Christchurch’s city fathers might not be too impressed by the transformation this four-door suit-mover has undergone, but Nikki 'M5BHVN’ Pilcher is more than satisfied by her impulse buy.
When women go shopping they often stop and look at everything, especially things they don’t need or necessarily want. Chances are if she went shopping for shoes, she’ll come back with a few tops and a pair of pants.
The deep, twisted sideskirts accentuate the low and sinister stance of what was once no more than a suit-mover
But it’s not just the small-ticket items: Nikki Pilcher went to the Bling Bling Motor Company in Christchurch to buy a Lancer Evolution III she’d set her heart on. What you see here is what she brought back, and no it’s not an Evo in a Honda bodykit. This 1994 Honda Accord is the pair of pants and couple of tops Nikki didn’t really need.
But really, it’s not hard to see why Nikki had to have this car. What caught Nikki’s eye and made her forget the Evo, was the Garson Project body kit that adorns the Accord. The front bumper is one of the best suited body kit-to-car items we’ve seen for a long time. The deep, twisted sideskirts accentuate the low and sinister stance of what was once no more than a suit-mover. All four-wheel arches now wear chrome extensions, which match superbly with the deep paintwork.
The colour itself is a Mercedes deep gloss black with an added blue metallic fleck — sparkly blue during the day and deep black during the night.
At the rear of this VIP-style cruiser, the number plate recess has been removed from between the taillights, providing a very smooth and heavy look to the car.
A very desirable Mugen ducktail-type boot-top wing has also replaced the original version.
Painted before it landed in New Zealand, the quality of the job left a more than little to be desired. Whitworth Panel & Paint tidied-up the mess and did a top-notch job despite having to colour match the paint.
Knowing that 15-inch rims and 4WD-style ride height wasn’t going to cut the mustard on the harsh Christchurch streets, she visited Matt and Scott at Mag & Turbo Warehouse. With their experience on other show-stopping Christchurch cars, the M&T boys knew exactly what was required and immediately set the ball rolling.
The trio chose a set of newly released TSW Nine-full-Nine chrome 18-inch rims wearing 215/35 Nankangs. These were absorbed up into the arches using a Bilstein spring and shock combo.
The Bilstein combination gives the Accord an imposing stance on the road without being uncomfortably harsh on the passengers. Obviously with a kit like this, avoiding speed humps and driveways is an essential part of the package.
Continuing with the city cruiser theme, Nikki slapped on a set of 35 percent tints all round, adding to the pimped-out VIP feel of the car. At the rear end, the standard taillights were binned in favour of a set of Altezza-style clear items. Clear front indicators and repeaters were also added to take care of the remaining visuals.
Nikki lists one of her favourite pastimes as cruising with the girls, so the ride-quality was always going to be an important part of the car. The standard front and rear seats were removed and dropped off to Canterbury Car upholstery to get the VIP treatment. The fabric of choice was black and silver Mariner leather, which matches the exterior look perfectly. The original patterned door inserts also copped the silver leather treatment.
Big steering wheels belong in busses, not in slammed-out street cruisers, so Nikki installed an Autotechnia Silvermax number with boss kit to hold on to while cruising the city.
Eye candy (apart from the passengers) is taken care of by a Garson Project white-faced dial set imported from Japan. Another touch that ties interior and exterior together is the polished Azztech alloy floor mats with flames laser cut into them.
Working in one of Christchurch’s leading car audio stores has its advantages for Nikki and hooking up some nice gear and telling people to install it has to be one of them.
The full-on stereo system starts with a Sony black panel CD tuner in the factory location. From there, four-volt pre-outs power a pair of Sony amps, a single channel for the sub and a separate four-channel speaker amp. The sub amp is no less than a Sony 1600W Monoblock, providing more than enough boom.
The subwoofer on the receiving end of this is a single Sony 12-inch. The dual voicecoil sub sits in a custom rearward-facing box and so far has achieved a best SPL of 135dB, which is not bad for a large sedan. The box itself is covered in the same silver and black leather as the seats.
Providing the Alpine DD Drive 5.25-inch component speakers in the front, as well as a pair of Alpine DD drive 6x9s with their goodness, is the task of a Sony 600W amp. Both Sony amps are mounted under the front seats to leave plenty of room in the boot for the girls’ shopping.
When feeling the need for boom all that’s required is a quick twist of the Caliber remote bass controller knob mounted neatly in the cabin. Mark at Autosound & Security completed the installation under Nikki’s guidance.
