Jan 7, 2008 | NZPC

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Women hoping to attract male attention should get behind the wheel of a four-wheel drive rally weapon such as the Mitsubishi Evo or Impreza WRX, and be able to drive it well, according to a survey from evecars.com.

The women’s car website polled a cross-section of men to discover which cars they’d be most impressed to see a woman driving. The winner was the Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster, a classic model built from 1955 to 1963, but as they (as well as the second place car, a Porsche 911) are ludicrously expensive, the Evo and Impreza in 3th and 5th place respectively are more realistic. The survey doesn’t say what happens if the woman driving the car isn’t a looker.

Although most of the favourites are performance cars, including the Porsche 911, Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru Impreza – the Queen’s favourite vehicle the Land Rover Defender also scored highly in the top ten.

‘The men we polled love the idea of a woman at the wheel of a high performance car, but only if she knows how to handle it,’ says Alex Jenner-Fust. ‘That’s why the idea of a Land Rover Defender driven by the Queen is far more appealing than a modern Mercedes convertible being driven, or crashed, by the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.’

Martin Schlaeppi who races in the Radical Enduro series, voted for the Evo. 'It’s a car for people who love driving and it takes effort and concentration to drive well,’ he said. ‘Evo drivers know about their cars and that’s why it’s sexy to see a woman behind the wheel.’

Evecars.com also asked women from the motoring industry which cars they felt most fabulous driving. Two-seater convertibles scored strongly, from the luxurious Jaguar XKR to the stripped out Caterham, as did performance cars like the Porsche 911 and Mitsubishi Evo.

Top 10 cars to turn men’s heads

  1. Mercedes SL Roadster
  2. Porsche 911
  3. Mitsubishi Evo
  4. Land Rover Defender
  5. Subaru Impreza
  6. Rolls-Royce Phantom
  7. Range Rover Sport
  8. Fiat 500
  9. VW Golf R32
  10. Caterham
Jan 6, 2008 | NZPC

Mazda 626 - Pink With Envy 2

Stop a minute; take a step back and look at the motor vehicle in its simplest form. Isn’t it intriguing why the car evokes such strong passions around the world? At the end of the day, the car is no more than a means of transport, yet some people spend more time with their vehicle than they do with other people — cars are their passion, their life. Then you have the other end of the scale — those with no interest in cars whatsoever. Believe it or not there are people out there who have never owned a car and never will. They don’t have a licence and are content to simply put their feet to the pavement or cycle from A to B.

While those are two extremes, there are many shades of opinion in and debate between. Like, just what is a chick’s car? Is it something used for transporting young poultry? Is it something that packs a sad once a month? Maybe, but if you’re using the stereotype as the yardstick, a chick’s car is small, slow, kinda pretty and definitely automatic.

Tash Walsh’s Mazda 626 is by all means a chick’s car, but if that’s the case, explain to me why it’s not all that small, is definitely not slow, and — OK, it’s kinda pretty. But hell, this is one chick’s car that could deal out a hiding to many so-called blokes cars — rest assured of that!

The reason for this would have something to do with the fact that this 1983 Mazda 626 has undergone a transformation from dodgy nana-spec eyesore to tear-arse road weapon.

Tash, the car’s owner, wanted her ride to be something a bit different, so rather than head off down the 'drop a rotor in it’ road, she thought she’d consider a few other options.

Around the same time as she and Luke Langridge (the guy behind the bulk of the build) were all geared to rip into the project, drifting was just starting to emerge on the New Zealand import scene. Luke noticed a lot of the drift beasts sported Nissan’s two-litre turbo charged powerhouse, the SR20DET. They went bloody well too, so Luke thought: 'Why don’t we drop one of those into Tash’s car?’

An SR20DET in an ’83 626? It would be a bit strange and definitely a bit different, but shit it would be fun! so they went for it.
Obviously, this meant quite a few things had to happen. For starters, they had to get their hands on said Nissan mill, fiddle with the old Maz a bit so the new engine fitted, while ensuring the rest of the package could handle the extra ponies on board.

