It was big, it was bold it was epic. The first, ever FreeStyle Rides Inauguration in Melbourne certainly went off with a bang and was a huge hit with the throng of appreciative spectators! The lovely, Lycra-clad FreeSyle Rides ladies slid the black, silk cloths off 12 never seen before block busters and was a very prestigious moment for all the owners and builders of these incredible machines. What can I say; greatest inauguration ever! Let’s look at the 2014 line-up:
Damien Horner – 2002 Commodore – FINE VY This is the second inauguration for Damien Horner’s FINE VY ute, it had the black silk covers slid off it in 2012 after a massive rebuild. For 2014 Damien’s given the ute a tougher and more aggressive personality – most notably those massive 22×12 rear hoops. While most ditch the factory IRS and slot in a four-link to accommodate such a wheel and tyre combo, however Damien has made it work with the factory suspension. Which required moving parts of the suspension plus the airbags and tubbing the rear. A lot of effort went into getting the ute to sit flat on the deck, while retaining the factory suspension system. ‘You can’t get a cigarette paper under there,” says Damien. While he was under there, Damien also added a host of extra smoothing and detailing to make the car more competitive in the super-elite category. Damien loved the existing HOK Oriental Blue and was loath to change. However to make it look different, it’s now darker at the bottom and blends upwards to the original, lighter shade. Gone are the old Lambo-style doors, replaced with a completely re-engineered suicide set-up. The new door arrangement and the tubs in the rear meant that Damien had to completely re-upholster the cabin and tray area. “It looks similar,” says Damien, “but everything has been moved around.” He also incorporated a full-size iPad into the centre of the dash to control a host of functions like engine start/stop, airbags, windows and the elaborative lighting system. The engine bay oozes class and remains the benchmark for anybody looking to detail a late model, supercharged/EFI engine. FINE VY is one mighty fine street machine.
Brock Mahoney – 1977 XC Hardtop – IN ENVY This wicked XC GS coupe has been in Brock Mahoney’s life since new. “I grew up in this car,” says Brock. “After serving as the family daily for many years, it then became dad’s Sunday cruiser and eventually he gave it to me.” Although it was in pretty good condition, it did have quite a bit if rust. Mind you, that wasn’t an issue as Brock had grand plans for it. When it was time, he spent almost a full year planning every facet of the car. He scanned thousands of magazines and put together a PowerPoint presentation to show Rides by Kam (RBK), who then spent two and half years turning Brock’s dream into a reality. One of the standout features of IN ENVY is the colour, it’s a custom Shimrin 2 gold flake over a HOK Re-Entry Red base. A lot of smoothing has been carried out throughout the Aussie coupe, including the engine bay. Which houses a 351 Windsor topped with a Dyers 8/71 huffer complete with EFI inside the Bug Catcher scoop. To get the stylish coupe sitting in the weeds over its 20 and 22-inch wheel and tyre combo, the front end has been ditched for RRS stub axles onto which Kam have adapted RideTech air struts. Shockwaves are utilised out back and work in in conjunction with a triangulated four-link. Inside its flat floors and leather everywhere. Not much of the original dash remains with most of it now custom, including the Dakota digital gauges. The whole build has been a bit of blur for Brock. “It’s taken a lot of effort and time working on each component. It’s only in the last couple of months that it’s come to resemble a car again,” says Brock. He only got to see it briefly all together before he had to load it into the trailer for its trip from the Gold Coast to MotorEx Melbourne – via Jakes Performance in Canberra for a final tune. Post Inauguration he’s looking forward, to sitting back and taking it all in.
