PERTH once again turned on a cracking weekend for the WA Hot Rod & Street Machine Spectacular, where punters could check out 220 cars and more than 40 motorcycles on the show floor. The sunny skies meant plenty of those punters brought along their cool rides to create a show ’n’ shine in the car park, adding another couple of hundred cars to check out.
The theme of Heroes & Legends attracted some amazing vehicles, and the show organisers were over the moon to have such diverse attractions as Rosco McGlashan’s rocket-powered Aussie Invader 5R, Andrew Cox’s ’66 Batmobile replica, the Mooneyes Dragster and John Zappia’s HQ Monaro Doorslammer on display.
Motorbikes also featured heavily, with the largest number entered in the show’s history, including a special invitation that was extended to Kengo Kimura of Heiwa Motorcycles. He brought MasterPeace to the show, an amazing custom ’66 Triumph TR6 that won Bike Of The Show at Mooneyes Yokohama 2016. It’s early days, but there’s talk that he may come back next year with more than one bike.
West Aussie hot rodders turned out in droves to check out the Mooneyes Dragster firsthand and get Shige and Chico to sign T-shirts, number plates, even Moon discs. This was the last of three shows in three months for the Mooneyes team, and while they won’t miss the long-distance air travel, they thoroughly enjoyed their time at each and every Aussie show.
Watch the video: Mooneyes Dragster fires up at Sydney Hot Rod Expo
It was also a massive effort by John Zappia and his crew to have Zap’s Rat on display after high-tailing it back from Queensland after the Winternationals. After seeing him brush the wall in the semi-final, the show organisers were concerned that Zap might not be able to show the car. Thankfully, the zoomie headers saved the Rat and the carnage visible in the video was actually the signage being torn off the wall.
Brand-new cars from Cronic Customs, Clint DiGiovanni from SRM and Dicker’s Speed Shoppe caught plenty of attention as well. In the case of Dicker’s SANDBARRA – a Sandman ute powered by a turbo Barra – not all of it was positive, with many people on social media unable to get their heads around why you’d want to put a late-model turbocharged six with a truckload of power in the place where a pushrod V8 with half the power should go. It was exactly the reaction Chris Dicker was after, and those haters need to take a look at the cover of SM, August 2007 to check out the HQ Monaro Chris built. He’s moved with the times, but he loves old-school muscle as much as the next bloke.
Cronic Customs pulled some late nights to get Malcolm Niall’s ’66 Galaxie to the show, and it was well received for its understated and classy build. Unlike a lot of Cronic’s recent builds, there’s nothing sticking out of the bonnet and not an airbag in sight. Instead, there’s a stock Coyote 5.0-litre under the bonnet and coil-over suspension on all four corners. Air conditioning, power steering, reversing camera and a luxurious leather interior – it’s like having a new car, only much cooler.
With solid crowds all weekend and a number of fresh cars on display, the 2018 WA Hot Rod & Street Machine Spectcular was a sign that the economy and car scene are starting to build up again. It’s going to be a tough year to top, but with the precedent set with bringing international cars to the show, and a solid relationship forged with Mooneyes Japan and USA, who knows what might show up next year.
This rat might not have a gold tooth, but there’s plenty of other flash stuff hiding under the well-worn outer skin. James Wolter is the justifiably proud owner, and he had Clint DiGiovanni from SRM do the substantial fabrication on the slammed ’51 Chevy pick-up.
Under the bonnet is an LS3 topped with a Holley Hi-Ram EFI and running a COME Racing cam. There’s a Scott’s Hotrods IFS, 22in Intro rims, a four-linked 9in and an AccuAir e-Level airbag system. Other really cool touches are the painted and partially leathertrimmed interior and leather-topped fuel tank. The combination of the fully detailed undercarriage and faded exterior had people doing a double-take.
One of the highlights and biggest talking points of the show – and social media – was Chris Dicker’s Barra-powered ute that he’s dubbed SANDBARRA. A lot of people didn’t get it, but a lot of other people thought it was the best thing at the show.
