Adelaide Auto Expo highlights

The second of two Adelaide Auto Expos for 2021 brought forth a battalion of automotive treasure. Here are a few of the cars that caught our eye

Photographers: Troy Barker

WHEN Geof Tartoosie boldly stated at the time of the last Adelaide Auto Expo in January that he planned to run the whole thing again on 12-13November, we honestly reckoned he’d be lucky to pull it off. While COVID lockdowns seemed slightly less likely this time around, the sheer effort and organisation required to make two premier car shows happen in a year made it a daunting task to say the least. But he got it done and the November event at Adelaide Showground in Wayville went off without a hitch, with a cavalcade of incredible metal on show.

While interstate guests were a slim showing for obvious reasons, it didn’t harm the quality and variety of builds on offer. Make no mistake, the Radelaide crew know how to turn out high-end, street-legal, mega-horsepower rides. Here are some of our favourites.

Finished in silky PPG Juicy Orange, Joe Esposito’s 1968 Camaro packs a behemoth 615ci Chevy big-block topped by a blow-through C&S carby and fed by two 96mm Turbonetics snails. The whole lot is getting engineered, too, including those huge 20×18 Billet Specialties rims under the rear.

Joe took home Runner-Up – Elite, Runner-Up –Engine Bay & Components and Runner-Up – Undercarriage & Driveline.

Brenton Dalwood unveiled his beautiful ’35 Ford coupe to great fanfare on Friday night, then took out every single top Elite award plus a MotorEx invite. Brenton and son Brad went crazy on the phenomenally detailed coupe, turning out a plethora of bespoke pieces. The vivid PPG Amber Illusion-painted Ford is tastefully finished with tan undertones and a measured dose of brightwork. The driveline offers stout functionality in the form of an SBC/TH400/nine-inch combo.

Matt Mitchell’s spectacular PPG Licorice-coated ’71 Plymouth Barracuda is powered by a late-model 392ci Hemi and was built by his brother Andrew’s Auto Transformers team.

The interior sports a bunch of push-button gadgetry that’s set up for the wheelchair-bound Matt to be able to get in and out easily and drive via hand controls.

The highly refined ’Cuda took home Third – Elite, Runner-Up – Paint and Runner-Up – Body, and also scored a MotorEx invite.

Another anticipated unveiling was Jason Waye’s Barra-powered 1989 Fox-body Mustang, FOXSAKE. The car will soon be heading across the border to Melbourne, where Adam Rogash from MPW Performance will finalise the tune. Jason built the car with Street Machine Drag Challenge in mind, so it should be able run reliable passes while also remaining streetable for the road legs. Feature soon!

Tony Ross’s 1959 FC sedan is a blast from the past. Tony built his tidy Holden in 1974 and scored Top Street Machine at the first Street Machine Nationals in 1975.

In 1977, Tony gave the FC to his brother and soon lost its whereabouts, only to find it languishing in a paddock 30 years later.

Thankfully, much of the original kit remains, though the body recently copped a much-needed bare-metal respray. Up front, Tony’s amped up the donk to a 192ci with a 100hp shot of nitrous.

Charlie Beatty’s stunning KB Centura (SM, Feb ’18) still looks fresh-as. He’s recently fixed the cracked 265ci block before further tidying the engine bay. “I’m a mechanic and I can’t leave it alone,” Charlie said. “I filled in a small hole where the heater hoses went through; then Trav from Warehouse 27 needed to respray the entire engine bay. Don’t paint a car in candy!” he laughed.

Another debut was Andrew Quin’s thongslapper-motivated, Windsor Blue HJ pano, complete with the early-style Sandman livery.

Andrew did much of the toiling on his once window-filled pano himself, finishing the five-year build a few months back to debut at the Majestic Vanners Van-In over the October long weekend.

Chris Horwood must have a strong painter’s arm, as his 1976 Ford F100 Supercab is one massive canvas. He’s slid a Walkinshaw Performance Pack LS1 up front, much to the chagrin of many Ford enthusiasts. Everything else copped an upgrade too, with a 4L60E trans backed by a four-linked nine-inch. American Legend rims round out the build – 18s up front and huge 20x10s at the rear.

Levi Chitty was down to the wire prepping his minty-fresh HZ One Tonner for the show. The ProCharged 400ci stroker should be good for 1000hp, and the rig is all geared for to be 100 per cent street legal.

While the newly trimmed seats only arrived as the show opened, that didn’t hamper the Tonner’s ability to take home the Top Engineered – Tuff Street award.

Fresh from their recent Red CentreNATS Top 10 gong, Kayla Barkla and Gavin Blowes rocked up with their tidy, LS-powered HG Kingswood to play in the outdoor show ’n’ shine on Saturday arvo.

Another award is headed to their mantelpiece in the form of Top Show – Street.

Car clubs are at the heart of our scene, so it was great to see a big club presence at the show. Adelaide’s largest club, the Street Machine Association of South Australia, had another excellent turnout with around 10 cars present, including three long-roofs on display. They headed home with the Club of the Show award.