The car is much more of a street cruiser than a drag strip warrior, but just for a laugh Nikki decided to give the car a run at Christchurch’s Ruapuna Dragway. The result was a not too bad 15.6-second quarter mile with full trim and chrome wheels. Stopping the Accord from falling off the end of the dragstrip, or the road for that matter, is a set of Endless brake pads at each corner.
So, Nikki’s indecisiveness ended up working very much in her favour. With the number of modified Evos now cruising the roads, those in the know are beginning to ignore them. The Accord, however, is a car yet to be seen at its full potential on New Zealand roads. So far, Nikki is on the right track with one of the country’s best examples.
Cruising the streets of Christchurch, the car certainly commands a presence wherever it goes. Or maybe it’s the combination of a hot car full of hot ladies and a booming stereo that’s turning heads!
Vehicle: 1994 Honda Accord VTi
Engine: 2.2-litre SOHC VTEC, K&N air filter, chrome intake pipe, NGK plugs, 2.5-inch exhaust with twin muffler tip.
Suspension: Bilstein shocks and springs
Wheels and tyres: Chrome TSW 18-inch Nine, 215/35R18 Nankang tyres
Brakes: Endless pads front and rear
Exterior: Garson front bumper and sideskirts, Mugen rear wing, SiR grill, customised bootlid, sprayed in deep gloss black with blue flake. 35% tints, clear taillights, clear indicators
Interior: Re-trimmed in black and silver leather, Autotechnia steering wheel, Garson whiteface gauges, Stainless steel floor mats
Ice: Sony black panel headunit, Monoblock 1600W amp, 600W 4-channel speaker amp, Sony 12-inch sub, Alpine DD drive 5.25-inch components, Alpine DD drive 6×9-inch speakers
Performance: 15.6 second quarter mile
Driver: Nikki Pilcher
Specs: Just kidding, Nikki
Occupation: Auto Sound & Security Salesperson
Previously owned cars: '81 Datsun, '92 VTEC Civic DECVNG '89 GTS-t Skyline (x2), '96 Nissan Primera
Dream Car: R34 GT-R
Length of ownership: One year.
Why the Accord? “I went to buy an Evo, but the Accord just caught my eye.”
Words: Peter ‘Pedey’ Kelly Photos: Quinn Hamill
Every once in a while a force within local import car culture emerges to change the entire scene. Whether it be Brett Lee-Sang’s Evo running its first 10-second pass at Champion Dragway, or perhaps Mad Mike’s Bat drifter popping its first opposite lock, these moments and the cars involved are what keeps this scene alive and kicking.
A new take on the notion of Rear-Windows?
Here at NZPC we think we have found the next big thing. Yes, we are finally able to show our faithful readers the near-finished product of a build that we have been following for some time: Brendon Gilbert’s radical 1994 Mazda RX-7 Type-R. This awesome piece of machinery will surely be a catalyst, a vehicle that incites a full shake-up within the Kiwi show scene. Sure, it’s a big call to make but I’m sticking by it — this car is simply mind blowing!
Around three months ago I was in a fairly rare motivated state of mind and decided to give Brendon a call to tell him I had booked a studio to shoot his then half-finished RX-7. The heat was now on. Brendon had just eight weeks to take his rolling primered shell (as seen wowing crowds at this year’s Auckland Auto Salon) and turn it into one of the coolest cars we have ever seen.
I could almost hear Brendon’s heart sink as it dawned upon the poor man that for the next two months his social life would cease to exist, and that he could well develop an addiction to epoxy resin. But determined bloke he is, dates were agreed upon and threats of violent consequences for failure exchanged. The race was on. But before going any further the question must be asked: what on earth possesses a man to modify a car to this dizzying extent? “About a year-and-a-half ago Soundstream took me over to a massive event in Las Vegas called CES (Consumer Electronics Show),” Brendon told us. “It was an interesting experience checking out all the modified vehicles, but at the end of it all I thought to myself, I could do better than this. You see, most of the cars there had bodywork, motor work or sounds; very few had all three.
Batman eat your heart out!
But of those that were completely modified, 95 per cent of them were built by companies who had simply poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into these rides. So although I run an audio store, I didn’t want the RX-7 to be another demo car like those, I wanted it to be mine and be modified by myself and my friends — who I wouldn’t have got anywhere without — using a very slim-line budget. In saying that, obviously the Mad Soundz and Soundstream hook-ups helped immensely, and I wouldn’t have been able to get the car anywhere near where it is without them.”
Pulling up to the studio on the day of the photoshoot, we began the long and arduous task of sliding the Mazda off the trailer, an action that was beginning to cause a stir in the mid-afternoon inner-city heat — firstly because the trailer was hitched to a former NZPC feature car (Brendon’s air-bagged and ICEd-out Chrysler 300C wagon), and secondly because of the unique sight that began to emerge from deep within the enclosed compartment. One passer-by with a slightly confused look on his face sheepishly edged closer.
