The next car on this list rightly deserves the title of New Zealand’s first homegrown supercar, beating the Saker to the production line by more than a decade. Powered by a Leyland P76 4.4-litre V8, the Escartus was an amazinglooking car for the time. The fibreglass-bodied car and steel chassis were designed and built in Hastings by Graeme Ross and his father, Don. Graeme had always dreamed of owning a supercar but knew that he could never afford one, so he designed and built his own twoplus-two interpretation of the genre. Some have criticized the front as being too bulbous, but this was necessary to accommodate the light alloy V8 that drove the rear wheels. One of the key influences in the car’s design was the windscreen. A big windscreen was desirable, but Lamborghini-style windscreens were too expensive even to be considered. Graeme eventually settled on the far more affordable Alfetta GTV windscreen, because it was the deepest one available for a reasonable cost. As the Escartus was going to be an upmarket car, it had electric pop-up headlights, electric seats, and electric windows — all powered by wiper motors, as factory-made equivalents were just too expensive; remember, this was the ’70s. As Graeme had a young family at the time, there was no point in building a twoseater supercar, so he made it a two-plus-two. Unfortunately, the timing was totally wrong, with the car coming into being at a time when the Muldoon Government was loading a huge sales tax on luxury items. The flat 20-per-cent sales tax applied to cars was bad enough, but anything with a V8 engine attracted an additional 60-percent tax, which bumped the car up into the same price range as the average family home; consequently, only eight of these amazing cars were built.