"It wasn’t actually planned like people think, I was leaving my mates place and he told me to give it a bit of shit ... so I did."
There is one video within the car world in New Zealand that without fail everyone is familiar with, and for those that wouldn’t have the first clue on what an RB is have still heard the “yo fuck yo” and “rip it little Johnny” utter at one time or another — they’ve even become a staple within our vocabulary. We are, of course, talking about the legend that is Little Johnny:
Although it is so well known, details known about the video itself and those within it are slim, so we sank a fair few office hours into online trawling to find out exactly that. Did we manage to find Little Johnny? Hell yes we did and it only took a single message to the Facebook account in question to confirm it.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to reveal to you that the original, certified ‘Little Johnny’ is in fact named Johnny. From there though, he wished to remain anonymous — fair enough we thought. However that would make for a shit-house article and we twisted his arm into a quick fire interview in order to find out a bit more of how the video came to be and what he’s been up to since.
Now kick back as you take a peek into the mindset of the Little Johnny.
Name: Little Johnny
Vehicle: 1988 Nissan Cefiro A31
Hi Johnny. You’re a hard man to track down, thanks for agreeing to have a yarn...
Yeah no worries, been working hard out and don't talk to randoms usually
Sweet as, let’s get straight into it then. What was the first car you ever hacked a skid in and how old were you?
Would have been about 15 at the time and it was in a Holden VL — a RB30E manual one.
And when did the ceffy come along?
I've had the Cefiro for around eight years now. This is it when I first got it:
Solid, was it RB20DET at the time and what have you done to it in those eight years?
Yep it was a 20DET at the time when I got it, no cert, nothing. I wanted to keep it legal so I got it certed eventually and have been through three 20DET motors since then.
So you actually tried to keep it legal? and what does it look like today?
Yep definitely, it’s cop bait hard so I try to only drive it when it’s legal — but the old back road night time skids happen occasionally [laughs]. After going through so many motors I decided to put a RB30DET in it. I’ve actually just got it back from Rapid Performance in Timaru, so now all it needs is to be re-certed for the new motor, wheels, brakes, and adjusties.
Speaking of street skids, tell us how the infamous video come about?
It wasn’t actually planned like people think, I was leaving my mates place and he told me to give it a bit of shit when I was leaving so I did. He chucked it onto youtube and it just went crazy from there.
Did people start to recognise you from the video when it started to get huge?
It didn't take long before I think that everyone in Invercargill knew it was me — not long at all really, only a few months. The more it got shared, the more it went around and my mates would give me shit. The video was uploaded at either the end of 2009 or start of 2010 — I can’t remember exactly.
Engine: Nissan RB30DET, 3000cc, six-cylinder
Drivetrain: Five-speed RB25DET
Exterior: Resprayed in metallic green with gold pearl, Slydway Custmz stickers, vented front guards, flared rear guards
Wheels: (F) 18x9-inch Wolf S1P, (R) 18x10-inch Wolf S1P
It's coming up a few years now and still going strong; one of the most memorable parts of the video is the voice over, who was that?
That was the bro, Ricky, who told me to give it some shit as I was leaving. Crack up fella, must have liked the skid at the time [laughs]. We're still mates today and people still share the video to both of us when it pops up every now and then.
And what have you been up to since the video?
Working to fund my addiction so I can keep doing my car up [laughs]
Good shit. Cheers for taking the time to yarn, Johnny.