Durban - Known as the “street-beast” or “hulk” because of its powerful V8 engine, high performance lifters, 76mm exhaust system and 20-inch American muscle car rims, Max Slabbert’s 2011 Chevrolet UTE (Lumina) is a definite head turner.
The jaw-dropping, poison-ivy coloured, van was a show-stopper at the T3 motor show, driving away as the overall winner in the show and shine competition.
Slabbert, 63, of Hillary, said he spent over R200 000 on modifications since purchasing the van almost seven years ago.
One of the most eye-catching features on the van has to be the added muscle car bonnet scoop, which supplies additional air flow to the engine.
Slabbert said when he purchased the van in its original form, he had already envisioned the exterior look and the performance he expected.
He had the wheel arches slightly rolled out and added a boot lid with a spoiler to keep the back down, allowing greater traction on the back wheels. He also put in Brembo brakes, which he got off a smashed NASCAR vehicle.
“My son and I also tackled the engine.
"We added a 275 COMP thumper cam, high performance cylinder heads with larger valves, forged pistons and crankshaft, and a Holley high rise performance manifold, with a 105mm Nick Williams throttle body.”
Recalling his early passion for cars, the self-proclaimed “petrol-head” said it all started as young boy.
“I was one of those children who did not play with toys. A V8 piston was my toy and as I got older, my love for V8 engines developed further, where I would only drive cars with those engines.”
Slabbert said he had been entering car show competition for the past six years and had always emerged victorious.
He said judges knew exactly what they wanted in a vehicle during the competitions.
“I have competed against super cars such as Mustangs, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, winning hands-down. The judges want to see the work owners have done on their cars, in terms of modifications to the interior and exterior.
“They don’t want to see a R1million car off a showroom floor.”