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Daily Grind: Damiaan Schonberger’s 1999 Ford F150 XLT

23 December 2016


Here at NZV8 magazine, we also look at cool daily drivers. If you’re passionate about it, and you drive it to work every day, we can showcase it. We recently caught up with Damiaan ‘Damo’ Schonberger about his 1999 Ford F150 XLT.

NZV8: Hi Damo, neat truck — could you tell us a bit about it?
Yeah, I’ve had it for around eight or nine months. It’s a New Zealand–new truck, so it was converted to right-hand drive before it was registered here. I wanted a V8 work ute. I’m a Ford man through and through, but the Falcons just didn’t do what I wanted. I got it for work, family, and for towing my Nissan Cefiro drift car around. 

You seem pretty happy with it, so you must have made the right choice? 
Yeah, it’s got the suicide rear doors, so I can fit my tools or the whole family inside. I’ll load it up with gravel or metal, no worries, and it tows the drift car easy as. 

You’re sure putting it through its paces. Is it a petrol or diesel? 
It’s got a 4.6-litre Triton V8, which is the petrol engine. It’s got heaps of torque and is actually really good on gas — probably cheaper than the average XR8. It’s a four-speed auto and has a front bench seat, so it will comfortably seat six. It’s like driving around in a lounge suite. 

It does look comfortable. Have you changed much in the time you’ve owned it?
I’ve had the ‘Damo’s Diggers’ signwriting applied, thanks to Ollie at Burgeon Signs, and fitted the 24-inch wheels. That was a pure fluke, actually — I wanted 35-inch muddies, steel wheels, and a roll bar with lights for that tough look, but my mate Matt at Tyre Tracks called me and said he’d just got these 24s as a trade-in. He cut me a good deal on them. 

You mentioned earlier that you’ve got a drift car — you’re pretty into your motorsport then? 
Yeah, I’ve been into it my whole life. I started off doing motocross, then got into illegal street drifting, before I saw the light and took it to the track. The car is an A31 Cefiro with a Nissan VH41 V8 in it, which I’m converting to manual with a Z32 300ZX five-speed at the moment — it had a manualized auto in it, but you really need a manual when you’re drifting. I’d like to fit an [Eaton] M112 supercharger at some point, too. 

But you’re really a Ford man, as you said earlier? 
Yup, I’ve got an XD Falcon with the same birthday as mine — day, month, year — which I’m never selling. I’m going to put a 302-stroked-to-347 cubes into it. I also had an XD panel van, in which I did burnout comps, shows, and cruises — I drove it into the ground! 

Hope to see you putting plenty more miles on this one, too! Thanks for your time, Damo.

This article originally featured in the April 2016 issue of NZV8 (Issue No. 131). You can grab your print or digital copy below: