One of the many ways to celebrate Australia Day in Geelong was to get your ride out and go for a cruise! This time, over one hundred tough and cool rides gathered at the Cotton On carpark in Seperation st, North Geelong before heading down the coast to the St. Leonards Hotel for a bite to eat, a cool drink and a catch up with friends. The cruise passed through the quiet country town of Drysdale which didn’t know what hit them as classics and modified rides headed through the main street before turning off in one of two directions towards the destination point. Read More →
Once again the city of Geelong came alive with the reverberations of classic engines revving up Ritchie Boulevard surrounded by the vibrant colours of a street festival in all its glory. Classic cars and bikes gleamed in the hot sun accompanied with the vibrant early fashions of this motoring antiquity. The two day event sees likeminded motor enthusiasts test their mettle against the clock as they power down the eight mile strip flanked by picturesque seaside palms and grassy banks lending themselves well to those looking for a great viewing vantage point throughout the day’s proceedings.
I headed down early Sunday morning to check out all the action Read More →
While it was quiet start to the second annual Kev’s Carpark Family Day car and bike show held at St. Albans Football club, it wasn’t long before motoring enthusiasts came out in their droves determined not to miss out on this social gathering of automotive admirers.
Once again, Kev and Jo, along with their loyal band of helpers, were on hand to see the event run smoothly for all participating seeing families and friends alike enjoy a pleasant day out taking in a favourite past time of hanging out with our pride and joys. After all, wasn’t that what Kev’s was all about?
The Geelong Street Rodders had their annual cruise today known as the Koastal Kruise hence it heads down around the picturesque Surf Coast stopping at the famous Bells Beach for a coffee before continuing onto the quiet coastal town of Aireys Inlet for some lunch. Read More →
In 1954, the FJ Holden entered our lives selling like hot cakes and could be found on every Aussie street corner. It came to be recognized as an Aussie icon, something for the quintessential Aussie to hang his hat on. Then in the sixties, the need to stand out from the crowd kicked in and with typical Aussie ingenuity we started customizing these iconic rides to our own taste and came up with some memorable cruisers.
With its sixtieth birthday just around the corner, many have ended up on the scrap heap having been driven to their end seeing fewer out and about on our roads. Those who are lucky enough to own one, tend to return them back to their original guise or visually anyway. I mean, if you came across one with a V8 in it, would you yank it out and drop the old grey six back in? Me neither and that goes for Andrew Searle as well.
Having spent his early years cutting his teeth on Monaros and other Lion based products, Searley decided he wanted a change and, like all of us, had a hankering for a hot rod, but found the price tag too high for his taste and went for the next best thing: a 1950s Aussie classic with a V8 in it and he knew just where such a car existed. Lets step back in time a minute. In the 1990s, good friend and fellow Colac resident, Trevor O’Dowd had purchased the already modified rust free 6 cyl red motored Humpy and set about modifying it further by converting it to an eight cylinder beast. Not about to settle for just any old donk, Trevor sourced the 350 c.i. Chev with matching Turbo 350 from an HR Holden drag car. Well, if you’re going to drop an eight in it, why not get one with some serious poke! With an HR Holden front end already grafted in from the previous mod, all that was required was a change of engine mounts, heavier coils and a strengthening kit from well known custom car identity, Rod Hadfield and he was on his way.
To finish his now V8 modified and street engineered beast off, Trevor changed the colour from white to its current flavour of turquoise blue and hit the road testing out its potential around the town. The car eventually found its way onto the market seeing it leave the O’Dowd’s stable, pass through two more owners before ending up in the hands of its current owner, Andrew in 2005.
Having acquired his new toy, Searley set about disturbing the serenity by cruising the streets of the quiet country town contemplating which direction he wanted to take the classic four door. While the makings of a tough street car was all there, it needed to be finished off giving Andrew the benefit of adding his own touch to it as he went. “I wanted the car be seen in its original style when parked but to have the potential to take off quick when required” says Andrew.