Debbie & Peter Miller – 1932 Roadster – C-DEUCE You’d think having a V12 in a ’32 roadster that’s been stretched six-inches would the highlight. Oddly enough with Peter Miller’s C-DEUCE it’s not. The main attraction of this HOK Tangello hot rod, is that Peter pretty much spent 15-years whittling over 150 custom parts out of solid chunks of raw material. The fibreglass body is from Deuce Customs and the chassis from Rod City. However just about everything else started as a solid block, including; injection manifold, rocker covers, sump, pulleys, bellhousing and the entire diff centre. It was a real labour of love and one of the reasons the car took many years to complete. “It started with the wheels,” says Peter, a Tool and Die maker by trade. “I designed and machined the centres, which featured scallops and milled lines and that pretty much set the theme for the whole car.” Then thanks to Centre Tooling and my very patient, helpful sons, the machining began. C-DEUCE features a host of one-off components including the push-rod-style front end and one-off independent rear end. Even the Jaguar V12 is hybrid, as it’s had late-model four-valve heads adapted to the old-school block, which was bored out to 6.0-litres. “I liked the look of the stretched rods,” says Peter, “then the big hole needed something to fill the space, so I went to the V12 to fill in the six-inch-longer chassis.” The distinctive HOK colour was chosen after much discussion between the Millers and Trevor Davis Auto Refinishers – al felt it perfectly suited the style and theme of the roadster. There is a huge amount of detail on this car, even the leather interior by Kool Trim features the scalloped theme used throughout C-DEUCE. With so many pieces made from scratch, this really is a one-off hot rod.
Gareth Davies – Chopper – Southern Comfort Gareth Davies has unveiled a new bike every year, for the last 10 years and MotorEx 14 is no different. The theme for this HOK Orion Silver bike has been inspired by the famous WWII fighter plane – the P51 Mustang. “Even the name, Southern Comfort, has a WW II connection,” says Gareth. “Joe Webb [the man responsible for all the airbrush work] and I were looking through some war plane books for inspiration and we spotted a photo of actual WWII bomber with Southern Comfort painted on the nose. We both liked the name and it stuck.” Sothern Comfort’s frame is hand-fabricated to Gareth’s specifications. From there, the fuel tank, guards, oil tank and belly pan have been moulded in around the frame. Gareth calls the raised lip that runs down the centre of the hand-made guards and fuel tank, ‘the Mowhawk’. Naturally it’s been airbrushed with rivets to tie in with the P51 Mustang theme. Originally three-spoke, propeller-style wheels were considered, however they didn’t quite look right and were swapped to a five spoke design – that still incorporates propeller styling elements. Turning the 250mm rear tyre (matched to a 21-inch front) is a 125hp, 113-cube Ultima Evo-based engine. It has been dressed in numerous black bits that contrast nicely with the Orion Silver. Overall frame stretch was kept to strict legal specs, however the tank has been mounted higher to make it look like an eight-inch stretch. “I only build bikes that can be registered and ridden,” says Gareth, “it’s 100 percent legal, with lights, blinkers, horn, everything.” With 20 years of bike building experience to his credit, what’s next? Gareth’s ultimate goal is to keep building a host of new bikes with extra special build each year to debut at Meguiar’s MotorEx. We think that’s a bloody good life goal to have.
John Saad – 1972 Mazda RX3 – FATRX3 This incredible HOK Galaxy Grey RX3 is not the first show stopping Mazda that John Saad’s brought to Meguiar’s MotorEx. His previous, two-tone RX3 finished in HOK Majestic blue and HOK Galaxy Grey took out the gold medal for Street Elite paint at MotorEx 10. As slick as RXXX3 was, John’s all-new beast, FATRX3, is not just the next level, it’s a whole new stratosphere! John has gone to the absolute extreme, there’s not much more that could be possibly done. “Mazda’s are not your typical show car,” says John. “I wanted to build a car to change that perception. I want this car to earn the respect that it deserves. Plus winning a few trophies would nice as well.” Looking at the sheer level of detail and quality of finish that abounds in this mighty sedan, it’s definitely mission accomplished. CS Engineering did most of the fabrication worked and isn’t there some. The engine bay and underside have been completely smoothed, while the body has been lowered down over the chassis. The strut front end has been replaced with a double A-arm design, while a triangulated four-link anchors the Doorslammer-style Mark Williams modular diff. John was adamant that FATRX3 remain instantly recognisable, he didn’t want to lose that classic Mazda look. However every panel has been significantly massaged, every edge has been raduiused, there’s not a sharp edge or join in sight. The bonnet now opens forward (opposite to original), the bars are sucked into the body and the radiator support panel has been moulded in and around the radiator and intercooler. Custom Bodyworks was tasked with getting it all ‘straight as’ and laying on the sumptuous HOK Galaxy Grey. Turning those massive 22-inch rear rollers is a Cosmo 13B turbo that’s good for around 450 horses at the treads. Hauling FATRX3 back to a stop is colossal 16-inch discs and six-spot calipers all ’round. All in all, this is arguably the world’s best RX3 and is destined to become the benchmark against which all others will be judged.
