The cover of NZV8 Issue No. 127 got your attention, right? A whole lot of orange, twin-turbo Camaro will do that, and the whole issue is crammed full of content as loud as the cover’s colour scheme. 

The Camaro in question is Jason Fell’s show-quality brute packing a four-digit power figure at the treads, thanks to a stout 540ci big block Chev force-fed by a pair of 64mm turbos. It’s actually an ex feature car that has been taken to the next level — that’s saying something, since it was already right up there in its last, Vortech-supercharged, incarnation. Read up on the Camaro’s evolution, and why Jason decided on going down the turbo path, in NZV8 Issue No. 127.  

It isn’t all brute force and muscle, though — Justin Ferris’ beautiful ’67 Impala is a smooth, candy-coated low-rider. A 24V Hoppo’s hydraulic set-up ensures that it’s far from a hard-riding car park bouncer, but a refined and comfortable cruiser that turns all the heads, every time. That’s, no doubt, thanks to the stunning, and rather subtle, candy-and-lace paint job that commands a closer look — trust us when we say that photos don’t do it justice. 

On the opposite end of the paint spectrum is Stephen Foulds’ ’58 Ford Ranchero, finished in the finest matte black. The pickup may outwardly look like a tidy farm-dog hauler, which was Stephen’s initial reason for purchasing it, but it’s a lot more sophisticated than it may first appear. Stephen has essentially done a full ground-up rebuild after discovering rust pervading nearly every panel on the Ranchero’s body, and the standard to which it’s been finished ensures his dogs will need to ride in something that is most definitely not a matte-black ’58 Ranchero.

Neil Robertson’s 1930 Model A is another car that may, at first glance, sell itself a little short, but you’d be making a huge mistake if you were to dismiss it as ‘just another rat rod’. When Neil purchased it, the coupe had already been subject to a roof chop, channeled body, and Z’d chassis, but it didn’t look quite right to him — cue a nearly never-ending string of modifications in pursuit of the perfect stance, and he’s nailed it. The thought and planning that has gone into building a proper, legitimate hot rod completes the car. Just another rat rod, we think not. 

Potentially less planned (initially), but just as well executed, is the circuit-carving Commodore ute driven by Max Gillespie. Starting life as a work vehicle, it’s doubtful that he would have predicted this result at the time — a chance discovery of the LS1-tuning scene started his journey down the slippery slope of vehicle modification. The ute’s now packing a worked LS7 engine from a V8 SuperTourer, putting 536hp to the rears through a Tremec T56 six-speed. A serious brake and suspension package rounds off the Commodore’s all-business mechanicals, but the coolest visual feature has to be the roll cage — an absolute work of art  that ever-so-subtly works its way from in-cabin out through the tray and into the rear strut towers. If you’re ever sharing track space with this thing, watch out!

Another one to watch out for is Darren Saunders’ Plymouth Duster drag car — a car that attracts a lot of questions, many of which contain some form of profanity. You see, Darren’s gone and transplanted a small block Chev into the Mopar-bodied dragster, and, along with the beautiful new paint job, it’s worked — not many people realize it’s the very same Plymouth Duster as raced and wheelstanded by Steve Levien all those years ago.  

Rather than boring you with yet another blow-by-blow analysis of the Bathurst action — probably a fading memory by now, anyway — we decided to get something better in the form of behind-the-scenes coverage of Super Black Racing. Take a look at what goes into prepping a team to take on Australia’s most significant race, and their thoughts on the outcome.

In more behind-the-scenes coverage, we also get a thorough look at the ‘tech’ process behind a dedicated drag vehicle — think of it as a WoF that ensures a drag car is safe to travel the drag strip. We watched Dave Moyle go over every nut and bolt on Jason Sellars’ incredible Falcon XY drag ute (we’ll have a full feature in an upcoming issue) to get you a look at how, and why, it’s all done. 

Photo: Matt Smith

The Enzed Central Muscle Cars also enjoyed their first round for the 2015–’16 season at Taupo Motorsport Park, and we’ve got a full rundown on the action, complete with a load of pretty pictures of super tough cars making a lot of noise at high speed.   

Photo: Helen Vance

In overseas event coverage, we also have the best of The Race of Gentlemen (TROG) — a retro-style hot rodder’s dream. The gist is a thorough pre-war theme, for both vehicles and entrants’ state of dress, in Wildwood, New Jersey. It’s a seriously cool event that we’d love to be able to head over to, even just once … 

There’s also a look into an awesome Mopar-oriented man cave, an explanation of the magic behind four-linked rear ends, and more. Check it all out in NZV8 Issue No. 127 — buy a print copy or a digital copy of the magazine below: