THE inaugural Border Battle was billed as a State Of Origin-style car show pitting Victoria against New South Wales, but there was little sign of interstate rivalry as car lovers from both sides of the Murray came together to showcase the strength of the scene in the Albury-Wodonga region and surrounds. The ‘battlefield’ was Junction Place, a former railyard in Wodonga, which played host to a fine mix of high-end cars and nice streeters, with both the old and new schools represented in decent numbers.
The event was organised by local photographer and Street Machine contributor Luke Hunter, who was thrilled with the roll-up.
“We wanted to showcase as many different automotive subcultures as we could,” Luke said. “That’s how we had chrome-bumper, Japanese stuff and new-school muscle all mixed in. We also aimed for a higher quality of car and not to oversaturate it with one particular kind.”
Mother Nature did her best to disrupt the Battle with some inclement weather and even a hailstorm as the event was about to begin. But the entrants and crowd of spectators were not perturbed, with an estimated 10,000 people passing through to check out the 80 cars on display.
Trophies were given to the top two best-judged cars from each state. The NSW winner was David Kennedy and his Factory Five GTM supercar, while runner-up was Peter Appleby and his pink XD. For Victoria, it was a one-two victory for the Bradbury family, with Terry Bradbury and his XM Futura (SM, Sep ’18) winning ahead of his wife Robyn and her American 1960 Falcon coupe. Terry also pipped David Kennedy for the overall win, thus claiming the first ever Border Battle for Victoria.
The People’s Choice award went to Kurt Adam and his turbo rotary Mazda 808 Savanna station wagon.
“Rain, hail or shine, the Albury-Wodonga car community were determined to make a day of it,” Luke said. “It’s been amazing – we had a great turnout with a huge variety of cars on display. I’d like to thank all the event sponsors and family and friends that helped make it all happen. Next year will be even bigger and better for sure.”
Terry Bradbury from Wodonga won Best Victoria and Best Overall with his immaculate 351ci Windsor-powered XM Futura sedan. Terry took home the Border Battle perpetual trophy crafted by MLR Custom Coachbuilder and sponsored by Engine Master Australia. “It’s been a great day at what’s an amazing location to hold a car show,” said Terry. “There’s been a lot more people come along to have a look than I expected.”
The Bradbury family claimed a one-two finish, with Terry’s better half Robyn Bradbury taking out Runner-up Victoria in her recently restored and drop-dead-gorgeous American Falcon two-door. Robyn also received the ‘Hardest Parked’ award from the judges.
David Kennedy took out Best NSW in his Factory Five GTM supercar, which is one of only seven brought into Australia. David’s was the second GTM completed and the first of the second-gen cars. “I have no mechanical background at all,” David said. “I’m a former traffic cop, crash investigator and driving instructor. I’d never attempted anything like the GTM build before and thought it would be an amazing opportunity to own a very different and exotic supercar.”
Runner-up NSW, Peter Appleby has owned his XD Falcon since it was brand new and has put 194,000 kays on it. “I’ve given it two rebuilds in the 39 years I’ve owned it, including an XE front being fitted,” Peter informed us. “It runs a 351ci Cleveland and a T5 BorgWarner manual gearbox, with a BorgWarner rear end. Today’s been a great day, despite it starting with a hailstorm. There have been a lot of people walking up and down all day.”
Kurt Adam’s turbo rotary 808 wagon was voted People’s Choice. “It’s a 1976 808 wagon tarted up as an RX-3 wagon,” said Kurt. “It runs an S8 13B bridgeport rotary and the rear end is tubbed, with a four-link supporting a nine-inch diff. The transmission tunnel is widened to accommodate the exhaust system too.”
Anthony Matijasevic’s pro street HT sedan runs a 380ci small-block Chev. “The motor was built by me and the old man,” explained Anthony, whose dad is Bruno Matijasevic, a well-known local drag racer soon to be running in the Pro Extreme class with his bright orange 521 Hemi-powered HG. “It’s got a Dart block, Racer Pro alloy heads, solid-roller cam and a sheet-metal tunnel ram with twin 750 carbies. Gearbox is a transbraked Powerglide with a 5800rpm stall converter.”
Shane Graham from Wangaratta brought along his VJ Valiant Charger to Border Battle. Running an EFI turbo 265 Hemi six, the Charger is no slouch. “I’ve had it a bit over 10 years now,” Shane said. “It’s good fun to get it out to events like this. Today’s been a good day and a great turnout considering the weather.”
John Roumeliotis had two cars out of his collection on display at Wodonga. “The blue XB coupe runs a mild tunnel-rammed 351 with a C4 ’box and nine-inch rear end,” he said. “The ’34 is on airbags and runs a mild 350 Chev with a Powerglide.”
Powered by a Toyota 5K inline-four with twin sidedraught carbies and a five-speed ’box, Dave Payne’s KE20 Corolla station wagon grabs attention with its retro race livery, but it often confounds lovers of the marque with its unique styling. It’s a 1973 wagon – the first year Toyota sold the wagon variant in Australia – with a 1971 front. Gotcha!
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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