Meguiar’s MotorEx 2015 was the biggest and best ever!
With more cars, more attractions, more stars, more exhibitors and double the footprint, Meguiar’s MotorEx Sydney 2015 was always going to be something special – and it didn’t disappoint. Within minutes of the doors swinging open to the main halls on Saturday morning there was a constant stream of eager spectators that never let up until show-close, Sunday evening. Some of the stats are absolutely astounding; 450-plus cars, 26,742 spectators, over 100 traders, 50,000 square meters of show area, 75 awards and $103,000 in prize money. What a way for Meguiar’s to celebrate 25 successful years in Australia – we threw the biggest car party Sydney has ever seen and invited everyone to join in.
Guest of honour was custom car king and Hollywood movie car legend, George Barris, who attracted a rock star-like following all weekend. He entertained one-and-all with fascinating tales from his 60 years in the industry, happily posed for hundreds of photos with awe-struck admirers and spent considerable time autographing an endless stream of memorabilia. And talk about stamina, wow! For a gentleman about to celebrate his 90th birthday, Barris had the energy and enthusiasm of someone half his age. He is truly a larger than life, living legend of the custom automotive scene – who was equally impressed with Meguiar’s MotorEx. “Wow, MotorEx is an amazing event,” said Barris. “I was so thrilled to finally visit Australia because more Aussies visit my workshop than from any other country. So to meet so many passionate fans and see the great quality of cars at this show was something else.”
In honour of Barris’s once in a lifetime trip down under, 30 iconic TV and movie cars came together to create the largest display of its kind ever seen in Australia. The amazing line-up included genuine vehicles used during filming of numerous cult hits. This included the Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am, General Lee from the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard, Herbie the Love Bug from Herbie goes to Monte Carlo and the Dodge Monaco police car from Blues Brothers. Joining these real stars were a number of faithful replicas such as; two 60s Batmobiles, Mad Max Interceptor, Mad Max MFP Pursuit Special, Bullitt Mustang, Eleanor (2000-version), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Munster Koach and the absolutely stunning Munsters Drag-U-La freshly finished for the show by Queenslander, David Scott – who picked up the coveted George Barris Award (Barris’s personal pic from the show) for his efforts.
Having built the original Munsters Koach, Drag-U-La and Batmobile, Barris was blown away at how good these vehicles looked – especially the Batmobile.
With George commenting, “I’ve seen a lot of replicas [Batmobile], and that’s the best one I’ve ever seen. Especially all the metalwork inside the cabin, it even has the right phone!”
Saturday mornings’ FreeStyle Rides Inauguration has firmly established itself as one of the most anticipated annual events on the Australian show car calendar. For 2015, the delectable FreeStyle Rides beauties slid the black silk covers off 15 never-before-seen blockbuster builds. You could hear the ohhhs and arrrs, followed by rapturous applause as each incredible stunner came to life in front of the packed crowd.
Also taking centre stage in Sydney Olympic Park’s grandiose Main dome was 40 super-elite Meguiar’s Superstars. These heavy-weight champions of the show car world were duking it out for a total of 32 awards and over $60,000 in prize money. ‘Look at all the new cars,’ I heard one astounded punter comment. It certainly lived up to its reputation as Australia’s most prestigious super-elite show. The first year out for the new Super Six and Grand Master format proved to be an intensely-fought battle. With the hot rods going head-to-head with the street machines for outright honours, it was fortuitous that the Super Six was comprised of three street machines and three hot rods from; Peter and Debbie Miller, Peter Elliott, Bob Gallo, Glen Piggins, Tony Wilson and John Saad – who was the extremely happy and appreciative Grand Master victor with his incredible Mazda RX3 (FATRX3). John took home a masterpiece billet trophy and $10,000 in prizemoney.
Walking into Street Elite, the cars were just as sensational. This is the fastest growing category at MotorEx, with the machinery rapidly approaching similar build quality and finish as the breathtaking super-elite Superstars. Michael Renfry’s ’33 Ford, Hand Maid, deserves special mention. Michael spent thousands of hours creating the steel body of this mind-blowing hot rod from scratch! It oozed class and sex appeal and is a true landmark build. One of the biggest winners from Street Elite, was Glen Profilio’s FC ute. Cheekily entered by Down Town Kustoms as a 2015 FC (because they replaced 90 percent of the car), it picked three golds and bronze along with the Street Machine Pinnacle Award – it was a MotorEx standout.
The Laurie Starling Excellence was another new addition for 2015 and was introduced to ensure the memory and legacy of this promising custom car builder never dies. The inaugural winner was Mal Apps with his sensational FC Holden. It was a deserving and popular win, as Mal’s FC embodied the attributes advocated by Laurie, such as engineering and driveability.
Barris was not the only international megastar in attendance. The zany head of Liberty Walk/LB Performance, Mr Wataru Kato was also on hand to meet his adoring fans as well as pose for numerous photos around the several Liberty Walk machines on display. Car speak is obviously a universal language, as Kato-san doesn’t speak English, yet had no issue whipping his legion of fans into a frenzy.
For mass crowd appeal, internet sensations, Marty and Moog from Mighty Car Mods, weren’t far behind. There were MCM t-shirts all around them, along with a constant crowd watching on as their famed project car, Super Gramps, was painted HOK Squid Juice (their own custom colour) in a high-tech Low Bake mobile spray booth. And everybody literally flipped out when they fired up the flame-spitting Mod Max (their Fury Road tribute machine).
Aussie motorsport legends John Bowe and Jim Richards also spent the weekend soaking up the atmosphere and mingling with avid motorsport fans.
Many spectators, exhibitors and entrants praised the dramatically-expanded Liqui-Moly Performance Garage. It was a hotbed of action all weekend, with many of 100 exhibitors at MotorEx reporting that crowd interaction and engagement exceeded their expectations. If you couldn’t find what you were looking for, or learn something new in Liqui-Moly Performance Garage, I recommend you consider taking up knitting.
The reconfigured venue also offered spectators substantially better bang for your buck. With many taking advantage of the abundant picnic table-style seating in the newly-introduced recharge zone to grab a bite, rest their legs and lengthen their stay. After all there was so much more to see and do at Meguiar’s MotorEx Sydney 2015.
Australia’s Drag Racing fraternity came out in style, with start-ups from an array of methanol-slurping supercharged Wild Bunch racers. However, the Mariani Family Top Fueler wound things up to 11 when they fired up their 8000hp monster. This thing is so intense, just at idle it scrambles your brain, before making everyone in a 100m radius jump whenever they blipped the throttle. “That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever seen,” commented one wide-eyed show goer.
Meanwhile down in the DynoDynamics Power Pit, entrants were strutting their stuff on the rollers of truth. With the R33 GTST Skyline from BillTech Automotive setting the top mark of 1018wrhp. While the Nissan R34 from Just Engine Management spun up 966wrhp on the way to taking out the Dyno Dynamics Crowd Favourite Assisted.
And finally, what can we say about the weather gods but thank you. On the days leading up to Meguiar’s MotorEx Sydney 2015, it was bitterly cold, overcast and showery. However Saturday and Sunday were both sunny and 20-plus! Show goers couldn’t have asked for more and they responded by turning out in record numbers – the biggest Sydney crowd ever! Don’t know how we’ll go about topping all this in Melbourne next year, however we’ve already begun laying plans, stay tuned for more exciting details.