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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

This was my first year at the Kustom Nats, and it was awesome. I covered our roadtrip down from Sydney in a ’40s Pontiac here. In this post I’ll cover the event itself.

The Friday arvo and night sees a great laidback show and shine at San Remo. The town is located on the mainland, at the end of the bridge to Phillip Island. With views across the passage, heaps of cool cars and some good bands, the night has a great relaxed vibe. A great way to start the weekend.

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Saturday morning sees us roll out to the grand prix circuit on the island. Somehow I don’t mind being stuck in a cue like this.

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Soon enough we’re inside and park up in the pits, where this a slow trickle of cool cars coming in. For my first trip to Victoria for a rod and custom show, it was awesome to look around and see so many cars I’ve seen in mags and online in the metal. After signing over our mortal souls, we got an armband and not too much later headed out onto the track. Man the view as you roll out of the pits onto the main straight, the road rolls away underneath you revealing an endless horizon of ocean. Wow. I’ve got to say it was one of those really special moments which will stay with me for sometime.

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The remainder of the day was basically a mix of cutting laps alongside some of the coolest cars in the country, stopping on the side of the track to get some pics, and then heading back to the pits to check the cars which were parked up.

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The main town on the island is called Cowes. For a little town, it certainly punches above its weight when it comes to good food. Saturday arvo we checked out some antique stores and then wandered down to check out the show and shine in the main street. It was neat, but seriously busy with entrants, locals, and general tourists. The best part was an array of food stalls, and some of them smelt amazing. After a while we got sick of the crowds, and retreated to a mate’s cabin for some drinks.

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Sunday we headed out to the grand prix circuit, and it was basically more of the same – checking out the parked cars, cutting some laps, stopping to get some pics and then heading back to the pits to see what different cars were there.

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And that’s pretty much it. Sunday arvo we headed back to Cowes for some gelato and took it easy. We had a few drinks back at the cabin, but given we had a 12+ hour drive home the next day we didn’t have a big one. All in all, it was one of the best weekends I’ve had with some mates and old cars, and next time I’m keen to drive my EK.

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We drove over 1,000km in a ratty 1946 Pontiac, checked out the Kustom Nats, and drove home again. We had an awesome weekend, and the ol’ Poncho didn’t skip a beat.

I’ll cover the trip in two posts, one for the roadtrip, and one for the nats itself.

The Kustom Nats is one of those events I’ve been wanting to get to for ages, but always came up with excuses as to why it was too hard. Sick of making excuses, the wife and I talked a mate into making the run down from Sydney in his Pontiac. So a week out we booked accommodation and the scene was set.

We got picked up at the god forsaken time of 3am. We wanted to hit the road early and get down to Phillip Island at a decent time. About 4am somewhere in the Southern Highlands we hit fog and drizzle – great fun! Luckily traffic was light and we kept trucking till Yass for brekky.

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Hitting the border into Mexico was a great milestone, though tempered by the fact we still had 6 hours to go!

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We started to get excited when we started passing some more old cars on the way.

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Well we made it about mid-afternoon, a little tired but stoked to finally be on the island. Our accommodation was an on-site van with paper thin walls, but it was cheap and gave us a place to chill out.

The Kustom Nats were awesome, and I’ll cover that in my next post.

The drive home was a seriously long day. After a long weekend we were all pretty tired, and not looking forward to it. We left about 6am, and hit rain again.

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A misreading of the Tom Tom meant we drove right in past the Melbourne CBD. Being from Sydney, we were dreading hitting peak-hour parking lots. But it was fine. Melbourne, your freeways and traffic shit all over Sydney’s hands down.

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Not only do your freeways function better, they also look a shitload prettier too. Melbourne just does urban design well.

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Back in NSW and the weather has cleared, the V8s humming and the road is unwinding beyond us.

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Lunch at the Longtrack Pantry at Jugiong. Hands down the best food on the Hume, and again it didn’t disappoint. We didn’t take any food pics because it was wolfed down the moment it hit the table.

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The trip home was even longer than expected, as a major accident had closed the Hume at Yass and we had to divert via Canberra.

By the time we got home we’d been away 4 days, 2 of which were basically spent driving. By our estimates we clocked well over 2,000kms and spent over 30 hours in the car. And you know what? We had a blast. If you’re thinking about making a long trip in your old car, do it, it’ll definitely be a trip to remember!

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Recently Penrith Regional Gallery hosted the opening night of their Holiday and Memory exhibition. The coolest part? Our EK is featured in the exhibition, alongside names like Reg Mombasa, Max Dupain and Ken Done!

Here’s the blurb from the Gallery: “Holiday + Memory explores the annual holiday experience of mid 20th century Australia. It is concerned with places ventured to, and experiences had and found along the way”. It continues “Herein, we are taken on a journey under big blue skies and night skies, with cars and caravans on winding roads and highways with oversized pineapples and cries from the backseat of ‘are we there yet’.  It is a land of campgrounds, barbeques and backyard pools, of romantic sunsets and eerie shadows, of riotous colour on the harbour, bush retreats, the brilliant white heat of the beach at noon, flies and mozzies, sand dunes, grass and gnarled trees, being tossed in the surf, burnt to a crisp, sticking to vinyl car seats and dripping icecream. It is a place we all share each long hot Australian summer”.

