Despite (or maybe because of) the rain, the attendees at this year’s Asphalt Demons Invitational were as happy as high-powered pigs in mud

Photographers: Pete Walker

RAIN normally spells disaster for an outdoor car event, but there were no such issues when the heavens opened on the Asphalt Demons 7th Invitational at the Archer Falls Airfield (north-west of Brisbane) last Saturday – the precipitation merely added to the fun.

Okay, it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops in the lead-up to the event, with the original October date rescheduled due to rain. That might seem ironic when looking at these pics, but South East Queensland had copped a pizzling at that time and left the grounds resembling a lake, far better suited to pleasure craft of the keeled kind.

So with the event moved to November, Demons head-honcho Bill Taylor and his crew got the facilities back up to scratch and welcomed all pre-1969 rides – as befits the club’s culture. Everything from traditional US-styled rods and customs, cornerstone Aussie classics, cool choppers and even a Bedford truck were let loose to slip and slide their way through a day of incredible fun, yet again reinforcing why the Invitational is hands-down the best shindig on the yearly planner for me and many other like-minded folk.

Studebaker1. Juice Walton’s wild 1949-with-a-’50-front Studebaker is more accustomed to burning up the Warwick eighth-mile, but he decided to try his luck with slicks on the slippery Archer Falls track. Juice’s Stude runs a Hilborn-injected 490 big-block Chev backed by a Powerglide and short 5.6-geared nine-inch, and was the star of this year’s Aden Jacobi-penned Invitational poster. “He drew the propeller on the front as a nod to the airstrip connection,” Juice said. “It inspired me to get busy and I soon had the functioning real deal sorted. It’s just for today though; not sure they’d be too happy about it at the drags!”

1957 Chev2. Steve Williams’s tough ’57 Chev obliterated the dirt track with blown big-block power and straight-line, tractor pull-styled rooster tails!

Willys roadster3. Candy green paint with endless line striping adorns Bowie Pollard’s latest ride, a 1930 Willys roadster channelled low and powered by a worked L98 six-litre, backed by a 4000-stall Powerglide and 4.11-geared rear end. Power-to-weight is heavily in the Willys’ favour and Bowie is hoping to crack a 10-second pass when he decides it’s time to purposely achieve traction.

harley-davidson flathead4. Beatnik Warren Rigby was one of a number of bike riders who braved the super-slippery conditions to cut some passes. His weapon of choice runs a 1940 WLA Harley-Davidson flathead with a magneto ignition and Triumph four-speed gearbox using a suicide clutch. The carb is a 32mm Amal, while the gas tanks are BSA Bantam with the centre section removed. Combine that with the coolest of bubble helmets and you have a perfect Invitational two-wheel runner!

1931 Model A coupe5. Chris Mills’s 1931 Model A coupe is as sweet as pie, but don’t ever mistake it for a show pony – the 331-cube hemi with a quartet of 2bbl Strombergs is backed by a ’Glide and 31-spline nine-inch, and was driven hard all day. The chopped and channelled body is beautifully proportioned and wore its newfound mud coating with pride.

Holden ute6. One of the most entertaining entrants at AD#7 was Mik Barker, who endlessly wailed on his Holden ute in the sprints and donut pad. Under the Mopar six-pack scoop is a bulletproof 396 big-block Chev backed by a Turbo 400 and nine-inch, which spent time powering a couple of his previous rides before being nestled in the ute 15 years ago.

VE Valiant wagon7. Malcolm McIntosh’s VE Valiant wagon has the crispest-sounding 408-stroker small-block you’re likely to hear, and runs in the high 10s over the quarter. Mal decided to give dirt sprints a go this time ’round, and had a ball: “We’ve laughed our arses off all day and it’s totally worth the clean-up needed underneath tomorrow,” he enthused.

Daihatsu nostalgia racer8. Tim Roberts and his wife Laura pulled out all stops to have her neat little Daihatsu nostalgia racer, Monster Mash, finished for the day’s shenanigans. Unfortunately, carburettor issues with the Holden red six-cylinder donk put paid to the couple’s chances to achieve a clean run.

Valiant AP59. Don’t let the patina and stock look of Callum Scott’s AP5 Valiant – suitably dubbed Pat – fool you; its 225ci slant-six runs a draw-through turbo set-up with water-methanol injection and a boost-retard ignition module, while a 904 Torqueflite and 28-spline LSD BorgWarner 3.23:1 round out the driveline. If there’s mischief to be had, then Cal is always front and centre, and when he wasn’t power-sliding up the main track in his Val or Dodge 300 trayback, he was throwing hoops in the mud pit in his bogie-drive Freightliner water truck!