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A Celica like none other...

Over the weekend of 3rd-4th November a large and varied group of club members made a pilgrimage to Hahei, on the idyllic Coromandel Peninsula, for a meet-and-greet with none other than Rod Millen, famous championship winning driver in various motorsport disciplines and proprietor of the Leadfoot Ranch.

Convoy enroute to the Coromandel, via State Highway 2.

Leaving bright and early from the convening point at Bombay just outside of Auckland, roughly 20 cars (more…)

Author’s note: This is part 1 of the story. Part 2 will follow in the next few days.

After so many frustrating dead ends and one false start approaching nervous breakdown proportions earlier this year, I never thought I would see the day my RX-7 finally looked like this:

Look ma, no rear seats!

False start, you may ask? Turns out the “seller” of the rear conversion parts I “purchased” at the end of last year (see this blog post) turned out to be nothing more than a conman, and I ended up $250 poorer as a result of his swindling. (in a nutshell: he claimed that the parts were “lost” by UPS yet couldn’t provide any tracking info once probed, and UPS couldn’t help me, as only the seller can lodge claims in such circumstances, leaving me neatly trapped in the middle with no recourse).

Fortunately in the end PayPal came to my rescue by refunding $200 (75%) of my transaction amount, and with confidence somewhat restored I resumed the hunt for the parts I so badly needed.


Just when real-life dramas threaten to overwhelm one’s sensibilities, I happen to stumble across this little gem of inspiration, and feel a surge of renewal once again.

Must. Complete. Squid.

Maximum Low.

I’ve been following zeki‘s Minkara blog for some time and his DR30 sedan is picture-perfect in terms of aesthetics.

This is 'stance' I could definitely live with.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I’m fervently hoping I can pull off a look with squid that’s even half as clean. I don’t have the wide Wats but I do have some Ewings that might do the trick!

Cherry blossoms! So iconic.

Perhaps 2012 will finally be Year of the Squid?

photos courtesy of zeki @ minkara

After many late nights and lots of tinkering, I’m pleased to announce that the retro audio project is finally completed. Also worth noting that instead of sitting with its guts out on a messy bench, this particular setup is properly mounted in a car (the savanna banana, to be precise!)

This is cassette deck build number two, a KP-717G deck from 1983 with added attenuator circuit (to bring the auxiliary input down to a level which the onboard pre-amp can handle), outputting through a CD-5 graphic equalizer into a pair of (hidden) amps.

At the moment only the front speakers are functional… they’re fucked and need replacing anyway, as evidenced by the awful crackle in the video – I won’t hook up the rears until the two-seater conversion parts arrive.

which should be sometime in the next few weeks. Then I can hit the streets with some phat beats playing, haha.

The result of an uneventful evening’s tow mission last night sees my track-spec TX3 finally join the other one in their permanent new home.

aka, Operation: Moneypit.

These two cars alone have cost me infinitely more in time, money and sanity than all of the others combined…

And I’m still determined on resurrecting the black one. What on earth could be wrong with me? No, wait, don’t answer that.