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Held in the country town of Gresford, The Mud Run is a weekend of old fashioned fun with old cars, good music, and bloody cold nights. The mix of cars on the track ranges from street registered classics, traditional jalopies, and rats cobbled together from spare parts. Everyone gets a chance to get nice and muddy for 5 or so laps, then scoot around to rejoin the cue to go around again.

Well, that is if you manage to keep things sunny side up… Our Commer van wasn’t so fortunate, a tyre pealing off a rim combined with a narrow front track saw her go rubber side up. The crew were great in making sure everyone was okay – thankfully everyone was, but we can’t say the same for our old van!

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Watching the replay…5

With our van out of play, all that was left to do to sit back with a few beverages and watching the action on the track. 6791011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435

Another cracking Mud Run, and all of our guys are looking forward to getting back there next year – hopefully with a new ride!

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The Drag-Ens Hot Rod Club have pulled together something truly special with The Rattletrap. Racing beautiful old cars and bikes along an awesome beach with perfect weather is pretty hard to top, and this is quickly going to become a must do event.

The event was held at Crowdy Head, which is near Taree on the mid-north coast of NSW. Broadly the rules were pretty simple – cars were pre ’41 and bikes pre ’60 – but more importantly they needed to evoke the spirit of a bygone era. Races weren’t timed, and were held over a short enough track that speeds didn’t get too out of control. Drivers and spectators alike were encouraged to wear period gear.

The whole event ran great – racing went almost constantly all day, all the racers got in plenty of runs, and everything ran smoothly. Well done to the Drag-Ens for all their hard-work – an event of this size doesn’t come together easily, and how smoothly it ran is testament to their planning. We’ll be back next year!

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Portland in NSW is a sleepy little country town about 2.5 hours west of Sydney. Hidden away from the Highway, it’s a surprising little hot bed of traditional hand painted sign writing.

Ron Bidwell, a sign painter originally from Sydney, now makes the town home. He had a vision of  recreating vintage hand painted signs to attract people to town, and the ‘Signs of Yesteryear’ was born.

The signs are spread throughout the town’s centre. The best way to see them is park up the car, and go for a wander down the main street. While you’re there, why not grab lunch or least grab a drink or an ice cream and help support the local economy, and tell them how much you love the signs.

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Old cars, old buildings, and good music is always a killer combo for a car show, and the Lady Luck Festival delivers on all 3. Held in Katoomba in the upper Blue Mountains, the grounds of The Carrington and the main street make a great setting to wander around and check out some cars. Enjoy some pics of the cars that caught our attention.

King Boogaloo

aDes Russell, aka Mr Boogaloo, with his homebuilt Model A Roadster. Pic by tapd.com.au

The Boogaloo Invitational hit the Aussie rod and custom scene like a breath of fresh air earlier in the year. Held in Wattle Flat Reserve in Castlemaine, the event caters to traditional styled bikes, rods, and customs. The team behind the Boogaloo is Des Russell and his partner Tesha, and as well as putting on a kick ass event, they’ve also got some cool rides in the garage. We figured it was about time we caught up with them for a chat.

Des, thanks for chatting with us. Let’s jump right into it, what was the inspiration behind the Boogaloo? I mean there’s a bunch of good events in Victoria, what makes you want to run your own?
It felt pretty obvious to me that we needed another event that catered specifically to these styles of cars and motorcycles. I have a huge passion and love for these things and I thought that if anyone was going to do it, it might as well be us. After bringing in the Jade Idol for Chopped 2013 and running a small fundraiser for Mad Fabricators at a local pub called The Kangaroo Boogaloo, it felt as though it was always going to lead to doing something bigger and better – so then came The Boogaloo Invitational.

Pics from the 2016 Boogaloo Invitational by Chris Cooper. For full coverage head on over to the Hop Up website.

And for those who don’t know, the Boogaloo was an ‘invitational’ event.  What kind of things did you consider when selecting cars?
The criteria was pretty straight forward. Pre ’65 traditionally styled hot rods and customs and pre ’75 traditionally styled British and American choppers and bobbers (2017 rules have changed to include bikes up to ’85). Customs had to have 3 alterations eg. Hubcap change, shaved door handles, custom paint etc. With hot rods we were looking for traditional styles used in America and Australia from the 1940s through to the 1960s. ‘Traditional’ can mean different things to different people and is thrown around pretty wildly. I guess at some point you’ve got to just do your research and stick to your guns. I feel we did our best to select appropriate cars and bikes, be it an extremely hard job, but on the show weekend it all paid off.

Pics from the 2016 Boogaloo Invitational by Chris Cooper. For full coverage head on over to the Hop Up website.

One thing that struck me looking at the pics was how good the event looked. The setting was great (which never hurts), but even things like the signage and the lighting at night was awesome. Was there a conscious effort to focus on all of that?
Absolutely. It’s just like throwing a backyard party. You want a great setting and vibe for your guests. We’ll try to make it more visually impressive each year. The location is a great, mostly unused space in Castlemaine that worked perfectly for what we wanted. The space is limited but we don’t intend on the show getting so big that it outgrows this venue. We want it to be somewhat small, intimate and family oriented. Quality over quantity.

Pics from the 2016 Boogaloo Invitational by Chris Cooper. For full coverage head on over to the Hop Up website.

