ONE of the best things about Chopped is seeing the variety of new machinery that turns up. Like any good show, it’s almost impossible to have a good look at them all.
This year’s offerings included the on-point traditional rods and customs you’d expect from this event, along with some very staunch gassers, a Moon-esque dragster, some Drag Challenge veterans, some cool panel vans and more.
Narrowing them down to a personal top 10 is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
1. Petey Freestone created his Bossin gasser thanks to an Austin A50 ute from Gumtree popped on top of a home-built chassis, with a stout 421ci Pontiac engine up front. “I started building it for Chopped 2017, which didn’t happen, so then got back into it and finished in time for Throttle Stomp,” Petey said. “I wanted to emulate what they built in the 60s.”
2. Deniliquin’s Stephen Beckwith nicked the keys to his daughter Rhiannon Hayes’s EH wagon to cut a shed-tonne of track laps and enough skids to keep a tyre shop in business. Under the hood is a stout 383-cuber paired with a Powerglide and nine-inch rear.
3. Bruce ‘Stork’ Callow’s now-iconic tribute HDT pano was piloted by Ryan Ford throughout the weekend, drawing an instant crowd every time it fired up. And Ryan wasn’t afraid to sink the boot into the loud pedal either, geeing up the punters with whipping 360s and mega-smoky full-track burnouts as the blown 454ci big-block Chevy roared in delight.
4. Richard Townsend took his show-style 60s-inspired gasser on its first track blat, proving that the ’33 Chev two-door sedan is not just a pretty face. The 400ci mill had so much more left in it too; needless to say, Richard’s keen to get it to a Nostalgia event to run a time.
5. One of the coolest rides at Chopped was the ’63 Dodge Phoenix gasser owned by Jesse Bourke. Powered by a 454ci big-block Chev sporting a 6/71 blower, it has 630hp at the flywheel and has run an 11.03sec PB down the quarter-mile.
6. There’s something quite remarkable about witnessing a 50s dragster run on a country roadway, and Cameron Harris was the bloke ballsy enough to do it. “It turned the tyres the whole way, and I even got it on a 45-degree angle at one stage and was looking at the hay bales,” he said. “I was steering it every pass.”
7. Dubbed Locomotion, this CF Bedford is a true survivor and a previous Custom Vans & Trucks cover car. Pablow and Sarah are the current custodians and have begun resurrecting the shaggin’ wagon, and they camped out of the Beddy for the duration of Chopped.
8. Lyndon Grant’s ’28 roadster atop a ’30 chassis was first built for Rattletrap 2018 and did remarkably well on the blacktop. The ’banger-powered, ’30-fronted jalopy didn’t skip a beat all weekend and produced its fair share of tyre-smoking action. “I added new plugs, leads and coil, and it’s the best it’s ever gone,” Lyndon said.
9. Eighteen-year-old Wyatt Cronin was recently gifted his grandfather’s ’61 Studebaker and figured it needed a Chopped debut. “It’d been sitting for 47 years; this is its first time out,” Wyatt said. The trans lost drive, but it was soon swapped out, allowing Wyatt to run countless passes with the 259ci Stude V8; he even mustered a few nod-worthy skids.
10. 2018 Drag Challenge entrant Simon Jones used the track time at Chopped to take mates for rides in his 347ci Windsor-powered, ’41-fronted ’37 Willys roadster, before parking up to chill out with a few coldies and watch from the sidelines.