“That’s an RX-7, isn’t it?” I confirmed his suspicions and asked what he thought of the car. “It looks amazing! Although it kind of makes me wonder if it’s too modified though; does anyone ever drive it?” Well, not yet. But even though Brendon’s Mazda is about as modified as a car can get, he plans to have it on the road whenever he can. Whether that means a jaunt on the track, a big-balls burnout at a comp or a quick sneaky trip down to the beach during summer, the car will most definitely be driven.
Finally getting the RX settled in among the stark whiteout of the studio surroundings, we got our first good look at the finished product. A slick, odd-looking machine, the Batty almost appears as though Godzilla, or perhaps even Mothra, has perched itself upon a standard RX-7 as it left the Hiroshima-based Mazda factory, flattening it out like you would pizza dough. This, as you might have guessed, is thanks to the hundreds of hours worth of bodywork carried out by the visionaries at Tauranga’s Team Crash Repairs.
For the passenger…the question is headphones or ear-muffs? Oh and you might as well black-out the windows while you’re at it…
They are a dedicated bunch, and many a late night was spent widening the car’s waist and shortening its stature to create the one-off look. The car now sits so low (thanks to the four-inch roof-chop and D2 coil-over suspension), the roof line now peaks at a mere 40 inches high, equal to one of the lowest road-going cars of all time, the Ford GT-40. Seeing as Brendon has yet to buy a number plate for this super-low supercar, perhaps RX-40 might be a good choice.
I guess we will all just have to wait until its official public unveiling at the ’08 4&Rotary Nationals to see this hip-high work of art in a completely finished state, personalised plate and all.
1994 Mazda RX-7 Type-R (FD3S)
Engine: Mazda 20B triple rotor, factory twin turbo, 4-inch intake, 2x K&N air filters, custom bored-out throttle body, custom front-mount intercooler, 3-inch intercooler piping, Turbosmart blow-off valve, 4-inch custom exhaust system, 2x Bosch Motorsport fuel pumps, ZEX nitrous system, ZEX purge kit, MicroTech LTX-12 ECU, alloy 3-core radiator, alloy oil cooler, 3x Supercharge 1000 CCA batteries
Driveline: Factory FD3S 5-speed gearbox, H/D single-plate clutch, FD3S Type-R factory limited slip differential
Suspension: Fully adjustable D2 coil-over shocks/springs, Type-R spec 4-wheel disc brakes
Wheels/Tyres: 20-inch Dub Esinem alloys, Falken 235/30R20 tyres
Exterior: BN Sports Blister full widebody kit, 4-inch roof chop, BMW 3 Series roof, custom shaped rear end, custom split rear window, custom rear diffuser, custom taillights, custom air-ram actuated doors
Interior: Perspex seats, Perspex floor, Perspex steering wheel, custom fibreglass dash, custom fibreglass doors, smoothed floor, Auto Meter boost gauge, Auto Meter oil pressure gauge, Pioneer Vehicle Dynamic System
ICE: Pioneer 5750 DVD head unit, 5.1 processor, 2x Soundstream 15-inch subwoofers, 2x Soundstream PCA 12-inch subwoofers, 2x Soundstream PCA 10-inch subwoofers, Soundstream Reference 10-inch subwoofer, 9x Soundstream SST 6-inch midrange speakers, 2x Soundstream XXX amps, 2x Soundstream LWS-830 5-channel amps, 2x Soundstream LW4-480 4-channel amps, Soundstream LW2-420 2-channel amp, Soundstream Michelangelo D-Class amp, 10x Soundstream VHR screens
Occupation: Manager, Mad Soundz Tauranga
Previously owned cars: Too many to list
Build time: 12 months
Length of ownership: 18 months
Thanks to: Steve & team @ Team Crash Repairs, Zano & wife @ Flaming Body Shop, Mike @ Soundstream, Carl & Pauline @ Mad Soundz Hamilton, AVS Car Alarms, Sikkens Paint, Supercharge Batteries, Stu @ True Colourz, Hinton, Thor @ Papamoa Hire, Sam & team @ Plastec, Adam @ FBI, Jonno Hawkins, Rohan, Willie Styles, Jarrod Holmes, Drew @ Mad Soundz, my Sam, Neil @ ABC Rental Cars, Peter Housham
Name: Kalle Howlett
Occupation: Fitness Instructor and admin/accounts
Region: (eg Northshore) Canterbury
Eye Colour: Blue
Hair Colour: Blonde
Best Physical Feature: My blonde hair and Blue eyes
Why? When someone looks at me the first thing they see is my face and most people seem to be attracted to the blonde hair, blue eyed girls. I think the reason I like my eyes is because its not something that can change over time unlike some physical features which change as you get older But I will have my blue eyes forever no matter how old I get haha They also stand out against my blonde hair.