To get things rolling an SR20DET that once called a S13 Silvia home was sourced complete with matching five-speed gearbox. This two-litre turbo donk was left pretty much standard as far as the internals were concerned — the inner workings of the block and cylinder head were left as per the Nissan factory specs.

In saying that, the engine has received a full on freshen up. Before being slotted into the 626, it was subjected to a complete rebuild.

With that sorted and with some new engine mounts in place, the new turbo power plant was attached to its new home and the next stage of the process began — getting it running, and running strong.

First up, this meant the obligatory intake and exhaust systems needed to be bought up to scratch. So starting up the front, custom stainless intake piping was made. Once this was polished to a high sheen a stainless mesh filter was whacked on the end and hey presto, the heavy-breathing donk was now freed to suck to its heart’s content.

At the same time as the intake piping was made, Tash figured it wouldn’t be a stupid idea to get the intercooler piping sorted as well. Made from the same polished stainless material, the intercooler piping looks slick indeed and helps deliver a clean flow of chilled air from the custom front-mounted intercooler to the waiting plenum. On the exhaust side of things a decent-sized example was deemed necessary to quickly rid the engine of unwanted by-products. So to widen the escape path, Tash had a custom system fabricated that runs three-inches off the turbo through to a primary muffler and then into a polished stainless muffler on the rear.

Since the SR20DET transplant would give the sedate 626 a huge horsepower injection, Tash decided there was no need to slot an upgraded turbo into the mix. Instead, the standard T28 puffer was capable of pumping through all the boost she needed and, thanks to the full strip down and rebuild it received, she knew it would be a sturdy and reliable bit of gear. Tash did, however, choose to fit the obligatory blow-off valve, in this case a Blaster from the Racepro stable.

Unless you’re one of the people I mentioned earlier who doesn’t have any interest in cars, you’ll know that in order for an engine to go, you need to feed it with fuel. And when you’re talking about a performance engine, it’s basically a given that you’ll need to feed it quite a lot. The SR20DET is no slouch and Luke made sure it was well juiced at all times. In addition to fitting a Fuel Flo lift pump inside the tank he also fitted a 1.5-litre surge tank and Bosch motorsport fuel pump, all of which does a beaut job of delivering the good stuff to the standard injectors.

In order to keep the 626’s lively new heart cool under pressure, an A31 Cefiro radiator with twin electric fans was nestled up front, while a quick look around the tidy engine bay reveals a stainless radiator catch can and some very cool polished custom alloy plate work. The mighty Mazda’s drive train hasn’t been overlooked either with a good mix of beefed-up gear ensuring the old hauler can lay the power to the ground in fine form.

Further up the power chain things have been helped out by an upgraded pressure plate and organic friction plate, while a bit further down the line a custom drive shaft feeds the fury to a Mazdaspeed 4.1:1 LSD. A solid engine, good fuel system, sturdy drive train! the Maz should go well right? Well not without a decent ECU it won’t! That’s why Tash opted for one of the best: a Link Plus direct from the wizards at Link Electrosystems, and with it wired in, the 626 was sounding sweeter than a sugar coated Sunday school teacher.

Transplanting a modern fire-breathing engine into an older car is good in theory, but imagine trying to negotiate windy roads at speed and stop the thing with bog-standard suspension and brakes! Thankfully, that’s not a predicament Tash has to contend with — evening out the bumps, lowering the ride height and knocking the saggy handling on the head are Series 3 RX-7 struts and Lovell springs in the front, KYB shocks and Lovell springs on the rear. A custom sway bar was also made for the front to accommodate the SR20DET engine.

As for brakes, well, the factory ’83 items were about as practical as a condom dispenser in a lesbian bar, so they were promptly replaced with Series 3 RX-7 callipers and rotors on the front and a Mazda Cosmo braking package on the rear. Not too far away from these you’ll find a rather tasty set of rims: 17×7-inch Simmons to be precise. Although a popular choice among the rotary fraternity, these wheels definitely do not look out of place on the 626 and actually work bloody well with the car’s boxy shape and stunning Debeer Lil effect paint job.

