SPOTLIGHT: TOP TWELVE STREET CARS OF 2012

- Words: Jason Hanif & Ryan Lewis. Photos: AJRC Photography, Matyas FulopPhilip Nguyen.

The last twelve months have been huge for us Aussie modifiers. For some it’s been a long, uphill battle against defects and breakdowns, and for others it’s been a year of good fortune and successes. Either way, we’ve all spent way too much time and hard earned cash on cars for the year, so we thought it’d be worthwhile to take a look at our favourites. There have been some great street cars emerging this year. Here’s our top twelve of twenty-twelve – the best street cars originating from the east coast of Australia.

12. ASH COE’S HONDA CIVIC

Civics of all types are hugely popular the world over. They’re nimble, quick and great fun to throw at corners. They also enjoy one of the biggest aftermarket industries in the whole car scene, and Ash has taken full advantage of that with his EG. Ash’s car is a standout for us because it set the benchmark for other Civic owners to follow suit. we hadn’t seen a street-driven track car built to this level in Sydney when Ash’s popped up in Queensland and showed as all what was what.

No expense has been spared inside or out, it’s a formidable mix of handling, power and braking prowess and looks a million dollars while overtaking much more exotic cars at the track. Of course at the heart of it is a K-series motor with a gorgeous individual throttle body and velocity stack setup. The ‘bay is beautifully wire tucked and perfectly finished. The car has had a few changes throughout the year and since this pictured image, so be sure to follow the build over at Downshift.

11. VYET LE’S HONDA S2000

Vyet has got the best of both worlds with this car, since it sees a good balance of time on the street and track. The great thing about it is that he’s built the car from ground up with one aim; to have a street registered driver, suitable for the occasional track day. But it’s not just good for a few spirited laps, it’s a proven performer that has allowed Vyet to clock ridiculously quick times. That’s landed him a spot on our honourable list, you can read more about his S2000 on the feature we’ve previously run on it.

Vyet has had his fair share of bad luck with police highway patrols and defects though, but that hasn’t slowed the progress on his car. Furthermore, like most of us, his plans are ongoing so we can probably expect to see this around for quite some time to come. He’s released a 2013 render which can be seen in this link.

10. NATHAN ROSS’ WIDEBODY TRD SUPRA

Like most Supra owners, Nathan’s been a die-hard fan of the JZA80 since its inception. Having a car that can keep up with super-cars is a trait worthy of bragging rights. It’s a well rounded overall package featuring a TRD wide-body kit. The 2JZ-GTE has put out a peak power figure of 630hp with 27psi of boost pressure.

This car was in the build for quite some time but that’s now paid off and Nathan’s able to make full use of it on the streets of Canberra. We travelled there earlier on in the year to run a headliner feature; you can check that out by clicking this link.

9. GUS OBERHARDT’S NISSAN R32 GT-R 

Let’s begin this one with a number – 527. That’s how much horsepower Gus’ GT-R delivers at all four corners. An incredibly long modification list is what makes Gus’ car one of our favourite R32 GT-R’s around. Oh, and of course it’s street-driven too, here’s a shot of it at a recent car meet.

Our Queensland counterpart, Downshift featured this car earlier in the year. “The block has been decked, honed, bored, tunnelled and chemically cleaned. The crankshaft has been fully prepped with shot-peening for strength, and nitrided for surface hardness. Eagle conrods attach to forged CP pistons and rings, and ARP main studs hold the whole show together”, states editor Matyas.

8. KSR BODYFORM NISSAN R34 GT-R

There’s just something about white R34 GT-Rs that makes us weak at the knees. In fact R34 GT-Rs in general still do it, even after all these years, but the KSR GT-R is something special in its own right. Beautifully enhanced by Bodyform Motorsports with custom aero based on the Z-Tune.

Everything about this car is 100% on point in the flesh. The height, the Volk GT-Vs, the carbon fibre – it’s so right. Sadly the former owner has parted ways with it and it’s now got a new home with different plates, but we’ll always love it as KSR. It’s one of the best street cars Sydney has ever seen, not just 2012.

7. AARON VUMBACA’S BMW M3

Winning a pinnacle award in the Street Elite showcase of Australia’s most prestigious show, MotorEx is a pretty big deal and that’s landed Aaron a top ten spot on our list. His E46 M3 is DTM inspired and carries some of the best workmanship and top shelf products we’ve seen available, this is the only European car to top our list, and it’s automotive perfection.

We’ll refrain from getting into too many details on Aaron’s car, as we had a feature lined up earlier this year, which was then passed onto Performance BMW Magazine, so you’ll have to wait until the first quarter of twenty-thirteen for it to be re-run on the blog.