What do you find sexy in a man? Good hair! And a nice voice and a guy that likes to look after his girl.
Tell us something Interesting about yourself? I was born in England and came to NZ when I was 9 years old.I have been to France, Spain and traveled round Aussie. I moved to Australia when I was 18 but came back to settle in NZ because I missed it so much. I’m a fitness instructor at the best gym in ChCh and teach pump, step and cardio. I also work in the office for my gym and process the accounts and work in administration. I plan to travel the world in the next few years.
Favourite Car: S15 Silvia!!
What do you think it takes to be NZ’s Ultimate Bikini Model? I think its more than just a good bod. The ultimate bikini model needs to have a friendly face and have brains! If you are going to have your profile in the magazine you want to wow people with what you do outside of modeling and show people that bikini models these days are sophisticated and not just a pretty face. On a physical side the Ultimate bikini model does need to have a fit healthy body and a great smile to go with it.
Eye Colour: green
Hair Colour: Dark brown
Best Physical Feature: Bum
Why? It makes my body fit together and makes skirts look real good!!
What do you find sexy in a man? sense of humour but if we’re going physical definitely back and shoulders
Tell us something Interesting about yourself? I own a turtle! He is 12 years old and his name is Zeek. I am also obsessed with the simpsons. Its been a point of harrassment from my mates my entire life!!
Favourite Car: GTR Skyline Go the Goddies!!!
What do you think it takes to be NZ’s Ultimate Bikini Model?
personality, someone who can get any crowd to love her inside and out, plus the hottest body of all time!!
Occupation: Unemployed/part time promo work
Eye Colour: Blue
Hair Colour: Brown
Best Physical Feature: Eyes
Why? Not sure just seems to be what I get the most attention about! haha
What do you find sexy in a man? His smile
Tell us something Interesting about yourself? That I cant whistle…..
Favourite Car: Rx7s and i love Cadillacs and Impalas
What do you think it takes to be NZ’s Ultimate Bikini Model? I think it takes someone who doesnt just have a great face and bod but someone who also has a outgoing personality and loves eveything that life brings in even the best and worst times!
Occupation: Customer Service Representive
Eye Colour: blue
Hair Colour: blonde
Best Physical Feature: the whole package
Why? Because if you don’t love yourself how can you be expected to love anyone else
What do you find sexy in a man? He must have nice hypnotic eyes and a down to earth personality with a bit of a bad boy streak
Tell us something Interesting about yourself? I have 27 martial art titles and a motor sport enthusiast
Favourite Car: RX7 Batman
What do you think it takes to be NZ’s Ultimate Bikini Model? Beside having a great body I feel that this person should have the whole package inside and out with an outstanding personality
Name: April Schroder
Age: 19 years
Occupation: Security Technician
Region: (eg Northshore) Tararua
Nickname: Apple — Don’t ask me where this name comes from as I honestly wouldn’t have a clue!
Eye Colour: Hazel
Hair Colour: Brunette
Best Physical Feature: My long legs
Why? Being 6 foot tall has it’s advantages. They make me stand out in the crowd.
What do you find sexy in a man? The man who walks around topless in his jeans or jockeys. Hmmmmm!
Tell us something Interesting about yourself? I am the most accident prone female you will ever meet. I’ve ridden horses competitively since I was 7 years of age and have managed to have some sort of accident each year. But it’s always a great way of getting bunches of flowers and yummy chocolates. lol.
Favourite Car: My boyfriend’s 2002 Ford Courier Turbo Diesel.
What do you think it takes to be NZ’s Ultimate Bikini Model? I feel that to be NZ’s Ultimate Bikini Model it takes extreme confidence, not only in who you are but also how you present yourself to the voting public as well. And of course a great body is a plus! (laughs)
Occupation: Office Manager
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Dark Brown
Best Physical Feature: Smile? or Boobs?
Why? Two things that I get told arent too bad haha
What do you find sexy in a man? A good sence of humour, confidence and a nice smile
Tell us something Interesting about yourself? I am learning to speak spanish, as i am half spanish, half irish! which i think is interesting in itself?
Favourite Car: Porche boxter
What do you think it takes to be NZ’s Ultimate Bikini Model? Confidence, and a wicked personaltity!