The standard interior of the 626 was enough to make you want to run home and hide under your bed. It was an absolute eyesore and that’s exactly why Tash didn’t waste a minute injecting a bit of class into it. First up, the front seats were binned in favour of a set from a Mitsi GSR and following that, a Mazdaspeed steering wheel found a home on the steering column.

But that wasn’t enough to turn this ugly duckling into a swan: it took a re-trimmed carpet, door guards, roof lining and sun visors to make that happen. And of course, no modified ride is complete without gauges, so the 626 now sports an Autometer boost gauge and Splitfire water and oil temp gauges — all of which are mounted on a custom alloy panel. Last but not least are the tunes, which are supplied via a Sony head unit and Xplod 6x9s.

So there you have it, one of the toughest Mazda 626s you’re ever likely to come across. It goes hard, it looks mean and it’s been built damn well. But best of all is that a woman owns it. Kind of blows that whole 'chick’s car’ theory to shreds doesn’t it!

SPEC

ENGINE: SR20DET, standard rebuilt internals, standard rebuilt head, custom stainless intake and intercooler piping, stainless mesh/paper filter and custom front-mount intercooler, Racepro Blaster blow-off valve, standard rebuilt T28 turbo, Fuel Flo lift pump into polished 1.5-litre surge tank with Bosch motorsport fuel pump, 3-inch exhaust off turbo to primary muffler and polished can, A31 Cefiro radiator with twin electric fans, Link Plus ECU, Razo turbo timer, Link tuning module, polished custom alloy pipe work, stainless radiator catch can

GEARBOX: S13 Silvia five-speed gearbox, upgraded pressure plate with organic friction plate, Mazdaspeed 4.1:1 LSD, standard axles, custom driveshaft

SUSPENSION: S3 RX-7 front struts, KYB rear shocks, custom mounts, Lovells springs front and rear, custom front sway bar to accommodate engine

BRAKES: Front: S3 RX-7 callipers and rotors, Rear: 12A turbo Cosmo

WHEELS AND TYRES: 18×7-inch Enkei RP05 alloys, Nankang 225/35R18 tyres

EXTERIOR: Custom flared guards, de-locked doors, Debeer Lil effect paint

INTERIOR: Mitsubishi GSR front seats, Mazdaspeed steering wheel, Autometer boost, Splitfire water temp and oil pressure gauges, chrome pods mounted on custom panel, re-trimmed carpet, door guards, roof lining and sun visors

ICE: Sony CDX-M85DMP head unit with Xplod 6x9s with custom alloy plate stereo surround

DRIVER PROFILE

Name: Natasha Walsh

AGE: 22

Occupation: Vodafone Rep — outboundorist

Previously owned cars: Mazda 626

Dream car: “I own it — a Mazda RX-3 awaiting the same treatment.”

Why this car? To be different

Build time: Still going

Length of ownership: 2 years

Thanks: Adam @ Quick Kraft Boats for all the alloy work, Jason @ 1st Ave Panel and Paint, Bay Metal Finishers, and a huge thanks to Luke Langridge who dedicated 12 months of his life to the build!

Jan 4, 2008 | NZPC

Toyota Prius - Factory Fast

The Toyota Motor Company, like many manufactures, has played around with hybrid and alternative fuel technologies for a fair while now. But in 1997, it all came to fruition for Toyota when it launched its first generation Prius. This wasn’t only a first for Toyota; it was also the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle.

With a few more years’ development under its belt, Toyota’s 2004 Prius now features the Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system. This setup delivers more power and greater performance than the original THS system, thanks mostly to the increased duration of electric-mode driving and the peak power being electrically delivered.

