Adam Rogash and the Allshow VK Commodore: Interview

Adam Rogash talks about his life with cars and what inspired his current Street Machine Drag Challenge project, a twin-turbo LS-powered VK Commodore dubbed ALLSHOW

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

MPW frontman Adam Rogash is a busy guy. In between running a successful workshop that churns out some of Melbourne’s toughest street cars, he’s managed to build and race his own seven-second VT ClubSport street car NOSHOW, which has claimed its fair share of scalps at Street Machine Drag Challenge. Now he’s working on NOSHOW’s successor, a bad-arse twin-turbo LS VK dubbed ALLSHOW. We’re following the build with a new online video series, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to find out Adam’s story.

Tell us about your background with cars.

I remember being 12 years old when my brother got an old Datsun 1200 as a paddock-basher. It ended up blowing a head gasket, so we pulled it apart, fixed it and put it back together. I started working at the local wrecking yard when I was 13; I told the guy I was 15 so he’d give me a job, and I got the sack on my 15th birthday because he found out I’d been lying to him! I taught myself to paint when I was 16. At first I started mucking around with Geminis doing two-litre conversions and fitting little Toyota blowers. Then I bought an XF Falcon, which I turbocharged and converted to EFI. I had a VN five-litre when I was 18, which I did my first twin-turbo set-up on. I started my mechanical apprenticeship at a small workshop in Kyabram, Victoria, then ended up moving on to Nissan during my apprenticeship. I became qualified when I was 19.

How did that transition into you setting up MPW Performance?

I started MPW about six years ago now, and we now have two factories right next to each other. When I started out I did a lot of basic everyday mechanical and fleet servicing work. The performance side of things was busy from the start, with fab work on turbo kits and manifolds; then I moved on to doing rear ends.

The business seems to have grown a lot in six years.

When I bought my first dyno I became flat-out with tuning and just got busier and busier. Back then 300rwkW was a big deal, and now we’re seeing 1000rwhp on our dyno every other week. When we started out there weren’t a lot of people doing turbo LS stuff, and we’ve done a lot of R&D in that area. As soon as we achieve something we’ve always just continued to push further and further.

Tell us about your new Street Machine Drag Challenge project.

It came about because my wife said that as soon as I run 7.80s, she wanted me to build a safer car. Plus, it’s cheaper to pull weight out than it is to make more power, and while NOSHOW makes plenty of power, it’s a big car with a steel ’cage and tubs and it weighs 3800lb. So I decided to build a new, lighter project that’s fully engineered for street use. We already have the quickest third-gen Commodore street car in the country, and it’s proven to be reliable through all the R&D we’ve done with it. First-gen Commodores are really popular at the moment, so we want to fully develop one so that, like with NOSHOW, there’s no trial-and-error on customers’ cars. One of my earliest memories of cars was seeing a VK Brock as I hopped on the school bus as a kid, and I’ve always wanted to do my own take on one, so that’s what ALLSHOW will be.

What are the objectives for the build?

I want to drive to the track with the kids in the back, run a seven without changing anything, and drive it home again. I’m building the car with two ANDRA-teched seats in the front, because I really want to be able to take customers and friends out in the car and share what I’ve been lucky enough to be able to enjoy.

Have you enjoyed shooting the YouTube series on the build?

We’ve had great feedback, and it’s been along the lines of people really being able to relate to us through the show. We’re just normal guys working on cars, and whether you build a car here at MPW or at home in the shed, it’s still the same passion that’s driving you.