Robert Zahabi – 1970 Nova – KAM Nova This brutal-looking, HOK Jet Black 1970 Nova is the latest blockbuster from the workshop of Rides by Kam. At Meguiar’s MotorEx 2010, KAM proprietor, Robert Zahabi blew everyone away with his ballsy yellow Camaro – which went onto achieve SEMA Top 15. And the KAM NOVA has been built with similar goals in mind. After the massive 22-inch rear rolling stock and the low, low stance thanks to the Ridetech airbags, the most in-your-face aspect of the Nova is its twin F2 Prochargers hanging off the 572-cube big-block. These billet beauties are symmetrical and were custom made for this car. “It hasn’t been dyno’d,” says Rob, “however it made 800 without the blowers. So we’re expecting somewhere around 1200-plus.” A lot of trouble went into ensuring symmetry throughout the Nova – even the PWR radiator sports symmetrically-positioned twin fillers and overflows. Another novel feature is the monstrous Brembo brake package inside the painted billet wheels. Brembo themselves custom engineered this kit which includes 400mm front rotors and six-piston calipers. A lot of engineering went into this car to make everything work in harmony, there’s also a host of body mods. “There’s not one part of this car that hasn’t been customised,” says Rob, “and it’s all done in steel.” All the moulds have been deleted, with metal added in to smooth off those areas. There’s a custom front spoiler and the Nova has received an 80mm sill drop that runs seamlessly across to the beefed up chassis. Less noticeable is the raised floor to clear the cavernous four-inch exhaust, with nothing hanging down. The underside has been smoothed, without a fluid hose in sight – they all run through the chassis. There’s not a single piece of polish on this car and that theme is carried through to the interior. Every aluminium strip, vent, knob, handle – even the column was either painted or anodized black. All of which gives the KAM Nova a brutal-sinister appearance.
Johnny Centi – Chopper – Gold Rush There’s absolutely nothing subtle about Johnny C’s HOK, Zenith Gold, chopper, Gold Rush. And it’s not just the bold flake offset by the intricately-pinstriped, pearl-white scallops that are the major attention grabbers, there’s also that whacking great 300 soft tail rear end! Between the riders legs sits a TP 124-cuber from the states, which churns out a thumping 150hp at the tyre. It’s fully-polished, as is the six-speed gearbox and open-belt primary. In fact Gold Rush sports a multitude of beautifully-polished billet accessories. The CME front end, modern running gear and the billet pieces are in contrast to the classic flake and pin striping, making Gold Rush a mix of old and new school. However it all works beautifully together. “I love old school, 60s stuff,” says Johnny, “which is why I chose that colour. Its killer, I was born in the wrong era.” The spokes of the Extreme Machine, billet wheels flow into a point at the hub, as does the tips of grips and the hand-fabricated guards. A lot of people comment on Gold Rush’s guards, as they definitely don’t look, ‘off the shelf.’ The addition of a white seat allows the centre GT stripe to flow the full length of the bike. “I like building anything that takes petrol,” says Johnny C, “including cars and bikes.” In keeping with this, Johnny recently opened a new business, Extreme Customs, of which Gold Rush is the first creation. Although Johnny C built it for himself, it’s definitely a bit of promotion, which is why he went so radical. After getting the frame built about a year and half ago, Johnny the set about getting the overall design right in his head, along with collecting all the necessary bits ‘n’ pieces. It was then a big effort over the last six months to get it finished for MotorEx. “It’s been like a biker build off, getting it done in time,” says Johnny C. Meguiar’s MotorEx is pretty happy he did, what a stunner!