One thing most could agree on was how well built it was, with the Sahara Sand colour popping with a subtle pearl effect. The bright orange stripes – a combination of Sandman and XW GT Falcon – added just the right splash of colour.
Read more: Chris Dicker's Barra-powerded HZ ute
TOP STREET MACHINE OVERALL
Stuart Vernon – 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
TOP HOT ROD OVERALL
Glen Anderson – 1934 Ford five-window coupe
Andrew Cox – Batmobile
DEXTER TAYLOR ‘TUFF TIN’ MEMORIAL AWARD
TOP BIKE OVERALL
Brad Miskiewicz – 1999 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
Paul Castagna – 1932 Ford three-window coupe
Phil & Leonie Wall – 1932 Ford tudor
Stuart Vernon – 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Mal Niall – 1966 Ford Galaxie
1. Nev Riseley’s tribute to the John Milner coupe from American Graffiti fit in perfectly with the Heroes & Legends theme. He also took out Top Standard Paint and 2nd Hot Rod Coupe
2. Travis Bull’s ’30 Ford tudor looks pretty mild at first glance, but it sports a stout 383 Chev, Turbo 400 and 9in driveline
3. Stuart Vernon gave his ’69 Camaro pro tourer a new look, with gunmetal grey paint replacing the satin silver. It impressed the judges enough to earn a bunch of trophies, including Top Street Machine Overall and a Meguiar’s Superstars invite
4. This gorgeous, and very low, ’59 split-window Kombi was brought in by Malcolm Hughes and had an interior and engine bay just as nice as the outside
5. There were even legends in the car park, with Summernats 31 Grand Champ Mark ‘Happy’ Williams rocking up and showing South Aussie paint guru Rachael Durbidge how it’s done in the west
6. This ’77 El Camino was built in the first season of Chip Foose’s Overhaulin’. It needed some overhaulin’ of its own after it arrived in Perth, where a semi-trailer nudged the rear quarter panel and drove off
7. This year the show introduced the Miss Koolsville pin-up competition, with 10 ladies vying for the crown – or tiara as it were. The inaugural winner, Miss Violet Rose on the left, poses with runner-up, Ruby Labelle
8. I’ve got a real soft spot for this car. When our family owned a car wash back in the 80s, George Tsihlas would bring in his HJ Statesman so we could clean the white writing on the Radial T/As. The T/As have gone, but those Strikers are the originals
9. Our own Andrew Goodwin recently bought this ’64 Galaxie 500XL and treated it to a metalflake roof, new wheels and some airbags in the rear to give it a California lowrider vibe
10. I got Travis Corich of Pin Head Kustoms to pinstripe my daughter’s ukulele. To say she loved it is an understatement
11. Paul Castagna, whose CHOPPED EK ute we featured in SM, August 2005, had his justfinished ’32 Ford coupe featured on the event T-shirt. He also scored Top Debut and Top Hot Rod Show Car
12. Chad Atkinson brought along his sidecar outfit and impressed visiting Japanese custom bike builder Kengo Kimura so much that Kimura gave it his Heiwa Motorcycles Award
13. Zap’s Rat was racing at the Winternationals the weekend prior, so it was a big effort from John Zappia to get the car to the show. Thankfully, the altercation he had with the wall in the semi-final only resulted in some flattened zoomies
14. Brett Bairstow has clearly watched the movie Christine way too many times, especially when he was trying to get all of the details spot-on for his re-creation of the ’58 Plymouth Fury that rebuilds itself
15. Andrew Cox brought along an amazing re-creation of the 1966 Batmobile. It’s an exact replica – even sporting a Mobile Crime Computer in the boot and a full complement of bat sprays – except for one minor detail. It’s right-hand drive. It wowed the crowds so much that it won People’s Choice
16. Kevan Best won the Top Tourer gong with his trad-styled Model A tourer, but look a bit closer and there’s a tubular IFS and a V6 Holden under the bonnet