Motorvation 38 results and gallery

One of Western Australia’s marquee modified car events, the 38th edition of Motorvation saw action aplenty

Photographers: Jordan Leist

It looked for all money like the weather at Burson Auto Parts Motorvation 38 would be typically scorching, as the mercury soared to 40 degrees on the Friday of the event. Mercifully though, the Freo Doctor got up for work early on Saturday and Sunday to make for a very comfortable weekend down at the Perth Motorplex.

Entrants had the place to themselves until 2pm on the Friday, when the gates were kicked open to the public. Prior to that, the competitors could get acquainted with Skid Row and make sure everything was on song for the weekend ahead.

We rocked up a bit later, when that beautiful late-afternoon light started to hit just in time for the eighth-mile drags. There were some well-sorted cars having a crack and running some decent numbers, but it was also great to see a couple of the burnout crew having a go.

One car that really surprised me in the drags was Chad Johnson’s ’57 Chevy. I’d seen it at previous Motorvation events, but the ’57 seemed to be moving down the track a hell of a lot quicker than I remembered. With 700hp from a 582ci big-block, the Chev never had an issue with power, but following a recent upgrade to the rear end with some tubs and CalTracs, the old girl really lifted and separated on launch to run the eighth in the 6.70s, which would suggest mid-10s in the quarter.

Friday night saw an invitation-only burnout event with a winner-takes-all cash prize pool of $5000 across three classes. Chris Orchard contested both the Open and Pro classes in different cars, and ended up winning both, pocketing $4500 for his troubles! Dayne Bairstow picked up the win in the Sportsman class.

On Sunday night, Chris’s winning ways continued in the finals of the burnout comp proper, where he once again won both the Pro and Open classes! That has to be one for the record books.

Saturday was set to be a big one, with lots of cruising as well as a couple of Skid Row sessions to appease the tyre torturers.

However, there was a bit of a spanner thrown in the works in the afternoon when someone inadvertently started a fire alongside the return road during the Supercruise. Sparks from the bare rims set the grass alight, and the breeze quickly pushed the flames up the hill. The on-site fireys were quick to the scene, but they still needed aerial support to get it under control. Thankfully, the damage didn’t spread past the bush, but it did put a halt to track activities for a couple of hours. The organisers were quick to come up with a solution, opening up Skid Row so entrants could still kill tyres and entertain the crowd.

Saturday also saw the Elite Tent open up, with seven cars being unveiled. The much-anticipated debut of Mitchell Rando’s EH didn’t disappoint, and it was clear he was going to be a front-runner for the Grand Champ award and potentially make it back-to-back wins, following his Motorvation 37 triumph with his ’69 Camaro, SLEEK. The other stand-out was Boris Pacey’s amazing HQ ute Doorslammer, which was completely home-built – carbonfibre body and all! The quality on show in the Elite Tent this year was definitely a step up from 2023, although it would be great to see a bit more support from the entrants to really fill it up.

To make up for the track time lost on Saturday, the Motorvation team reworked the Sunday roster, opening the gates an hour earlier and then running simultaneous two-hour sessions for Skid Row and the Supercruise to really get the place pumping. There was a short break in the craziness when the top three Grand Champ contenders were brought out. Thomas Warr emerged victorious this year in his late father Nigel’s HQ ute – an emotional win to be sure.

Once the sun hit high noon, the action moved to the Snakepit, where the punters were entertained by the 50 burnout finalists who’d made the cut. With 20 spots each in the Sportsman and Open classes, that left just 10 spots in the Pro class final for the 33 entrants that had competed in qualifying.

Those 10 finalists all did excellent skids, but it was Chris Orchard’s year, taking out both the Pro and Open classes in the GAME OVER VF Commodore and THE GAME VH Commodore respectively. Darren Clinton in RAMPAGE was extremely unlucky in qualifying, climbing the wall right in front of videographer Peter ‘Flinty’ Flint after his brake pedal went to the floor. Make sure you check out the footage on YouTube.

Despite the fire on Saturday, organisers went out of their way to keep the show rolling and make up for any lost time. One upside to the track delay was that more people were cruising the pits, and I managed to score a ride in one of the coolest cars at the event, Rhys Davies’s EJ pano. It doesn’t get much better than cruising around in a rad ride and listening to the cool stories that come from bringing an old car back to life. That’s what it’s all about.


Darren Cole
HT Holden wagon

One of my favourite cars of the weekend was this stunning, jet-black HT wagon owned by Darren Cole of Pro Show Kustoms & Imports.

It had a 253 and a three-on-the-tree from the factory, but the old couple who owned it from new swapped in an auto. It now sports a 304 with a mild cam, painted to match the burgundy interior.

Rhys Davies
EJ Holden panel van

The standout for me at Motorvation this year was the low-key EJ panel van built by Rhys Davies. Rhys has owned the car since he was 16 and only just finished it around his 40th birthday.

When I spotted the van’s VL Calais wheels, I immediately assumed it had an RB30 in it, and Rhys said it did have one for a while, but he went back to a 202 and upped the game with a set of triple Webers.
The beautifully executed interior features coffee-coloured trim extending into the cargo area, and a full-length hoodlining.

Boris Pacey
HQ Sandman ute

The unveiling that garnered the most oohs and aahs at Motorvation this year was undoubtedly Boris Pacey’s HQ Sandman Doorslammer. Amazingly, the beast was home-built over a 20-year period, including the carbonfibre body.

Boris plans to do some testing in the ute shortly, before going racing next season. Imagine seeing this line up against Zap’s Rat!

