The 12 weirdest, craziest cars from this year's CRC Speedshow
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What I like more than anything else about CRC Speedshow is how it attracts some of the nation's strangest pieces of four-wheeled machinery. Cars that might otherwise not entertain the notion of leaving their garages and sheds otherwise.
Those cars often represent the weirdest machines on show, and as such feature quite prominently in this list. Bring on the weird.
This Chevrolet Bel Air looks typical enough of the standard of classic sitting in the Teng Tools custom hall at the top end of the show floor. However, you haven't yet laid your eyes on the interior...
Inside is a combination of my aunt's living room 30 years ago and the set of a vintage pornographic photoshoot of some description. Every surface is fuzzy and plush, apart from the glass that contains the fine alcohol, of course.
The Bel Air shared the floor with a range of other nice and neat classics, like this wonderful little Mini Cooper ute — complete with highly appropriate nickname emblazoned on the doors, as well as ... WHAT ON EARTH IS IN THE TRAY.
It is of course a Rover V8, a slight size and power upgrade over what once powered this pint-sized little Mini.
Speaking of large engines, this rather daft, rather amazing looking chopped van contraption (my first thought was that it might've been a Dodge A100, but I'm pretty certain I'm completely wrong) contains something incredible behind its back doors.
Though, first a nod to the vehicle's decoration. One has to appreciate the dedication to mild rat-roddism. The unpainted surface where the wing-mirrors used to sit, the dilapidated front bumper, the rough condition on the insides of the doors. Even the 'Pipein' hot plumbing' label on the door. Fantastic.
Then you get the engine. It's a Cummins unit, and is up there with the largest engine I've ever seen in any kind of commuter vehicle. Although this van's days as a commuter vehicle have long been numbered.
For something completely different, here's the new Honda Civic Type R. Fresh from its duties as a press vehicle, this pre-production machine was unveiled for the first time to the public early on Saturday morning.
The looks of this car alone are enough to justify its presence on this list; with vents and wings and inlets layered onto almost every single panel.
It's a bit disappointing that the Civic Type R reveal was one of the few new-car reveals over the course of the Speedshow weekend. Lexus too had a grand reveal for their new LC500 coupe, but the pair of manufacturers were a clear minority.
This Subaru Impreza has seen better days.
The police had brought it along to raise awareness for road safety. The driver, somewhat remarkably, actually survived this monsterous shunt, before giving them the greenlight to use his former pride and joy as a discussion piece. It was constantly surrounded by a crowd.
This isn't a car, it's a tank.
This isn't a car, these are sun glasses.
Our firm friend 'Project Craz-E-Horse' was there, on show next to a couple of other creations from Hamilton-based engineers Mitchell Race Xtreme.
It's hoped that by the end of the year, this devilish black Mustang will hold the world record for fastest electric production car. Yes, electric. Yes, production. Read more about it here.
In a way, it cuts a similar sort of shadow as this Holden Commodore Sportwagon. But, while the Mustang is intended to take down drag strips, this Commodore is actually built for the skidpan.
It's a burnout machine, channeling the style of burnout cars over the ditch — many of which are based on contemporary Australian Holdens and Fords. It looks clean in this photo, but while in action it'll spend a hearty amount of time literally on fire. Good fun.
And just to take this motorsport leaning full circle, here's a drift car.
This is Jase Brown's D1NZ Pro-Sport Nissan Silvia S13; equipped with a huge V8 and with a unique Boss front-end conversion kit. This car is one of the cleanest race cars in the country — every surface is as clean as a whistle, always.
A couple of circuit cars checking in, though these are about as far removed from open-wheel anorakism or GT-racing exotica as is possible. Hell, one of them is getting mowed by a lawn mower.
They're both entries in the upcoming 24 Hours of LeMons, where some of the crappiest cars in New Zealand will take on each other for ultimate ... supremacy?
Then, in the corner, is an Alfa Romeo 156.
It was, by quite some way, the most basic and normal car at the whole show. Which subsequently makes it extremely weird (I don't make the rules, OK). It's like it got lost on the way to a local dentistry convention.
It is part of the much loved Alfa Romeo Trofeo series; a grass roots racing series for Alfa Romeos new and vintage. This is a road-legal race car that, over time, will be built up as a flagship for the series while also getting the word out on the streets.
Sadly for that 156, it had to stare at the last two cars on this list for a whole weekend.
Bachelor number one is possibly the most questionably decorated Ferrari in New Zealand. It's a 488 — a beautiful car, one of Ferrari's best — fitted with too much chrome gold. The roof; chrome gold. The wheels; chrome gold.
Next to the Ferrari at the same stall was this Porsche 911.
Now, if that kit looks familiar to you, then you might recall it from a Driven write-up almost a year ago. It's a TopCar creation, and — both in photos and in person — it's utterly bonkers. Under the watch of TopCar, what was a clean, minimalist 991 body becomes ridden with creases and holes.
This is the only TopCar-kitted 991 in New Zealand, which I suppose makes it rare. On its own, the kit isn't too bad. It's the wheels that push this over into the weird. Mental.