Growing up in the home of Australian hot rodding, Castlemaine in central Victoria, Kelvin Waddington’s direction in life was inevitably skewed towards the modified car scene, in particular, the hot rodding scene. “I joined the local hot rod club when I was 12 here in Castlemaine and I’ve been messing around with cars since I was 10 years old. I did my spray painting apprenticeship at a local smash repair shop and then I started my own paint and panel business that I’ve now been involve in for 36 years! My two boys, Marc and Heath run the company now and have expanded into the full workshop and aftermarket parts business you see here” he explains.
As 2016 rocks and rolls its way into the twilight of its conclusion, we find ourselves in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Doncaster, overlooking the hazy hue of the city in the distance. Stepping away from the traditional wide open carparks we’ve become accustomed to, we find ourselves confronted with a multi-level complex giving a new dimension and twist to the traditional style parking. Rob being the kind of guy to not shy away from a challenge, took it in his stride and produced a unique layout of cool rides, trade stands and food venues giving the rockabilly scene more of a street festival than the tried and tested ground level parties we’ve become accustomed to.
“I always had this passion to bring back a classic car from the United States and initially, as I love surfing, I was considering a woody of some kind. I was thinking of a Chrysler Town and Country which was a two door vehicle with wooden panelling. I was out in Livonia, Michigan, about an hour out of Detroit and I saw one up there but it was in so many pieces and would be so much work, I just couldn’t have done it. The next day I went to the Henry Ford museum (Greenfield Village) and onto the Ford Rouche plant where they make the F150 and they have a display of finished Ford classics in their foyer and the last car on display was a 1955 T bird which I fell in love with! On my last day in Detroit before flying back home, I decided to look at the classifieds in Detroit and there was a T bird for sale just down the road in a warehouse. Read More →
Waltzing Matilda Hotel in Springvale was the latest ALH venue to host Rats, Tatts n Pinups and their five band line up. Located in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, the venue’s large parking area filled up very quickly with the usual array of old school eclectic rods n rides as well as a good gathering of custom and classic bikes!
Drag racing in the early sixties became so popular in America it caught the attention of the major automotive manufacturers as a way of “racing on Sunday and selling on Monday.” For this reason, NHRA was forced to restructure the rules by introducing a new class in order to differentiate between the mass produced race cars known as Super Stocks and “special equipped” cars where by basically bigger cubic inch engines were shoehorn into the smaller lighter weight bodies of their respective makes in order to go faster and win.
The introduction of the A, B and C/FX classes allowed the automotive manufacturers to experiment with various engine/ body combinations on the drag strip before committing to mass production of the successful combinations for youth orientated factory built muscle cars. FX refers to “factory experimental” while the initial letter classes the cars according to the vehicle’s weight per cubic inch of the engine inserted into its engine bay.
What better place could a dad be on Fathers Day than down in St. Kilda at The Greatest Show On Wheels! One didn’t have to be interested in the automotive world to appreciate the fantastic scene that beheld them as they approached O’Donnell park located next to the iconic Luna Park!
As I sat in my hotel room on Sunday morning at my makeshift work station, lap top open editing the previous night’s photography from the warm up party at The Monash Hotel, my mind wandered over the events of the evening. While there was a hive of activity in the venue itself thanks to the two great rockabilly bands scheduled to entertain the patrons throughout the evening, local heroes Itchy Fingers and the highly anticipated Queensland five piece, A Band Called Twang, the car park itself remained fairly quiet with a handful of dedicated cruisers braving the chilly night air to come on down for a look and a listen. Don’t get me wrong, the variety of rides spread amongst the tree-lined parking lot were pretty cool in their own rite, from a tough 67 Chevelle, a matt black custom 49 Merc through to a ground scraping Beetle and a traditional style flathead roadster contrasting against the big American classics glistening under the street lights just to paint a picture for you! Shining a like a beacon in the night was the distinctive red and white coffee van of Betty & Ruby, on hand for anyone looking to warm up their hands and hearts around a hot brew! Read More →
Although a stiff southerly wind rustled a few feathers and threatened to put a dampener on proceedings, history will show you that nothing slows down the pace of a red hot, high rolling, rockabilly rumble with all the trimmings when Rob and the gang are in full swing!
Pack the family into the rod, custom or classic and go for a cruise around the coast! Even better when you’re cruising in amongst a veritable smorgasbord of cool rods and rides which is why the Geelong Street Rodders’ annual Koastal Kruise grows in statue each year!
There’s no such thing as a production line hotrod. Every one of these unique machines has been built by someone, be it a solo effort in a garage over many weekends or by a team of professionals in a purpose built premises. But don’t always assume the person behind the wheel is the builder, some rod owners prefer to appreciate the machine that has been built by others. This by no means takes anything away from the rod owner as they themselves still love the hot rodding scene, know their way around these unique cars of craft and simply prefer to spend their time enjoying the hot rodding scene in a machine that just ticked all the right boxes for them. If the glove fits, wear it!