Settling on his plan of attack, the car was taken off the road and work began in earnest with a deadline of the next upcoming Colac car show giving him a tight schedule of just four months. In order to complete this monster challenge, the obligatory late nights and long weekends were required. The first thing to be ripped out was the Torana diff which lacked the strength keep up with the power being thrown at it from up front.
Having chosen his rim/ tire combination, Searley loaded up the vehicle and trailered it to Geelong Differentials for a custom nine inch to be fabricated with strict instructions that the 8 inch rims could be fitted underneath without requiring any body mods so as to fit in with his “sleeper” plans. Next came the completion of the exhaust with the Chevy already having complimentary custom made extractors bolted to it when purchased. Exhaust Bros got the nod and again the plan was to hide the tailpipes from view. From there it went down the road to A1 Automotive where motor guru, Pete Smith added his knowledgeable touch to the street sleeper by adding a 650 Holley carb, HEI ignition and tuning it all up to run smooth but fast. A 3000 stall and stage 2 shift kit was added to the Trannie for good measure. Says Searley “I wanted the best of both worlds; to be able to still cruise in it yet have the ability to take off when required. Anyone can drive it without the worry of it being too much of a handful”.
With the running gear done to his liking, next came the body work. Still in excellent condition, all that was required was the removal of some unwanted rubber beads and a respray and, while Andrew could have gone with a colour change, he liked the Turquoise colour for its visual impact while still suiting the J’s era.
Last, but not least came the interior which again had to keep with the time honoured style of the FJ seeing Searley rip out the bucket seats which had previously been installed and hunt down a period correct bench seat. The B&M shifter was then moved forward to accommodate the old school comfort. The whole lot was then covered in tuck n roll cream leather and fawn carpet for the feet. A custom steering wheel was mounted to the column and mandatory visual aids in the form of gauges have been added too while the stereo from input to output has all been hidden.
Future plans for this street cred classic? Well, Searley’s got itchy feet and is already contemplating his next ride, maybe some classic muscle from Detroit so if you’re after a well preserved yet potent classic Aussie icon, just keep your eye on the classifieds. You never know when it might turn up!
Avalon Raceway was the place to be last Saturday if you were after the tire frying action that can only be found amongst a crowd of wild paced people like the burnout bunch!
The place for pace was certainly the order of the day with many competitors hurling their tire shredding rides into the pad to impress the judges for the prize monies on offer. Plenty of local vehicles competed for the coveted awards while well-known regulars like Steve Loader, Clint Ogilvie, Steve Edsell and Paul Cook just to name a few turned up in their legendary machines to show the rubber hungry crowds what they do best.
Undeterred by threatening skies, the organisers ran the event without any major hitches seeing a trouble free run throughout the smoke filled spectacle. With the gauntlet thrown down from the start courtesy of some skilled handling from the first run participants, the rest of the field had no choice but to give it all they had and that they did. Judges had their work cut out for them marking scores on a variety of handling skills and judgement.
As the sun went down, it was up to the final fifteen to show the judges once more why they deserve to go home with the coin. The night action fired up, literally as competitor after competitor tore up the pad destroying tires and bodywork, sending up sparks from the steelbelts, flames out the oversized exhausts and fire out the back. In the end, the winners were decided and all headed off into the night planning when and where the next tire shredding event will take them.
Well done to the Drews and their hard working team for putting on a professionally run event seeing all who attended enjoy and leave without incident. Well done and I look forward to next years burnout comp.
Keep on cruising,
Rick Fuller LSONE, John Taverna BLOHSV ,Jason McIntosh RACENU, Mick Brasher ULEGAL , Trent Brooks QUIET 1, Ross Heasley , Ben Holt GENWPN , Paul Cook GRUMP, Mark Gillett PRO 71, Adam SLORACH NUMNUTZ, Adam Slorach
Over 600 cars of the Holden variety and other GM related products converged on the Geelong showgrounds for a glorious day of show n shine. Put on by the FX-HZ Holden car club, the well-executed event went off without a hitch seeing many owners and punters enjoy a stroll among the many varied Aussie marques from classic original to wild custom! All models were well represented showing what they looked like off the production line to what can be done to them with a little imagination and a lot of elbow grease.
