The first of anything is always memorable. However with a line-up of nine show-stopping cars and three jaw-dropping bikes, we’re confident that people will look back at the first ever FreeStyle Rides Inauguration at Meguiar’s MotorEx Melbourne as being the one against which all others are compared. Every facet was above and beyond; with its elevated viewing platform, the FreeStyle Rides Pavilion proved to be a knockout venue. Collectively, the machinery was of a higher standard than ever before, the variety of machinery was more diverse than ever before and the crowd was more blown away and more appreciative than ever before.
As Owen Webb says, “Having your vehicle unveiled at MotorEx is a very distinguished accolade within the modified car community. There’s always a lot of anticipation, with most guys spending many years building these blockbuster cars.”
It’s no wonder it pulls huge crowds and motivates car builders to pull out all the stops to be one of the select few who receive a coveted invitation to be part of Saturday morning’s FreeStyle Rides Inauguration. It really is the Greatest Rides on Show. Make sure you check out the huge photo gallery on the FreeStyle Rides website. In the meantime, here’s an overview of the 12 in the order they were unveiled, never-before-seen stunners that dazzled the throng of mesmerized Melbourne spectators!
DAMIEN HORNER 2002 HOLDEN COMMODORE UTE ‘FINE VY’
THIS IS THE second inauguration for Damien Horner’s stunning HOK Oriental Blue Commodore, FINE VY. The slick SS ute first made the cut in Sydney in 2012 after a massive rebuild. For 2014 Damien’s given it a tougher and more aggressive personality – most notably those massive 22×12 rear hoops. A lot of effort went into getting the ute to sit flat on the deck over those huge rear wheels, while retaining the factory suspension system.
“You can’t get a cigarette paper under there,” says Damien. While he was messing about down under, Damien also added a host of extra smoothing and detailing to make the car more competitive in the super-elite category.
Gone are the old Lambo-style doors, replaced with a completely re-engineered suicide set-up. The new door arrangement and the tubs in the rear meant that Damien had to completely re-upholster the cabin and refabricate the tray area. A full-size iPad has been incorporated into the centre of the dash to control a host of functions like engine start/stop, airbags, windows and the elaborative lighting system. Complete with centrifugal supercharger, the classy engine bay features extensive polishing and remains the benchmark for anybody looking to detail an EFI engine. FINE VY is one mighty fine street machine.
ALEXANDER GROZDANOSKI SCARFACE CHOPPER
ONE LOOK at Alex Grozdanoski’s insane chopper and you’ll be in no doubt that Scarface is his favourite movie of all time. “It’s a very powerful film,” says Alexander. “I love the quotes.” The bike features murals inspired by classic scenes from the movie, while the oil tank features two of Alex’s favourite Scarface quotes; “Everyday above the ground is a good day” and “I always tell the truth, even when I’m lying”.
Other movie references include the twin crossed 9mm hand guns embossed into the leather of the seat, along with the words; Money, Power, Women.
Finished in HOK Pagan Gold with heavy silver flake, along with extensive 24-caret gold plating on the rocker covers, primary drive shield, headlight, gearbox covers and exhaust shields – even the chain is gold plated!
The grunty 113 cubic-inch Ultima V-twin engine has been dressed in contrasting black with machined cooling fins and gets its 120rwhp down to the ground through a fat 330mm-wide rear tyre, which complements the sleek 23-inch front wheel riding on classic extended springer forks. The Scarface chopper has been two years in the making, with Alex making a big push to get it finished once he heard that Meguiar’s MotorEx was heading to his home town of Melbourne for the very first time.
Good call, mate!
TONY MORPHETT 1969 FORD MUSTANG
TONY Morphett knew better than to mess too much with one of the best looking shapes to ever come out of Detroit. Instead, his slick HOK Orion Silver (with heavy flake) Mach 1 is a refined take on a tough 60s muscle car. Tony never set out to build a wild Mustang; initially the idea was to restore it, however it turned out quite different. “Creative Custom Cars are responsible for all the work,” says Tony.
