We`ve included a list of the fastest road cars in the country in each edition of NZV8 and NZ Performance Car, and it was great to find out who`s where and what the current “references” are. Unfortunately, space constraints in the magazine mean we can`t devote much space to the listing – that`s why we uploaded it here, along with a photo and brief description of each car. Take a look and discover some of New Zealand`s toughest trams. Love them or hate them, you can`t deny the pure power that rotary engines can produce. Ben Moorcock`s small Mazda RX-3 drives a Cosmo 13B on E85, equipped with a huge Garrett GT42 Turbo and a five-speed Tremec TKO600 manual transmission. This turned out to be good for a 9.85 at 145.91mph. The RX-3 has also been beautifully designed – hopefully given Ben`s history in the panel and paint industry – making it a true eye-catcher, whether on the road or on the Strip. Craig Hedley: 8.46 to 164.19mph1994 Toyota Supra (2JZ turbo)Toyota`s powerful 2JZ engine is the Jesus baby for tuners around the world – an engine so heavily over-engineered it`s almost as if Toyota intends to modify it. Craig Hedley`s is far from stock, but retains its street manners despite its race car appearance. After a best time of 8.46 seconds at 164.19 mph at full weight and in road version, the car tuners at Dtech Motorsport believe there is more, and we believe them! For the most part, a quarter mile is nothing more than an unusual measure of distance calculated using a system foreign to our soil. But even though we are a metric country, there is a dedicated group of riders who know the distance all too well. We Kiwi have long had a love affair with the quarter-mile, with drag racing setting the bar as the panacea for truly fast cars – the proving ground for those who want to dominate both the world of imported racing and the road. Vehicles that meet the above criteria count towards my list of the fastest real road cars in New Zealand.
To determine who should be on the list, you must have won a legal road race, which in New Zealand means one of the flag drag races, as any car homologated on the road, regardless of speed, can participate in these races. This eliminates the need for the fastest trams to have a cage, which would be necessary when comparing resistance times to find the fastest road cars. Just because you`re the fastest on the streaks doesn`t mean you`re automatically the fastest on the road. A well-positioned road car will put a faster drag car on the road, as my off-road racing experience has proven. For example, I drove and beat Mike Black`s Holden ute “BIG TRQ”, the 3rd fastest car on the “NZ Fastest Streeters” list at Powercruise Off Street Drags 2009, and you can watch the race on this video at 5:27 minutes. I also beat the 18th fastest car, Doug Stewart`s Camaro “TUF 67” at the same Powercruise 2009 event and you can watch the race on this video at 6:38 minutes. Those are the only two cars on this list that I have driven so far. It was this kind of sampling that sparked Craig Hedley`s love-hate relationship with the sport about eight years ago, when he took his then-car, an R32 Skyline, to the Naki Drag Wars street race and realized how dangerous a small solution could be. This led Craig to do a complete rebuild and invest a good chunk of the money into the car, only to have the Joker who built it go bankrupt and take everything with him. Of course, Craig was spitting, and fair enough, and decided to sell and release as fast as it started. Over the next year, the urge to get it right smouldered and a chance sighting of a well-known Supra prepared by drag to sell online forced his hand.
Legal events for road racing are flag drop events at Powercruise Off Street Drags, Chrome Expression Drags, Ardmore Showdown Drags, Kiwinats Drags, Powerfest Drags, etc. In order of most wins are the following cars: Justin Weir: 9.36 to 146.56mph1971 Chev Camaro (540ci BBC, nitros)Justin Weir completely redesigned, rebuilt, replaced and repainted his Camaro `71 at the time he owned it. A legit nine-second road car in his previous life, that`s exactly where Justin got it too, having driven the nitros-assisted 540ci Camaro 540ci at a very fast 9.36 to 146.56, and we`re sure to see more. New Zealand motorsport fans now have the chance to see the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8, apparently the world`s fastest four-door production sedan to arrive in the country. Kathryn McDonald: 9.86 to 137.07mph1969 Chrysler Valiant (572ci Hemi N/A)The first woman to join the ranks was Kathryn McDonald in her Chrysler Valiant sedan. With a 572ci Hemi at the helm, this car bears very little resemblance to its old 6-cylinder. Even though it was a dream for Kathryn to be on the list, she doesn`t stand still, as her goal is now to become the fastest atmospheric tram. It`s a big question, but we certainly wouldn`t rule it out if it gains even more track time. Trim as in the race: pumping gasoline, full of tablecloths Real trams are the ones that actually run on the road. I`ve seen a list of the fastest trams in New Zealand, which are mostly just drag cars with a WOF and Rego running little to no road.
They are NOT streetcars. To qualify as a real road car, here are my criteria: Aaron Jenkins: 8.28 to 166.15mph1977 Holden Torana (540ci BBC, Twin-Turbo)After selling his nine-second Holden HQ Monaro, Aaron Jenkins remained a void in his life that could only be filled with big dice and great power. As the Monaro was too good to cut, he decided to build around a rotten Torana hull, with a homemade chassis, a big block 540ci biturbo and the goal of running an eight – something he achieved dramatically by lowering his PB from 9.04 seconds to 8.33 seconds at 164.17 mph. The most impressive part is the fact that streetability was not sacrificed for it. Daniel Southall: 8.78 to 161.79mph1969 Chev Camaro (406ci SBC, ProCharger SC)Dan Southall has two goals: to have the fastest small log in New Zealand and the fastest road driver in the South Island. Its small nitro-equipped block disappeared to be replaced with a supercharged 406ci unit for that extra “oomph” – with the help of Ben Morris – and a nine-inch manufactured diff with a set of mini tubs was grafted to the back to further reduce performance. Fresh out of its massive overhaul, we`re keeping a close eye on this one and expect to see great things. 8.78 is just the beginning! The winners of these flag-drop events that do NOT meet the streetcar criteria: T4U2NV (1926 Ford T-Bucket – 9.1 @ 150mph – Jason Bond) – Powercruise Taupo 2010 ( BLWNHQ (Holden HQ Premier Black Limousine – 8.91 @ 159.60 – Barry Plumpton) – Powercruise Taupo 2011 (Kiwinats 1-3 – no information on who the Drags winners were. Ardmore Showdown 2012-2015 (no real winners as it`s just a fun flag drag event) Mike Black: 8.53 to 160.86mph1973 Holden HQ ute (540ci BBC, twin SC)Mike Black`s supercharged HQ ute dual is one of the most iconic vehicles in New Zealand`s drag racing scene – for sheer caricatured exaggeration, It`s just unbeatable. Similarly on the track where Mike ran an incredible PB of 8.53s at 160.86 mph. And in case you were wondering, the truck is allowed to drive with an arrest warrant in progress, a Rego and LVV certificate. Trim as in racing: C16, exhaust removed, full slicks Tony Gera: 8.92 to 150.83mph1970 Ford Mustang (480ci BBF, nitros)Tony Gera likes to drive fast.
But he must be able to enjoy his fast cars on the road. If he can`t drive on the road like a half-decent machine, he doesn`t care. That`s what makes his 1969 Mustang so impressive. The huge 480ci Big Block develops about 700 horsepower and comes out of the blue bottle in the eight with a big punch, and the car is still civilized enough to handle the road service without any problems.