It started with a dare over a few beers and ended with a V8 engine in a lawnmower.
Normanby Engineering's Colin Evans and the boys down the southend of Wallscourt Pl are known for creating outlandish motoring monsters, but transforming a ride-on mower into a 120-horsepower gas-guzzler is their best effort yet.
Each Friday Mr Evans and his neighbours at Normanby Upholstery and Custom Fabrications sit down after work and plot.
"We have a few beverages and as the night goes on we talk a bit of rubbish and come up with these ideas," he said. "The first one was for a V8 jigger (hand-operated railway car) and we thought we could go down to the pub on it, but the hotel closed.
"So then we came up with the ride-on idea."
Given a 3.5-litre V8 heart from a Range Rover, the chassis of the Murray Sentinel mower had to be extended by more than half a metre.
Far from a rushed job, Mr Evans tinkered away on it for close to 12 months before it reached his high standards of craftsmanship.
Sporting racing gauges, a Honda Civic multicore radiator and a cup holder, it has become the yard stick for engineering creativity.
"There were a few headaches and hiccups along the way but you get that on those sorts of jobs. We've ironed those out and it still cuts grass. It's not very economical with the price of petrol today, but what the hell."
It won't set any land-speed records because the original transmission would shatter under the pressure.
As for the cost to create it - "Don't bloody ask".
Another creation lurking down Wallscourt Pl is a V8 trike built by Colin Hook and then there's Dave Kindberg's award-winning 1939 Lincoln Zephyr hot-rod.
"I've got a couple of other ideas for the next one but I'm not ready to share them yet," Mr Evans said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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