They moulded the factory taillight and headlight caps into the body and deleted other joins including the cowl. The rear wheel arches have been lowered, while the fronts have been raised to clear the high-profile muscle car-style tyres wrapped around 15-inch Halibrand Swirl wheels. Motivation is courtesy of an aluminium 427-cube Windsor topped with an eight throttle-body EFI and backed by a Tremec TKO 600 and nine-inch. For improved handing, the front features aftermarket top arms, coil-overs and an RRS power rack, while a triangulated four-link and coil-overs keep the rear hides planted. Inside, the custom dash was based on the original and ergonomics have been improved via grafting XF Falcon wiper and blinker controls atop the Mustang column. As trick as Tony’s Mustang has turned out, he’s adamant it’s going to see plenty of miles.
GARETH DAVIES SOUTHERN COMFORT CHOPPER
FOR THE last 10 years, Gareth Davies has unveiled a new bike every year at MotorEx and Melbourne was no different, with this year’s show stopper themed around the famous P51 Mustang fighter plane. “Even the name, Southern Comfort, has a WWII connection,” says Gareth. “I found a photo of an actual WWII bomber with Southern Comfort painted on the nose and the name stuck.”
Southern Comfort’s frame is hand-fabricated, with the fuel tank, guards, oil tank and belly pan all moulded in around it. Gareth calls the raised lip that runs down the centre ‘the Mowhawk’ and it’s adorned in airbrushed rivets to tie in with the P51 Mustang theme. The wheels incorporate propeller styling elements and carry a 250mm rear tyre and 21-inch front. The 125hp 113-cube Ultima Evo-based engine has been dressed in black to contrast with the HOK Orion Silver. Frame stretch was kept legal with the tank mounted higher to make it look longer. “I only build bikes that can be registered and ridden,” says Gareth. “It’s 100 per cent legal, with lights, blinkers, horn, everything.” Gareth’s long term goal is to continue building a host of new bikes, with one extra-special build each year to debut at Meguiar’s MotorEx. We think that’s a bloody good life goal.
DEBBIE & PETER MILLER 1932 FORD ROADSTER ‘C-DEUCE’
YOU’D THINK having a supercharged V12 in a ’32 roadster that’s been stretched six inches would the highlight. Oddly enough with Peter Miller’s C-DEUCE, it’s not. The main attraction is that Peter pretty much spent 15-years whittling 150-plus custom parts out of solid chunks of raw material.
The fibreglass body is from Deuce Customs and the chassis from Rod City. However just about everything else started as solid blocks of metal, including the injection manifold, rocker covers, sump, pulleys, bellhousing and the entire diff centre. “It started with the wheels,” says Peter. “I designed and machined the centres and that pretty much set the theme for the whole car.”
C-DEUCE features a host of one-off components including the pushrod-style front end and custom-made independent rear end. Even the Jaguar V12 is a hybrid, with late-model four-valve heads adapted to an old-school block. The distinctive HOK Tangello was chosen as it perfectly suits the style and theme of the roadster. There is a huge amount of detail on this car, even the leather interior by Kool Trim features the scalloped theme used throughout C-DEUCE. With so many pieces made from scratch, this really is a one-off hot rod.
GRAHAM LAITY 1969 CHEVROLET CAMARO GLLS7 ‘REEMED’
ALTHOUGH THIS is Graham Laity’s first show car, he’s owned plenty of desirable iron – all of which have been tough, fast streeters. And his HOK Brandywine ’69 Camaro, REEMED, is no different. “I’m going to show it a couple of times, then drive it like I stole it,” says Graham. Look out when he does, as this ProTouring RS will be plenty quick, especially in the corners. The re-engineered TCI suspension includes a new front clip that incorporates all-new, double-A-arm suspension with modern geometry and sturdy uprights.