Adam Rogash – 2000 Clubsport – NOSHOW Adam Rogash’s NO SHOW 2000 Clubsport is extremely well known in the Commodore community and is a street/strip weapon that has run 9.70@146mph with the factory IRS, airbags and full interior! “That was as fast as the car could go,” says Adam. “We had to detune the heck out of it, the more power it made, the worse it would run.” While 9.7 is fast, Adam had his heart set on mid-eights. Time for a revamp. Just six, short weeks ago, Adam dragged NO SHOW into his workshop, MPW Performance, and tore it apart. The most obvious change is the new HOK Cobalt Blue paint scheme. However underneath is equally different. A proper four-link replaces the IRS to enable NO SHOW to put the power down. Other rear end additions include tubs, full-on, Strange nine-inch with fully floating hubs, along with a wing and parachute – all of which required extensive sheet metal work. Up front there’s 90/10 drag struts to help with weight transfer and there’s also a six-point roll cage for safety reasons. Adam’s Clubbie has lost weight thanks the stripped-out interior that has been painted just as immaculately as the exterior. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right says,” Adam “What’s the point of doing things by halves? Besides, it is an advertisement for my business.” Engine wise, the 419-cube LS has a new cam and the single turbo has made way for a better-flowing, twin 69mm billet Turbonetics set-up, complete with an all-new intake. This new combo should push power from an unusable-938hp at the tyres to around 1500 (at the crank). Which should certainly help with those mid-eight aspirations. Although the car is now a lot angrier, it’s still street registered. And all the work that has gone into the fresh build won’t stop NO SHOW from seeing street duties, nor getting out and running that magic, mid-eight number.
Graham Lineker – 1932 Tudor “This is not a show car,” declares Graham Lineker about his amazing HOK Shimrin II, Gamma Gold, ’32 Tudor. “I built it at home in the garage. We barely got it finished in time for the show, but if everything had fallen into place, I would have driven home from MotorEx.” If this is Graham’s idea of a streeter, I’d like to see what he’s capable of if he deliberately set out to build a show stopper? What’s even more amazing is that this is Graham’s first hot rod. “I’m a member of Marsh Rodders,” he says. “There’s a lot of high-class, elite quality rods in the club, so the members all had mountains of good advice for me during the build.” Forming the basis of Graham’s stunning ’32 is a Rod City chassis that has been outfitted with a four-bar rear and hairpins up front, complete with Super Bell alloy axle. At either end of this four-inch dropped beauty, is a pair of So-Cal disc brakes concealed inside Buick-style finned drum covers. Graham was looking for a very traditional 60s look with modern driveline, so he opted for an alloy Cleveland-headed 427-cube small-block Windsor that pumps out a very stout 650hp on PULP. Like the body, CAD Elite Body & Paint covered the chassis in the same HOK Shimrin II, Gamma Gold. With the chassis and driveline sorted, Deuce Customs built the Tudor body to suit. This is a family car, which needs a proper back seat. Which is the whole reason Graham opted for the Tudor body style. In keeping with the traditional theme, the ’32 retains the exposed door hinges, rear-mounted fuel tank, motorcycle guards, push-out front screen and cowl scoop. This all works nicely with the black Bomber Series gauges, bronze-tinted windows, replica 40s steering wheel, ET Gasser and ET Fueler wheels, complete with BF Goodrich whitewall radials. “You only ever get to build you first hot rod once and I can’t believe how well it turned out,” says Graham, “I just wanted to build a car to get into the hot rodding scene a bit more.” It’s a story we’re all too familiar with, welcome to the club mate!
Alexander Grozdanoski – Chopper – Scarface Scarface is the name of Alex Grozdanoski’s insane chopper, and one look at this amazing bike and you’ll be in no doubt the movie of the same name his is his all-time favourite. ‘It’s a very powerful movie,” says Alexander, “I love the quotes.” The bike features murals inspired by classic scenes from the movie, while the oil tank features two of Alex’s favourite quotes from the movie; ‘everyday above the ground is a god day’ and ‘I always tell the truth, even when I’m lying.’ With the image of twin 9mm hand guns crossing over and the words; Money, Power, Women embossed into the leather of the seat, even it carries the Scarface theme. As does the custom shifter rod that’s been accentuated with bullet shells. To create this wild machine, Alex started with a US Kraft Tech frame finished in HOK Pagan Gold and outfitted with a Dragon front end. To add more excitement, it the paint features heavy silver flake along with extensive 24-caret gold plating. Engine rocker covers, primary heat shield, headlight, gearbox covers, exhaust covers – even the fully-usable chain is gold plated! For grunt a 113cc Ultima engine was given the nod, which has been outfitted with contrasting black hoses and black/silver Pro Flow aircraft fittings. Thanks to the mill’s high comp and big cams, it’s good for 120rwhp – which makes it a very angry, torquey bike. Luckily it’s equipped with a fat 330mm-wide rear tire, which looks just right against the 23-inch tall front. Scarface has been two years in the making, with Alex making a big push to get it finished in such a short time once he heard that MotorEx was heading to his home town of Melbourne for the very first time. It’s definitely going to be a MotorEx highlight.
