IT WAS hot, damn hot, but that didn’t stop the action at Kwinana Motorplex for Motorvation 24.
There were cars expiring from heat exhaustion during the Supercruises and many a car left its coolant — or worse — on the surface of the Snakepit but, like all good street machiners, they kept the boot into it.
As usual, the place was packed, with 800 or so vehicles from all manufacturers and styles. Late-model BMWs mixed with blown and alcohol-injected drag cars outside, while the elite tent housed some of the best street and drag cars in the state.
This year also saw the appearance of some out-of-staters as Steve Loader and James Rees headed across for the smoke show, although they both ended up breaking thanks to the extra-sticky surface of the Motorplex launch area. James got his car sorted out and pulled off a very close second place to James Calway in the burnout final.
In the shade was the awesome Pro Touring hot rod RAWR of Mick Fabar, who made the trek immediately after Summernats: “It was a massive effort to get the car there. I have to send a huge thank you to Dan Coulton, who organised the transport; it was a big load off our minds. It’s one of the best events I’ve been to — really well organised and the Perth people were great and very welcoming.
The Motorplex is such a great venue and we’ve already got plans to bring a few cars over next year, including SWUOOP and the Fairlane for the burnout comp.”
For the past 12 months, the Grand Champion trophy has resided in Carlo Cocciolone’s shed. His ’55 Chevy is a tough combination to beat, with show-quality detailing and a well-sorted driveline that helps him do well in the driving events.
At least he doesn’t have to worry what to put in the rather large space the perpetual trophy left behind — back-to-back wins means he can put that four-foot-high Grand Champ trophy right back where it belongs.
The Top 10 had some familiar names, with a couple of former SM cover cars — Peter Ellis’s HQ and Cassie Rhodes’s Charger — as well as Darren Kerr’s recently featured LJ Torana making the grade. Another car to score heavily in the awards was Darren Rowe’s ’57 Chevy, taking out People’s Choice and Top Judged.
Top Street Rod awards went to another member of the SM family: Chris Bitmead’s ’32 coupe, which managed to win Best Undercarriage and Best Street Rod Driven — a combination you don’t see too often on awards lists — among many other trophies.
As it was at Summernats, the heat was a real test of a car’s mettle on the burnout pad, and plenty sputtered to a halt before their tyres blew. The top guys, though, had no problems — blowing both tyres and driving off under their own power. It’s a torturous thing to do to your engine any time but when the mercury is hovering well above 40C, it’s lunacy — and that’s why we love it so much.
Finishing off the show was George Separovich in his NUTTR ute, the sound of the blower helping to locate the car when it was shrouded in smoke, which was most of the time. Three-quarters of the way through the show, the back tyres went up in flames. The fire crew came out while George calmly sat in his car, waiting for the fire to be extinguished. Then he was back into it — you gotta love it! There’s definitely a complete respray in the works, and no prizes for guessing what colour it’ll be.
The heat kept quite a few people away on the Sunday but the standard and variety of cars showed that the modified car scene is alive and well in WA.
It’s Motorvation’s 25th anniversary next year, and by all accounts it’ll be huge. Hot cars, hot girls, burnouts and cruising — you can bet your arses we’ll be there, even if it’s 50 degrees!
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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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