As you may have seen on Facebook or in NZV8 magazine over the last few months, the team at Hamilton’s Mitchell Race Xtreme (MRX) have been piecing together one hell of a Camaro.
The car, being built for the Enzed Central Muscle Car series, belongs to Wellington’s Brendon Neiman — a man who’s no stranger to wild circuit machines. It was this previous experience that drew him to the MRX team, knowing they were the ones who could turn his vision into reality, and really push the boundaries of what the class rules allowed.
After an intensive 18-month build period from an unloved American-sourced shell, the car hit the track on September 23 for the very first time, and we’re happy to say it certainly lives up to the hype already surrounding it.
The list of parts alone reads like most racers’ dream shopping list. Items such as a 358ci SB2 Nascar engine, filled with the best gear available, and backed by a G-Force five-speed box.
But, of course, in a car like this, the parts are only half of the equation, as the fabrication work required to make it all come together as a cohesive package is equally as important.
In this case that fabrication has extended to a full custom diff housing complete with cambered floating hubs and a Winters nine-inch alloy head.
With fabricated suspension arms — all within CMC specs of course — and Penske three-way adjustable shocks all round, as well as custom-built blade adjustable sway bars, the car has all the right bits to see it at the pointy end of the CMC Group 1 field.
With the searing yellow paintwork, and borderline plow-looking front splitter, the car is an impressive sight upon first glance. But it’s one of those builds that keeps giving; the closer you look, the more cool touches you find.
For Brendon, the important thing is not how good it looks, but how well it goes. And getting behind the wheel for the first time on September 23, Brendon couldn’t be happier with how the car feels on track.
Compared to his previous cars it's definitely up on power and felt well-planted on track.
Understandably, on a shakedown of a build such as this, there’s always going to be a few adjustments required, but with the MRX crew on hand to help sort out the minor tweaks, it’s clear, even at this early stage, that the goal of building a car capable of winning races has well and truly been achieved.
The next step from here is to get a bit more track time under his belt before the season begins at Hampton Downs on October 29. We’re sure we won’t be the only ones watching with anticipation to see how this newcomer to the class goes.
Brendon would like to thank all those involved in helping with the car: David at Hankook, Steve Hildred Motors, Advance Auto Electrical, and, of course, Nick and Derek and the team at MRX for all their hours of hard work during the design and build of such a top-level car.
Look out for a full feature in an upcoming issue of NZV8