One of the things I loved was the ‘be an inspirational motherf***er’ tag, and just generally trying to create positive vibes and celebrate all the good things people were up to. Where did that idea come from?
Ha ha, thanks a lot. I guess it’s easy for people to always jump to the negative (I’m not innocent) and I felt the one thing this certain car scene needed was way more positivity and support for each other. I made the conscious effort when promoting the show to continuously push that positive vibe. The Boogaloo is just a reflection of what I would want to go to and be a part of and I thrive on seeing people get hands on and inspire other people to build these styles of vehicles. I like to try to inspire people and be inspired by people hence, the inspirational motherfucker tag. We even made an Inspirational Motherfucker trophy for someone we thought embodied that perfectly. Someone who thrashed on their car to get it ready for the show, embraced the show’s ideals, made a long trip etc. and that trophy went to Ben Love from far north NSW for his sweet 1960 Apache.

So the ’16 Boogaloo was a corker, but it seemed like straight away you were looking to improve upon it. What are some of things we can look forward to next year?
There’s always room for improvement but like I said, we don’t intend on getting bigger, just better. We listened to the feedback we got from the attendees and vendors so next year we’ll be opening the gates on Friday afternoon so everyone can get in and set up camp. We’ll be looking for more short films from Australian filmmakers for our Boogaloo-Vision screen and while we won’t be having live music we will have a couple of DJs instead of the old iTunes playlist that we had this year. We’ve got a couple of international special guests coming in Keith Weesner and Max Schaaf and we’ll also have The Dirty Dozen Art Show and a shitload more Melbourne Moonshine.

The art show sounds neat, can you tell us a little about the artists and how you picked them?
The idea was brought to us by our friend, Matt Bailey and we thought it was perfect. We wanted The Boogaloo to be all about celebrating the cars and bikes as well as the people that build them, trim them, paint them, the artists, photographers etc. and The Dirty Dozen Art Show seemed like the perfect addition. Basically, we had the number of 12 in our heads and between Matt and myself we came up with a list of people who had mostly been involved with The Boogaloo in some way and all brought something different to the table. We’ve asked that the artists create something that embodies The Boog in some way and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.

The Boogaloo isn’t the only project you’ve got on, tell us about your roadster?
I’ve always got a million projects on the go, ha ha. My roadster is a 1929 model A Ford. It’s running a fully rebuilt mild 324ci Olds Rocket topped with 4 chrome Stromberg 97s, Borg Warner 3 speed gearbox and early Ford 9inch diff. The whole car was put together by myself in my little workshop. I’ve tried my best to make the car look like an East Coast channelled hot rod from around 1959. It’s a constant work in progress but it’s the most fun thing I’ve ever driven and I get a huge feeling of satisfaction every time I drive it.

And did anyone or any cars influence the style of it?
Absolutely. Apart from actual old hot rods in little books it’s definitely stolen a lot of aspects from Piero DeLuca’s Livewire coupe and pretty much everything that Bob Bleed builds.

You’ve also got a chopped single spinner which was featured in bare metal on the cover of the Street Machine Custom Annual mag. Is that still in the shed?
Yeah, it’s still in the shed. I’m not one to make excuses but we moved house into a place that only had a small workshop just big enough for the roadster to be built in so the spinner has been put on the back burner until the new shed goes up which is currently in the works. I have big plans for the spinner and I’d say I’m halfway there. But like the roadster, I want to do everything myself so it’s good that I had some time off the spinner to learn some new skills and change some plans for it.

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The old saying goes, behind every great man is a great woman. But to be fair, it looks like Tesha is much more your partner in crime, and by that I mean she’s by your side getting her hands dirty.
She definitely is. Tesh was definitely thrown into The Boogaloo but she embraced my crazy idea and helped a huge amount with the planning and especially all the admin type stuff. I couldn’t have done the show without her, that’s for sure. As far as getting her hands dirty, there’s no doubt about that. I had her rubbing bog with me for 2 weeks straight. She’s helped out quite a lot on the ’55 Buick which is her car and she’s learned a lot. She also sewed up the trim panels on the roadster and I plan on making her do the rest, ha ha.

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Things like the Boogaloo and your rides don’t happen by themselves either. Who would you like to give a shout out to?
Yeah, these things do take a lot of work. All the people that put up with me ringing them to bounce ideas off them for the show like Chris Cooper (www.crcooperphoto.com), Matt Machine (www.themachinefiles.com.au), Kyle DeKuijer and Cameron Warde. They put up with a lot and were a huge help over the weekend as well as everyone that volunteered. We appreciate their help and support so much. Our sponsors were great. It takes a lot to get behind something like this for the first year. But we’d have to give a special mention to the Melbourne Moonshine guys (www.melbournemoonshine.com) as well as Clive at Stromberg Carburettors (www.stromberg-97.com). As far as the cars go, there’s always a good mate willing to lend a hand or offer some advice and without their support you can’t build things like this.

And what’s the best way people can keep to date with Boogaloo news?
The website for The Boogaloo is www.TheBoogalooInvitational.com.au which is where you can find all the information on next year’s show and display vehicle criteria but most of our updates are done through our Instagram page @TheBoogalooInvitational or Facebook www.facebook.com/TheBoogalooInvitational.

Cheers mate, thanks for your time. We can’t wait to check out next year’s event.

Special thanks to Chris Cooper for permission to use his pics from the Boogaloo.

My latest pushie build, and my entry into the Rat Rod Bikes Build Off #11. An Electra Custom, built with a more European influence along the lines of a porteur bike. The frame was taken back to bare alloy and brushed, and key components like a Basil Portland front rack, Brooks seat and grips, and a careful selection of other parts to carry through the low key look.

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Some pics from today’s Grey Pride run in Berrima. While the focus is on grey powered cars, a lot of the attendees bring along other era Holdens as well. Some neat cars and a beautiful location made for a great lunch stop on today’s drive.

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