In numbers, the HSD-equipped Prius offers a 50 per cent more powerful 50-kilowatt drive-motor, now operating at up to 500 volts. The Prius looks weird. While it looks like some sort of people mover, it’s actually just a five-door hatchback with a very spacious and space age interior. Clear tails sharpen up the rear end, and given a decent set of wheels with lower suspension, I’m sure it would actually look quite the machine.

But we’re not here to talk about what the Prius looks like; we’re here to see what makes it tick.

Pop the bonnet and you’ll find not one, but two seemingly separate power plants. The one on the left is a conventional 1500cc DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine, complete with Toyota’s Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (VVT-i). This puppy outputs 57kW/5000rpm and pushes 115Nm/4000rpm.

On the right side is the car’s other motivator, a Permanent Magnet Synchronous motor that musters 50kW/1200-1500rpm and an impressive 400Nm/0-1200rpm when hit with the aforementioned 500V from a mid-mounted Nickel Metal-Hydride (Ni-MH) battery.

Press the button marked START and, well nothing. The Prius runs silently (and we mean silently!) on its electric motor alone the petrol engine still hasn’t engaged. It’s the same when the car comes to a complete halt, say at the traffic lights; the petrol engine simply shuts off and waits for your next move.

The transmission is CVT auto, meaning it really only has one gear (with a constantly changing ratio and it’s super smooth to drive.

From standstill to midrange speeds, extra power is supplied from the battery, while the engine and high-output motor provide smooth response for good acceleration. In a constant, low RPM driving condition, or when coasting, the system automatically stops the petrol engine and the vehicle runs on the electric motor alone, reducing the petrol energy that would normally be wasted.

Under heavier driving conditions, energy that would normally be wasted as heat during deceleration and braking is recovered as electrical energy and stored in the battery to power the electric motor.

Finally, under de-acceleration and braking, the system maximises overall efficiency by using the electric motor to run the vehicle’s engine in low efficiency conditions, and generates electricity in conditions where the engine’s efficiency is increased.

If you’re left a little baffled by all that, you can be forgiven. What seems at first to be an extremely confusing arrangement, is actually not that hard to grasp once you’ve sat behind the wheel. A few trips in the car, and a few glances over at the dashboard integrated LCD display reveals a lot about the car’s operations. This is damn cool!

Driving the Prius for the first time was a bit of a daunting task. There’s a set procedure to start and drive the car, and that doesn’t include turning a key, standing on the gas and sidestepping the clutch. What baffled me after a couple of minutes was a loud beeping sound, that had me wondering whether or not I had really taken in all that the Toyota man had been telling me minutes ago.

After a couple of re-starts, a bit of head scratching and almost calling the Toyota man, I moved my camera off the passengers seat and the beeping stopped. The cause, as I soon worked out, was an extremely sensitive system that sounds an alarm when the front seat passenger is not buckled up — and apparently a 1.5kg camera was weighty enough to trip the system.

This could become quite frustrating I’m guessing, but I just opted for a little safety and buckled the camera in. Problem solved.

As I mentioned, the car is so silent at start-up and when stopped in traffic (about 95% of the time in Auckland) it borders on eerie. As there’s no rev counter, there’s not much in the way of confirmation that the car is even running, and I have to admit I reached for the start button a couple of times thinking I had stalled.

While all of us here at the office were a little sceptical about how the Prius would perform, by the end of our week’s drive I can confirm we were pretty impressed.

Toyota looks set to expand the use of HSD technology later this year with the launch of the Lexus RX 400h SUV. The RX 400h will be based on the current Lexus RX 330 luxury SUV, but will come with a HSD powertrain delivering a peak output of approximately 270hp, almost 20 per cent more wick over their non-hybrid counterpart — pretty promising stuff.

With bigger power outputs, lower running costs and friendly to the environment, will hybrid technology like this pave the way for tomorrow’s performance cars? Without a doubt! Now where’s that HKS T51R battery upgrade kit!

Is this it? Are we getting a sneak preview at the future of high performance motoring?

