WEEK­END WAR­RIOR

PHO­TOS: ADAM CROY NAME: SHANE WALDEN // AGE: 48 LO­CA­TION: AUCK­LAND // OC­CU­PA­TION: OP­ER­A­TIONS MAN­AGER

NZ Performance Car - - Con­tents -

NZ Per­for­mance Car: Hi, Shane. Your RX-8 isn’t quite the ex­am­ple you’d nor­mally see on our pages — what do you use it for?

Shane: Hey, guys. This was my at­tempt to build a car that would get the younger guys into ‘street stock racing’: it’s ba­si­cally racing and drift­ing in one, and you get to hit the other guys! For­ever, the class has seen mostly Hold­ens and Fords go at it, with a hand­ful of Soar­ers and the odd lone model Euro — it’s mainly down to a few rules that limit cars at 4.8-litres car­bu­reted (two-bar­rel) or 4.0-litres for fuel-in­jected mo­tors and the bar­ring of forced in­duc­tion. So, I thought why not en­ter some­thing ro­tary pow­ered like an RX-8? They’re cheap to pur­chase and parts are read­ily avail­able.

Would that make it the first of its kind in street stock?

Yeah, this is the first time any­thing ro­tary pow­ered has been en­tered into street stock, and it took a bit of hoop jump­ing to get it signed off, but, now that it has been, it will be much eas­ier for peo­ple to fol­low suit. I hoped that it would draw in­ter­est from the guys who are out get­ting into trou­ble on the streets and give them a chan­nel [in which] to pur­sue their in­ter­ests safely, and legally.

Good think­ing, Shane. How hard was the trans­for­ma­tion from street car to street stock?

Not too bad at all, re­ally, as the rules dic­tate that most com­po­nents like the mo­tor, gear­box, diff, sus­pen­sion, etc., must be of OEM equiv­a­lent. So, all that means for mak­ing it a stock car is re­ally strip­ping the in­te­rior and non-essen­tial ex­te­rior parts and fab­ri­cat­ing up all the safety equip­ment. The car has ex­ten­sive brac­ing and plat­ing to en­sure [that] when it takes a hit, the driver stays safe. My doors have been re­placed by a sheet metal panel with 4mm steel plate on the side in­tru­sion and 6mm plate above the driv­ers head. Like­wise, the bumpers have been re­placed with some­thing more suited to nudg­ing your op­po­nents, and the al­loy wheels binned for steel ver­sions for safety rea­sons

And what’s the story be­hind the paint­work and num­ber?

That was done free­hand by well-known New Zealand artist Otis Frizzell. I asked him if we could cre­ate a ‘street’ look and per­haps in­clude some camo, and this is what he put to­gether. I quite like how sub­tle he’s in­te­grated the flames on the front into the camo as it pro­gresses down the car — I think he was re­ally into the whole thing, too. As for the num­ber, well, ‘689’ reads the same up­side down, and we put the up­side down ‘A’ there to go along with that.

It looks the part, too. Where can read­ers find more in­for­ma­tion about street stock racing?

Check out speedway.co.nz, or hunt out your lo­cal club — there’s clubs all over the coun­try.

Cheers, Shane — good to see peo­ple mod­i­fy­ing their cars in all flavours.

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