Graham Laity – 1969 Camaro – GLLS7 (REEMED) Although this is Graham Laity’s first real show car, he’s owned plenty of desirable iron in the past – all of which have been tough, fast streeters. And his HOK Brandywine ’69 Camaro, REEMED is no different. “I’m going to show it a couple of times, then drive it like I stole it”, says Graham. Look out when he does, as this hard-core, Pro Touring, genuine RS will be plenty quick, especially in the corners. TCI supplied all the suspension, including a completely re-engineered front clip that incorporates all-new, double-A-arm suspension with modern geometry and sturdy uprights. Out back is one of TCI’s three-link set-ups, which is similar to the design utilised in Camaros right up to 2002. With coil-overs at each corner it’s all fully adjustable. Except for the chrome plated and heat-treated sway bars most of the trick suspension pieces are polished stainless, while virtually everything else under the Camaro is painted in HOK Galaxy Grey. Inside the huge 19×12 and 18×8.5 Rushforth wheels is massive six-piston (rear) and four-piston (front) Wilwood brakes – which work a treat with the ultra-sticky, circuit ready Nitto rubber. REEMED is not lacking in the power department either thanks to its 550hp, 7.0-litre (427ci) LS7 crate motor – complete with factory dry sump system. Backing this prodigious mill is a Tremec Magnum T56 six-speed. Holding Graham’s bum in place is reshaped Corbeau seats that have been covered in imported Scottish leather – it’s the only Australian car to feature this unique leather. Since he was a kid, Graham has always wanted a real, real tough ’69 Camaro – nailed it!
Tony Morphett – 1969 Mustang Fastback – KOO-11 The ’69 fastback Mustang was one of Detroit’s best looking shapes, ever. With a garage filled factory-original, Aussie GT Falcons, Tony Morphett, knew better than mess with this Stang’s classic lines. Rather his slick HOK Orion Silver Mach 1 pays homage to the tough muscle cars of 60s. Tony never set out to build a wild Stang, it just sort of happened. He saw the car for sale on a car for sale on a trailer, complete with bullet holes. Tony decided to take it on and restore it back to its former glory. However it turned out quite a bit different to that. It’s about this point that Creative Custom Cars came into the picture. “These are guys are responsible for doing all the work,” says Tony, “I was basically just the gopher.” Creative moulded the factory taillight and headlight caps into the body and deleted other joints including the cowl. The rear wheel arches have been lowered, while the fronts have been raised to clear the tall, muscle car-style tyres wrapped around the 15-inch diameter Halibrand Swirl wheels – which house BMW and Nissan four-spot disc brakes. Beefing up the muscle quotient, is an all-aluminium, 427-cube Windsor topped with an eight throttle body EFI set-up. Next in line is a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed, followed by a nine-inch complete with aluminium pinion support. To improve handing, aftermarket top arms were added along with coil-overs up front, with an RRS power rack helping out with left-to right steering swap. Out back a triangulated four-link and coil-overs plant the rear hides. Inside the custom dash was based on the original, but is substantially different. For improved ergonomics, XF Falcon wiper and blinker controls have been grafted atop the Mustang column. Seating is now 2+2, with the fuel tank relocated to between the rear wheel wells. As trick as Tony’s Mustang has turned out, he’s adamant it’s going to see plenty of miles. More so he’s decided to get stuck into another project to be finished when Meguiar’s MotorEx heads back to Melbourne in 2016.