Last night’s barrage of rad new metal was just the beginning! In a huge session, 23 covers were pulled off in the Elite Hall at EPIC. Here’s the second, but certainly not lesser, half of the Meguiar’s Great Uncover.
ANTONIO RANIERI – HQ KINGSWOOD
Antonio was just 19 when he bought his HQ Kingswood as a rolling shell, all the way from Perth. He was super hands-on throughout the five-year build, with plenty of help and support from his brother-in-law Jonathan.
“There were a lot of lows and a lot of highs,” Antonio explained. “It was originally just going to be a 350, but we got the last ever LSA crate motor for sale in Australia; it has three years of warranty!”
A GTS rear bench and Recaro fronts carry the black-and-yellow theme, courtesy of Michel of Complete Auto & Marine Trimming in Rockdale. “My vision was one thing, but he’s taken it to a whole new level,” Antonio enthused.
“I couldn’t say I’d do it again, to be honest, because of all the stress!”
TONY RIPEPI – ’34 FORD COUPE
Tony Ripepi and his family have ticked heaps of boxes with their ’34 Ford coupe. “It’s ’caged, it’s chopped, it’s tough,” they laughed. “It’s a street car, and we’re just looking to have fun with it!”
There’s a blown, twin-carbed Cleveland providing plenty of eye candy and mumbo, while the rear is packed out with huge Indy Champ-style wheels and fat Hoosier rubber for epic stance. Originally a 90s build, it recently copped a full refresh and flow-coat in PPG goodness.
ADAM CLEARY – ’51 CHEVY PICK-UP
Adam’s taken a slightly different approach for his newest ride than he did with his 1957 Buick coupe, but it’s certainly no less epic! His ’51 Chevy 3100 pick-up dubbed JEKYLL wears a patina finish matched to some seriously high-end chassis and driveline work. The ProFlo Performance team started with a Roadster Shop chassis, fitted it with airbags and a nine-inch rear, and stuffed a 403-cube twin-turbo LS up front that’s dripping in bronze Cerakote to fit the vibe perfectly and match the 22×8.5 and 22×12 Schott rolling stock.
Adam came up against a few false starts while trying to snag a 50s pick-up from the US, but he persevered to get into one of his favourite automotive styles. “The curvy, rolling shape is such a cool look,” he said. “There’s just something about them!” Of course, the panelwork hasn’t been left un-massaged, with a fully fabbed bay. Inside you’ll find brown distressed leather and FuelTech digital gauges, plus speedboat-style decking in the tub. “I went to school with Paul [Sant of ProFlo], so we go back a long way. One thing led to another, I’ll put it that way,” Adam laughed. “Paul reckons he’s almost done more plumbing work on this car than any other car!”
GARY ROSSER – WB ONE TONNER
Rescued from a wrecking yard, Gary Rosser’s Tonner was treated to a comprehensive rebirth at Zelukovic Smash Repairs over the past five years. The 383-cube Holden donk features a Scat rotating assembly, Edelbrock heads and a solid-roller bumpstick, plus a 6/71 blower and twin Holley carbs.
“Originally I was going to build a Torana, and at the time you had to have Holden parts in Holden cars,” Gary laughed. “I’ve got no idea how much power it makes and I don’t really care; all I’ve ever wanted is a blown car!”
A Hughes TH400 and 31-spline nine-inch handle the unspecified grunt, and it rests on McDonald Brothers and Viking suspension. Outside, it wears Kindig-It handles, a composite tray (the original wood version having failed in high humidity), and custom-hue ‘Gazberry’ paint. Street Trim in Orange, NSW fitted out the cab, while Gary’s family, friends and son Corey were instrumental in helping get everything together. “I can’t thank everybody that’s helped me enough,” he says.
“I want to get engineered and regoed down the track after doing as many shows as we can.”
ASHLEY BELL – XA FALCON
It was great to see the covers drop on Ashley Bell’s 1972 XA Falcon. Ashley bought her dream Falc three years ago as a six-cylinder, one-owner vehicle from Tassie, but she and her partner Michael Stivala have completely transformed it since then.
The new 351 Clevo in the bay was built by 2022 Summernats Grand Champ Jason Mansweto and features billet dressings, while a C4 and a shortened diff back up the extra grunt. The car is painted in the original Wild Plum, complemented by stunning pearl white GS decals and wheels, while the interior also got a must-see overhaul. Michael is no stranger to the Summernats Elite Hall himself, having unveiled his awesome XB, GSHOON, nine years ago and making the Top 10. Ashley has been wanting to build an XA exactly like this her whole life, and plans to drive the wheels off it after the ’Nats, with a road trip to MotorEx on the cards later this year.
ROBERT GORGIEVSKI – XW FALCON
Robert Gorgievski purchased his 1970 XW Falcon two years ago off legendary engine builder Frank Marchese of Dandy Engines. Rob worked alongside Frank to bring the build to fruition, with the latter’s input on the styling crucial to the end result.
