THERE IS A DAMN SPECIAL VIBE THAT IS RADIATED IN THE SOUTH, AND THOUGH THE FEELING MAY JUST BE A SIDE EFFECT OF TOO MUCH SUN AND SPEIGHT, THE PEOPLE HERE REALLY KNOW HOW TO THROW DOWN
e need not introduce an event like the V 4&Rotary South Island Champs — it simply has a reputation that exceeds the confines of these pages, and then some. This is the event every southern car owner fiends for, and it’s one that is firmly etched into the ‘must attend’ section of our calendars. This year saw a 600km-odd shift from the Nelson location of the previous few years to the incredibly accommodating Timaru. When your town hosts an event of this magnitude, you will experience some ruckus, and to accommodate any major activity is a feat — especially when that activity involves heavily-modified cars invading the streets and taking over the town. Perhaps it was Timaru’s proximity to Christchurch that stirred it on, as the unofficial Friday night cruising session which has become a staple of these shindigs was reminiscent of the good ol’ days in the scene, and there were all flavours of cars to pique your interest. The same can be said about the following day’s activities. Last year, the Saturday — and the event’s first day — was strictly a drag-racing affair. This year, Levels [ Timaru International Motor Raceway] was bursting at the seams with all things circuit, drift, rally, burnout, show, and practically any other discipline you can imagine that cars can compete in. Of note was the firm grip this part of the country holds on older Toyota chassis. They’re few and far between in the land up north, but southies have hordes of the things, some of which we had never come across, and they know how to build them right. The spectator car park was filled with multiple rad examples, and inside the grounds we stumbled across a particular KP61 Starlet. Owned by Jamie Hodgins, the KP caught our attention thanks to the TRD body kit, the big aero, and the loud ’80s-style livery that adorned the car. The longer you looked at it the more and more you noticed, including the bonnet negative-air– and front bumper positive-air– sucking vents which feed the radiator with cool flow. Lifting the bonnet revealed a Formula Atlantic 4A-GE backed by a six-speed Elite sequential dog box — the sound that the combination produces while screaming down the back straight needs to be heard in person to be appreciated.
We also couldn’t help but spy a lonely Kaido- style Datsun 120Y being slowly surrounded by rotaries. It sat mere millimetres from the ground, with bolt-on flares and a duck wing, and wore the scars of a long, motor sport–rich life. Owner Gareth Chambers told us that it was previously his daily driver, rocking a converted 1600 A-series heart, and that he drew inspiration from one of his boss’s old race builds. Although it didn’t cut any laps out on track that day, it certainly felt at home on the circuit. Perhaps one of our favourite finds — coincidentally, the car and owner stayed only a few doors down from us at the hotel — was the ex–Mad Mike ‘ FURSTY’ 808 wagon. It had disappeared for a number of years, and was unfortunately pillaged of most of its valuable bits. Not wanting it to go to waste, current owner Stefan Collins purchased the then-white shell, minus the Savanna nose cone and 13B long block, and lovingly restored it to its former glory, down to the original file decals on the sides, and on the front and rear windows. It’s no show pony, however, and Stefan got to work in the burnout comp to remind the large crowds how rotaries reigned supreme at all things burnout related back in the FURSTY’s glory day. Things wound down after the burnout comp, and with our skin now a bright shade of red from the constant blistering sun, we headed over to the Southern Trusts Events Centre to get amongst the set-up for the following day’s show.
Owners and crew worked tirelessly into the night to get their displays perfect, so they could have a shot at the coveted awards — some would not leave until well into the AM. In the morning of day two, many teams were feeling a touch worse for wear after having a late night, and a beer or three to celebrate the occasion. From the get go, the doors flooded with punters, and prime viewing positions were at a premium — and favoured the tall — as it was a shoulder-to-shoulder squeeze inside. We were really impressed by the level of effort that had been poured into practically all the cars on display, and it was also great to see past cover and feature cars / owners returning once again. Ticking both those boxes, the Cany Customs crew debuted their latest creations. The man behind the madness, Blake Harpur, has reinvented his previously big-winged and harlequin-paint–wearing S15 from the cover of NZPC Issue No. 232, and it’s now a lush white and red-accented streeter complete with 326Power bodykit and huge Work Meisters. Disaster struck on the way to set-
up, when the bonnet flipped up and took out the windscreen and the bonnet itself — Blake wasn’t rocked by the setback, though, and it did give onlookers the opportunity to appreciate the under-bonnet marvel, and a better view of the red Bride gradation-pattern-trim interior. Jared Croft, the other side of the dynamic duo, also turned heads with his chariot fit for a camber-king. The Altezza was next to unrecognizable, as it was adorned by a classically huge kit under which was tucked an equally massive set of Work Meisters. The rear runs so much negative camber it earned him the award for the Most Extreme Stance, and everything was coated with in-your-face turquoise paintwork. Look out for a feature on both cars in our next issue. Needless to say, the South Island scene goes off. Over the course of the weekend we had the opportunity to shoot the shit with a number of people, and from what we were told, there are some big-time builds that only just missed out on reaching completion in time, or have already begun preparation for next year’s event. We expect an even more mind-blowing experience come 2017, and given this year went off without a hitch, we can’t wait to head back down to Timaru to check it out. To view our full gallery and results from both days, jump onto our website at themotorhood.com
It was never intended as a show pony, and Alex MacAskill and his ex-cover-car SR20SR laid it out all day on track and made sure to squeeze in a heavy hitting skid in the burnout comp for good measure
This old SSR Star Shark–wearing ’70 Toyota Corona was pulled from a paddock and still runs the original 1K heart, says owner Keith Worthington. He also mentioned that, according to CarJam, she has one million miles on the clock. We aren’t sure that’s quite accurate...
What recent New Zealand event would be complete without an appearance from the RWB crew? Nan Su’s ‘Hekigyoku’ was valiantly piloted by Timaru local Ben Sinclair, while Royce Mihaere took care of driving duties in Anthony Wong’s ‘Waikato’
The Rapid Performance dyno power run sessions were a crowd favourite, and gave entrants the opportunity to see just how well their cars can spin the wheels
An ode to Japanese purity, Matt Speedy’s recently completed S13 left the Silvia crowd droolin’. Sitting low over a set of SSR Longchamps and coated in glorious coats of redon-red flake, the Origin Labo wide-bodied and 326Power-winged cat’s-eye–collector nearly didn’t eventuate after it was posted as a project for sale earlier in the year