Valvoline Street Machine of the Year 2016 contender: John Mawhinney's 1000HP blown 1957 Chevrolet 210

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1957 CHEVROLET 210


BLACK and blown ’57 Chevs rock maximum street cred in our land thanks to the 1982 flick Running On Empty. John Mawhinney’s dad was a mad-keen Falcon GT fanatic, but also a huge fan of the Ozploitation classic, which explains why he bought this ’57 as a shed-mate for his Track Red XY GT.

When his father passed away aged just 53 back in 2008, John was gutted, but inheriting his dad’s angry 10-second, blown 383-powered Chev meant he had something meaningful to focus his energy on.R

But the journey has been far from smooth; the 383 quickly booked itself a lunch date, while a broken axle, rear quarter damage and a loading accident heralded a full rebuild and the chance to right a few wrongs.

John also never quite dug the hue, man: “The original black always looked too ‘brown’ for my liking,” he explains. So Michael Stewart of MSR Kustoms gave the body a birthday before bathing it in Glasurit BMW Schwarz, while John sorted the chrome and other details.

The project was rolling – complete with a new blown 400 – and ready by Cooly Rocks On 2013. But disaster struck again just a fortnight later, with a fuel mixture issue resulting in engine damage, laying the Chev up for two excruciating years while John saved up the scratch.

With a new deadline set for Cooly Rocks On 2015, John chose to further tweak the engine combo; Ray from Straight Line Performance was given the nod to sort the 400, basing the build around a Dart block and inserting a dream shopping list of brand-new good bits, then proudly topping it with John’s dad’s original AFR alloy heads either side of a Blower Shop high-rise intake and BDS 8/71 Air-Loc supercharger.

The combo is good for 1000 horses and low nines, leaving John nothing to do but count the seconds to heaven, man.


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