SPEC

Toyota Prius

Engine: Petrol – Toyota 1NZ-FXE, 1500cc DOHC 16v with VVTi. Electric -Permanent Magnet Synchronous, Nickel-Metal-Hydride (Ni-MH) battery.

Drivetrain: Electronic continuously variable transmission (ECVT), front wheel drive with shift-by-sift wire gear lever, tranction control system.

Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut, L-shaped lower arms, stabiliser bar, Rear – Torsion beam, stabiliser bar.

Brakes: Ventilated front disc, solid rear disc, electronically controlled brake system (ECB) with regenerative brake control, anti -Lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), brake assist (BA).

Wheels/Tyres: 15-6inch Toyota alloys with 195/60R15 tyres.

Performance: Petrol engine – 57kW/5000rpm, 115Nm/4000rpm; Electric engine – 50kW/1200-1500rpm, 400Nm/0-1200rpm, 0-100kph – 10.9 seconds approx.

Jan 4, 2008 | NZPC

Honda Modulo Civic Type R front corner

The hardcore Civic Type R has been made harder by Modulo. 19-inch Modulo wheels wrapped in 225/35R19 tyres, revised suspension, new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and wing complete the aggressive new exterior look (along with some dodgy-looking chequered stickers like the Renaultsport F1 Team R26).

On the inside Modulo has replaced some of Honda’s panels with carbon fibre and has bolted in custom Recaro seats. To top it off, an F1-inspired steering wheel with integrated shift lights sits in front of a futuristic digital dashboard.

Jan 4, 2008 | NZPC

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Race organisers for the Lisbon-Dakar rally have decided to run all stages despite terrorist activity (possibly by Al Qaeda) in Mauritania. Two weeks ago terrorists shot and killed four French tourists and four Mauritanian soldiers, south of the usual hotspots of Morocco and Algeria. Last year two stages were canceled over security fears regarding Algerian rebels when France’s security services said participants risked being kidnapped or ambushed by Algerian rebels when passing through Mali.

Perhaps participants should have entered armoured vehicles, and who knows how many will now be carrying weapons for self-defence. The race begins tomorrow (5 January) departing Lisbon, Portugal and ends in Dakar, Senegal on 20 January after 9000km of grueling motoring.

Jan 3, 2008 | NZPC

Spadaconcept Stilo helmet

This aggressive-looking concept helmet, the ST4, was designed for Stilo. Predominantly carbon fibre composites and manufactured in an autoclave, it is extremely light compared to conventional helmets, which means less neck fatigue in long races.

Lateral intakes are designed to accommodate a drinking straw system and radio connection. The helmet doesn’t appear to have any significant aerodynamic aids to prevent lift in open-topped cars, so expect some modifications or add-on accessories before production (if it ever goes into production).

Jan 3, 2008 | NZPC

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If 3.3 seconds to 100kph isn’t fast enough for you, Mine’s will save the day with its aftermarket mods for the new GT-R. The fact Mine’s got the parts out just weeks after the official launch indicates either a large team worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day, or that they had a test mule quite some time before the GT-R was released to the public.

The modifications include a Mine’s Silence VX Pro Titan II exhaust with Super Catalyser II, a 400mm 24-slot front brake rotor kit, a 400mm 16-slot rear brake rotor kit, a suspension kit, VX-ROM tuned ECU, and the VX air filter. Given Mine’s history with fettling other Japanese rockets, a Mine’s GT-R will be nigh on unbeatable around a track.

Dec 31, 2007 | NZPC

Nissan Navara - Bump 'n' Grind

It’s funny how different people hate different things; some hate eating their broccoli and some hate heights or flying or even wearing underpants. Marcus Rose doesn’t hate wearing underpants or eating his greens, but he does hate bumps in the road and when you look at his 1986 Nissan Navara it’s not hard to work out why. As you will see Marcus’ Navara is a little out of the ordinary.

After reading Mini Truckin’ magazine for a few years, then meeting up with Tony Hines of Slammed Kustoms, Marcus had a few plans to transform the would-be farm hack. First item on the agenda for the Navara was to add some drop spindles to the front suspension and a small C-notch into the chassis to get the whole package closer to mother earth. These small plans soon ballooned to giant proportions and became the masterpiece you see before you.

