“I build cars that no-one else in the world has ever come close to. If you want a car done, you know where to come. You want it built, we can build it.” And with that comment, most people in the custom automotive industry will agree that no-one polarises opinions quite like Mohammed, the Don of Queen Street Smash. “I’m the type of guy that’s straight out. I love what I do, I don’t harm anyone, and if someone’s doing better than me, I wish them luck. I’m not a jealous person. But there’s a lot of jealousy in the car game; they call you a drug dealer, a shifty c*nt… Why? I’m not a bad person.” “A lot of people look at me and think ‘Look at that bloke. Where did he get the money to build that car?’ Good on ‘em. The thing that kept me going was the jealous people who doubted me. You love me, you hate me – I don’t care.” By his own admission, early on, Mohammed was a bit of a wild child from the Western Suburbs of Sydney. It was starting his own business as a young man that saved him – “I always stayed strong” – whilst others around him succumbed to drugs and violence.
“I’ve always wanted to customise cars,” Mohammed explains. “Anything with wheels, I can pull apart. It started with skateboards and pushbikes, using $2 Pascal spray cans.” He virtually worked for free in the initial year of his apprenticeship, rising at 4.30am every day to do the train trek to Hornsby on Sydney’s North Shore. The first five years he was in business were also a challenge, to the point where Mohammed says his mates had to shout him lunch most days. Outspoken and irrepressible, Mohammed Ibrahim is arguably the driving force behind the modern tuning scene and he continues the momentum with his spectuacular BMW drag car.
“I love the recognition now that I’ve gotten on top of things,” emphasises Mohammed, whose work ethic sees him cram in as much as he can in a workday. He prides himself on never having let a customer down. Queen Street Smash receives a lot of cars from other shops for rectification work and Mohammed always wonders why the clients don’t come to him in the first place. “In the show scene, you’ve got young guys spending all this money and not getting anywhere. You don’t just build a one-off car, f*ck him off and that’s it. The guy will never build a car again because he hates your guts and you’ve made him hate cars. We’re not here to do that.
We never rebuild the same cars. A car comes in, gets painted, it goes, and doesn’t come back unless it’s been damaged or the customer comes with a new car. That’s how you keep your clientele.” Of course, the man who’s built countless cars for others has constructed some of the most amazing rides for himself too, and his drag-racing BMW is a case in point. “I just wanted to do something to blow everyone away. Black is tough, gold is ‘bling’, and carbon is expensive, so I put the three best combos together. There’s been 1.4 million hits on YouTube; that’s the following we’re getting on our four-rotor. “The boys and I sat down and said ‘What are we going to do with the car? How are we going to make it look out-of-this-world?’” Mohammed continues, “We build that many cars that people either love them, hate them or don’t want to know about them. I wanted to build a car where really you can’t hate it; you’re either going to love it or you’re going to be jealous. I wanted to show the world – not just Australia – how to build a car.
“We’ve got a little rotary that first came out making 80Hp, we’re now making 1660Hp. We’ve taken it to another level,” Mohammed boasts, “all we’ve got to do now is design a billet engine to take even more. We want to make about 1800 “I wanted to build a car where really you can’t hate it, you’re either going to love it or you’re going to be jealous” to 2000Hp comfortably, so that’s our next challenge. It’ll take a couple of years; nothing happens overnight”. Mohammed didn’t build the Beemer for shows; he built it to race. He won’t build a full-on, jaw-dropping show car because he can’t drive it. “I don’t walk into a car show and look at a car that was there last year – been there, done that. That’s why I like building drag cars, because the story continues, it doesn’t stop there,” says Mohammed. “Look at the Osmans, they’re a perfect example. Where are they now? What do they do with their cars?
“The car ran 7.3 @ 193; it went pretty fast and was still testing. We go out testing and pushing boundaries. Who thought rotaries were going to run 6.5s? PAC Performance just ran a 6.6 – very impressive. They are one of my main inspirations. I’ve got to give it to Rocky, he is the man,” admits Mohammed. “Good on ‘em. I like passionate people. I look up to people with attention todetail, people that set a standard. We’re not saying we’re going to beat them, bu we’d love to be up there with them. Gareth Davies is a lovely bloke too. I’ve known him for a couple of years and he’s down-to-earth.” Mohammed’s number one inspiration is none other than Owen Webb: “I love Owen. He is my man. I look up to him for what he’s done for the scene and he plays a very, very big part. From when I met him, Owen’s never backstabbed me; he’s always sent me up the right path. Owen’s probably the main guy that’s made me so passionate and I always tell him that.” Queen Street Smash has been a big supporter of MotorEx over the past few years. Mohammed and his crew put everything into getting the E46 drag car to MotorEx 2010: “We were in a room for three days straight, trying to make a masterpiece. To represent House of Kolor, you want to have a good paint job. The car is that good, I won without a trophy.”
OWNER: The Ibrahim Brothers
VEHICLE: BMW 2006 M3 CLS
BODY: Chrome Moly full tube chassis, Custom Stretched 18inch carbon front end and doors, Handcrafted carbon wheel tubs and interior panels, Carbon rear wing
PAINT: House of Kolor Black, Black with gold pearl, Gold leaf & Gold pinstriping & carbon fibre
INTERIOR: 23k gold plated Kirkey racing seat, Suede rooflining, Motec dash
DRIVETRAIN: 5speed air shifted Lenco, Ace aluminium triple plated adjustable clutch and flywheel 23K gold plated Moly tail shaft, Custom diff housing Alloy Mark Williams centre, Strange 40 spline full floater hubs and axles
BRAKES AND SUSPENSION: Front: Strange ultra-lite calipers and slotted rotors Rear: Wilwood four-pot calipers and Strange curved vane rotors Front: Strange spindle mount coilovers and 300lb 23K gold plated springs Rear: Koni electric coilovers and 85lb 23K gold plated springs
ENGINE: Custom built Bridgeport quad rotor, Lightened Series 4 rotors, Billet crank shaf, Custom Graphic Skills Racing intake manifold, Twin 95mm throttle bodies, 20 x 1600cc injectors, Billet dry sump and oil system, GT60 turbo and 75mm wastegate, Stainless exhaust manifold and 5” dump pipe
ELECTRICS: Motec M800 ECU, Dual mode CDI-8 ignitions
WHEELS: Front: Weld Billet spindle mount wheels and Goodyear front runners. Rear: Weld 16×16 double bead lock rims and 33.5x17x16 Goodyear slicks
THANK YOU: The Queen St crew, my brother Bakr, Graphic Skills Racing, Bodyform, Owen from House of Kolor, Meguiar’s, Dahtone racing, my brother-in-law Raby, Aboud, Raph, Porky, little Moe, Phil Ed, Tubbs and all the people that made this happen.
Story: Elias Velis
Photography: Michael Marsellos