It’s not every day that you get to experience something like CRC Speedshow. A dream expo for those with a love of all things on wheels, it’s no wonder the event has cemented itself as a fixture on the country’s automotive events calendar. This year, the show celebrates its 10th anniversary, and it’s packed to the brim with more than ever before.
While documenting the entirety of an event such as CRC Speedshow is simply impossible in a mere post such as this, we’ve compiled a list of highlights for you. Look out for these highlights as you wander the aisles of the show — which takes up most of the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland — and you’ll also uncover a whole bunch of stuff to interest you, whatever your automotive inclinations.
Teng Tools Grand National Rod & Custom Show
Let’s start with what has got to be the coolest hall in the show — the Teng Tools Grand National Rod & Custom Show. A relatively recent addition to the CRC Speedshow formula, it’s clearly become one of the crowd favourites. Where else do you get to see such an expansive automotive style catalogue of classic and custom cars, in what is a bona fide show environment? As much of as a cliché as it is, there truly is something for everybody here.
Daniel Barnett — 1949 Ford Anglia
When was the last time you read a highlights reel with a Ford Anglia at the top of the list? Well, Daniel Barnett’s is not your usual — it could be the coolest Anglia in New Zealand.
While it isn’t the most powerful car out there, and it’s not the most exuberantly coloured, what it does have is style in spades.
“We wanted to build a ’60s-styled car,” says Daniel’s father Terry, “so we went for a gasser build, with the straight-axle front.” And although a gasser build is almost always going to earn cool points by default, it’s refreshing to see that Daniel didn’t take it as an excuse to glue a pile shit together and call it a day — just because it’s a gasser doesn’t mean it has to be rough.
On top of being New Zealand’s coolest Anglia, the car has also got to qualify for one of New Zealand’s best-finished gassers. Not that you’d guess by looking at it, but the body was absolutely rooted when the build began. There are apparently countless repair jobs throughout the body, although the car appears flawless to us, and beautiful fabrication details throughout. The headers are works of art, the 406ci small block Chev is as well detailed as they come, and the interior is pure gasser and show car quality.
However, a show car this is not. Although it’s presented well enough, the car has been built to run nine-second quarter-miles, and Daniel and Terry are looking forward to taking it out for next year’s Bay Rodders Nostalgia Drags. It’s going to be one wild ride, and a very fun car to watch.
Luke Orpwood — 1960 Chev Impala
New Zealand is a country with a love affair with Chevrolet’s humble Impala, and, though it’s a big call to make, Luke Orpwood’s could just be one of the country’s best. It’s clean and simple, absolutely flawlessly finished, has all the right gear — think Tri-Power–equipped 348ci ‘W’ block and Muncie M21 four-speed box — and sits perfectly slammed on airbag suspension over super tough Nascar-style D-window steel wheels.
Luke originally purchased the Impala in 2004, ex-Dalhart, Texas, while working in America for a stint, and suffice to say it was in nowhere near the condition in which you now see it now. The Impala was then limped home to New Zealand, where it would undergo a stunning transformation into the low and impeccably clean cruiser you see here.
Despite its show-quality finish, Luke has no qualms about driving the car the way it’s supposed to be driven. He mentioned that he’s going to be leaving the Impala up in the North Island after Speedshow, returning in early August to drive it back home to Christchurch, stopping by at the Palmerston North Swap Meet on the way down. From there, it’ll be a bunch of smaller events, leading up to Muscle Car Madness in January. After that big roadtrip, Luke plans on doing another — albeit not behind the wheel of an American land-yacht. The crazy bastard will be participating in the Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari, riding a scooter across the Southern Alps to Hokitika, to support The Cancer Society — you can donate to the cause here.
Paul Andricksen — 1970 Plymouth Road Runner
Seeing is believing, unless the vehicle you’re seeing is Paul Andricksen’s 1970 Plymouth Road Runner. Looking at the car now, even though it’s clearly in a state far from complete, you simply would not guess the state the big Mopar was in before the build started.
The extent of the build is made even more impressive by the fact that Paul has done just about all of the work himself, and, while he’s a mechanic by trade, he isn’t a panelbeater or metalworker. Instead, he’d tinker away at the car in his workshop, tackling whatever task needed doing, and working his way up to the bigger jobs as he grew more confident in his ability. Now there’s probably more new metal in the car than old, including a smoothed firewall, custom trans tunnel for the massive four-speed auto, boot floor, rear quarters, and roof skin, among so much more. Despite all this, there is next to no indication — other than Paul’s progress photos of the build — that such an extensive rebuild has been undertaken.
Of course, the intense bodywork will come second on most people’s radar, as attention is invariably drawn to the crown jewel of the smoothed engine bay — a Viper V10 engine, complete with intricately-crafted Sinco exhaust manifolds. For three-and-a-half years Paul’s been labouring on the Plymouth, and he’s still got a way to go — as well as a fair bit of time owed to his wife. That said, he’s enjoying the build too much to be in any hurry to complete it — after all, the build’s half the fun!
Tough race cars
There are more trade stands at CRC Speedshow than you could wave a stick at, and finding standouts tends to come down to car each stall has on display. One of the highlights here was the Racer Products booth, proudly displaying the incredibly detailed wide-body Chev Monza built by AV8 Motorsport to compete in Central Muscle Cars, and the jaw-dropping all-steel Group 5 replica BMW being hand-built by Richard Pykett — a true work of art.
The New Zealand Made display is good for a bit of learning, showcasing some of the best cars produced in New Zealand that you probably didn’t know about. Heard about the Almac Cobras, produced from 1984 to present? How about the Ferrari F40 Silhouette Replica, or the Lamborghini Countach replica produced by Countless Mouldings? There is some seriously interesting stuff here, and the fact that they’ve all been produced locally really draws into light just how much local talent we have access to…
Gubb’s Racing Team have a new twin turbo engine set-up in an all new frame, and it’s some serious weaponry to behold. Check it out at the Meremere Dragway stand, along with Bill Hamilton’s Hayabusa drag bike, and ‘Dutchie’s Ford Falcon doorslammer.
… and more big turbos
Seen BOSDOG in person? If you answered ‘no’ to the preceding question, you need to get over to CRC Speedshow. Shyam’s 1987 Holden Calais VL is seriously one of the best finished cars in the country, and it’s 100 per cent street legal, and has run a nine-second quarter mile as well. The 408ci LS motor is strapped to a massive Holset turbo, it’s got a beautifully plumbed-in nitrous system, and incredible detailing throughout.
In addition, the slideways boys have some heavy [Japanese] artillery in the form of the beautifully built D1NZ 2JZ-powered Toyota 86, and Ben Wilkinson’s RB32 stroker–powered Nissan Silvia S15 — the first in the country to wear an iconic and exclusive Pandem Rocket Bunny wide-body kit.
The rest is history
Well, not yet, although there are some seriously cool historic race vehicles in attendance, as part of the Memory Lane hall organized by HRC Events. With such cars as the iconic Fleetwood Mustang raced by Ivan Segedin and Red Dawson, and Carl Jensen’s tribute to the crazy 'Baloo' altered built by Peter Lodge in the ’60s, this history lesson on wheels is a solid reason in itself to get your arse down to Speedshow.
If none of this has piqued your interest, then you may want to check your pulse — seriously, CRC Speedshow never disappoints, but this year’s might just be the best yet. Get to ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane Auckland, this weekend — July 16–17 — to take it all in for yourself. Visit speedshow.co.nz for all the info you could possibly need.