For 25 years,
American Auto Parts has been operating a little slice
of Americana in the middle of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Eddie Fairburn has had a lifelong interest in cars
and his passion is American Hot Rods and Muscle Cars.
He started American Auto Parts as a way to turn his
hobby into a business.
Eddie’s affair with V8s started
in the mid 1960's when he built a side valve powered
32 Ford Roadster. 1966 saw Eddie build a front engine
side valve dragster with his own 4 carb alloy intakes
and owner made pistons. 2 years later, Eddie bought "Pink
Panther," a Ford Roadster which was NZ's top
show car. Running a S/B Chev with triple carbs and
a T10 gearbox the car was subsequently written off
in 1969 as the result of a crash.In 1970, Eddie restored
a 58 Ford Pillarless. It started with a rag top designed
on the Pontiac GTO from the "Monkees" TV
show. It was later fitted with a hard top roof.
Next, Eddie built a 1923 T Bucket "Devil
Woman" with various big block Chevy engines
over the years. It was finally fitted with a supercharged
482 monster. Eddies wife Maureen raced “Devil
Woman” with a 1/4 mile time of 9.7 sec @ 143
In the mid 80s, Eddie purchased a
rear engine dragster and fitted it with a blown & injected
alcohol 427 plus Lenco 3 speed. This ran best at
In 1987, he came across another rear engine dragster, the former Dick Lehae car
of USA which was the 1990 World Champ Car. Then to NZ where Garth Hogan recorded
257mph on methanol with a Keith Black engine. Eddie then purchased the car and
ran top alcohol with 557ci Arias and 3 speed. Best time of 6.6 sec @ 202mph then
car was later sold on.
In 1994, Eddie raced an imported 1985 SCCA Camaro
circuit car which he raced for 2 years. 2 years later,
he purchased a 1994 Tranz Am Camaro with a 5 litre
Chevy 5 speed transmission. The car is presently
still being raced but is now fitted with an 18 degree
Chevy 6 litre engine.
French joined American Auto Parts 16 years ago and
is in charge of sales and advising customers. Paul
also owns two hot rods (a 27 Ford Track Roadster
440 and a 28 Model A Roadster Hemi) so he has plenty
of experience in this field as well.
In 2008 Maureen and Eddie had Comtech in Auckland and started construction on new hot red, as a 34 Ford Coupe. It is powered with a blown Chrysler hemi. The car was finished in August 09 and ready for street cruising. Maud is back behind the wheel again of her new car. It has been featured on the TV3 Cambell Live programme. Eddie has sold the Trans Am race car and that is the end of his racing career.