For the intended C-notch, the tray had to be removed from the chassis and the fuel tank relocated to just behind the cab. It was at this stage the boys got talking about changing the leaf spring rear suspension for a full airbag setup. To give the ride the height they had seen in American magazines, a custom ladder bar setup was fabricated, as were custom mounts. The chassis rails were raised six inches above factory, allowing the ute to drop so low the chassis rails hit the ground.

Enabling the truck to actually drive are 1/2-inch line airbags fed by twin 40-litre tanks mounted behind the diff. The tanks themselves were painted-up to replicate large Red Bull drink cans. (You’ve got to get your wings somehow I guess.) Each giant tank is fed by its own compressor, meaning this truck can do a whole lot of up-and-down and side-to-side action before needing a rest.

One-and-a-half-inch steel was used to create the top air bag mounts and strengthen the whole rear end and the bags themselves are mounted to a unique flame-shaped plate on each side for added effect. To match, the whole chassis section was airbrushed with blue flames over the gloss black base coat.

The rear section of tray was then chopped to fit over the air bag equipment and provide a window to view the mods below, while the front was given a custom cover over the battery and fuel tank.

Making sure the bounce doesn’t get totally out of control is a short set of chromed shocks — once destined to live out their lives on the front end of a hot rod.

Up front the drop spindles that started this carry-on have been installed, but with the decision to change to air bags, custom strut mounts also had to be manufactured. Attached to these are matching air bags, which again run the big 1/2-inch lines. These lines allow the truck to raise and lower at the blink of an eye with large solenoids emitting a loud crack at each hit of the down button. The whole suspension setup is run off a 14-function PlayStation-style remote control that allows movement of each wheel separately, or side-to-side and front-to-back movements.

Obviously, to give as much movement as the boys were after, the front inner guards were removed and will soon be wearing mini tubs.
With the suspension side taken care of, the shabby silver paint just didn’t really do the truck any favours and a booking was made with AJ at Whenuapai Auto Repair.

Before this though, Tony and Marcus discussed some simple body mods. Again these became not so simple.

Starting from the front, the standard square bumper was replaced by a more curved 4WD Toyota Hilux bumper and valance combination. As the Hilux bumper has park lights built in, Tony set about covering over the holes where standard lights used to reside.
Deletion of the corner lights also allowed for a Slammed Kustoms phantom front grill to be fitted, effectively disguising what brand of truck it is.Knowing that the 14-inch wheels would make way for something a little more suited to the mini truck style, the front guards were replaced with flared numbers from the 4WD Navara. With the intention of making the doors open in reverse 'suicide’ fashion, the standard handles were removed and panelled over.

In good old New Zealand DIY style, Tony moved the standard door hinges to the rear and the catch to the front instead of purchasing big dollar hinge kits from the States. This left only one problem though, where to put the door handles without ruining the smooth lines of the truck. With some input from Tony’s dad, who is an old skool hot-rodder, the decision was made to conceal door poppers behind where wing mirrors would normally sit. The poppers they ended up using are small skull items that are normally hidden, but truly look the part.

All tie-downs and hooks were removed from  the tray and Tony crafted a custom tailgate and roll pan to be fitted before the tailgate was welded shut.

The idea at this stage was to fit clear taillights — that was until Marcus came across some genuine Cadillac lights.

Next came the problem of where to put the number plate without ruining the unique look, a problem easily solved over a few cans of Red Bull. The simple answer was to mount the plate up on the custom panel behind the cab: the chosen answer was to have it mounted on a motorized lifting mechanism so that it raises when the truck is fired into life.

With the not-so-simple body mods taken care of, the car was finally handed to AJ at Whenuapai for some quality paint.

The colour of choice? Taurus blue. Not as in Ford Taurus, but Red Bull Taurus.

