IN THE April issue of Street Machine, we celebrate the life of the late Geoff Paradise, the bloke who founded the mag way back in 1981.
With SM, Paro fulfilled his dream of bringing a Car Craft-style publication to Australia, and in the process helped solidify the sport that we take for granted today. To do him justice, we called on a group of his mates, colleagues and rivals to share their memories of the Big Fella.
Thinking about Geoff and reading back through ‘his’ issues of SM was an emotional but instructive exercise. His aims for the mag might be broken down like this: to showcase the best and toughest street cars being built in Australia; to help the sport grow and develop; to provide serious technical articles; cover Australian drag racing at both the street level and top end; and, above all else, have fun with cars. He also had an eye for what was going on in new-car land and had a fair bit of time for four-cylinder and rotary-powered machines.
For the most part, I reckon we’ve stuck pretty close to Paro’s blueprint – though our focus on new cars has slipped in recent years, despite the fact that we are in the midst of the last great golden age of Australian muscle cars. The main reason for that is simply that the scene is so much bigger than it was in 1981. Back then, Paro was flat-out finding enough material to fill 116 pages each issue – today we struggle to find room for half of what we want to cover in each 172-page monster. So if it comes down to a choice between showcasing the latest XR8 or featuring a tough, street-driven XP that a bloke and his mates have painstakingly screwed together, then it is pretty obvious what we’ll do.
When it comes to getting the mix of cars right, we put in a lot of thought. This issue has everything from Steve Loader’s VF burnout/show car, to tough streeters like Pat Manariti’s XP, through to low-budget funsters like Justin and Mandy Strickland’s KE10 Corolla. We’re also doing more ‘where are they now’ features, and in this issue, we dug up the infamous LS6454 Chev and were pleased to discover it is being driven harder than it has been in a long time.
Tech-wise, we take a look at how to tune Edelbrock’s range of Performer Series carbies, and find out what is involved in retro-fitting air conditioning to a classic muscle car.
Show coverage is also a big part of the mag these days and in this issue we visit the annual Kandos Street Machine & Hot Rod smoke-fest, New Zealand’s Muscle Car Madness, the 50th Victorian Hot Rod Show and make our first visit to the mind-bending Mooneyes Yokohama show.
It is not a bad mix, but we can always do better. Paradise founded this mag for you and it remains yours, so let us know what we are doing right – and wrong – by dropping us an email: [email protected].