Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Bridge to bridge ski race

What are the odds the one day of the year you go for a scenic cruise with the plan of going to Wisemans Ferry for lunch, and that’s the one day of the year the ferry is closed?! That happened to us the other week, we took the scenic route up to the west of Wisemans Ferry, go to catch the ferry over and she’s closed for the Bridge to Bridge ski race. The consolation prize was we to watch a few boats go past at full noise, and man did they sound sweet!

The Bridge to Bridge is a 112km course along the Hawkesbury River and goes from Dangar Island to Windsor. Each boat tows a pair of skiers and the big boys can reach speeds of 220kmh. The boats are seriously tough, basically imagine a twin turbo V8 which wouldn’t be out of place in a drag car, running for almost an hour. The only thing tougher is the skiers themselves, their physical and mental strength is super impressive. This year’s overall winner was the team of Hellrazor, who finished in just under 39 minutes – which makes the average speed about 170kmh (or 107mph)!

Here’s a few pics I got on the phone, and I’ve found some videos from previous years.

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Garage crawls are a great way to spend a day – driving old cars, checking out cars still being built, having a few cold ones and spending time with mates. A few of us Sydney based guys in the oz-e-rodders decided it was high time to have another, so we did!

I put up my hand up to be the kick off point. Everyone turned up virtually at the same time which was kinda cool. Check out this guy with his son checking out the cars on the street. They even came down to the carport and said g’day after looking at the cars, I thought it was new guy I hadn’t met till they said ‘by’ and kept walking down the street.

We’ve got a single car garage which usually holds our EK, so it was pretty light on in terms of stuff to look at. So we compensated with some nibblies including a home-made flourless chocolate cake for morning tea (props to my fiance, though I helped with some mixing so I could clean out the bowl).

After a while shooting the breeze and catching up, we piled into the cars and got on our way.

Wish I hadĀ  a driveway this freaking cool.

The cars parked together look like they could have been at an Aussie rod run in the 70s.

Second stop for the day was Jeff’s. His mate (who’s name completely escapes me) owned this very neat and very low EK which looked fantastic.

Jeff is a young guy who is building a late 30s Chev pickup. This is his first hot rod build and has only taken him a couple of years so far, and has been built on a shoestring budget. With a little help he’s tackled suspension set up, paint, trim etc and it’s shaping up to be a great little cruiser. Can’t wait to see this on the road mate, and thanks for having us.

What is it about garage crawls where you inevitably end up standing in a big circle having a chin wag?

With a quick stop en-route for some essentials (namely more beer), it was back on the road to what seemed the middle of nowhere to Scott’s place.

After chucking the beers in the fridge (and grabbing one to cool our hands), we wandered down to check out Scott’s sheds. ‘Buddy’ the neighbour’s dog came along for the run.

Scott had a nice selection of sheds which had us all drooling, the massive amount of projects and bits we’d all have collected if we had the room! His next project is this International pickup which despite its looks was reasonably solid. Check out the mint condition gauge cluster in it!

International coupe ute was stashed for a future project.

Torana and the Commer van are customer projects getting some work done on them.

Afterwards Scott and his better half Lib put on a great feed for lunch which was well appreciated. After a nice arvo kicking back we all made our reluctant good byes. We decided to swing past Windsor on the way home and grabbed an ice cream and had it in the park – mint and cookie – super good! Overall we did about 150km or so, and we didn’t have to travel to the first stop. We reckon Gav and Anne in the ’46 Chev did about 300km or so by the time they drove from their place. What’s the fun in having them if you can’t drive em?!

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Reds Big Day Out is a local show and shine held out my way in the outer burbs of Sydney. Back when I was a school kid I used to love heading to Red’s Diner in Penrith on Thursday night, grabbing a milkshake and checking out some of the cool rods and customs on display. Hell those nights were one of the things that really hooked me onto this whole thing. These days the Diner is long gone, but Red still organises an annual show. Anyway here’s some pics from when it was held a few weeks ago.

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A couple of weeks ago saw the All British Day held at Kings Private School in Parramatta. As you’d expect of such a prestgious location, the day was full of marques like Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and so on. Fair to say the value of the cars on display added up to a metric fuckload! Here are some of the cars that took my fancy for different reasons.

Daimler powered sprintcar was neat.

Aston Martin DBR 2 was pure sex. Check out those lines and that all business interior!

From memory this timber boat tailed roadster was a Rolls. The body is actually leather, presumably over a timber frame.

Another boat tailed roadster, this one an Austin.


Lotus in bare alloy, still being restored. This thing would look awesome on the salt!

Black and yellow roadster was simply stunning.

A pair of classic Jags.

And last but not least this killer Vauxhall, complete with solo dicky seat complete with its own duvall style screen.