Out back is TCI’s three-link set-up, which is similar to what Camaros used right up to 2002. With coil-overs at each corner it’s all fully adjustable, and it’s all finished in HOK Galaxy Grey. Inside the huge 19×12 and 18×8.5 Rushforth wheels are massive six-piston Wilwood brakes – which work a treat with the ultra-sticky Nitto rubber.
REEMED is not lacking in the power department thanks to its 550hp, 7.0-litre (427ci) LS7 crate motor, which is mated to a Tremec Magnum six-speed. Holding Graham’s bum in place are reshaped Corbeau seats that have been covered in imported Scottish leather that’s unique in Australia. Ever since he was a kid, Graham has wanted a real tough 1969 Camaro. Looks like he nailed it!
ADAM ROGASH 2000 HSV CLUBSPORT ‘NOSHOW’
VERY well known in the Commodore community, Adam Rogash’s 2000-model Clubsport, NOSHOW, is a street/strip weapon that has run 9.70@146mph with the factory IRS and full interior! “That was as fast as the car could go,” says Adam. “We had to detune the heck out of it. The more power it made, the worse it would run.” While 9.7 is fast, Adam had his heart set on mid-eights – so it was time for a quick six-week revamp at Adam’s workshop, MPW Performance. The most obvious change is the new HOK Cobalt Blue paint scheme, however plenty more is different.
To facilitate those mid-eight aspirations, the 419ci LS has a new cam, all-new intake and twin 69mm billet Turbonetics blowers pushing output to around 1500hp. To put the extra power down, NOSHOW now sports a proper four-link, tubs and a Strange nine-inch along with a wing and parachute – all of which required extensive sheet-metal work. Up front there’re 90/10 struts to help with weight transfer. And while Adam’s Clubbie has gained a six-point cage, it’s lost weight thanks to the immaculately-painted, stripped-out interior. Although NOSHOW is a lot angrier now, it’s still road registered and the fresh build won’t stop it from seeing street duties.
GRAHAM LINEKER 1932 FORD TUDOR ‘MISS B HAVEN’
“THIS IS not a show car,” declares Graham Lineker about his amazing HOK Shimrin2/Gamma Gold ’32 Tudor. “I built it at home in the garage and can’t wait to burn the tyres.” Forming the basis of Graham’s stunning ’32 is a Rod City chassis outfitted with a four-bar rear and hairpins up front, complete with Super Bell alloy axles sporting So Cal discs inside faux, finned drum-brake covers. Wanting a tough driveline, Graham opted for an alloy Cleveland-headed 427-cube small-block Windsor that pumps out a stout 650hp.
Like the body, CAD Elite Body & Paint covered the chassis and driveline in the same HOK Shimrin II/Gamma Gold. Graham went for the Deuce Customs tudor body as he wanted a family car with a proper back seat. In keeping with a traditional theme, the ’32 retains the exposed door hinges, rear-mounted fuel tank, motorcycle guards, push-out front screen and cowl scoop. This all works nicely with the ET Gasser and ET Fueler wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich whitewalls. “I can’t believe how well it’s turned out,” says Graham. “I just wanted to build a car to get into the hot rodding scene a bit more.” Welcome to the club mate!
ROBERT ZAHABI 1970 CHEVROLET NOVA ‘KAM NOVA’
THIS BRUTAL-looking, HOK Jet Black 1970 Nova is the latest blockbuster from the workshop of Rides by Kam. After the massive 22-inch rear rolling stock and low stance thanks to the Ridetech airbags, the most in-your-face aspect of Rob’s Nova are a pair of F2 Prochargers sitting either side of the 572-cube big-block Chev. “The symmetrical billet blowers were custom-made for this car,” says Rob, “and are good for 1500hp.”
