Adelaide Auto Expo 2022

Ten of our faves from this year's Adelaide Auto Expo

Photographers: Troy Barker

Australia has progressed from plagues to floods in the almighty handbook of life, yet it’s not deterred promotor Geof Tartoosie from the annual staging of Adelaide Auto Expo. Run over November 18th and 19th, the well-loved Extreme Auto side of the event remains as the ultimate debut platform for quality local builds.

As Radelaide’s only indoor show, and long-term MotorEx Superstars round, rides from across Australia flock to the event. Yet for some, the trip was markedly lengthened thanks to flooding road-closures.

Remember Jason Waye’s Deliverance VK delivery station wagon? Well, it’s had a slight change up since you last saw it, although it was a late entry to the show. “On Tuesday night I figured if the 16×10 Turbofan fronts and 16×12 Simmons V5 rear wheels fitted, then I’d bring the car,” he shrugs.

“It has an LS – something different back when I started re-building it, but now everyone has one. We shaved the door handles, fuel door and wipers plus it’s a rear-opening bonnet. Though I’m still not exactly sure what I’m doing with the car.”

Heading across from Parkes, NSW (30 kays North of Forbes) Rodney and Jennie Barnes took the long way around to wow the crowd with their tidy 332ci powered HZ Sandman.

The amped up HoK Malachite Green glistened under the pavilion lights. Recently the pano took out runner up spot at the 2022 Van Nationals.

For Stelio Birbas, the debut of his razor-sharp VF valiant coupe was 25 years in the making. “I bought my VF when I was 16 years old, had it on the road for three months, then I was going to do it up for my formal,” he says.

Planning on a quick spray and six-banger freshen up, the project eventuated in an ultimate makeover with tubs, paint, leather interior and 410ci stroker with all the fruit.

Flying the customs flag is Scott Dohnt’s in-the-build EK ute. Featuring a 3in chop and heavily customised, one-piece front end, this is definitely a ride we’re keen to see cruising. Features include frenched headlights with EH rings, Mini bumpers and 1954 Chev taillights. A Thongslapper backed by a Traumatic and Borgy diff will be the EKs motivation.

In a league of their own is Craig McKenzie and Kristie Cooper risqué Hyundai SQIZME. Craig discovered the ex-Auto Salon competitor shot up in a paddock, and set about bringing the sex-spec back to life. This outrageous noughties build is saturated with naked women, from bodywork through to the front pews and even a boobalicious dash cluster. The pair are also custodians of the GGHO5T 200SX.

Craig and Kristie also scored Top Custom Paint in the bike class for their tres-cool lowrider.

Star of the show was the freshly unveiled, immaculate and rather off-tap mega-tubbed LC Torry belonging to Rob De Sciscio. “It should run a 7sec, but that will depend on me as a driver,” Rob humbly admits of the 440ci LS TT complete with built T400 and sheet-metal 9in. “And it’s all fully engineered and ANDRA teched.”

Greg Bowden’s Barra powered TC Cortina is a roundy-track weapon. “I’m giving the big expensive cars a run for their money – it has 416kwrw with only 1250kgs.”

Greg built the lot himself, wedging all the goodies from a low kay 2006 Lowndes XR6 ute into the TC to produce a robust racer.

Check out this wild bubble-topped Mad Max Cyclotron tribute. “I owned the original bike back in 1992 but had to sell it – too much bikes, booze and women,” explains owner Alex ‘Three Legs.’ “

“The original Cyclotron is in Sydney, but you never see it. So, I build another and tracked down Nick Venardis who painted the original one. This isn’t an exact replica, I feel there should only be one, plus this is road legal in SA.”

Perhaps the most well-executed sleeper in the pavilion is the understated yet completely customised Deluxe Rod Shop built 48-215 of Kevin and Margaret Baird. While packing stout upgrades throughout, the uninitiated can be forgiven for not easily picking the plethora of modifications given the efforts made to retain a factory feel.

A handful of Street Machine feature cars were scattered throughout, including Adrian Haynes striking LX Torry. Seeing the LX up-close is spectacular, though Adrian had hard time traversing Australia’s currently flood-ravaged and potholed roads to get it here.

“We couldn’t get through from Hay, so had to go down to Bendigo then across to Adelaide. We’re headed straight home again on Sunday, to be back at work by Monday.”