Wild unveils at MotorEx 2023

All the primo brand-new metal from Meguiar’s MotorEx 21

Photographers: Noah Thorley

Saturday morning of the 2023 Meguiar’s MotorEx got off to a cracking start, with plenty of punters braving the wet and cold conditions to feast their eyes on some of Australia’s best machines.

The elite unveilings are always a major highlight of the event, with 13 covers pulled off from 10am this morning. Here’s a quick rundown of each of those cars, with plenty more coverage from MotorEx to come over the next few days.

Dan & Kylie Morton – Ford Falcon XY

The big news at MotorEx today was the unveiling of Dan and Kylie Morton’s XY Falcon. “To be honest, it’s quite emotional,” said Dan as the cover slipped off the car. “Pat [of Pat’s Pro Restos] and I have built quite a close friendship during the build of the car, the more I look at it, I realise that it’s better than I ever expected.”

Dan’s goal was to end up with a car that blended old-school metal with the finish of a high-end exotic, and the end result is engineered and finished to absolute perfection. “Pat’s gone well beyond [the initial goal], and a lot of the engineering in the car is covered up and isn’t visible, but it’s all just as detailed as the outside.”

The Falcon runs a full chassis and is powered by a John Kaase 600ci billet V8 making 900hp, backed by a ZF six-speed, carbonfibre tailshaft and IRS rear end. Inside, modified Lamborghini seats are the only off-the shelf component, with everything else designed and built from scratch. “We’ve called the car Forged because it’s hand built. All the body lines are changed; the only part that hasn’t been modified is the middle of the roof skin.”

Hamish Davidson – 1976 Jaguar XJ-C

Hamish Davidson originally intended for this Jag to be his daily driver, but over the past 20 years, it’s fair to say the scope of the project expanded. “I mucked around and tried to fix it up myself, but it just became a frustration and sat in the shed for 10 years,” he said. “My wife said either fix it properly or get rid of it, and that’s when I found Jason, Glenn and Rick from Exclusive Customs.”

The Jag’s original 4.2L inline six is gone, replaced with a 310kW Barra turbo from an FG F6, complete with a few hot-up bits. The colour is a beautifully contemporary take on British Racing Green, and the custom 18×9.5in billet wheels were made by Dragway to mimic the original 15in rollers. “The first time I saw it all done was yesterday, and Rick said to my wife that seeing the smile on my face was the most rewarding part of the build,” said Hamish. “I’ve owned the car for 20 years and always thought about doing this, and it’s finally a reality. You wouldn’t believe how great that makes me feel.”

Darren Fosberg – 1955 Chevrolet

Darren Fosberg was first off the rank with his stunning ’55 two-door post Chev, packing an AFR-headed Dart 434 combo from the geniuses at ProFlo. With 11:1 comp, it’s good for a healthy 615hp through a manualised Turbo 400 and 4000rpm converter, with a Strange nine-incher in the back using 3.89:1 gears and 31-spline axles.

Danchuk reproduction Chev gear fills out the interior, and it’s rolling on a sweet combo of 15x10in ET Fueler rears and 15x5in 10-spoke fronts. AA Panelcraft handled the two hues.

Jim Wolstencroft – 1929 Ford pick-up

Deluxe Rod Shop pulled the covers off two killer projects, starting with master craftsman Jim Wolstencroft’s ’29 pick-up. Up front is a 289-cube Windsor, hooked to a C4 and round-back nine-inch. The original chassis has copped a fair few tweaks, while the cab is sculpted to suit Jim’s 6ft 1in frame.

Other body mods include Model A Tudor doors, Brookville steel guards, handmade roof and gutters, pie-cut cab corners, and a double-skinned coupe sun visor. Inside you’ll find acres of Italian leather and black Alcantara. According to boss-man Steve Alldrick and Jim, it’s the product of countless beer-free working weekends. “It’s been an amazing experience; the guys have learned heaps and I’ve learned heaps,” Jim grinned.

