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Illustration insanity: top 10 cars from our dreams

11 May 2016


Every month in NZV8 magazine, we run an illustration of a vehicle that the cover car owner would like to build, or see built. Over the years we’ve had all sorts of things come through, some from the ‘really, that’s all you could dream up’ file, though to ones from the ‘holy crap, what drugs are you on’ camp. Prior to our cover car owners being in charge of the concepts, we took care of them ourselves. Here’s 10 of the best that we managed to dream up.

Got any ideas of your own that you’d like to see illustrated? Make sure to let us know in the comments below.

Cut cat

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 94

Looking for a lead sled, but can’t afford the asking price to buy a rusty old Mercury? How about looking at something with the same body lines that rolled off a production line on the opposite side of the globe. Our concept saw the chopped and two-doored Mk1 Jaguar fitted with a Japanese motor, just to ensure that everyone hated it …

Corvette GTP

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 96

The Corvette GTPs were only ever created as a race car, however, they look remarkably similar in design to the locally produced Saker kit cars. Well, close enough at least. So this concept saw C6 Corvette lights and front-bumper shape grafted into a Saker bodyshell. Add some race-style graphics and a cross ram–injected LS engine, along with a Tremec-based transaxle, and you’ve got yourself a killer street car that looks like it’s fresh off the track at Daytona.


As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 98

Squint hard, and you’ll see the similarities between an A-body Plymouth Cuda and mid-’70s Japanese vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi GTO, Toyota Celica, and the likes. So, what do you build if you’re a lover of both the Cudas and the Japanese cars? A Jap-inspired Cuda of course. But rather than a four-banger under the hood, it’d still need to have 426 cubic inches of Hemi.

Back 2 front

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 99

The quickest front-wheel drive drag car in New Zealand currently competing runs 9.83-second quarter-miles, but we think with a bit of outside-the-box thinking we could build something that goes quicker. No, it’s not a Honda with a big hairdryer on it, but an Oldsmobile Toronado with a big block and blower. Being front-wheel drive from the factory, we’d upgrade the stock TH400 gearbox, whack on some slicks, and go break some axles.

Kiwi Bird

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 100

Coming from a little island nation at the arse end of the globe, we’re pretty self-sufficient and damn proud of what we can create. That said, we’ve never had a true ‘Kiwi-built’ muscle car. We think it’s possible though, thanks to the use of a Moreland fibreglass Trans Am replica body, along with locally cast block, local heads, local gearbox … you get the picture. It looks like a Firebird, but built with Kiwi-made parts, therefore it’s the Kiwi Bird — and the one car we’d love to see built more than any other.

Long-roof racer

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 101

We love the plastic fantastic Walkinshaw Commodores, with their larger-than-life bodykits and racing pedigree. We’re also big fans of the 1990s British Touring Cars series, of which Tom Walkinshaw was also involved with. In the UK, Walkinshaw was behind Volvo’s move from racing sedans to station wagons, a move that earned them huge popularity. So, what would it look like if he’d done the same in Australia? We’re guessing it’d be something along the lines of this.


As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 104

For us, a daily driver needs to be practical, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. A ’66 El Camino would be just the thing for getting to photo shoots, cruising events, and generally enjoying on the road. Well, at least it would be with a turbocharged LQ3 under the hood and some period-correct Nascar graphics, along with a few simple body mods to ensure it looked the part.

Ed’s dream

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 106

Sometimes practicality can be damned, and a radically chopped and channelled Model A Tudor would be just the thing to relive a misspent youth in. So low that any bump in the road would hurt, yet so cool that it’ll never go out of style. Of course, a real hot rod needs a real motor, and it’s hard to get more real than a 392 Hemi with a handful of carbs on it.

Aussie invasion

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 108

Chrysler America were dominating race circuits in 1970 with their winged wonders; the Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Daytona. Meanwhile the Australian arm of the company were producing comparatively mind-numbing cars. So, what if the goal of winning hearts and sales on the racetrack had been a global one, and the Aussies had access to the American parts bin? We’re guessing the result would be somewhat like this.

Different strokes

As seen in: NZV8 Issue No. 110

We’ve seen a few local race car builders purchase genuine Nascars only to pull them to bits to be used in muscle car projects. But what if this concept was applied to a road-going vehicle, rather than one for the track. How does a 398-cube SB1 and four-speed dogbox sound? Sure, it’d take a bit of work to do, but you’d have one of the most evil street cars in the country as a result.

Illustrations: Mark Curran