Friday, September 26, 2014

Another photo from the impromptu shoot outside STM after the dyno test.

I'm back at work on the car after a trip overseas, and currently setting up my garage for the body work stage to proceed, so work should be progressing rapidly soon. I can't wait to have the car back together again...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Syber 13

A crazy Gatebil-style S13 Nissan Silvia built to four-wheel drift. It features a set-back Chevy LS V8 with twin superchargers and a custom four-wheel drive setup. The front blower is mounted backwards and has its internals reversed so air goes in the bottom, gets compressed, and comes out the top and into the second blower mounted normally on top of the motor. I think it makes for a mean-looking beast head poking through the hood, and should have the performance to back up the looks. The radiator is in the rear, fed by the roof-mounted scoop, so when the one-piece front is removed you’d get an uninterrupted view of the front blower on its cantilevered brackets, and also of the front transaxle, and custom-built and white-painted suspension and spaceframe.

Another potential future build concept. I really like this machine, it would look rad as hell for real I reckon.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Joker

This is The Joker, or the Shakotan Demon, a Mashine Chop based a 1971 Dodge Demon with Japanese shakotan/bosozoku styling. I’ve been photochopping works-style overfenders and big ducktail spoilers on all sorts of cars for many years now, and think this one really suits the look well. It’s kind of like a big Mazda RX-3 or a KE35 Corolla. It’s called The Joker both for the purple and green colour scheme (which is based on two of the famous Mopar ’High Impact’ hues of the ’70s: Plum Crazy and Sublime, and also happens to be the Joker’s colours from Batman), and also because of its badass PPRE 26B turbocharged quad-rotor engine – a choice that V8 fans won’t find very funny!

Mashine is a project myself and good friend and fellow designer and car nerd Ash Thorp are working on. A way to indulge our crazy car fuelled plans and make big things happen in the future…    Keep your eyes peeled!

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Some of my favourite machines from a recent trip to the states.
It was the trip of a lifetime in general, and for cars particularly. The pits at Laguna Seca melted my brain. Watching and hearing (and feeling, when walking the bridges) the vintage Trans-Am cars race and get sideways out of corners was pure joy. Pebble Beach Concours was fantastic, I fell in love a few times with Italian red heads. I guess I'd pay 10 million for one too...  

More images and road-trip footage coming soon!

The black SS Camaro was my road-trip machine. 


Monday, August 25, 2014


Introducing the 

This is a concept I've been playing around with for a few years. The idea came to me while sketching in a meeting at Weta Workshop when we were working on early pre-production concept design for Mad Max 4 way back in early 2009. I’ve always loved the function-driven look of F1 cars and started sketching the aero onto the body of a ’32 Ford three-window coupe. It all seemed to work together surprisingly well...

After occasionally playing with the idea in sketch form over a few years, I got a couple of basic 3D models of a Ford coupe and an F1 car off the internet and started to develop the concept in 3D.

The paint scheme above is a homage to two of my favourite F1 car families: the MP4 Mclarens and the Ferraris of the early ’90s – in my opinion the best looking era of F1. I like the way the red and white over the nose of this design echoes the famous SO-CAL Speed Shop coupe, a further mixing of the two worlds.

The F132 would be designed in CAD first, and feature a chromoly space frame, carbon body panels, and custom-fabricated suspension and components. A six-speed sequential transaxle would send power to the massive Goodyear race slicks, and the mid-mounted engine would be a modern Chevrolet NASCAR V8, to mirror but amplify the Chevy small block traditionally found in many ’32 Ford hot rods. As this thing is pretty small (the roof is about 43 inches high) and because I felt it should be a two-seater to suit the hot rod roots, I’ve taken inspiration from the McLaren F1 road car and given the driver’s seat preference in the cabin, with a smaller custom-moulded seat tucked just behind and to the right. This way a passenger can fit in but driver ergonomics aren’t compromised. The slightly in-line cockpit configuration also matches the fighter-jet style F132 moniker nicely.

These renders were featured in an article on Speedhunters that I wrote to follow up the earlier feature on my Kuda build, and seemed to be very popular judging by the comments and the re-posts. Hopefully I can make this concept a physical and brutally fast reality in the future!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


I was recently invited by the rad team at Speedhunters to share the progress on the Kuda. It was a lot of fun to put the little article together, and cool to sum up the build to this point in as short a way as possible. Check it out:

Dream It. Build It. The Kiwi Kuda

Massive thanks to Speedhunters for allowing me to share the project on what is, in my opinion, the best damn car site on the internet! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shakedown 'Cuda

I'd rented a glidetrack slider for another project I'm working on, so I had a go at recording some shots of the car before I had to return the slider. This little video was the result. Good fun!

Music by Ornithologist.

"A stormtrooper and a Darth Vader" -Christian Pearce.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tear apart timelapse

From a functional car to a stripped shell in a day and a half.

Was quite a bit of work!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

photos and thoughts

Some more photos from the dyno day photoshoot. It looks amazing, it still all feels a little bit unreal! I'm so used to seeing the thing as an assemblage of separate parts that the reality of the whole car has taken time to sink in. And the fact that it's as much fun to drive as it is makes the whole deal crazier.

This stuff is long time dreams come true! ha ha. I love machinery and this is some sweet machinery to me!

The car is now back to being an assemblage of parts in the garage. Literally! From a functional car to a stripped shell in a day and a half. I'll post a timelapse video soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dyno day photoshoot

Right next door to Speedtech Motorsport was this rad stack of shipping containers, an ideal backdrop for a photo session. I really wanted some shots in an industrial setting and the heavy-duty but colourful containers were perfect. I took a whole bunch of photos but I think this one is my favourite. The car just looks so right to me! I'll post some more soon, they turned out great!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dyno day

Before I pull the car apart to finish the body I wanted to put it on the dyno to get a baseline of how the motor is running. When driving around it felt a little down on the power I was hoping for, and it went flat after 4500rpm, about 1000rpm sooner than it should with its hydraulic flat tappet cam. So I borrowed a workmates sweet wagon (cheers Max!), rented a trailer, and towed the cuda out to see the rad dudes at Speedtech Motorsport.

It got bolted up to the Dynapack hub dyno...

and put through its paces a few times. Sure enough the power curve fell off at 4500rpm, but it pulled real hard up to that point, so it turns out I'm just greedy! It put out 444lbft to the rear wheels at 4100rpm, so well over 500lbft at the motor and should do similar hp once I find out what's causing the power to drop off 1000rpm too soon.

I unbolted the temporary mufflers and removed the little air filter hoping they might be causing the power drop, but no luck. The motor did put out 30 more hp to the rear wheels without those little 2.25" mufflers though! And holy shit it was loud in the dyno room with open headers! Diagnosing the power drop issue will have to wait till the car is going again in the future, but at least it's good to know it's running great till 4500rpm. That's straight outa the box too, with conservative ignition timing and no carb tuning. So it should be an animal once fully dialed in!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The new diff I built has new gears in it and you have to be gentle on them for a few hundred miles. But I had the old diff just lying around, so.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Just over a year

Just over a year between these two photos. This image really reminds me of the thoughts and feelings I had when the car was in that minimal state. I can happily say that the rebuilt machine has lived up to expectations! So pumped to get it finished and registered for public roads!