make the others feel insignificant. Aaron also controls boost levels thanks to the addition of a TurboXS boost controller.

Aaron has a penchant for some serious sounds and that’s just what he got. Residing in there you’ll find a Pioneer 4x45W CD head unit, Pioneer front components and crossovers, a VDO two-channel amp, two 12-inch subs, a 300W inverter, a Slim line Playstation2 and a seven-inch fully motorised, in-dash TV. Phew! Is the thing well decked out or what!

Sure, his English teacher might shake her head in disgust when she sees Aaron driving his SIKAZZ ride down the street, but what does that matter — we just can’t get enough of this well-appointed grunter.

SPECS

ENGINE: B20B VTEC turbo, CRV block, B16A head, JE pistons 8:9:1 ratio, shot-peened rods, fully stripped and acid cleaned, re-decked block, port matched head, three-angle valve grind, Kelford reground cams, adjustable cam gears, Kool Blue air filter, Garrett T28 ball bearing turbo, custom exhaust manifold, custom 2.5-inch dump pipe, HKS super sequential BOV, 710x300x80 intercooler, enlarged fuel rail, Series 5 RX-7 primary injectors, rising rate fuel regulator, 500hp in-tank fuel pump, enlarged and braided fuel lines, MSD Blaster coil, 8mm leads, NGK spark plugs, 2.5-inch straight-through exhaust with 4-inch tip, Integra Link computer, Autometer Phantom series (air-fuel, boost) gauges, Auto guage (oil temp ,oil pres, water temp) gauges Splitfire monster tacho, TurboXS boost controller, chrome intake, rocker cover and intercooler piping.

DRIVELINE: Lightened flywheel, 4-puck brass button clutch, re-surfaced pressure plate

SUSPENSION/BRAKES: Coil overs, Factory four wheel discs, competition pads all

WHEELS AND TYRES: 17-inch TSW EVO Rs, 215/40R17 tyres

EXTERIOR: Jetspeed front and rear bar, Foxton side skirts, clear tail lights

INTERIOR: Re-trimmed and remoulded seats in white and maroon marine vinyl, Momo Apache steering wheel, Jap Race gear knob

I.C.E: Pioneer 45×4 CD head unit, front component speakers, crossovers, VDO 2-channel amp, 2×12-inch subs, 300W inverter, Slimline Playstation2, 7-inch fully motorised in-dash TVDRIVER PROFILE

DRIVER PROFILE

NAME: Aaron

AGE: 22

OCCUPATION: Electrician

PREVIOUSLY OWNED CARS: Nissan Pulsar, Honda Prelude

DREAM CAR: R33 GT-R

WHY THE INTEGRA? As a hobby

LENGTH OF OWNERSHIP: Four years

AARON THANKS: Adrian at Jap Race, Steve Sinclair at RE Sinclair, Patrick at AutoTrimmers, Plating Solutions, Auto Bend, Chase Auto Components, Graham at PDRacing, Clutch Systems, my girlfriend Claire and her family, my parents, WLDRS and of course all the boys

Jan 13, 2008 | NZPC

clio

Name: Clio Ross

Age: 20

Resides: Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Likes: The beach, travelling

Dislikes: Racism

So where will our readers have seen you before?
On the May issue of Ralph, the July cover of Inside Sport, Auto Salon magazine issues 40 and 43 and also on the Auto Salon website.

And what is it you do by day?
I go to university. I’m studying International Business. I’m in my last year of my degree so it’s pretty full on. I also do a lot of modelling work in my spare time. I often have to travel around Australia and internationally for photo shoots which is great. The rest of the time I enjoy going to the beach and spending time with my friends and family.

When you were growing up, were you more of a girly girl as a kid, or a tomboy?
Definitely a tomboy because I grew up living with my four brothers, but I changed, thankfully!

As a kid, what was the one thing you really wanted to do when you were older?
I wanted to get into acting, but then I decided that modelling was better for me.

Are you doing that now? If not, do you see yourself doing that within 10 years time?
I have done a couple of commercials on T. V including one for Budweiser. I was also chosen for the cast of a short film called The Beach House. However I don’t see myself pursuing an acting career. I think the industry is way too competitive.

So then what aspirations do you have for the next 20 years?
I want to pursue my modelling while I can. Once I complete my degree though I want to continue studying to complete a masters in business. Hopefully I’ll be able to get many job opportunities out of that. I would love to work for an international company to get the chance to travel internationally for work.

What was your first taste in the modelling industry and how long have you been in the game?
I first started doing some photographic modelling when I was 15. What really got me into 'the game’ was a modelling competition that I entered when I was 18. I won the state final so they sent me to Melbourne to model for fashion week. Since then I have been modelling regularly. I’ve done modelling work in Singapore, Malaysia, Paris and New Zealand it’s been awesome.

When you drive, what do you get around in?
A Toyota Lexen but I’ve been saving up to buy a new car.

Is it modified in any way?
No it’s not.

Describe your dream ride!
It would have to be an R34 Skyline GT-R.

If someone handed you a $1,000,000 and told you that you had a week to spend it. How do you do it?
I would buy my dream car and also my dream house. Then I would go travelling around the world in amazing locations and stay in the best hotels. Then I’d give the rest of the money to my family and friends.

So, how does a guy win you over?
He’d have to have a great personality and be able to make me laugh, and also show some confidence.

And what would be your perfect date with this guy?
Probably at a nice restaurant so we could have a good meal and great conversation to get to know each other better.

How would you spend your ideal weekend from start to finish?
Probably a weekend away on holiday with some friends in an exotic location like Thailand. I went there last year it’s such a beautiful country.

A night at home infront of a fire watching a DVD or a night out partying?
That will depend on my mood. I love going out partying with friends to dance, have a couple of drinks and meet new people, but sometimes I just feel like staying at home to watch a DVD because it’s more comfortable and relaxing.

What’s your favourite thing about summer?
Definitely the good weather and the beach. I go to the beach as often as I can during summer, I love relaxing close to the water and getting a tan.

If you had to go to a remote island and were allowed to take two things, what would they be and why?
Bikinis, although it would be hard to chose which one because I have about 30 of them! And definitely my mobile phone because I can’t live without it!

Thanks Clio, it was great to meet you at the Auto Salon.

Get your own photoshoot by the professional team at Parkside. Click here to find out more.

Jan 11, 2008 | NZPC

Here’s the definitive test: is the Mitsubishi Evo X faster than the outgoing Evo IX, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI 9, and the new STI?

This race around the Tsukuba track has great in-car footage showing you just where each car has its strengths and weaknesses.