A shot of Tommi Makinen at Rally New Zealand back in 2000. Not an ugly place. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Today we found out that the paranoid tech billionaires of the Silicon Valley are planning to get the hell out of America and right on down to New Zealand. Here’s the thing—you should probably move there too, for the cars alone.


Given that New Zealand is made up of a pair of islands on the edge of the world, all of its cars are by nature imports, and this has had a pronounced effect on New Zealand’s car culture. Everything the Kiwis do is custom. That’s the whole culture; make it yourself, because that’s your only good option for going fast and looking cool.

It’s an attitude that has built some of the world’s coolest cars. This 1,500 horsepower quad-rotor Mazda Miata comes to mind, as do these recreation Group B Lancias made in a garage, as does this mid-engined rally car a kid built in a barn, as does any number of weirdo, wonderful vehicles you find if you Google around for kiwi cars.

The country’s hot rod scene is unhinged, its tuner scene is strong, and its rally scene is one of the world’s most passionate. Also the roads are among the world’s best.


The bottom line is, if you’re a car person thinking about getting the fuck out of America, there are worse places to point your bank account than New Zealand.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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