Tahuna transformed into petrolheads' paradise

Rowan Costello's rescued his 1981 Kingswood Ute from a slow death in a paddock in the Baton Valley.

"It was a wreck. It had grass growing up around and it was full of water."

Although it has spent five years exposed to the elements in the same spot it was still in "pretty good condition".

He swapped the body of a Trans Am for the vehicle, which he has had spray painted in mandarin orange and is slowly doing up.

"Because I don't believe you are a Kiwi man until you've owned a Holden."

The hose doctor for Ryco 24/7 has spent the last six months building his ute up and was one of a huge range of cars on show at the Nelson Motor Show at the weekend.

The show is run by Steve Steele and Rik Thomas. The pair split from the Nelson Car Show and started the Nelson Motor Show.

Mr Costello wants the ute to be a street legal drag car in the pro-street class.

Pro-street is a type drag car, which typically sees it with skinny wheels on the back, big wheels on the back and heaps of horsepower.

"I want to have it finished by the end of the year and want to achieve 1000 horsepower and want to pull a wheel stand."

The car has a new big block chevvy superchange engine, and is a labour of love and a black hole for time and money.

"If my missus is reading this I've spent $10,000. If she isn't it's $30,000," when asked how much it has cost him.

Mr Costello's ute was on display next to Dean Gibben's classic 1977 Holden Monaro, which has an A54 big block chev engine and a "tubbed out" rear end to allow him to fit fat 16.5 inch tyres.

The Monaro is also a pro-street street legal 600 horse power drag and street racing car.

Mr Gibben, a spray painter at his father's firm Richmond Auto Painters loves V8s and drives a 2002 supercharged 350 Chev V8.

"I spend a lot of time working on cars and just working full stop."