Valvoline Street Machine of the Year 2016 contender: John Mawhinney's 1000HP blown 1957 Chevrolet 210



1957 CHEVROLET 210


BLACK and blown ’57 Chevs rock maximum street cred in our land thanks to the 1982 flick Running On Empty. John Mawhinney’s dad was a mad-keen Falcon GT fanatic, but also a huge fan of the Ozploitation classic, which explains why he bought this ’57 as a shed-mate for his Track Red XY GT.

When his father passed away aged just 53 back in 2008, John was gutted, but inheriting his dad’s angry 10-second, blown 383-powered Chev meant he had something meaningful to focus his energy on.R

But the journey has been far from smooth; the 383 quickly booked itself a lunch date, while a broken axle, rear quarter damage and a loading accident heralded a full rebuild and the chance to right a few wrongs.

John also never quite dug the hue, man: “The original black always looked too ‘brown’ for my liking,” he explains. So Michael Stewart of MSR Kustoms gave the body a birthday before bathing it in Glasurit BMW Schwarz, while John sorted the chrome and other details.

The project was rolling – complete with a new blown 400 – and ready by Cooly Rocks On 2013. But disaster struck again just a fortnight later, with a fuel mixture issue resulting in engine damage, laying the Chev up for two excruciating years while John saved up the scratch.

With a new deadline set for Cooly Rocks On 2015, John chose to further tweak the engine combo; Ray from Straight Line Performance was given the nod to sort the 400, basing the build around a Dart block and inserting a dream shopping list of brand-new good bits, then proudly topping it with John’s dad’s original AFR alloy heads either side of a Blower Shop high-rise intake and BDS 8/71 Air-Loc supercharger.

The combo is good for 1000 horses and low nines, leaving John nothing to do but count the seconds to heaven, man.


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1959 fc holden ute glenn profilioholden lh torana onit mark siracusa matt cowan


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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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