Cruising For Catherine House car show in Adelaide

Plenty of Adelaide’s finest rides rocked up to Gaza Oval to show off for a good cause

Photographers: Troy Barker

ON SUNDAY 31 October, we trundled along to Adelaide’s Gaza Oval to check out the Cruising For Catherine House car show. Rob Bruno is the passionate coordinator behind the event, created to celebrate the life of his son Anthony, who passed away in 2019. Rob felt compelled to give back to the community, first building the Heaven’s Lion Den car club last year, and now this show, with all proceeds going to the Catherine House charity, which assists women experiencing homelessness.

The event was open to pretty much anything on wheels, and Rob was pleasantly surprised by the turn-out. “We had 180 registered entries, plus a few more arrived on the day, so I’d say about 220-230 arrived,” he said.

Among the automotive finery on show was Anthony Barone’s ’67 VC Valiant with its stunning, mile-deep black paint. The unforgiving hue just made the Val’s beautiful bodywork even more apparent. Anthony’s had the Val for the past 35 years; his dad bought him the car when he was only 15 years old. More recently, the entire rig has copped a freshen-up from top to tail. Under the bonnet is a 273ci backed by a 904 trans, along with a narrow full-floater nine-inch suited to the mini-tubbed rear.

Drenched in glistening PPG Candy Apple Red, this Pro Customs-built ’64 Ford Falcon Sprint coupe was a stand-out. What started as a “paintjob and nice rims” morphed into a five-year build resulting in this dazzling Hot Wheels-style beauty. The customised cream vinyl interior nicely balances the bright exterior, and while it oozes show car vibes, the coupe’s street-legal and sports a stout 347ci Ford donk, C4 and nine-inch.

We spotted the tray of Reece Giles’s Tonner at full tilt from across the oval, and it only become cooler upon closer inspection. The thongslapper-powered, HQ Stato-fronted HZ is lowered two inches and rides on Aunger jellybean rims.

The crowd were certainly drawn to Vinnie Pratico’s HK Prem (SM, Sep ’21). Rolling on fat and skinny Center Lines, the tough, 630hp sedan epitomises many Adelaide revheads’ dream ride.

Nothing screams ‘muscle car’ more than an SL/R 5000. Not only is Jason Hannam’s tidy LX detailed to the hilt, it also goes like the clappers thanks to an iron-lion 355ci stroker, manualised Trimatic and toughened Borgy rear.

Event coordinator Rob Bruno bought his VU new in 2009, though his then 10-year-old son Anthony claimed it as his own. After Anthony’s passing in 2019, Rob modified the car in his son’s honour, doing all of the mods that Anthony had always wanted, from a poky 450hp LS through to a belly-scraping stance and fresh rolling stock.

Adam Roe’s owned his the VK Commodore BT1 Interceptor for 24 years. Sporting fresh police-spec powder-blue paint from a recent freshen-up, the ex-cop car retains its SL blue trim, upgraded FE2 suspension and larger master cylinder.

Adelaide Rev Heads club member Giro Fontanarosa unexpectedly passed away only a few days prior to the show, but stoic family members drove Giro’s AP5 Valiant in his honour, with a one-minute silence held mid-morning. Giro owned a small fleet of sweet cruisers that he’d hop behind the wheel of several times per week. A true gentleman who will be missed.

Youngest entrant on the oval would have to be Kody Booms with his recently finished Holden Tonner. The HX sports an L- and P-plate-friendly 202ci six, with Kody getting on the tools throughout the build, including wielding the spray gun. Young Gun feature soon!