We have put the power in your hands all year, calling for votes on who most deserves to go head-to-head for the chance to be crowned owner of the Castrol Edge Performance Car of the Year 2016. 

Each issue, three feature cars went to the vote for that month’s finalist spot. Those votes have been tallied and the 12 finalists selected, but the battle isn’t over just yet. We need you to have your say and vote to ensure the most worthy is crowned champion. Every vote counts, and it only takes a second to have your say! 

  • Twenty lucky voters will each receive a copy of NZ Performance Car poster book Vol. 5 and Castrol gear.
  • The 12 nominees will each receive an NZ Performance Car yearly subscription and Castrol Gear
  • The Castrol Edge Performance Car of the Year winner three Castrol Edge 5L packs, Castrol gear, and a $1500 prezzy card.

And to refresh your memory about the cars to choose from:

Alex Macaskill’s SR-powered SR coupe

What was once a bogged-up rust bucket has been painstakingly transformed into a circuit-racing showpiece by Blenheim-based automotive refinisher, Alex. The four-year project has seen a great level of detail put into all aspects of the build, including a near-perfect paint job that extends to a full three-layer pearl-painted driveline. The classic racer runs an SR20DE+T, with an SR20 five-speed and three-linked Hilux rear end. It’s freshly completed, and Alex plans to contest the South Island endurance series and local hill climbs in the car. 

Steve Ellicott’s Mazda 808

Burnouts anyone? Steve’s 808 is well known for its skidpad antics, but behind all that smoke from countless destroyed tyres lies one serious build. The car was saved from rotting away in a paddock, and has undergone a three-year extensive build — all in the name of killing tyres! From the completely reworked chassis to the extensive roll cage, Steve has left nothing to chance in creating this bulletproof rotor. The engine is a ported FD 13B with a BorgWarner S360, backed by a Richmond five-speed. 

Dustin Ng’s 2JZ-GTE R34

Nissan purists step away now, what we have here is the ultimate collaboration between some of the greatest performance cars to ever come out of Japan, the GT-R, MKIV Toyota Supra, and Evo. With 441kW coming from a single-turbo 2JZ-GTE and Getrag six-speed combination, Dustin’s four-door R34 is as practical as it is scary fast. With R35 GT-R brakes, 20x10.5-inch wheels, and an Evo VII interior, it’s a true melting-pot collaboration between some of Japan’s greatest performance cars, all put together in true Kiwi form. It’s no show pony, either. This thing sees regular street use as Dustin’s daily driver. How cool is that!

Jesse Remkes’ 2JZ-GTE E46 BMW

The BMW E46 is a very popular chassis for an engine swap here in New Zealand, but few pull it off with the fit and finish Jesse achieved with his 2JZ-powered sedan. From the colour-coded half cage and wheels, through to the black-on-black engine bay, this is a street car with class that could also kick your arse thanks to the 2JZ-GTE lurking under the bonnet. Seven years of ownership have seen this machine constantly evolve, and lead to the tyre-fryer before you. 

John Stride’s FD3S RX-7

A three-year labour of love, John’s FD represents everything we admire about a New Zealand street car. Great lengths were taken to get the engine bay as clean as possible with a modern 13B turbo. Not a single piece of alloy escaped the polisher, and the entire car has been deloomed. Hidden under all that bling is a very potent 13B bridge-port block, a Sinco manifold, and customized Garrett 35/40. Once some boost is wound in, this will make some serious numbers for a streeter. 

Mike Fitzgerald’s Mazda RX-7 Series 1

It might have taken 17 years to build it, and the engine bay may have been home to countless combinations that never quite got finished, but the end result is well worth it. It now sports a bridge-ported naturally aspirated Cosmo 20B with triple ITBs, and the sound that the custom stainless exhaust emits is that of heavenly notes. The rest of the car hasn’t escaped either, with a full interior retrim, custom pearl paint, and big-dish Simmons.

Graeme Smyth’s 1996 FD RX-7 

Both a driver and a race-car builder, Graeme Smyth has constructed his personal FD RX-7 to be a front runner in the SS2000 class. The attention to detail that went into the build is second to none, and it includes plenty of innovative parts that should ensure it’s a championship contender. It’s powered by what must be the most powerful 13B bridge-port in New Zealand, and backed by a six-speed Modena sequential, so there is no denying this will be a fast machine, especially when you factor in the aero and Graeme’s life-long experience behind the wheel.

Vincent’s air-cooled widebody 911

Cutting up and modifying something that is so fiercely admired in stock trim takes a gutsy and committed builder. And then to pull it off with such perfection is the mark of a talented builder. Vincent Pieterse had been through a few Porsches before settling on this particular 1978 Porsche 911 SC, and taking the grinder to it in the quest for a little more aggressive body styling, grafting on 930 quarters to accommodate big-dish Work Meisters. These are accompanied by a swag of carbon panels, and a mildly worked air-cooled three-litre that produces a glorious note through the stainless exhaust.

Omar Shahab’s MkII VW Golf

Omar’s MkII VW Golf is another super-clean build. Although he now resides in the 09 area, he originally hails from the UK, which is evident from the styling and attention to detail that was put into the build. The MkII features a built 1800 with 272 cams and a modified G60 intake, which impart a good power punch. The highly detailed engine bay has seen hundreds of hours poured into making it as decluttered and clean as possible. Slammed on some refurbished BBS RS180s and RS247s, the Golf is certainly doing its job, and showing Kiwis what is possible with these small hatchbacks.

Peter Kearney’s 527kW Evo VII

Everyone loves to see a bad story come good, and Christchurch local Peter Kearney’s Evo fits that description after his original engine was blown up by a mechanic friend. Peter didn’t let this deter him, and instead rebuilt the Evo into one very wild street car. The new engine combo — which is more drag car than street car — sends 527kW to all four wheels, with plenty more to come thanks to a fully built, standard-stroke 4G63. All this is packaged in a shell that is borderline sleeper-looking, if it wasn’t for the grille-mounted Accusump. 


‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett’s Mazda MX-5 is quite possibly the wildest import car ever built in New Zealand. The 900-odd-kW, PPRE-built twin-turbo 26B is backed by a Holinger HD6 sequential box, and ASD-built Winters Quick Change diff. It now runs updated ND MX-5 bodywork, and Mike has put together a custom Rocket Bunny bodykit, livery, and wheels to suit the 2016 look. 

James Mangin's Shakotan S15

Here is New Zealand we have a culture of getting the job done, no matter the situation. For James Mangin it was building his Rocket Bunny–equipped S15 in his cramped Manawatu-based single-car garage. However the result is nothing short of amazing. It's a Shakotan machine without compromise, as authentic as anything built in Japan. It's super slammed and with a rowdy SR20 barking away under the bonnets. But the engine bay is a much more Kiwi affair, in that it has not escaped a serious rework at his hands, and as he plans to at least double the power in the very near future, it will get better.