Fletch from Classic Restos was on hand to record the day’s events in his own entertaining style while tunes and announcements came from the dulcet tones of Pinky. Food stands were a plenty while eager enthusiasts could shop up at the numerous trade stands found throughout the grounds.
It was great to catch up with the many friends and fellow enthusiasts I’ve met over the years attending and photographing these events while also meeting new supporters of this vocation as well. The number of images I have here is only a snap shot of what could be seen so if you want to take the whole scene in and have not attended this one, next year should be even bigger so come on down and join in the relaxed atmosphere surrounded by your favourite element.
Keep on cruisin’
Summer in Victoria sees some of the biggest automotive events on the calendar happen during this time and this includes the Queenscliff rod run put on by the dedicated team of the Geelong Street Rodders. Once again they have run a flawless event seeing entrant numbers exceed previous figures with over four hundred participants enjoying a weekend of activities, local attractions, cruising and of course the Sunday show n shine. The final day of this long running event sees Queenscliff foreshore fill to capacity with entrants’ rods and rides while other enthusiasts fire their rides up and come on down to enjoy this visual exhibition. With a live band belting out the classics, it gives the whole scene a fantastic ambience while trade stands line the outer perimeter with their wares on show for rodders and budding automotive fans to purchase.
It’s always great to see newly completed and recently imported rides mixing with the regulars proving that a well run event will always bring people back for more and encourage first timers to check it out. The event caters for all styles of rods and rides from your traditional old school rides through to the latest high tech street rods strongly supported by Aussie and American classics; stock and modified. Judges had their work cut out for them with many vehicles showing off a highly detailed finish proving that show can also be go without dramas.
Queenscliff’s layout allows easy walking to the various eateries for visitors to enjoy a pub meal or café lunch just to take a short break from the show while the local Lions club has their own culinary delights on offer at the show itself.
If you haven’t taken the time to check out this side of the bay and have a rod hiding away in the shed, it may be time to bring it out, pack a weekend stay and come on down next year! Book early though because accommodation fills up fast with this ever evolving automotive spectacular!
Keep on cruisin’
For 10 years Geelong’s own speed festival has laid dormant at the back of the events cupboard, covered in cobwebs and dust till finally a group calling themselves The Geelong Revival organization brought it back out into the open, dusted it off, tweaked it to their liking and laid it out for those of us who still have a hankering for some good old fashion eighth mile racing!!
Taking place along Geelong’s beautifully presented waterfront, this classic car spectacle, covering all genres from around the globe, ran across two days seeing a wide array of fantastic automotive creations from a bygone era through to a smattering of later model equipment test their mental against the clock as they gave their machines all they’ve got. From vintage race cars of the 1920s, home built equipment, MGs, minis, midgets, Aussie and American iron and every other conceivable racing marques, car enthusiasts were guaranteed to have their fill of automotive memorabilia from a cacophony of roaring engines, squealing tires and fumy exhausts while being visually stimulated by the varying shapes and designs of these classic beauties!
To compliment the eighth mile racing, Shannons Insurance sponsored a classic car and bike show seeing polished and pristine machines of all makes and models cover the lush grass areas and waterfront real-estate found around EasternBeach and stretching as far as Cunninghams Pier. If that wasn’t enough to keep you busy, the Steam Packets market ran all weekend while Sunday saw the inaugural running of the Fashions on the Field parade adding a touch of class to the whole festival.
I could continue to rave on about this event but like I said, it’s a visual thing so why not take it in yourself with a gander through my pics and let your imagination take you through the motions those who attended experienced and hopefully we’ll see you there next year guaranteeing the same professionally run, if not bigger, event in all areas!
Keep on cruzin!