I'm here with opinion, and opinion I'll parade. I'm sure we all have our own winners from the weekend and what really placed as the best cars in our minds. So running with that theme, here's what stood out to me as cool cars.
Best wheels: Mazdaspeed MS01
Owned by Kerrin Brady, the car was unveiled at the show over the weekend. The wheels are the big star of the show for me, however. Based on the wheels that run on the Mazda 787B, the Mazdaspeed MS01 is a two-piece wheel made by Rays Engineering. The centre caps are made to match the look of the centre-lock system run on the 787B itself. Matched with the FD RX7, the two go hand in hand to give a near-perfect era match.
Honourable mention: AVS 5s
Damian Smuts is doing a good deed here by keeping these AVS 5s alive. They've got a long tradition of being on amazing cars over the years, and Damian is maintaining that expectation by putting them on his 180SX. Many of my friends have owned these exact wheels and it's safe to say they've had a great run over the years.
Best truck: BRODZR
BRODZR is quite an easy choice for this, in my opinion. I can't deny the effect ‘Mad Mike’ has on the community, and he certainly sets the standard when it comes to outrageous style and quality of rides. BRODZR has gone through a few iterations and this one is definitely my favourite thus far. Simple but clean with a few spikes here and there. All I need now is to see it destroy all four rear tyres and I'll be happy.
Best engine bay: SR20DET AE86
This was a hard choice as I thoroughly enjoyed a 323's GTR engine bay also. I have to hand it to Ben Phillips from GT Refinishers for this one. Straight off The Simpsons doughnut and onto a rocker cover, this look is very well executed. The rest of the car (AE86) is also impeccable, which just adds to its character.
Best display: Joel Robinson's S14
I'm putting this as my winner out of pure ridiculousness. In fairness, he did win best display. Someone told me that there was a stand with goldfish and I thought they were taking the piss. Nope. There were literally goldfish swimming around Joel Robinson's MADS14. As a previous feature car, I can't deny that the car is well worked and very tough. Just curious if anyone swallowed a goldfish in the end?
Best last-minute effort
Matthew Holt's S200 was swarmed with about four dudes wrapping the car to ensure it was ready for the show (during the show set-up) with only moments to spare. Gotta give them a point for the last-minute struggle, which ended up being finished on time. Solid effort.
Biggest WTF moment
I literally said, ‘What the f*ck’ when I saw Moss Tayler's WRX-fronted S14. I had seen this concept photoshopped a few years back onto a friends S1, which went viral — I wonder if Moss had seen that photo. The collaboration overall does work quite well, especially with both cars of the same era in motoring. I'm just glad it's painted in 555 blue with gold wheels. Can't beat that combo.
Best drift style: Michael Prosenik
‘Proz’ has done a great job styling this car. It looks the business and performs accordingly. He's over for the D1NZ season, so brought his car out for the show and shine and drag racing at 4&Rotary's festival. The Nascar styling and tough supercharged V8 combo work well to ensure a tough car inside and out. In close second is Gaz Whiter's new look with Fenix Radiators jumping onboard as naming right sponsor.
Best ass: G35 GTR
A lot of work has gone into making this ass look as good as it does. Three pipes out the back and a kit have made this once-normal G35 become a super-tough machine. Paint and bodywork by GT Refinishers has ensured a high-quality job on the car. Now we need to wait and see what Vick has in-store for the engine.
That's about it for my choices. Keep following for plenty more coverage from the NZ Performance Car team coming over the following week.