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See what’s inside our 1000hp garages

16 August, 2016

You’ve got 1000hp and an unlimited budget to play with. You can buy as many or as few cars as you like. One custom R32 GTR or 10 one-litre original Minis at 98hp a piece. What’s in your 1000hp garage? A few of us here in the office did some math (gasp), and made our selections that would feature in our garage:

Lachlan Jones, staff writer at New Zealand Classic Car

Aston Martin DB4 Zagato: 314hp

£9.45 million. That’s what it’ll cost as of the most recent sale in December, and I’ve got a blank cheque here so that’s not an issue. Not only that, but the Zagato is a very cool car. The DB4 was enough of an icon. Now that it’s been race-prepped and limited to a manufacture run of just 19 cars, it makes this another animal.

Renault Megane RS275 Trophy: 275hp

Renault make magic hot hatches, and this is the King of them all. Extremely quick, amazing handling via the best-balanced chassis around.

Range Rover Vogue SDV8: 335hp

And 740nm of torque from as low as 1700rpm. The Range Rover is fast, huge, imposing, and as luxurious as anything on the road. And because it’s a Range Rover, it’ll leave the remaining 76hp available as a tip.

Todd Wylie, editor of NZV8

1966 Chev Chevelle: 620hp

Traction control, stability control, and comfort be damned, if you want a car with power, it needs to be raw, uneconomical, and antisocial, so I’d grab myself a Chevelle, and drop in a  GM Performance ZZ572 crate motor to give 620hp of eco-unfriendly fun.

1963 Dodge 440: 380hp

A nice sensible family-friendly station wagon … with a 392 Hemi under the hood of course. We’re talking old school here, so a power output of 345hp is stock, but with a change to EFI we should be able to hit 380 no problem.

Connal Grace, deputy editor of NZV8

1968 Holden Monaro HK: 800hp

As far as Aussie muscle goes, it’s hard for me to look past a first-gen Monaro. And why not go all-out properly, with a Nascar-sourced dry-sumped Chev R07 and Jerico four-speed dog box? Add adjustable remote-reservoir coilovers, tubular control arms, and rack-and-pinion steering up front, with a Watt’s linkage and custom four-link rear, and you’ve got the ultimate white-knuckle pig of a car to drive — one that goes like shit off a shovel, but with the handling to hopefully stop it from being an all-out death trap.

1993 Daihatsu Mira: 197hp

You’ll need to get to work every day to pay off a 1000hp garage, so let’s opt for something sensible — a Daihatsu Mira with a Honda B18CR engine swap. A 1.8-litre four banger pumping out 197hp at 8000rpm should make for a fun and economical daily-driver that’ll chop everyone at the lights. What XR6 turbo? What Clubsport R8?

Marcus Gibson, editor of NZ Performance Car

1986 Toyota AE86: 230hp

The older they get the more my love for a super-low and super-simple AE86 Trueno grows. I have a tendency to overcomplicate everything, but this would be simple — the engine a 4A-GE with Toyota 4A-GE 16-valve, modified SR pistons/crank, AE111 head gasket, ported cylinder head, upgraded valves, TRD cams, Toda cam gears, custom intake manifold with Keihin FCR41 carburettors, carbon trumpets, and super-wild stainless headers. Stripped, caged, slammed on 15-inch TE37Vs — simple but effective.

1992 BMW E30 M3: 355hp

There are few cars that look as awesome as an E30 M3 in my opinion. Built as a daily-driver, the E30 would run a 2.5-litre BMW S143 from a DTM car, complete with carbon intake and highly modified head with big lift cams — no one said I like fuel-efficient or practical daily-drivers. Bodykit would be M3 Motorsport carbon everything and the wheels 18×9-inch / 18×10-inch BBS LMS with sizable dish and proper touring-car low.

1973 Katayama RX-3: 450hp

An all-out circuit car, the RX-3 would be completely carbon-bodied and sitting on a frame I glued together in my shed. Suspension will be inboard Penski dampers with IndyCar uprights, carbon brakes, and centre-locking magnesium BBS wheels 13×10-inch / 13×13-inch. The engine would be a Green Brothers 20B PP with Cosmo plates, Cosmo 20B crank, Series 5 RX-7 housings, Series 5 RX-7 NA rotors, peripheral porting, lightened and balanced rotating assembly, blueprinted internals, Mazdaspeed dry-sump front cover, EFI 55mm Hardware Pro Race throttle bodykit, and custom carbon air-box backed by Holinger six-speed transaxle.    

Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.