Nick Hansen – 1934 Ford tudor

The Deluxe crew also unveiled this swoopy ’34 Ford tudor for owner Nick Hansen.

The tudor is based on a now heavily modified Deuce Customs body, with steel bonnet, fuel tank cover, bobbed steel guards, FoMoCo running boards and an OG-style roof insert fabbed in-house from aluminium.

Underneath is a Detroit Chassis frame with Rod-Tech suspension. Power is supplied by the classic combo of a 347ci Windsor with Holley Sniper EFI, a C10 auto and nine-inch diff.

The interior is particularly trick, with a heater and VintageAir for comfort, beautiful custom leather trim by Aaron Develyn and Mark Griffin at Griffs Trim Shop, custom interior panels and an electrically operated functional rear window.

Chris Pearson – 1972 Holden HQ ute

Chris Pearson’s HQ ute started life as a 253 Belmont, and the initial build plan was a simple, fun skid pig. Clearly, that didn’t end up being the case, as Q-UP is now a blown, injected stunner built for the street.

A 750hp 468ci big-block Chevy proudly sits under a 6/71 blower and BAU injector hat. Running the show is a Haltech Elite 2500, which goes through a TH400 ’box and nine-inch diff. McDonald Bros Racing took care of fitting the driveline, while Chris’s workshop Corporate AutoBody in Thomastown gave the ’Q some hefty bodywork. The nose cone and front guards are grafted together, with big front tubs to match the rears and a smooth floor in the tub.

The ute also uses a full Air Ride bag suspension system to sit flush on the FR Simmons. Stick your head inside, and you’ll find a full HSV VF GTS-R interior retrofitted to the HQ, including the dash!

John Cavasinni – 1934 Chevrolet

Assembled by the hall regulars at Johnny Z’s Hot Rod & Custom Shop, John Cavasinni’s ’34 coupe likely packed the hottest engine combo of all the rods. “We’ve been to a lot of shows all around the world, and I have to say MotorEx is at the top,” enthused Jack of Jonnny Z’s. You’ll find roughly 150 body mods around the coupe, which runs a blown fat-block Chev, TH350 and quick-change third member. Custom 20×10 and 18×8 hoops cover Wilwood twin-spot brakes and Air Ride ’bags.

As Jack and John recount, the build started with the latter approaching Jack for help with a steering wheel he’d belted off with a hammer. “I’ll stick to accounting from now on, which is my specialty,” Jack laughed.

Daniel Mussared – Holden VK Commodore

No matter which way you slice it, funding a car built to the standard required to unveil at Meguiar’s MotorEx takes a fair bit of coin. For Daniel Mussared, that meant putting in a stack of overtime – hence the name of his VK Commodore. “I’ve been living at work and out in the shed building the car; it’s been six in the build,” he said. “I used to work for a tow truck company and I found it under a tree in a backyard and managed to buy it for $500.”

The car runs a staunch 355ci Holden V8 with Higgins heads, four-bolt mains and a Harrop blower, and spat out a healthy 710hp on the dyno on just 8psi of boost. The interior is based around VE GTS seats retrimmed in leather by Black Needle, and the car is tubbed and four-linked to accommodate a hefty set of billet wheels. “The build has had its ups and downs but we’re all smiles now,” said Daniel. “I can’t wait ’til Tuesday so I can pull it out of the trailer and take it for a drive.”

Chris Sorgenoski – 1970 Ford Falcon XY GT

Chris Sorgenoski’s XY GT is a factory-fresh restoration that’s detailed enough to make any Ford fan weep. A real-deal GT, Chris sought the help of the crew at Grand Tourer in Campbellfield for the elite-level resto, which got underway in 2018 and finished just in time for its unveiling.

With the car being a genuine GT, Grand Tourer didn’t have to hunt around for all the bits to undertake the resto. “I’d say less then three per cent of what’s in the car is repro parts; it’s all the original GT stuff restored and refurbished,” Chris said.

