The 10-Se­cond Man

NZ Performance Car - - In­side Line -

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.

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