The 10-Second Man
adly, last month we lost a legend of the New Zealand import–drag racing fraternity.
Arnie Nguyen was a pioneer of the sport here in New Zealand, and was a bigger influence on the local guys than he may ever have realized. His infamous peach-coloured 13B turbo–powered S1 RX-7 and, later, his S6 FD RX-7 were hero cars for many. The stuff Arnie was doing in the late ’90s and early 2000s really helped propel the local scene forward, and when he eventually ran the first ever 10-second pass with an import car on our shores, clocking off a 10.9 at 121mph during the Outlaw Drags at Meremere in 2000, he cemented his place in the history books.
Later on, the car came back out with a wild Kiwi-RE 13B package, and many of you will remember his Armco-tapping antics at the 4&Rotary Nationals. He would drop his PB to 10.74.
Arnie was also the man behind the wheel of Jonah Lomu’s R34 GT-R, and, behind the scenes, he played a pivotal role in the fabrication and running of many top cars, right up to this day.
It’s likely that Arnie didn’t realize the impact that he had on the wider community, and the lasting impression he left on us all.
Rest easy, Arnie. You will be missed by everyone, and our condolences go out to your family.