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NZV8 Concept Corner: Aston GTX

21 January, 2015

Every month, we ask the cover car owner for the concept that they’d most like to build or see built. You’ve seen what he can do with a Dodge Challenger (NZV8 Issue No. 117), but imagine if Phil Kenny bit the bullet and built the car he’d dreamed of owning since he was a teenager!

“A friend of mine actually had a 1970 GTX when we were at high school, and we used to cruise around in it a bit,” says Phil of the inspiration for his concept. “What I’d really like to do to one though is pretty much exactly what I’ve done with the Challenger, and that is to keep the look of old, but make it drive like new. I’ve got a late-model Aston Martin that I’d love the GTX to drive like. So it’d need a full rebuild from the ground up, including similar suspension and brake work to the Challenger. It’d be great to be able to include things like ABS as well, just to take it to the next level.”

“Looks wise, I think GTXs are best in Plum Crazy purple, so I’d go with that, but add a modern twist with a bit of xyrillic pearl, just to make the curves pop in the sunlight. For wheels, maybe a set of Aston Martin Rapide S 20-inch wheels would help give it a modern flair and would be a bit different from what everyone else has. I’d also shave a few bits of trim and smooth things up a bit, but most importantly get the gaps right, as I can’t stand how badly gapped they were from the factory.”

It’d be nice to go all out on the interior, including a late-model Aston dash and seats, including the electronic gauges and air conditioning setup etc. And under the hood would have to be a late model motor, so if I could find one, a six-litre V12 Aston motor would be the go. They produce 550hp in stock form, so that’d be plenty. Of course, they run a six-speed paddle-shifted gearbox, so it’d be nice to include that also. For ultimate handling, it’d be nice to convert the rear end to IRS, but the reality is building a car like this would just cost far too much. Still, it’d be a cool concept, though!” says Phil.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.