I’m probably going to be speaking a different language to you in the next few paragraphs, but here goes. Around the time of the new millennium, the import scene — bear with me here — in New Zealand was kicking off in earnest. Enkei had released a wheel called the ‘G-Zero’ (Google it if you want a laugh), intricate vinyl wraps of predominantly tribal patterns were the go, and your car just wasn’t cool if it had fewer than two TVs, four subs, a mountain of amps, at least one PlayStation, and a decorative NOS bottle in the boot. Yeah, I’ll be the first to admit that was a bit of a one-sided look at the whole thing, but it does draw into light the way some trends die a quick, albeit painful, death, while others thrive and become common practice. I haven’t given too much philosophical thought to the whole matter, but it most likely comes down to a function-over-form type of thing. And for the past two decades, the 4&Rotary Nationals was the place to see the latest styles pervading the New Zealand import car scene. Nowadays, the show has grown to such proportions that V8s are creeping in. I’m not going to say that the show gives a holistic view of the local car scene as a whole, as it’s still very much import oriented, but it is expanding, and that’s what matters. The wild audio systems and awful tribal graphics are gone, and things like adjustable coilover suspension and new wheel designs — with myriad sizes and offsets — along with advancements in performance technology have filtered through, and have become the norm. Function over form, right? The V8 scene isn’t immune. While there’s no real V8 equivalent to the 4&Rotary Nationals for showing the latest and greatest, we do have the likes of the Kumeu Classic Car and Hot Rod Festival, which could be the closest. Of course, shows abroad like SEMA are still the best place to see what’s going on in the scene, and, while it usually takes a fair few years for SEMA’s latest and greatest to trickle down to our shores, you can usually spot the trends or gimmicks that hopefully won’t. I wonder if faux patina will live to see another year … Turbos, on the other hand … since I’ve probably annoyed some readers by banging on about turbos, let’s do it again. Paul Mouhayet is an Aussie drag racer and innovator best known for racing the Moits Mustang. He races a door car, but, with a twin-turbo V8, he can’t officially compete in Top Doorslammer over in Australia. Even so, he claimed the fastest doorslammer in the world title, running a 5.598 second pass at 274.33mph in Las Vegas. Turbos are beginning to catch on in the local V8 scene, and we might just be entering a Renaissance period for horsepower. Mouhayet brought his Moits Mustang over to New Zealand for the 2016 V 4&Rotary Nationals, and, by the time you’ve read this, New Zealand’s first five-second pass by a door car might have been run by a bloody Aussie!