If you’re a big fan of the GT, it’ll be on display at the GT Nationals in Bathurst in a few weeks’ time. “Then I’ll start using it, because I didn’t spend all this money to not drive it!” Chris said.

Charlie Azzopardi – 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

Believe it or not, Charlie Azzopardi’s ’56 Bel Air spent 15 years in the California desert before making its way Down Under. “I pulled two buckets of sand out of the scuttles!” he said.

Even more impressive is that the transformation that saw it in the elite hall was all done in Charlie’s shed at home, right down to the paintwork. “I installed the big-block, did all the bodywork, electrical, paint – the whole lot,” he said. “The car only left the shed to come here. We did it at home with the help of my son and Dad.”

Cool features include a 502ci big-block, TH400, four-link rear and HQ front ends, Billet Specialities wheels and beautiful cherry-red paintwork.

Daniel Cassar – Holden Torana LH SL/R 5000

Daniel Cassar’s genuine SL/R 5000 LH Torry was another top notch, factory-spec resto to have the covers pulled off this morning. The LH has a lengthy history, most of which was spent as a drag racing machine. “It was an eight-second car at one point, and when I get it I was just going to put a big-block in it,” said Daniel. “Then I found it was a genuine SL/R 5000, so we decided to go down the resto route instead.”

The LH was repainted in the original Aquamarine colour, it features all the original Holden gear including the L31-spec 308, M21 ’box and interior trim. The resto was taken care of by Fastlane Speed Shop, with Daniel having a pretty clear vision of the end result: “We wanted it the same as how Holden did it but at a higher level, which is what we got,” he said.

Paul Agius – ’32 Ford coupe

It’s probably a stretch to say that you might recognise this ’32 three-window coupe, because it’s changed completely since it was last seen in public, but those who follow Drag Challenge have probably seen it in its past life. It was owned by Daniel Cassar, matte black and quick as hell, and competed at the pointy end of the Outlaw Aspirated class at DC.

Daniel has now sold the car to his mate Paul and then helped him transform it into the absolute stunner you see here. “Daniel offered it to me and we turned it into this; it took just on three years and was a big labour of love,” said Paul.

It’s a lot more streetable in the driveline department, with a basic 350 small-block Chev, Turbo 350, nine-inch and four-link rear end. “I’ve been told it’s another red ’32, but it’s what I wanted from day one. I like the tough pro street look, and that’s what we achieved. I’m hoping to drive it home if the weather’s fine!”

Adam Rogash – Ford Capri

This Capri, dubbed STRIPSHOW, promises to be a big step up from Adam Rogash’s Drag Challenge Weekend-winning, twin-turbo LS-powered VK, ALLSHOW, which is good for mid-sevens on a 275 radial.

Built in a six-month thrash, it’s powered by a Dandy Engines 596ci fatty, based on an alloy Brodix 10.2 deck-height block and topped with Profiler cylinder heads, all force-fed by a pair of monstrous Pulsar G57 98mm turbos. Adam hopes to fetch 3000hp at the hubs out of the combo, which should see the little Pommy pocket rocket into the sixes.

Despite the short build time, the Capri is exceptionally straight – maybe too good to race, eh Adam?

Glenn Coughlan – 1934 Chevrolet tudor

Wodonga’s Glenn Coughlan’s killer chopped ’34 Chev is built around a Wazrodz body atop a Li-Low chassis, dipped in lush ceramic-coated Lexus Infrared paint.

The Chev wears original ’34 headlights and shortened tail-lights, with HR Holden mirrors from elsewhere in the GM catalogue.

Neat touches inside include stacks of fabrication, modified Barina seats front and rear, leather trim and VintageAir a/c. Power is provided by an LS1 V8, and it all coalesces in a great get-in-and-go build.

We’ll have plenty more content from MotorEx 2023 in the coming days, as well as the full event wrap-up in the June issue of SM, on shelves 8 June.