THE old saying goes, ‘build it and they will come.’ Well MotorActive built it and enthusiasts flocked to Meguiar’s MotorEx Melbourne in record numbers. Over the weekend of July 19 to 20, some 28,400 spectators piled through the gates of the Melbourne Showgrounds to be enthralled by three halls bursting with spectacular vehicles and cutting edge exhibitors. That’s a MotorEx attendance record! On top of this, almost another 10,000 viewers tuned into the six hours of action that was Livestreamed across the Saturday and Sunday. Comments floating around social media on the days following included, “biggest indoor show Melbourne has ever seen,” and “best show ever.”
High praise indeed, however nobody could argue that MotorEx Melbourne was brimming with interesting machinery, with each pavilion having a unique, yet equally-good vibe all the weekend. As always, Saturday morning’s FreeStyle Rides Inauguration was a huge crowd puller, with impressive crowds filling all available floor space. For 2014, the delectable FreeStyle Rides lovelies, Hayley and Monique slid the covers off nine killer cars and three wild bikes. It was ohhs, ahhs and rousing applause all ’round.
Meguiar’s MotorEx is Australia’s premier indoor show and never fails to attract Australia’s largest field of super-elite show stoppers – and MotorEx Melbourne was definitely no exception. A phenomenal 38 of Australia’s absolute-best, modified vehicles (23 of which had never been seen in Melbourne before) fought it out for ultimate bragging rights and over $50,000 in prize money – not to mention the imposing, masterpiece billet trophies.
With the judges scores tallied, there were a couple of standout victors. Nathan Borg’s giant-killing Datsun 1600 ute took out Meguiar’s Best of Breed Street Machine and a swag of Superstars Open awards, including; four gold medals, two silver and a bronze – this ballistic machine is one of the very few cars in Meguiar’s Superstars history to score a score a medal in every category!
The other top accolade at MotorEx, Best of Breed Hot Rod, went to second generation hot rodder, Chris Langford with his ultra-clean 1932 Ford coupe. Another big trophy winner was Inaugurated-entrant, John Saad, who had the covers slid off his over-the top, HOK galaxy Grey Mazda RX3. This sensationally-finished, feature-packed, pocket-rocket also picked a host of trophies including; a gold, two silver and a bronze.
3M Street Elite is the biggest and fastest-growing category at MotorEx and made up the vast proportion of the impressive FreeStyle Rides pavilion. Standing atop the pavilion’s entry foyer, spectators couldn’t help but be completely gobsmacked as they looked out across the vast, glittering array of awesome machinery. A number of spectators were heard to comment, “you mean there’s still another two halls to go!”
Being the biggest MotorEx category, also means 3M Street Elite is fiercely competitive. With new competitors going all-out for chance to make the winners roll call. When the dust had settled, the four, premier, 3M Street Elite Pinnacle awards went to; Reece Christensen (Street Machine) in his 1960 Chevy Biscayne, Jeffery Jorgensen (Hot Rod) in his marron 1941 Willys Roadster, Paul Vanzella (Custom Cruizer) in his Richard Zochi-built 1960 Dodge Pioneer and Shane Kennett (Tuner) in his ballistic 2002 Ford Laser.
With the rise in popularity of classic Aussie and American muscle cars, Muscle Car Marvel is another MotorEx highlight. The VE Club, Falcon GT Club of Australia, REV Classics and the HSV Owners Club all came out in force for MotorEx 14, supported by a host of individual Muscle Car Marvel entrants. However it was the Falcon GT Club of Australia that cleaned up big time. They not only took out Best Club display, club member, Peter Rujanoski, picked up Best Factory Muscle with his immaculate, Starlight Blue 1970 XW Phase II GTHO.
With different hosts putting together Real Street Blvd on Saturday and Sunday, the roll up of cars on each day was polar opposites. For Saturday, 100mm arranged predominantly late-model, tuner cars. While Alfa Fibreglass assembled a far more traditional array of cars on Sunday. Both were favourites, attracting a constant flow of appreciative spectator traffic. This broad diversity is one of the key elements in the overriding popularity of Meguiar’s MotorEx.
The Touring Car Masters and Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-hour machinery were a big hit with spectators and international celebrities alike. Rev-head at heart, race driver and international movie mega-star, Eric Bana, swung past on Sunday to check out the F.X.D-sponsored Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 he co-drove at the 2014 12-Hour. Mr Bana was also a great sport, enthusiastically posing for numerous happy snaps. Savy Motorsport had the four-drivers from the four TCM front runners they field, on hand for signings. Also putting pen to poster several times over the weekend was John Bowe, Gary Myers, Jake Myers and Jack Le Brocq (Erebus GT Racing).
Continuing with Motorsport theme of the Liqui-Moly Performance Garage, MotorEx featured representatives from various drag racing categories along with a ten-strong, burnout corral. The corral had a crowd around them all weekend, with many spectators being invited to sit in the cars for a memorable photo op. A burnout standout was Michael Dobell’s silver tonner, MR-HQ-2U, with its giant metal mountain bursting out the bonnet. It was one of the most photographed cars at Meguiar’s MotorEx Melbourne.
Across the weekend, a number of cars were strapped to the Dyno Dymanics truth machine (aka, DynoTech chassis dyno). With an eye-watering 749rwhp, Yella Terra’s development mule set the top power figure. The APS-tuned, silver GTS features a 6.2-litre LS3 with upgraded internals and is topped with Yella Terra’s new 2.9-litre Enforcer supercharger. Every time a car ran, spectators stool several deep to watch the rage in the cage.
And when we say Meguiar’s MotorEx Melbourne had it all, we really mean it. There was Holden’s brilliant concept cars (Efijy, Coupe 60 and Hurricane) with GM Holden’s Design Director, Richard Ferlazzo, on hand contentedly chatting with spectators all weekend. All 108 traders reported brisk business with a number literally run off their feet. The Fox Museum had their metal craftsman in action, there was live detailing exhibitions, rare exotica and more merchandise than you could poke a stick at.
Capping it all off was Australian Hip Hop royalty, Bliss N Eso. The trio of Jonathon, Max and Tarik brought the house down when the officially debuted their insane House of Kolor Limetime green VW Kombi which doubles as a mobile DJ booth. Their impromptu performance really got the crowd pumped up.
MotorActive took the decision to alternate Meguiar’s MotorEx between Sydney and Melbourne to keep the show fresh and maintain interest. With 70 per cent new entrants and a record 28,400 spectators through the door – that’s two big ticks. Well done Melbourne! We can’t wait to see what Sydney does to top that for MotorEx 2015. Bring it on!