The exhibition features photography, artwork, and artefacts. An awesome feature is the old Lewers cottage is transformed into a holiday home, complete with mid-century kitchen and loungeroom. The Gallery actually features some beautiful mid-century buildings and gardens, so it’s a pretty cool place to check out. The food at the café is awesome too.

The opening night featured a talk by famous artist Ken Done, who was captivating and hilarious – I can’t believe he’s 74! Our EK is only there till early next week, but it’ll be replaced next week with a vintage caravan in it’s place. The exhibition runs all summer, so if you’re interested check out the Gallery’s website for more info.

Here’s some pics to give you an idea of what’s on show.

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It’s pretty cool to see a rough around the edges old car in a formal gallery setting. People loved seeing it too.

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The old cottage includes a mid-century inspired loungeroom and kitchen. The cool part is most of it will be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition! I’ll keep you posted.

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This fantastic modernistic painting is an original from Margo Lewers.

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The kitchen set up is pretty cool too.

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Some great vintage travel posters on display.

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And finally, Ken Done with our EK!

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The theme for this year’s NSW All Holden Day was celebrating 50 years of the EH. With that in mind, I thought I’d just post up the pics of the EJs & EHs that really took my fancy.

Pick of the bunch for me was this grey sedan, with cleverly mixed elements of a resto and a modern pro streeter. Body wise it appeared very standard, but you couldn’t miss that tough stance and the drag style wheels. The redwalls being the perfect period touch to give it a touch of colour. Inside the story was very similar, apart from a very subtle rollcage, well it could have been from the factory. Under the bonnet was a tough looking engine, I’m guessing a small block Chev, but with everything painted in matt black it looked mean. Very tastefully put together piece of gear.

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And some of the other EJs and EHs that I liked.

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A fairly new event, but one worth checking out is the ‘Sunday Coffee in the Hills’. Started off by Jeff on ozrodders, it’s quickly building a following with car guys in Sydney. Held the first Sunday of the month, it sees a range of cars park up in the carpark at Kellyville Plaza. The time is from 7am to 9am, which means you can head out for a quick cruise and still have the rest of the day to do whatever you need to do.

On the day we were there, there was a great variety of cars on show. From a Mitsubishi L300 converted to a van with a mid mounted LS1, tough streeters such as an XY GT and very grumpy 60s Chev, through to a restored ’55 Belair and a pair of restored ’39 Chevs, a rally spec 80s Beemer, as well as a handful of Mustangs and modern Fords. The best thing was the relaxed vibe. Everyone was happy to chat and admire each others cars for what they were. Definitely one to keep an eye out for! For more info check this out.

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Sunday saw the second Lone Star Open Day, and true to form it was another corker. Featuring a stack of cool rides, workshop demos and project talks it had a little something for everyone. Throw in a sausage sizzle and a coffee van and everyone was well sorted.

A highlight was the chance to check out many projects from different ozrodders members. Turns was there with his Model A Roadster featuring hand-made body from the doors back. Royden fired up his angry Dodge which made enough noise to loosen your fillings. Rod brought his Fargo tribute which started life as a Mitsubishi L300 van and is now a ute with a mid mounted LS3 and legally registered as an ICV.

The Open Day is also a chance to catch up with old mates from near and far, as well as putting faces to names. To give you an idea, there were guys from Castlemaine, Pakenham, Nowra, Shoalhaven Heads, Ballarat, and Wellington – just in town to come to the Open Day.

I’ve got some pics below. If you missed it, kick yourself and make a better effort to come along next year and check it out.

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The team from Lone Star Body Shop are once again throwing open the shed doors. They’re holding another of their open days on Sunday 19 May, and it’s shaping up to be an absolute corker. The day will feature metal shaping and metal working demos, talks about different projects in the shop, and a great impromptu show in the carpark. If you’re ever wanted to ask an expert for some advice or feedback on metal shaping, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better opportunity. I posted up some pics and a bit of a run down on last year’s event here, and this year’s day is shaping up to be even bigger. Click on the flyer below to see it bigger.

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As an example of Stuart’s work, check out these ’34 Ford hood sides he recently made. The customer posted the pre-made hood sides, for them to be reinforced, louvred, and receive a swaged edge. If you’re wondering what the relief cut is for, these will be going on a car with a blown hemi, so they need to clear the rocker covers!

The blank hood sides ready for work.
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Careful measurement of an original hood side to replicate the factory offering.
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The louvres were run in the Pullmax, with fences used to determine the start and stop points.
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A reinforcing plate was spot welded to the inside, this will help to avoid stress risers at the end of the louvres.
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Some detail shots of the finished hood sides.
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