Not all addictions are bad. Racing addictions can be good, very good.
Craig Czank is a man with more Petrol in his veins than he has blood.
Because he is also a very successful businessman, he can have something like this, one of the best, most gnarly man-caves I’ve ever come across.
Having a garage full of supercars is pretty cool and what you’d expect to find in most wealthy car guys’ garages, but when you’re a long time racer and utter horsepower addict, having your own personal race-shop and collection of custom racecars and bikes is even better.
Craig has been racing ever since he can remember, and over the years has competed in so many genres of car racing. Circuit racing, time-attack, hillclimbs as well as drag racing. He’s also raced crazy fast drag bikes and track bikes. Truly a man of many talents and variety.
This little Ford Anglia was one of the most interesting things I found in Craig’s hideout. It’s a little bit different than what you would expect from this old lady from the 60’s. It’s still a full body car, more or less, but now rocking a tubbed rear, stripped interior, removable nose, and of course a 377ci V8 motor with three stages of nitrous. When finished, it should make around 700hp with ease. I can’t wait to see this thing run.
If you’re wondering what the sticker means, it’s basically a local saying that means “don’t be a dick, be cool”.
The crazy thing you have to remember about this shop, is that it’s all Craig’s personal stuff. There’s no customer cars here, because it’s not a public shop.
There’s seven lifts in the main workshop, as well as an engine building and tuning room. On the same property, there’s also a separate workshop with a whole bunch of machines like CNCs and lathes as well as a dyno-room, spray booth, bike building shop, bike showroom and another workshop with a few additional lifts.
There’s a few Lotus 7 replicas set up for a local circuit racing series, with one of them running a high-revving Suzuki Hayabusa motor.
Everywhere you look, you find cool things. Cars waiting to be sprayed, sexy Snap-On tools, and even an Engineers Black Book, which contains some form of automotive black magic, I’m assuming.
There is also this Mazda 6 which is one of two full chassis cars that his team is currently busy with. This one doesn’t have an engine setup as of yet, but used to run a pretty mean rotary setup.
This is the other full chassis beast, which has a Lexus IS200 body and has been tested with a few different engine setups already, but for its current iteration, it will be running a mental 396ci motor with a massive 8.71 Littlefield blower, that should make more than adequate power to do some proper quick passes down the strip.
It ran a 7.88s 1/4 mile at 173mph before, when it ran a 2RZ 4-cylinder setup. When you take into account that even the best South African drag racing track, Tarlton Raceway, has pretty terrible traction compared to other international tracks and we’re also at 1753m above sea level, these are good numbers.Corollas Assemble
KE70 Corollas are hugely popular in South Africa and Craig had three of these in the shop when I visited. The red one runs a 1UZFE single turbo setup good for at least 1000hp, and when Craig took me for a spirited drive on the road, it was proper ridiculous. Expect to see a full feature on this soon.
Then there’s the white one, that has been kept quite old school, running a naturally aspirated 1UZ making decent power as well. This one is actually nicknamed Bliksem, which is Afrikaans for a ‘hard punch’, and that’s exactly what it does and what they do with it. This car was built purely to abuse on some spirited drives, which it can do, all day long and without fail.
The other white one, rocking those gorgeous TE37s, is rocking a trick 2JZ setup which is still being finalized, but I’m sure it’ll be crazy when it’s done. Craig’s engine expert, Hannes Minnaar, actually used to run his own shop, specializing in the building and tuning of Toyota and Lexus engines. He also built and raced a 2JZ KE70 and had a personal best of 7.44s at 307km/h, only running 13.5-inch drag tires.
Some good ol’ American muscle never hurt anybody, but this Camaro RS can definitely hurt some feelings as well as a few eardrums, because damn it was loud. I’ll be taking a closer look at this, too, at some stage.
This car used to run 9s, and has been off the strip for a while, but I’m told it’ll see some action soon again.
You can’t have a racing addiction and not have some fast GT-Rs right? The grey GT-R usually gets used for hillclimb events, while the black GT-R is quite special as it’s one of the 2011 model Nissan GT-R RCs, chassis number 001 to be exact.Two Jay-Z’s
Craig is really enjoying his Supras at the moment, with the black car being his main focus of attention. It’s also still using a full body, with a tubbed rear and still has factory glass. It runs a pretty mad engine setup with a massive turbocharger, along with a Liberty Extreme clutchless box and some huge slicks. The car is still very much in a continual testing phase, but has already done eight second passes.
The red car will also be a strong build, while being more of a street spec car, running normal size tires as well.Show Us The Goods
Apart from the workshop, there’s also a pretty insane showroom, which houses some of Craig’s completed projects.
This is pretty much like a candy shop and it sure felt like I had an overload of sugar while walking around in there. Two top fuel cars fill one of the rooms, with the blue one once belonging to Dennis Nilsson from Sweden.
There’s also a plethora of special bikes, the majority of them being limited edition Ducatis, with a few Repsol Hondas and of course two of Craig’s Suzuki Hayabusa drag bikes which have run some stupid fast times when they competed.
The widebody Evo is used for time-attack events and has a fully-built race motor along with a sequential gearbox, while the Lotus runs a Hayabusa motor, which has been turbocharged. How does 600hp+ and a 13,500rpm redline with a sequential gearbox sound, in something that weighs less than a ton?
The Liberty Walk GT-R can run anything between 800hp and 1000hp with its fully specced motor and upgraded gearbox, and is one of Craig’s runarounds when he feels like something quick and sexy for the street.
If I had to choose between a shiny supercar collection, that most likely won’t get driven much, because their mileage most likely needs to be kept low, or something like this, with cars built to be used to their maximum potential?
I definitely know what I’d pick…Cutting Room Floor