Novocastrians meat up at Newcastle’s newest go-fast shop

Full Throttle Custom Garage kicked its doors open on March 1 for a cool car show and tasty Texas BBQ

Photographers: Ben Hosking

ON THE first day of March, several hundred cool cars and bikes made their way to the Beresfield industrial estate, past the end of the Sydney-Newcastle M1 Freeway. They were there to check out Full Throttle Custom Garage, the latest custom and high-performance car workshop in the region, but also to chow down on some killer food from the Full Throttle BBQ Cafe.

“The workshop has been under construction for over a year, and the BBQ restaurant opened on Australia Day,” said Adam Lever, Operations Manager at Full Throttle Custom Garage. “Full Throttle started as a competitive barbeque-cooking team who went to events like Meatstock and Mick, the owner of the Full Throttle businesses, is a member of that team but he also loves fast cars. The cafe evolved from the cooking team when the space out front became available, and we realised it’s a good fit for the garage.”

The shop aims to take on a range of builds, both old school and late model. This ranges from fitting performance upgrades on late-model vehicles to offering a one-stop shop for ground-up classic builds, and more.

“We want to be the go-to Mustang guys in Newcastle with access to Ford Performance parts and Herrod upgrades, but it won’t be the only work we’re offering,” explained Adam. “We want to be a place anyone can take their special car for anything as small as an oil change. Being able to also provide a high level of quality in a set timeframe is important for us – a key goal for our business is to set time goals for the project so it doesn’t just sit there.”

Cool cars and tasty slow-cooked meat go together like hot days and cold beer, so it was no surprise both the garage and restaurant were packed on the open day, while the street turned over a huge number of cool, tough cars as people cycled through for a gander.

“We find a lot of people come in for the garage, and then love the BBQ, or vice-versa,” Adam said. “We have plans to do more events or activities down the track, but we wanted to do our opening as a way to announce we’re here, to cement Full Throttle as an entity.

“I think the open day was a huge success. We were stoked with the turnout and everyone seemed to have a good time. The variety of cars was awesome – there was cool stuff up and down the whole street!”

“Part of the Full Throttle Group is a limousine business and the Mustang is part of that fleet,” explained Adam. “We got it out of Melbourne and it’s really well built and thought-out by using two Mustangs.”

Scotty Barter brought his blown 308 Holden-powered Chevy pick-up for a run up the M1 and was rewarded with Shannon’s Insurance pick of the day, scoring himself a slab of Full Throttle Pale Ale and a bucket of beaut car care gear.

There were Fords of all shapes and sizes on display, including this super-cool Pommy four-banger pair. We don’t know if the Escort is a real RS but there is no mistaking the Sierra Cosworth with that giant RS500 wing.

Charlie Saliba’s Dodge Demon scored Full Throttle’s People’s Choice award with the wide-body 840hp monster surrounded by an inquisitive crowd all day.

Rob Herrod was on hand with one of the 30 850hp Herrod Performance Dick Johnson Limited Edition Mustangs he’s built.

The Full Throttle crew had a pair of super-cool Ford Cobra Jet Mustangs on show. These hand-built, slick-shod monsters are factory drag pack cars, built solely to run in classes like Super Stock in the eight-second bracket using blown Coyote power.

This ’69 Pontiac Firebird ditched its original Poncho V8 in favour of a healthy-looking big-block Chev. Riding on fat steel wheels, it was indicative of the awesome variety on show.

If you’re going to have authentic Texan BBQ then pick-up trucks are surely part of the mix. Full Throttle had three cool 60s F-truck projects up for grabs on the day.

Matt Hart’s outlaw-themed Plymouth Barracuda fastback came for a trip up to Newcastle from the Central Coast with a new owner. The 470hp, circuit-themed small-block Mopar was featured in Street Machine back in February 2016.

Steve Johnson debuted his new Touring Car Masters XD race car at the Adelaide 500 just a week before the open day, but he managed to get the tribute to his dad Dick’s famous Tru Blue Group C XD Falcon up to Newcastle to wow the crowds.

The Full Throttle Garage F100 shop truck is a super-cool slammed streeter featuring murdered-out styling and big-block Ford power.

This ’35 pick-up rides on an original chassis with a late-model IFS front end and EF Falcon drivetrain, including 302 Windsor and four-speed auto, with a four-link, nine-inch and Watt’s linkage out back.

Packing a Herrod supercharger kit and upgraded fuel system, this S550 Mustang has made 850rwhp on the Herrod dyno, but has been turned down to approximately 670rwhp for longevity.

Also on show was Dick Johnson’s #17 Group A-spec Palmer Tube Mills Fox-body Mustang.

Catering was handled by Full Throttle BBQ & Cafe, which is located in front of Full Throttle Custom Garage and served up delicious brisket, pulled pork and kransky rolls.

Full Throttle’s painter, Lucas Mannix, laid down some paint live in front of the crowd in the shop’s shiny new booth.