With a truck that looks this good standing still, the idea of dropping a hypo engine in simply wasn’t on the cards, so the standard engine remains in place, albeit with a ramflow filter added. In saying that, during our photo shoot I did hear SR20 mentioned a few times, so maybe that’s a possibility for later on.

The Nissan’s factory brown vinyl seats are great to hide the mud that comes in on your gummies or Swandry, but again not so good for air bagged-up mini trucks. Being more of a mini tucker than a lifestyle farmer, Marcus changed the seats for a pair of Mazda RX-7 items.

Steering Marcus around bumps in the road is now taken care of via an ultra cool skull-shaped billet steering wheel and boss kit combo. The standard engine and gearbox remain, but the gear lever was replaced by a blingin’ carbon fibre item.

All remaining brown items in the cab, such as dash, carpet and pillars, were put out to pasture or re-coloured in black, with the exception of the door skins. These were replaced with custom fibreglass panels.

Keeping an eye on air pressure is a quadruplet of air pressure gauges mounted just below the headunit. Replacing the original speedo gauges are custom flame-looking numbers from Marcus’s friend Larry.

The lovely farm wheels did end up being replaced by a set of 18-inch polished Mitsi Pajero items, which for factory wheels, don’t look too bad at all.  Keeping these rollers off the tarmac is a set of 215/40R18 tyres all round.

So there you have it: how to perform an extreme makeover on a would-be farm hack. Exactly one year after it was started, this truck is now a standout and leading the way in New Zealand mini trucking.

The boys have talked about a few more simple mods and we all know what happens when these guys get like that. By the time we see this truck next, who knows what it will look like. One thing’s for sure though, with guys like Marcus, Tony and AJ on the case, it’ll be one to look out for.


Spec

1986 Nissan Navara

Engine: 2.4-litre 4-cylinder NA

Drivetrain: Standard 5-speed, standard diff

Brakes: Standard front disc, soon to be disc rear end

Suspension: Custom short shocks, custom ladder bars, C-notched chassis, drop spindle, Pan hard bar, Twin 40l tank air air bag setup, 3/8-inch lines, 4 valves, PlayStation controller, custom mounts

Wheels/Tyres: 18-inch polished Pajero rims with 215/40R18 tyres

Exterior: 4WD front guards, shaved park lights, shaved antenna holes, shaved door handles and locks, face lift bonnet, Hilux front bumper and valance, Phantom billet grille, suicide doors, hidden door poppers, custom roll pan and rear tail skin, relocated fuel tank, Cadillac tail lights

Interior: Series 6 RX-7 seats, Skill billet steering wheel, carbon fibre gear leaver, custom gauges, fibreglass door skins

Performance: N/A

Driver Profile

Name: Marcus Rose

Age: 27

Lives: Auckland

Occupation: Territory Manager

Dream Car: “It sits in front of you at this point in time. But have always loved Ford F250, slammed-out air bags of course, tricked-out with all the goodies. I have another project that I also want to build in the next year or two.”

Why The Navara: “I had been buying a magazine called 'Mini Truckin’ from the States and loved how low they got their mini trucks and how different every truck could be, their craftsmanship being the only limiting factor. Saw Tony’s SLAMMD at the 2003 Nats and thought it was the bomb; finally someone had the same ideas as me and we started to make plans from there. Took H8BMPZ into Tony’s for a minor C-section and new tail skin, but — the usual story — we got talking and looked what happened.”

Build Time: 1 year nearly to the day
Length of Ownership: 3 years

Thanks: Mum and Dad, who live in Aussie for their help in finding parts and corresponding for me over there. Tony Hines @ Slammed Kustoms 021 443 029, Andrew Morris (AJ) @ Whenuapai Auto Refinish 09 416 7291, Tony’s Dad for his hot rod help and knowledge, Mark @ Mag and Turbo 09 274 2941, PPG Industries, everyone at Red Bull NZ, Exide batteries, Aaron, Keith, Sam @ VDO car audio. DJ @ Sub Signs 025 293 0955