BUILDING both a custom and a panel van as we entered the 90s took big kahunas, but Alan Fleming was a man always up for any challenge. His VK-inspired ‘Motorvator’ HG van (later to be reborn with a wild Dulux-sponsored paintjob) was rumoured to have cost $200K in this ‘clean slate’ white guise.
Delve further into this issue and you were met by the total opposite end of the spectrum: Ron Barclay’s ultra-detailed, ultra-sanitary Coral HQ ute. Ron’s Quey was a sign of things to come, as smooth and sedate began making inroads into our traditionally wild and tough scene.
Rob Beauchamp was also back with a visual makeover of his pro street VL Calais, but a favourite was the 429-powered Mk1 Cortina sleeper of Robyn and Shane Bridge – how could you ever forget that blowhole muffler with the pea-shooter exhaust tip?
THE historic importance of this cover will not be lost on our older readers – or younger aficionados of the old school. What a line-up at Summernats 4: Mark Sanders’s pro touring LH Torana; Adam Lock’s big block-powered HQ Monaro; John Taverna’s 1967 Camaro; Howard Astill’s Rock 3 Falcon; Alan Fleming’s Motorvator; Craig Parker’s TUFFXY Fairmont; and Dave ‘Bam-Bam’ Martin’s chopped and blown HQ sedan. Craig’s XY may not have made our Summernats 4 Top 10 choices, but he did flip us the bird and go on to win SMOTY for that year!
Our poster child this issue was the B&M pro street 1967 Camaro; the company’s custom neon pink and purple-fade project car was built to showcase as many of its products as possible, right down to the universal joints. It even had a neon Bowtie in the grille – take that, Chevy badge haters!
CORRALLED out front of the old Hasham’s family restaurant in Sydney’s south for the cover of our 10th birthday issue were a mixed brew of hotties that all fell under the street machine genre: Kevin Monk’s ’69 Dodge Daytona, Barry and Lisa Birt’s ’57, Mark McCormack’s HQ and the ex-John Strachan Alley Cat panel van, then-owned by Jamie Scherrenberg.
Car features included Neville Philips’s grey LEGAL8 EH sedan and Adam Lock’s WB-fronted 454 Monaro. Our birthday celebrations included chats with all the former SM editors, as well as a beaut Hall of Fame piece that included the likes of Rex Webster’s FJ and Dave Bennett’s ‘Rat Attack’ ’89 SMOTY-winning HQ Monaro.
DRIVEN, not hidden! Chris Boundy’s 327-cube LC Torana flew off the cover of this issue sporting beautiful paint and graphics by Aussie car-building guru Paul Bennett. The pair are still in cahoots, with the LC currently being completely rebuilt and repowered with a Maserati engine!
Feature highlights were Kevin Monk Jr’s wild pro street Dodge Challenger, Vasko Talevski’s tough Hemi six-powered VH Charger and Greg Miskiewicz’s superb HD sedan.
Sports utes were the hot-ticket item at the time, so we pitched the HDT Magnum Commodore against a Tickford-enhanced XG XR6, and sorted the body and rims on our Project Wild Child giveaway WB ute!
THIS issue introduced us to the hot-car passion of a young Melbourne comedian named Eric Bana. We followed along with Eric as he tackled his first Targa Tasmania in his white XB Falcon hardtop that he’d built in his teenage years. Of course, both Eric and the Falcon went on to far bigger things, with the then-red XB the focus of his 2009 documentary Love The Beast.
Elsewhere in the issue there was individuality aplenty, with features on John Vergotis’s aqua XM-fronted XP convertible, Albert Anderson’s chop-top HZ ute and the late Kevin Moore’s V6 Commodore-powered Morris Minor ute, while we had the tech side sewn up with stories on supercharging an HSV ClubSport and our famous ‘Little League’ 253 engine build!
ARE you on this cover? We celebrated 10 years of Summernats with a massive spread and a Top 10 list that included Bill Murfin’s BILLIT HT Monaro, Paul Bennett’s pink ’68 Camaro and Ed Brodie’s amazing black MRHJ sedan. Roy Alati floored us with his super-neat blue S-Series that took Valiant builds to the next level, while Roger Heinrich and Tony no-name proved that bright colours were cool with a sweet-as-pie yellow XL Falcon and knockout magenta LX Torana respectively.
We also kept our front-row seats for part two of Darryl McBeth’s Sony Xplod build, where metal maestro Paul Bennett chopped the top and suicide two-doored the Commodore wagon’s shell, also filling the side windows for good measure.
Top 20 Street Machine covers part one: 1980s
Top 20 Street Machine covers part three: 2000s