World famous custom car builder John D’Agostino will make a special trip to Sydney’s Olympic Park Dome to cast judgement on Australia’s finest customised cars, in the first staging of the ‘Kavalcade of Kustoms’ display at Meguiar’s MotorEx 12 on July 21-22.
Californian-based D’Agostino, who owns Kustom Kars of California and has won more major awards than anyone in the history of car customising, will cast his critical eye across 40 of the best ‘kustoms’ ever assembled in Australia. The inaugural Kavalcade of Kustoms will also including ‘Mercury Lane’ – 10 highly customised Ford Mercury classics lined up together, with some still in their bare sheet metal and others partly-built to give MotorEx visitors a rare insight into the workmanship required to build these incredible cars.
The Kavalcade of Kustoms is sure to impress guest judge D’Agostino, who will not only meet and greet show goers but also join the judging panel and present a special handmade trophy to the owner of the car he chooses as his personal favourite. The huge display is presented with the support of local award-winning custom car builder Mario Colalillo, whose Aussie-built ‘Wild Cad’ ’59 Cadillac won the prestigious ‘King Of Customs’ at the 2011 Sacramento Autorama in the US.
John D’Agostino’s presence at MotorEx 12 is a huge honour for event organisers and a big attraction for modified car enthusiasts, as he is widely regarded as a king of car customising on a global scale. Born in California, D’Agostino started building and customising scale models as a child, so his destiny was sealed from an early age.
Since then his incredible hand-crafted cars have been displayed at more than 1000 shows worldwide and featured in almost every automotive publication throughout the world. His unique kustoms have also won ‘World’s Most Beautiful Custom’ car honours and countless ‘Best of Show’ and ‘Most Popular Car’ awards. D’Agostino has also been inducted into the Academy Awards of Automobile Excellence, the San Francisco Rod and Custom, Kustom Kemps of America and the Sacremento Legends of the Autorama. In total, he has seven Hall of Fame honours, including the Oakland Grand National Roadster Hall of Fame and Darryl Starbird Hall of Fame.
World famous toy car maker Mattel has even immortalised some of D’Agostino’s work in miniature by producing 1:64 scale versions of his cars as part of its collectable Hot Wheels range. And most of his customs are on display at the famous Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California and Darryl Starbird’s Hall of Fame Museum in Afton, Oklahoma.
Custom cars are distinct from hot rods, being based on later model classic cars from the 1950s and ‘60s with extreme levels of modification – particularly to the standard bodywork and paint – to make them look unlike any other car.
Customising has also created its own unique terminology, including ‘lead sled’ (molten lead used to form smooth panel joins), ‘chopping’ (lowering the roof), ‘sectioning’ (narrowing the car’s side profile) ‘channeling’ (lowering the body on its frame) and ‘frenching’ (making lights, aerials etc look sunken into the body) to name a few. This exacting car craft has also created some of the wildest developments in paint technology, which started in the 1960s with the deep transparent look of ‘candy-apple’ and ‘metalflake’ finishes that produced brilliant effects. This burgeoning garage-based industry soon inspired rapid development of the highly advanced commercial paints available today from some of the world’s top automotive paint manufacturers.