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A couple of weeks ago was the annual All Holden Day held at Richmond in Sydney’s west. With a swap meet on Saturday and the show and shine on Sunday, and everything from humpies to current models. there’s something to keep every Holden fan satisfied. I didn’t take the camera, so I only fired off a few shots of some of the early girls that got my attention. And a sneaky Ford pickup that snuck into the swap too.

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Motorex this year was billed as the ‘Kavalcade of Kustoms’ and it surely didn’t disappoint. It was the best gathering of customs I’ve ever seen, and it was awesome to see so many beautiful cars under lights.

Visiting for this year was legendary builder John D’Agostino. While I didn’t get time to have a chat with him, it’s safe to say that every time I saw him he was definitely having a good time. I’ve also got to say hats off to the contingent of guys from the Eldorados who drove up from Victoria for the show as well.

I’ve shared some of the pics from Motorex below, for more click here to open the gallery on the KKA facebook page.

This Dodge custom is the latest project from Justin Hills, following on from his flawless ‘art deco’ Buick. The Dodge looks like something straight out of a Keith Weesner painting!

This wild piece of gear is from Paul Bennett. It’s a Goliath wagon. No, I had no idea WTF that was either, so click here to see a stocker for comparison.

With so much focus on the current trend of Aussie customs, it was great to see Dale Fisher recognised along with his Stude.

Michael Morris’ Chev and Craig Fountain’s Buick both still stand out in a crowd, even with a few years under their tyres.

Mercury Lane featured a line up of custom Mercs which was neat.

The ‘Inverted Commer’ from Lonestar Bodyworks had some great metalwork on display. The style of the Commer is decisive to say the least, but I’m a huge fan myself – viva la difference!

I didn’t get the details on this beautiful humpy, but the chop and two door conversion were to die for.

Greeting you as you came in the door was Catriona and Mario Colalillo’s chopped FB van. This thing was seriously low and the paint was dazzling under lights. For a humble little grey motored Aussie ride, she definitely punched well above her weight amongst some amazing customs. And to be honest I think a lot of people related to the plucky little Aussie better than the American tin on display. Can you tell I love this thing?

Even more bare metal customs on display. You’ve got to love the balls of people who are prepared to put their metal work on display for all and sundry to check out in its naked form. It certainly puts paid to the comments that all the cars in a show like Motorex are full of bog!

This custom Desoto is the work of Terry from TJ’s Hot Rods. I’ve been watching this one come along together on facebook so it was great to see it in the metal, and it didn’t disappoint.

The grand finale to a weekend of great customs, and probably a highlight for those in attendance, was a cruise through the city. Sure it’s cool seeing cars in a big hall, but it’s nowhere near as big a buzz as seeing them prowling the streets at night.

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A few weeks ago Stuart from Lone Star Body Shop decided to have an impromptu open day at the shop. The idea, like all good ideas, was born of a few frosted beverages about 3 weeks earlier, with one of the boys suggesting they do an open day. With that a thread was started on the ozrodders forum and you next thing you know there’s blokes from Mackay saying they’re gonna fly down for it, and guys coming up from Wagga and Canberra and all sorts of far flung places.

The shop is located in Darkes Forest, which is about 10 minutes north of Bulli Pass and inland a bit. For those further afield, its on the north side of Wollongong on the south side of Sydney. Some people had an interesting time finding the place, with reports of some people taking the scenic route via Port Kembla! The shop sits on an apple orchard, which not only means the view out the roller door is pretty sweet, but apparently there’s always fresh apples at hand. It also makes a great backdrop for an impromptu show and shine. The turn out of cars was pretty good too, with a nice selection of rods on display.

Inside Stuart spent a bunch of time showing folks his work on equipment like the english wheel, pullmax, and the humble old tree stump. I think its way too easy to get caught up looking at workshops like this and feeling its never within your reach, so for poor bastards like me there something refreshing about seeing tools that include a hammer and a tree stump. Of course Stuart, like any true artist who has spent years perfecting his craft, makes it look all too easy and simple!

A massive thanks for Stuart and the boys for opening the doors and putting on a great day, and the Drag-Ens for the barbeque trailer. Feedback from the day was pretty positive, so I think there’s a good chance we’ll see another open day at the shop in the future sometime. To keep an eye on their builds why not check out this great thread with heaps of progress pics, or their facebook page.

Here’s a few pics, I’ve posted more on the Kustom Kulture Australia facebook page here. Thanks to Turns for supplying some of the pics too.


Stuart Smith, owner of Lone Star Body Shop. If you’re wondering what the reason is behind the cowboy hat, he used to work on a cattle farm!

Giving a demo on the English wheel.