Bob & Leonie Bull
1939 Ford Cabriolet

It’s no surprise that Bob Bull’s ’39 Ford cabriolet took out the gong for Top Judged Elite. Built by Rad Rides Rod & Custom Garage, the detail on the car is stunning and extends to every square inch of the body and undercarriage.

The gorgeous paint and graphics were applied by Xclusivefx in HOK Rad Rides Wildfire and candy over Premium Hidamari Ivory pearl.

Michael Moug
Ford XL Falcon

There was a lot more going on than just a set of airbags in this cool patina-clad XL Falcon. Up front is an LS1 with eight-stack cross-ram injection, backed up by a TH400.

The XL has been built as a skid car, with airbag suspension mounted in the boot off a cantilever system to get the body way down over the narrowed BorgWarner diff.

Aaron Delarie
Holden HG Kingswood

When a car still has the stencil from the car yard under the bonnet, you just have to go and take a closer look.

Aaron Delarie and his wife Angie brought along their HG Kingswood to Motorvation 38, and it appeared fairly unmolested until you looked under the bonnet to see the 434ci SBC. That mill ran 9.60s in Aaron’s Torana, which met an untimely demise at a Powercruise event some 10 years ago.

Some randos

Three of the four Rando brothers – from left to right, Patrick, Aidan and Mitchell – brought four cars to the event.

Patrick and Mitchell unveiled a silver HK ute and candy red EH sedan respectively, while parked outside the hall was Aidan’s equally impressive HK sedan featuring a blown LS2. Rounding out the four cars was Mitchell’s now-wounded ’69 Camaro that won Grand Champ last year.

Jamie Bell in the SHITTORQUER Commodore ute rarely disappoints in the burnouts, and he finished third in the Pro class at Motorvation 38. Here he is during the Friday-night invitation-only $5K burnout event.

I’m sure if Wolf Backer had a sunroof in his XY GT, he’d be channelling Chris Christou during this epic skid on Skid Row. Wolf regularly drives his 434-cube Falcon to the track, where he runs low 10s.

Those massive meats under the back of Chad Johnson’s Chev were a new addition and really helped the big ’57 Bel Air hook up on the track. And with a 582ci big-block Chev up front, that’s no mean feat!

Renato Bertagni has owned this stunning ’70 ’Cuda since 1992. It’s pretty much as it left the factory, but the 360 has been punched out to 408 cubes and now sports a shaker scoop.

Chad Douglas always puts on a great show in 2MENTAL, and it got really mental later in the skid when the pipes got hot and started shooting flames out of the top-mounted twin turbos. Heatwave indeed!

Darren Clinton’s VL Calais smokes the bags early in the event during the Supercruise. Unfortunately, he had a bit of an issue with the brakes, and the car ended up climbing the wall and destroying the rear right quarter. Hopefully it will be back in action soon.

We recently featured Reece Regan’s HR (SM, Sep ’23), but since then he’s been putting it to the test on the burnout pad. He’s been chasing the tune a bit, but it looked like it was on song at Motorvation.

David Rea’s HQ Monaro is 1985 personified. The finishing touch is that ‘350’ sticker on the front guard, even if the car does sport a 383 these days.

How good does Aidan Rando’s HK look in the afternoon sun? That Mazda Soul Red paint really pops. The car goes as well as it looks, too, thanks to a blown LS2 under the bonnet making 700hp.

Ben Jansen just completed a bare-metal rebuild of his HQ ute, into which he dropped a 540ci BBC making 850hp. Somehow, he managed to beat an R34 Skyline in the Slalom event, but the R34 got him back in the Go-to-Whoa.

Jack Alfirevich went straight from unveiling the new and improved AUGASM in the Elite Tent to setting fire to Skid Row. He also competed in the burnout comp, putting on a great display, though it wasn’t quite enough to get him in the finals.

That might be a 186 badge on the side of Paul Windle’s HT Kingswood, but it’s packing a 383 Chev, Turbo 350 and 9in nowadays. That explains the clouds of smoke coming off the tyres!

Justin Pitsikas from BYE Performance entered two cars in the burnout comp, REFINED and STIFFY, and managed to qualify both of them for the finals on Sunday night.

Thomas Warr accepts the Grand Champ trophy after driving the wheels off his late father Nigel’s HQ ute. It was an emotional moment following his dad’s tragic death last year in a motorcycle crash.

Dwane Pallentine was a late entry in his PEPER IT Torana, but he put on an epic display in the Pro burnouts that saw him make it all the way to second in class.

Here’s another former Motorvation Grand Champ and SM feature car getting beat up on. Simon Birch’s Mighty Boy (SM, Jul ’22) raced in the drags, smashed tyres on the track and competed in the burnout comp.


Thomas Warr
1974 HQ ute

Boris Pacey
HQ Sandman ute

Bob Bull
1939 Ford cabriolet


Chris Orchard

Chris Orchard

Dayne Bairstow



1st – Chris Orchard
2nd – Dwane Pallentine
3rd – Jamie Bell


1st – Chris Orchard
2nd – Jack Alfirevich
3rd – Shane Lowden


1st – Mark Bell
2nd – Dayne Bairstow
3rd – Ashton Brandt


Jason Benino
XC Cobra coupe
Bob Bull
1939 Ford cabriolet
Joe Catalano
1968 Chevy Camaro
Craig Glassby
1968 Chevy Camaro
Boris Pacey
HQ Sandman ute
Shane Ramsey
1975 LH Torana
Mitchell Rando
1964 EH Premier
Mitchell Rando
1969 Chevy Camaro SS
Dean Valentine
1978 XC Falcon
Thomas Warr
1974 HQ ute