6. ANTHONY HOANG’S POWERTUNE R34 GT-R

Like we said, we just love white R34 GT-Rs. Powertune needs no introduction and this stroked 2.8 litre RB effortlessly put out a 600+kW at this years V&E Rigoli Dyno Day. An extensive list of top shelf parts, such as a Hollinger gearbox makes this one of the best all-round GT-R’s Australia has to offer. Hands down.

Anthony recently drove from Sydney to Queensland to compete in an off-street drag competition. He won, and returned home with the trophy. A 2400km ’round trip. There’s a video about it that’s worth the watch here. The build has spanned a few years now, but the car’s always out at some of the larger events here in Sydney.

5. CAPOZZI BROTHERS VERTEX RIDGE NISSAN SILVIA S15

Brothers, Sergio and Claudio Capozzi have owned their fair share of cars over the last few years. This S15 is the latest addition to their collection, which doubles as an All Stars promo car. It was purchased this year off the original owner, Phil who had the kit fabricated by Bodyform.

Whilst the only main additions by the Capozzi brothers are the AME-TM02 wheels and new lip, we think it’s worthy of running in street-car of the year for the sheer amount of time it spends out on Sydney roads with Sergio at the wheel. It’ll see some more track-oriented changes in twenty-thirteen.

4. RAS’ FEED KIT MAZDA RX-7

We’re always stating our love for the FD here at T-LD, those fine sleek lines are truly timeless. It’s therefore fitting for Ras’ Feed kitted RX-7 to be in the top five. It’s a 420hp super-street rotor, which is a pleasure to hear in person. Those of us in Sydney are lucky enough to have it roaming around on our roads (it’s been tracked too!).

With such an iconic shape you really don’t want to do too much to take away from that, but everything Ras has chosen is perfect in our eyes. Lovely widebody guards, carbon diffuser, side skirts and spot-on wheel/tyre choices. Ras’ car was also featured earlier this year on the blog.

3. HENDRA PARULIAN’S WIDEBODY BUG-EYE WRX

If Hendra’s car looks more aggressive than the last time you saw it, that’s because it’s constantly evolving. This is actually the second complete re-incarnation of Hendra’s WRX, and third re-fresh. It was first a plain body bug-eye with a set of clean SSR wheels. That didn’t last long before the car went to J Racing for an overhaul. It came back red with a custom wide-body kit, but that didn’t last long either.

Hendra’s just re-done the car once more, with more body tweaks and a colour change, new wheel specs, added a roll-cage and added some new aero and cosmetic enhancements. It’ll see a lot more time out on Sydney streets next year when the extensive motor work is finished, and we’ll have a headliner feature up once the car leaves Powertune.

2. MICHAEL ZOMAYA’S WIDEBODY BODYFORM EVO IX

The popularity of Zomaya’s Evo is astonishing, and it’s easy to see why – it’s got a killer all-round package for a street car. Michael Zomaya recently revealed his words to fabricator, Peter, when discussing the thought process and goal, “I want it to still have the stock Evo look to a fair degree, but it needs to be insanely wide and a one-off Evo that’s not out of a box and can’t be replicated”.

Every panel was thought out and the vision was executed to perfection. There’s no other information needed; Bodyform hit the nail on the head. Michael tells us that like all car projects, it never quite ends, a roll cage and stroker kit is on the cards for early next year. Regardless, it still looks and goes mighty fine rolling around local neighbourhoods.

1. CHARLIE HADFIELD’S MAZDA MX-5

The boss. Mr MXBOSS, in fact. Our countdown for Street Car of the Year is not something measured by any one factor, rather a number of categories including cars modified with the intention of remaining street registered, engine work, body work, wheels, brakes and suspension modifications. Charlie Hadfield and his MX-5 are most deserving in the street-driven genre. It has been uniquely modified in all areas to the highest quality, and Charlie still managed to drive it from Queensland to Sydney and back for Showcased.

The MX-5 is a platform with superb potential, but so many fall short of what Charlie has achieved. It’s not based on anything else, and it’s not modified with thousands of off the shelf parts. It’s an example of the sort of builds we love most here at the-lowdown.com, and we hope 2013 brings even more.

We’d love to hear which cars were your favorite this year, so feel free to chime in below. Our top ten track cars of 2012 is coming up soon.

2 Responses to “SPOTLIGHT: TOP TWELVE STREET CARS OF 2012”

  1. William says:

    This is epic. I personally would’ve loved to see Zomaya’s Evo top the list, but Charlie’s is just as great, awesome post guys!

  2. Gus Oberhardt says:

    Thanks for the number nine spot low down team (:

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