IF YOU were one of the lucky ones, you lobbed down to your local newsagent and scored the August 2000 issue with Imogen Bailey on the cover! Imogen was one of two cover options for this issue, as a marketing test to see whether the inclusion of a strong independent cover woman worked from a sales perspective. The print run was split pretty much 50-50, and diehard SM collectors will lay claim to having both versions in their archives.
Editor Geoff Seddon had an in-depth chat with SM founder Geoff Paradise, and this issue was also the last of our every-six-weeks editions – yep, we went monthly from September 2000!
PHOTOGRAPHER Simon Davidson came back a different man after attending a wild Shepparton shed party for our ‘House of Pain’ article. His cover shot of Shane Feltham’s blown HQ was only a hint of the almost apocalyptic feel his skills behind the lens brought to the full story inside.
Feature cars like Laurie Grima’s ’55-fronted 1956 Chev and Jake Langdon’s Magna-roofed Customline cleansed the senses, while Seddo test-drove a new Calais in the outback just to gum them up again.
Strip runners were well covered, too, thanks to the beaut EK of WA’s Sam Rhodes and Jimmy and Natalie Dionysius’s blue XF ute.
FROM seemingly out of nowhere came a young Adam LeBrese and his EH delivery. The vision and craftsmanship was a hint of things to come from Adam, and after taking out the 2003 SMOTY crown, he continued to wow the establishment with his bare-metal XC hardtop on the July 2007 cover and the finished white guise for September 2011.
The EH feature topped a very Queensland-heavy issue, with stories on the Winternats, the Brisbane Hot Rod Show and the 2003 Van Nationals held in Gympie. The first feature on Cassie Rhodes’s tough E55 Charger tipped the scales back towards the WA side of the country.
DARRYL McBeth had firmly established himself at the pointy end of the scene with his shared ’95 SMOTY-winning FJ and his later Sony Xplod Commodore delivery build, yet the narrow-minded haters never warmed to his pro street Mitsubishi Magna. We definitely did though, and were proud as punch to make it our cover car for this issue.
We backed it up with features on Marty White’s 800hp twin-turbo Mustang (huge power figures for the time) along with Johnny Roso’s super-clean gold TD Cortina and Al and Kerry Scott’s gorgeous green 1950 Chev Fleetline.
And if that didn’t whet your appetite, there was always the Deni Ute Muster or inaugural Cruzin Magazine Nostalgia Drags to enjoy.
Top Street Machine covers part one: 1980s
Top Street Machine covers part two: 1990s