Close this search box.

Daily Grind: a V8 convert and his HSV R8 wagon

22 September 2015

NZV8 magazine isn’t just about fully modified vehicles — we also look at cool daily drivers too! If you’re passionate about it, and you drive it to work every day, we can showcase it. We recently caught up with Intishaam ‘Intz’ Mohammed, and talked to him about his awesome 2010 HSV Tourer R8.

NZV8: Radical-looking R8, Intz — how long have you had it?

Intz Mohammed: I bought it about a year ago. It took a while to find one as there are not a lot of HSV wagons around. It was pretty much stock when I got it; it looked nothing like it does now. Dropping it made a big impact, but the lowering was not as simple as it looks. Believe it or not, it used to be lower than this, but I have lifted it up a bit to make it more drivable. The Pedders suspension combination I have in it now works really well.

Apart from the obvious lowering, what else have you done to it?

Pretty much the usual to get a bit more go out of it — not that the LS3 was a slouch; it’s just always good to have a bit more. It’s got a cold-air intake, MAFless tune, headers with a full three-inch twin-exhaust system — all of which make a big power difference and make it sound real good. I fitted a Gilmer drive, too, as I love the sound of those. I wouldn’t mind a cam change — but nothing too radical, as I want to keep the wagon a good driver with the stock auto. Some guys go nuts with the cam, but then you need to have a converter change and a reprogramming of the trans, and so on, and the vehicle ends up too wild for a daily driver. I have had a few manual HSVs, but this one, being an auto, is so easy to drive — and I want to keep it that way.

Obviously, working for a Holden dealer, you can source most things in-house. What was the hardest part to find for the build?

That would be the wheels. I had to search for the right wheels for the car. Of course, they had to be 20s, but they also had to be different from the usual run-of-the-mill stuff you see around the place. Tux at Manukau Auto and Tyre Centre really came through when he tracked these down. They were a special order, custom made by Work, and are the only set in the world, so there is no danger of seeing another pair anywhere. They weren’t cheap, though, at $3K a corner for the rims. Tux fitted some Nitto NT555 Extreme tyres, which are Z-rated — so good for faster speeds than I’ll ever go. The fronts are a 245/35, and I managed to get a 275/30 on at the back, which works perfectly.

That’s a serious investment. What got you into, and keeps you in, the car scene?

Initially it was largely peer pressure, typical young guys who buy their first car and try to hot it up and impress the chicks; the better the car, the better the pickup — if you know what I mean. From there, things just escalated. I was quite involved with 4&Rotary Promotions before getting into V8s. The car culture in New Zealand is huge, and I have made heaps of good mates who own all sorts of cars. That network of mates certainly helped with putting a car like this together, and I must thank Tux and the boys at Manukau Auto and Tyre Centre, the crew members in 4&Rotary, Nick at Ganley and Richardson panel beaters, Nick and his boys at Elite Car Valet, and everybody else who has helped the VE transformation with thoughts, ideas, and support. It helps having a supportive mum and dad, too!

You alluded to owning a few HSVs. What else have you owned?

I’ve owned almost too many cars to mention really. I was into imports for a while, so I had the usual stream of Evos, VR4s, WRXs. Then I bought my first Clubsport, and I was hooked. Since then, I must have owned about 20 HSVs — VTs, VYs, and VZs — and now this one, which is definitely a keeper. I still do volunteer work with 4&Rotary Promotions, but, now that I’m into HSVs, I don’t think I could go back to owning an import. Don’t get me wrong: I like the cars and really appreciate the work that goes into building them, but I just can’t see myself having one again; I’m a V8 convert.

Good to hear. Any more plans for the VE or to build something new?

Not really anything else with this one, as it’s pretty much there apart from a cam change. I do want to put it down the strip once that’s been done, just to see what it will do. One of my other Clubsports used to run in the 12s, and it would be nice to get the wagon down there, too. Building a VF is next on the agenda. The prices aren’t quite where I can get what I want yet, but they will be. Probably in about 18 months, there will be a VF parked next to this one — at least, that’s the plan.

Great plan, Intz; thanks for your time and for showing us your VE. We look forward to seeing the VF coming together. 

This article was originally featured in a previous issue of NZV8. Pick up a copy of the edition here: