CAR OF THE YEAR 2016

NZ Performance Car - - Castrol Pcoty 2016 Grand Final -

MIKE FITZGERALD’S MAZDA RX-7 SE­RIES 1

It might have taken 17 years to build it, and the engine bay may have been home to count­less com­bi­na­tions that never quite got fin­ished, but the end re­sult is well worth it. It now sports a bridge-ported nat­u­rally as­pi­rated Cosmo 20B with triple ITBs, and the sound that the cus­tom stain­less ex­haust emits is that of heav­enly notes. The rest of the car hasn’t es­caped ei­ther, with a full in­te­rior re­trim, cus­tom pearl paint, and big-dish Sim­mons.

JAMES MANGIN’S SHAKOTAN S15

Here in New Zealand we have a cul­ture of get­ting the job done, no mat­ter the si­t­u­a­tion. For James Mangin it was build­ing his Rocket Bunny– equipped S15 in his cramped Manawatu-based sin­gle-car garage. How­ever the re­sult is noth­ing short of amaz­ing. It’s a Shakotan ma­chine with­out com­pro­mise, as au­then­tic as any­thing built in Ja­pan. It’s su­per slammed and with a rowdy SR20 bark­ing away un­der the bon­net. But the engine bay is a much more Kiwi af­fair, in that it has not es­caped a se­ri­ous re­work at his hands, and as he plans to at least dou­ble the power in the very near fu­ture, it will get bet­ter.

STEVE EL­LI­COTT’S MAZDA 808

Burnouts any­one? Steve’s 808 is well known for its skid­pad an­tics, but be­hind all that smoke from count­less de­stroyed tyres lies one se­ri­ous build. The car was saved from rot­ting away in a pad­dock, and has un­der­gone a three-year ex­ten­sive build — all in the name of killing tyres! From the com­pletely re­worked chas­sis to the ex­ten­sive roll cage, Steve has left noth­ing to chance in cre­at­ing this bul­let­proof ro­tor. The engine is a ported FD 13B with a BorgWarner S360, backed by a Rich­mond five-speed.

VIN­CENT PI­ETERSE’S AIR-COOLED WIDE­BODY 911

Cut­ting up and mod­i­fy­ing some­thing that is so fiercely ad­mired in stock trim takes a gutsy and com­mit­ted builder. And then to pull it off with such per­fec­tion is the mark of a tal­ented builder. Vin­cent Pi­eterse had been through a few Porsches be­fore set­tling on this par­tic­u­lar 1978 Porsche 911 SC, and tak­ing the grinder to it in the quest for a lit­tle more ag­gres­sive body styling, graft­ing on 930 quar­ters to ac­com­mo­date bigdish Work Meis­ters. Th­ese are ac­com­pa­nied by a swag of car­bon pan­els, and a mildly worked air-cooled three-litre that pro­duces a glo­ri­ous note through the stain­less ex­haust.

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