Amazing what you can do with a stump of wood and a hammer!

Some of the work on display in the shop.

And some of the cars parked out the front.

And last but not least, Stuart’s personal ride – a very sweet Model A pickup (which I heavily drooled over at last year’s Motorex).

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The 4th bi-annual Castlereagh Reunion was held about a month back. Organised by Corrine Falzon, it’s an awesome event for old timers to swap stories about how fast they were back in the day, and for young guys like me to meet some of the pioneers of this sport and to get an idea of how things used to be.

The Reunion is held at Castlereagh Hall which is a couple of kilometres from the original Castlereagh dragstrip (now under rural acreage). The day kicked off about mid afternoon, with a casual show and shine in the grounds of the Hall, with plenty of rods, customs, and classics to check out. Of course the focus is dragcars, and there’s always a nice selection of historic and nostalgic drag cars on display – with the highlight being when they’re fired up and they do a cackle. The evening also feature talks from special guests, and this year Bob Shepherd and Ronnie Williams e recognised for their contributions to racing and rodding over the years.

Tickets are numbered and some people missed out this year. If you missed out kick yourself, how many shows do you go to where you basically get unlimited food and drink supplied, awesome cars on display, and historic Aussie drag footage on show too? Definitely one to keep an eye out for in coming years if you missed it.

An event like is best viewed with sound, here’s a neat vid from Chris Preen which was posted on youtube.

Here are a few quick pics, for more check out the Kustom Kulture Australia facebook page.

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Sometimes it pays to follow your instincts. On the way to a local cafe for breakfast we noticed a couple of neat rides which seemed to be headed in the same direction. After a top brekky of bacon and eggs, some sniffing around turned up an all GM show and shine. I didn’t have my camera with me, but thanks to the wonders of the camera phone, I managed to get some pics to share.

The weather was pretty funny, with fog that hung around for most of the day. It wasn’t that bad, but the pics make it look pretty miserable. The show and shine was a bit odd, like there seemed to be great representation of specific models thanks to clubs, and other eras were almost non-existent. So for example there were oodles of humpies to drool over, however the rest of the Holden family tree were barely represented – not even a single Kingswood. But in contrast there were oodles of Vauxhauls. However it was a great chance to check out some truly classic cars which you don’t see much, like the V16 Caddy.

Caddillac Lasalle was beautiful. The grilles off these are commonly used on custom ’30s sledsĀ  (like this), so it was cool to see one in its natural habitat.

Sweet pick-em-up truck.

Another early Caddy. Sporting a V16 under the hood and some stunning art deco styling, it had style and class to die for. Isn’t that V16 badge one of the nicest badges you’ve seen? Such a big car, and covered in lots of little design details.

Sweet humpy ute has a myriad of subtle custom touches, including frenched headlight, parking lights and tail lights, portholes in the bonnet, rolled rear pan, and go domes on widened steelies. That’s not to mention a killer stance and a warm grey motor up front. Pure old school Aussie custom and my pick of the day.

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Friday night saw Brian Setzer return to Sydney, to put on yet another awesome show that had the crowd screaming for more. Brian was last out here a few years ago with the Stray Cats, however this time he was here with his Rockabilly Riot tour. And holy shit it was good.

The support act for the evening was Lanie Lane, who in the last 6 months has really started to make a name for herself. I’d seen her once before when she played solo, and to be honest I was a little underwhelmed. Friday night hower, she put on a ripper of a set which the crowd really got into. If anything I’d say her set was a little too short!

Brian took to the stage not long after, and it was clear the crowd was there for a good night. It soon became clear Brian was there for a good night too! To say his guitar playing skills are amazing is an understatment. Like a true artist he makes it look absolutely effortless too. I actually like how his voice has mellowed and aged, and how it fits with the music. And the showmanship he has, which doesn’t come at the expense of the music itself. Absolutely unreal. If you missed it, kick yourself up the ass. Hard.

There were that many highlights at the gig it’s hard to capture them all, so I took the easy way out and chucked some of them in bullet points.

  • Brian and Slim Jim playing together. It’s obvious after all of these years, these guys still love playing together.
  • The covers. How good was hearing Brian belt out Folsom Prison Blues and Great Balls of Fire!The bluegrass classic Blue Moon of Kentucky was another great one.
  • The amazing playing of Melbourne bass player Chris D’Rozario. This guy was amazing, and more then held his own alongside Brian. That’s a big ask of any muso. The fact he looked like a young Johnny Depp didn’t escape the ladies either.
  • Duelling basses covering Duelling Banjoes! And then finishing it up with Brian bringing in a third bass.
  • All of the Stray Cats songs. Way too many to mention, but there were heaps, and the crowd loved them.

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