EVO­LU­TION

NZV8 - - CONNAL GRACE -

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!

Con­nal Con­nal@v8.co.nz

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