“To me, the question was, how would you build a GT from factory? So that’s exactly what we’ve done, as it should have been,” Rob said. Rob has kept the GT replica as close to concours as possible, having taken it back to bare metal, replacing every nut and bolt, and repainting every factory marking. Frank has worked his magic on a new Arrow-block 434 Cleveland topped by a 950cfm APD carb. Rounding out the driveline is a Protrans C10 ’box with a 5000rpm converter, and a 31-spline nine-inch with billet axles. The body colour is a slightly altered version of the factory hue, paired with a Parchment interior, and it’s all tied together with the addition of a wind-up sunroof.
TIM MCDONALD – XY FALCON
It would hardly be a Summernats unveiling without a ProFlo Performance build or two, and Tim McDonald’s XY is a corker of an example. We featured its 1000hp, 8/71-blown Windsor as our Mill of the Month in the June issue of Street Machine, and the rest of the car is finished to the same high standard, sporting an X-Trim interior and rolling on 20×12 wheels.
“The car was my dad’s, and I bought it off him when I was 16 and restored it with him,” Tim explained. “I had it parked up while my daughter grew up, but when Dad got ill, we decided to take it to Paul [Sant of ProFlo] to throw a blown 427 in it, but ended up doing the whole car. We lost Dad during the build, so the car is a tribute to him.”
WESTERN STREET & CUSTOM – LX TORANA
Jeff McCarter of Western Street & Custom in Richmond, NSW sorted this LX Torry build over the past five years or so. “It’s been built as an A9X lookalike; at the same time, we’ve put modern running gear in,” he explained. That entailed a 6.2-litre LS3 topped with a Harrop 2300 blower, paired to a TKO five-speed manual. “The customer loves his manual cars,” Jeff grinned.
There’s also an IFS set-up and airbags on each corner, melding all the coolest parts of 80s and 90s street machining with 21st-century grunt and finish. “That’s what the customer was brought up with,” Jeff said of the Recaro seating and custom-widened 15-inch Hotwire rolling stock. “There’s nothing wrong with billets, but when it’s Hotwires on a Torana, you can’t ask for much more!”
ANDREW DODD – ’35 FORD COUPE
Andrew Dodd calls his ’35 Ford coupe ‘Christine’, and for good reason! Built for his daughter’s formal, the rod spooked Andrew by rolling forward on its own at a show, and later caught fire at 100km/h with his whole family inside!
“I still took it to that hot rod run on a trailer, and a guy there gave me $50 and said, ‘That’s for rebuilding your car,’” Andrew recounted. “I still tear up about that!” It sat unloved in the shed for a while after that, until his daughter kick-started the rebuild process by pulling it apart. Built on a fibreglass Rodz North body, it runs an injected Dart 400 Chev combo paired to a TH700 four-speed with Haltech management. Andrew got it all back just two weeks before Summernats, following an 18-month stint in the workshop. “I’ve got 99 per cent of it sorted now,” he says. “It’s got a lot of history to it!”
JAMES BULLIONS – MAZDA R100
“The idea was just a car for the missus and kids to get around in,” said James Bullions of his incredible and super-rare Mazda R100. “Then Owen [Webb] saw the renders and asked if I wanted to bring it to MotorEx, so we turned it up a little bit.”
Built by RAR Embossed, the Familia GS features a full custom chassis and body drop, with bits of Series 4 RX-7 gear matched to an R154 ’box. The PP 13B is all-billet, which James reckoned will be good for 300hp in naturally aspirated form. “It’s unbreakable for what it is; probably good for 11,000rpm,” he said. “It’d run sevens if I turboed it.”
A Nexus R5 controls everything, and there’s a MoTeC C1212 dash in the custom interior. “It’s got a full render of the car that rotates, just like the Gran Turismo garage!” James said of the dash display.
The rear arches have been lengthened by a modest 15mm to handle the 20×10.5in Simmons rims, with a 17x7in pair up front. “I like something that’s timeless,” James said. “I think it ticks enough boxes for Mazda enthusiasts, plus the modification side.”
THOMAS MCMANAWAY – DATSUN B120 UTE
When Thomas McManaway was watching Summernats clips at home two years ago, the urge to build a serious car bit him hard. “I’m one of those people where if I’m not participating, it really sucks to be there,” he laughed. He jumped on Gumtree with partner Hannah to find something suitable, and spotted a rough B120 ute tucked behind a Fergie tractor in a farmer’s shed. Spot On Performance & Fabrications sorted heaps of chrome-moly tubing and helped wedge the 427-cube Dart mill in the front, which wears a 10/71 blower and Big & Ugly hat. “They’ve done an absolutely amazing job,” Thomas said. “Michael at M&A Mechanical & Performance built the engine, and he’s a legend.”
Behind that is a Powerglide and nine-inch, with huge 315s out the back. “I don’t just want a one-use car,” Thomas explained. “If it can do burnouts, why can’t it do drag racing?” Thomas took the Datto for a shakedown run at Powercruise before having the House of Kolor metalflake blue laid on and doing the final assembly in the last weeks of 2023. He’ll bring the little missile out of the hall later in the weekend for some tyre-killing action!