NZ Performance Car - - Contents - WORDS: NZPC PHO­TOS: PETER KELLY


Each year, dur­ing April and May, Whangarei trans­forms into an au­to­mo­tive mecca, from the hot rod show that shuts down the cen­tre of town to the Ruakaka Street Sprint, Whangarei Swap Meet, International Rally of Whangarei, and the lat­est kid on the block: The Tint Shop Show and Shine. This year marked the third year the show has run, with or­ga­nizer Brad Wright pulling out all the stops to make 2K18 the big­gest yet. With an over­whelm­ing 250plus cars spit shined and on display, and at­ten­dance hav­ing nearly tripled since its in­cep­tion, the street-side lo­ca­tion based around The Tint Shop car park gives the event a real grass-roots feel, “just like when we all got into cars as young­sters”, ex­plained Brad. At one point, you’d have been for­given for think­ing that it was a large car park and not a main road, as the cars on display stretched as far as the eye could see in each and ev­ery di­rec­tion.

De­spite the scale it’s grown to, un­like in other towns,

where we have seen sim­i­lar ‘boy racer’ events shunned, the Whangarei Dis­trict Coun­cil and lo­cal busi­nesses have em­braced the event, sup­port­ing it with a mas­sive prize purse to­talling $7K — an im­pres­sive fig­ure for any event of its kind. The mayor her­self even came on through for a look (we’re not sure which whip was hers). The lo­cal hot rod club also showed its sup­port for the upand-com­ers, bring­ing along a big con­tin­gent of bent eights to show the young bucks. But, as we’d ex­pect from the town that birthed Drift­corp, drift cars — whether street or track ori­ented — were the stars, in­clud­ing lo­cal boys Team 13, who have provd to be a dom­i­nant force in D1 Pro-Sport this sea­son.

In among the chaos was the reg­u­lar in­ter­rup­tion from the rasp and crackle of stain­less pipes of rally cars con­test­ing the Rally of Whangarei as they snaked their way through the hordes of spec­ta­tors en route to the ser­vice park lo­cated just down the road. “The rally driv­ers seemed to re­ally en­joy the party at­mos­phere, [which was like] some­thing you’d see in a rally overseas, where the rally cars are part­ing the crowd,” Brad re­called. Al­though, judg­ing by the num­ber of pit crew mem­bers seen check­ing out the show, there might have been no one wait­ing to ser­vice their cars once they ar­rived at the park.

Brad couldn’t have been hap­pier with the way the day played out and has al­ready started look­ing to­wards the 2019 event — one he says will be big­ger and bad­der, and ca­pa­ble of ac­com­mo­dat­ing the ever-grow­ing at­ten­dance — with a pos­si­ble date change to avoid the weather roulette they have been play­ing the past few years. He also wanted to point out that any­one is wel­come to make the trip up to the Rei for the week­end and will be more than wel­come. So why not make a week­end of it in 2019? You know that we will.

Brad’s own FC RX-7 drifter is near­ing com­ple­tion and fea­tures some nice fab­ri­ca­tion work with some out-of-the­box think­ing, such as the rear-mounted oil cool­ers A good num­ber of mod­i­fied (mostly slammed) Eu­ros made an ap­pear­ance, too — from C63 AMGs to Lexuses, Porsches, and BMWs

We doubt that any­one was com­plain­ing as Mar­cus van Klink’s 20B pe­riph­eral-port (PP) RX-8 made its way through the show to the rally ser­vice park, the barely muf­fled car drown­ing out the sound sys­tem with ease Justin Rood’s four-door R34 is one tough-look­ing sedan, and, with a full GT-R driveline, it’s got the mus­cle to back up those ‘BI­CEPS’ plates Tak­ing out Best Japanese FWD was the boosted EG of Corey Hutchin­son. Just how much power does it make? Try a tyre-fry­ing 607kW at the wheels thanks to a Dar­ton­sleeved B-se­ries block stroked to 2100cc, with a 34psi snort­ing GTX3582R Gar­rett Gen II at­tached Lo­cal sausage mer­chant Pa­cific Gold laid on a free BBQ for one and all. The line didn’t dip below 20 deep all day In a show of sol­i­dar­ity, a good num­ber of V8s at­tended, from hot rods, cus­toms, and a good show­ing of lowrid­ers There is still a healthy drift­ing scene in the Rei, as ev­i­denced by Team 13, which brought along its D1 Pro-Sport ma­chines. These boys know how to en­gine bay, rock­ing some rather se­ri­ous hard­ware

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