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Castrol Xtreme Auto Show 2006

Broadcast date : 21st May 2006


The third Castrol Xtreme Auto Show, held at the Coca-Cola Dome in Randburg a few weeks ago, proved that the auto-passion industry is growing at exponential rate.

Just a few short years ago, enthusiasm for things motorized had stagnated, and the hall was more likely to be filled with mouldy Hupmobiles that only old codgers could enthuse about, as they traded prune juice recipes and tyre pressure combinations for white-walled Dunlops.
The 2006 stands were approaching sophistication levels seen at Frankfurtís famous "tuning hall", and the aftermarket bling-boys-and-girls were sharing floor space with some of the finest exotics in the world, like Ferrari and Maserati.

While the genuine exotics like the Maserati Quattroporte and Corsa Rosa held center stage, no less impressive were the GT40 and Ferrari P4 replicas, built by Bailey Edwards Cars on the East Rand.

The 1960s Ferrari race replica was particularly impressive with its V12 Jaguar engine and custom fuel-injection stacks.
So was the Castrol Xtreme Nissan 350Z competition car which Car Torque has been featuring as a build-up to the show over the past few months.

The beautiful tomato red BMW M3 convertible, subtly customised by Import Parts, emphasizes the level of sophistication that certain sectors of the aftermarket add-on industry are aiming at.
Moving from the subtleties of the Volvo "Evolve" kit to the no-bolt-left-un-turned brashness of the Nissan 200SX, highlights what the show, and what the street machine movement is all about Ė freedom of expression.

Designed by Creative Rides, it features a Full Charge speed kit, an amazing amount of chrome on its larger-turboed engine, Lambo doors and Racing Hart Concept wheels.

As for wheels, the most-talked about set at the show were the spinners with dollar bills as their motifs. Apparently the owner from Durban had recently won the Lotto.

Pick-ups were big at the show this year, and a Ford Ranger was given plenty of visual and audio therapy to deny its humble utilitarian roots.

The audio industry today is as much about visuals as sound quality, and the specialist companies all compete to produce the most original "Installs", as they like to call them Ė the moulded housings that locate a plethora of speakers, amps, DVDs and other fun ear-popping stuff.

Why not spend some of the cash on a Play Station Install in the passenger area, so your "laaitjie" can drive along with you?

Is it a Fiat? Is it a Polo? Nooooo, itís a Corsa, although who would have thought a humble Opel resided under bodywork of such mega-attitidue. 

This oneís from East Coast Customs of Durban, a town thatís not known to do things by halves when it comes to re-modelling.

Vanís from Middelburg also showed one of the biggest engines at the Xtreme gig.

The classic sixty-nine Dodge Charger runs a 572 cube V8 Ė thatís 9,2 litres to you, buddy boy. Did the earth move for you honey? Does that drop-down gearlever look slightly Dukes of Hazardous to you?

Talking of earth, getting away from it all looked rather appealing in this gyrocopter.

What we also liked was seeing a Subaru flat-four motor laid bare in all its glory. Sort of like a modern VW Beetle motor for the year 2006.

The controls are more car-like than a fixed-wing plane, and because the engine is so exposed, the machineís appeal lies in its relative simplicity.

You need a couple of hours training to get your gyrocopter licence, and inside the dome there was probably enough space to take a quick flip around the show.

But as for most of the other goodies on display, you could sign right on for a set of wheels, a big bore exhaust, custom head and tail-lamps, and model cars if you didnít have the space for a real one. For a motorhead, everything had such a touchy-feely quality to it.

Itís good to know that even in this age of chips that you programme instead of eat, and memories that have random access, there are still some dudes and dudettes that actually work on their cars.

Yeah, big boys and their toys. Donít you just love em?

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