Elite metal at Lardner Park Motorfest 2023

Two pavilions plus one huge show-and-shine!


Burnouts have always been a huge drawcard for Motorfest at Lardner Park, and this year’s show certainly delivered on that front, but that was only a slice of what was on offer.

For his first time running the event alongside John Pilla, co-organiser Glenn Everitt set out to curate two halls’ worth of high-end show cars and immaculate classics, plus a huge outdoor show-and-shine across Lardner Park’s sprawling grounds. “I sourced a good 80 to 100 show cars to fill out the pavilions,” he says. “You’d ring 10 people to get to one car, particularly with the Muscle Car Megastars, because they were all specific factory muscle cars, and you were trying not to double up on any of them.”

A huge variety of metal filled the outdoor show-and-shine, with sections catering for Survivor cars, British and Euro classics, old-school JDM classic and performance, special interest vehicles, racing icons of a golden era, and more. “We wanted to have as many people as possible bring their own cars into the venue on the day,” Glenn explains.

“We were charging patrons $45 to get in, but with a free Shannons show-and-shine vehicle pass available to help fill the enormous grounds; around the price range of similar events like MotorEx and that sort of thing. There were several thousand pre-booked tickets, which was great.”

We’ll bring you the full down-low on Motorfest 2023 in next month’s mag, but in the meantime, but until then, here’s some of our top show-and-shine picks!

Hayden Ivers’ Coca-Cola Mustang replica has to be one of the best around, thanks to exacting details right down to the correct WWII aircraft seatbelt releases. “It’s gotta look good, not just half-done,” he says, adding that it’s seen some Winton action. “I’ve raced HQs there for years, but to punt the Mustang around was really hard. I lost a couple of kilos!” It earned Hayden People’s Choice in the Muscle Car Megastars Pavilion.

Adrian Romandini’s 528 Hemi-swapped ’69 Charger was undoubtedly one of the biggest-cube cars in attendance. Adrian build the stunning 710hp Mopar over six years, doing as much as he could himself along the way despite having no real automotive background.

Arthur and Michael Azzopardi wowed with their factory Paxton-blown Studebaker Cruiser Super Lark R3. The 304ci Avanti mill runs a roller cam setup and four-barrel Carter, with a Powershift auto and 3.31 Dana 44 rear. Packed with NOS bits and finished in factory Golden Sand, it’s the culmination of a 10-year resto, Arthur’s owned the car for 25 years.

Matthew and Kimberley Thompson found this Warwick Yellow HK GTS in a South Australian garage, where it had spent the last 25 years. “It still had most of the parts, we were lucky,” Matthew laughs. Simon Pinnegar of the HKTG Garage coordinated the resto of the 307/Powerglide car, which has now done a few shows but is yet to see any road miles.

Christine Cini’s 202-powered, Juniper Green LJ XU-1 was another gun resto with pride of place in the hall. Christine snagged her dream car back in 2016, refreshing or replacing every nut and bolt for a gorgeous end result.

This impressive tray art belongs to Scott Healy’s 468ci Chev-powered HX Tonner, which had the covers pulled off at Summernats 35. Inzane Kustomz handled the mural, whish is surrounded by DNA Cherry Black.

Deluxe Rod Shop’s Steven Alldrick convoyed up with four epic cars, including Kevin and Margaret Baird’s incredible LS/T56-converted FX Holden and Brian Imlach’s ’34 Chev sedan. Steve’s wife Kathleen even brought her own gorgeous ’32 Ford Tudor, cruising up from Yea. Fire threatened their Yea workshop in Late February, but thankfully people and cars all came out unscathed.

There was no missing Gary McGuigan’s wacky custom XR Falcon with its hinges going every which way. Gary bought the car as an unfinished project, dipping it in fluorescent orange and filling in the engine bay and interior himself.

Brad Crole stuck with Holden power for his HQ ute, which swings 355 cubes and wears VN heads. Haltech engine management runs the show, with a manualised, reverse pattern Turbo 700 and 9in with 3.9 gears rounding out the driveline. Underneath is a CRS tube front end, McDonald Bros four-link and Viking shocks, with 15×10 Center Lines filling out the tubs.

Keep an eye out for a full feature on Adam Smith’s Duratec-swapped Mk.I Esky in a future mag. The 2.5-litre four-pot uses Jenvey throttle bodies to ingest E85, bolted to a Mazda NC7 five-speed and modified HiLux diff. A mix of leather and Alcantara fills out the interior, and it rolls on 15×7 and 15×10 three-piece Simmons V5s.

With its fat rear meats and classic Garden State rego plates, Adam Hamilton’s ’68 Plymouth GTX was a sweet presence in the outdoor show-and-shine. “It’s got an almost-standard 440 in it, and there’s probably not much more to say,” Adam laughs.

“We’ve narrowed the rear axle slightly; it runs 4.10 gears in the back of it. We used to run it at Nostalgia drag events, and its best run was a 13.5. It was running standard exhaust manifolds, standard cast-iron intake manifold, and a Carter 750 on top. It had a little bit of extra converter in it, and at that stage it was running 3.9 gears. I’d put on a set of sticky tyres and that was it. It wasn’t too bad for what it was!”

A contingent of Australia’s quickest streeters took over one end of the hall, courtesy of MPW Performance. Adam Rogash’s own ALLSHOW VK, Ricc Pontonio’s VK, Paul Hamilton’s XA Falcon, and Trent Blainey’s WALKE were fresh from Drag Challenge, the latter also earning second place in People’s Choice on Saturday.

Todd Blazely has jammed even bigger brakes under his LSA-powered VN SS since we featured it in our March ‘22 mag, using every centimetre of real estate behind the big 20in Momo Stars. He’s also colour-coded the hoops in matching Atlas Grey, which gets our tick of approval.

Geoff and Jo Seiter have been getting their stunning XY Falcon (SM, October ‘22) out and around his local Shepparton lately, with great results. “It’s been super reliable,” Geoff grins, “and it’s gotta be reliable to be fun. The looks you get at lights are awesome.” Kyabram’s DDR Customs handled the build, with 434 Clevo power from Pavtek. As an added bonus, the car picked up People’s Choice in the Street & Show Spectacular Pavilion.