CON­CEPT COR­NER

EV­ERY NOW AND AGAIN, WE GET A CON­CEPT COR­NER SUB­MIS­SION THAT ISN’T SO MUCH A DREAM AS A REAL­ITY WAIT­ING TO HAP­PEN. HERE’S ONE …

NZV8 - - CONTENTS -

Jim McIn­doe has al­ways wanted to own a ’ 57 Chev — not a flashy Bel Air or any­thing, just a tough, bare- bones 150- spec two- door post sedan, like the hero car in the iconic Aus­tralian film Run­ning on Empty. Jim’s now got just the car, and this is­sue’s Con­cept Cor­ner is not so much ded­i­cated to a flight of fancy as to a real- deal build that’s gonna be cruising the streets be­fore too long. Start­ing with the ’ 57 Chev 150 shell, Jim is ar­rang­ing to have his pan­eller ex­traor­di­naire, Mike, mas­sage the pan­els to per­fec­tion, re­plac­ing all the rust with cus­tom- rolled and folded pan­els made from scratch. How­ever, un­like the movie car, those per­fect pan­els will not be gain­ing a lus­trous coat of gloss black, but no- non­sense satin black, in per­fect con­trast to the pol­ished bright­work that will ac­cent it. The metal will be chopped out of the bum for a set of mini- tubs to be grafted in, and the fac­tory chas­sis will re­main, al­beit strength­ened some­what to hold up to the im­mense torque it will be sub­jected to. Jim plans to move the rear leaf- spring mounts in­wards to clear the wider rear rub­ber that the nar­rowed diff will re­ceive, but sees no need to rein­vent the wheel, with the in­tended pur­pose of the car to be a tough beater that he can drive on the road and the strip, and do big burnouts in.

That will come courtesy of a 502ci big block Chev that Jim has al­ready had built by Dave West at Dave West Au­to­mo­tive En­gi­neer­ing, Tau­marunui. Of course, while big block grunt is good on its own, it wouldn’t be a real Run­ning on Empty tribute with­out a big old blower pok­ing through the hood, and Jim’s opted for a GM 6- 71 topped by a pair of FiTech four- bar­rel throt­tle bod­ies. Not con­tent with just a bunch of blown and in­jected mojo, Jim’s also got a blue bot­tle to sit in the boot, with a ni­trous- plate sys­tem jet­ted for 500hp, and es­ti­mates that the whole she­bang should be good for 1400hp. Jim’s not one to spout bull­shit, ei­ther, and when this car comes to life, you’ll be able to get a proper look at it on these very pages.

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