The search for a new car is one full of joy, hate, disappointment and endless hours scouring the various online sources finding just the right car.
Well it is for most, but for Lou, she found it whilst helping her Dad looking for a new car, and one fateful trip to a Honda dealership later she knew what her next car was going to be, the little known Honda CR-Z, the spiritual successor to the CR-X (Which Xzibit described as ‘a pocket rocket’ if anyone remembers that episode of Pimp My Ride).
It’s also a Hybrid, with a 1.5L i-VTEC(yo) engine and a small electric motor to utilise regenerative braking, helping to keep the MPG higher.
A year ago now Lou noticed a pearl white CR-Z in the Honda dealership she drives past to get to work, and after going in to have a look, she walked out the new owner of her very own CR-Z, and had the antagonising wait of seeing her car every day with a ‘SOLD’ sign on whilst the paperwork and plate transfer was carried out.
Coming from a Civic she was no stranger to the Jap scene, and knew the OEM look wasn’t for her. Doing as any new car owner would, she hit the internet to get some inspiration, but found it was a very rarely modified car in the UK, but no worries, the US had gotten hold of it and started running.
After going through 3 sets of wheels, and FIVE colour schemes, she settled on the tried and trusted 17” XXR 527 supplied by Wheel Power Devon in 8.25J and 9.75J, and then stretched some trusty Nankangs on to them to get them to fit where the much thinner standard wheels used to.
And I think the colour was a great choice too, loud pink really grabs the eye, and we all instantly knew (or hoped!) it was a girl owned car when we spotted it at Avonmeads, and with matching Tegiwa tow eye and LUKE harnesses, it really compliments the pearl white paint.
The little hybrid was introduced to the asphalt with some Tein Super Street coilovers, finishing the stance off nicely.
And with the addition of JDP carbon fibre spoiler/diffuser combo and a Honda lip spoiler, the car really started to get a nice aggressive personality to it, adding some contrast to the white paintwork.
After finishing the show season Lou now wants to take the car in to a USDM direction for 2014, so this will be one to keep an eye out for as it continues to push in to new territory for the UK CR-Z scene.
With every build there is always some kind of story behind it... It’s usually something that only the owner can express and share, something that only the owner can describe without hesitation.
It's for this reason that I love to talk with others about their builds. Not only does it make me more knowledgeable but it gives the story teller great satisfaction and pride.
I often find myself wondering exactly how people get into automobiles? It’s a question that has a different answer every time, but the trend I do see is that there is always someone to blame… someone has been their influence and that someone for our latest feature was his old man.
Ryan tells me "I was brought up around American cars. My Dad had always been into them and it was just natural for me to follow in his footsteps and, “come on” big V8s are cool right?". Being around his dad and friends when he was younger, was, as you just read Ryan's influence.
With this being the first time meeting Ryan and his ever so cool Chevy panel van I was dying to find out more details. It was purchased in true American fashion at a NSRA swap meet back in March 2008. It had just been pulled out of the California desert, where it once was the local laundry van.
Sat their on a trailer with smashed windows, mix matched interior and engine/box just plonked on the cross member. Ryan couldn’t resist the temptation. He quotes, "This was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I just had to have it." A swift deposit and the next day it was on the drive in all its glory.
Once back at the workshop this was where the build really started. The body was peeled away from the chassis and the running gear checked out. Ryan spotted this had been fettled with at some point in its life because it had 1970s Chevy Z28 Camero front suspension and rear axel. This brought the benefit of disc brakes all round and a LSD at the rear. New shocks, disc and pads were fitted and that was one less thing to worry about.
Next on the list was to get the 5lt V8 engine and 3 speed auto box that came with the van mounted. Once complete, the body was popped back on for the final touches, which I would like to point out, are what makes a build complete.
New wiring loom, alloy fuel tank, rad, glass, door locks and loads of other bits Ryan had picked up while in California on holiday enabled him to complete to a standard he was happy with.
With the van now MOT'ed and on the road the 5lt V8 soon got boring and it is now packing a 5.7lt Chevy small block V8 with around 300bhp which makes this no slouch.
Whether Ryan is one of many, or one of a kind, his van is something you will find impossible to ignore. From the uniqueness to the understated presence.
We would like to thank Ryan for letting us shoot his awesome van at short notice and we hope we can bring you more from the great American scene. To let you into a little secret we have already shot one of his friends hot rods so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
Louis Ruff, Sam Kenvin and Matt Dear