A lot of effort went into ensuring symmetry; even the PWR radiator sports matching twin fillers and overflows. Another novel feature is the monstrous Brembo brake package that Brembo specially engineered just for this build. “There’s not one part of this car that hasn’t been customised,” says Rob, “and it’s all done in steel.” All the moulds have been deleted, with metal added in to smooth off those areas. There’s a custom front spoiler and the Nova has received an 80mm sill drop that wraps seamlessly across to the beefed-up chassis. Underneath has been extensively smoothed and there’s not a single piece of polish or chrome in sight. Every aluminium strip, vent, knob, handle … even the column was either painted or anodized black. All of which gives KAM Nova a brutal, sinister appearance.
BROCK MAHONEY 1977 FORD XC HARDTOP ‘IN ENVY’
THIS fantastic XC GS coupe has been in Brock Mahoney’s life since new. “I grew up in this car,” says Brock. “Dad bought it new in 1977 and after serving as the family daily for many years, he eventually gave it to me.” Before undertaking the build, Brock spent almost a full year planning every facet of the car. He even put together a PowerPoint presentation to show Rides by Kam who built IN ENVY in their Queensland workshop. One of the numerous standout features is the colour; it’s a custom Shimrin2 gold flake over a HOK Re-Entry Red base. The smoothed engine bay houses a stout 351 Windsor topped with an 8/71 huffer and EFI-equipped Bug Catcher scoop.
To get the stylish coupe sitting in the weeds over its 20 and 22-inch wheel and tyre combo, the front has been converted to air struts, while the rear features Shockwave airbags and a triangulated four-link set-up. Inside it’s flat floors and leather everywhere, with Dakota Digital gauges in the custom dash. After a two and half-year build, it was only a matter of weeks before MotorEx that Brock’s dream began to resemble a car again. Post Inauguration he’s looking forward to sitting back and taking it all in, and then going for a drive.
JOHNNY CENTI 2014 custom CHOPPER ‘GOLD RUSH’
WITH ITS bold HOK Zenith Gold (with big flake) offset by intricately pin-striped, pearl-white scallops, there’s nothing subtle about Johnny C’s Gold Rush chopper. Major attention grabbers include the 124-cube TP V-twin churning out a thumping 150rwhp to the open-belt primary and six-speed gearbox, all of which has been meticulously polished to match the bike’s multitude of billet accessories. The CME front end and modern running gear are in contrast to the classic flake and pin-striping – making Gold Rush a mix of old and new themes that all work beautifully together.
“I love old school, 60s stuff,” says Johnny, “which is why I chose that colour. It’s killer, I was born in the wrong era.” For something different, a white GT-style stripe running the full length of Gold Rush was added to give the bike an even more distinctive look. Although Johnny C built it for himself, it’s definitely a bit of a promotional tool for his business, Extreme Customs, which is why he went so radical. The bike has been under construction for a few years, however he put in a big effort over the last six months to get it finished for MotorEx. “It was bit like a biker build-off, getting it done in time,” Johnny says.
JOHN SAAD 1972 MAZDA RX3 ‘FATRX3’
JOHN HAS gone to the absolute extreme with his crowd-stopping FATRX3 sedan. There’s not much more that could be possibly done. “Mazda’s are not your typical show car,” says John. “I wanted to build a car to change that perception.” Looking at the stratospheric levels of detail and finish, it’s definitely mission accomplished. CS Engineering did most of the fabrication and isn’t there some! The engine bay and underside have been smoothed, while the body has been lowered over the chassis. The strut front end has been replaced with a double A-arm design, while a triangulated four-link anchors the rear.
Every panel has been significantly massaged, every edge has been radiused, there’s not a sharp edge or join in sight. The bonnet now opens forward, the bumper bars are sucked into the body and the radiator support panel has been moulded in and around the radiator and intercooler. Custom Bodyworks was tasked with getting it all ‘straight as’ and laying on the sumptuous HOK Galaxy Grey. Turning those massive 22-inch rear rollers is a 450hp Cosmo 13B turbo, while colossal 16-inch discs and six-spot calipers haul it back to a stop. FATRX3 is arguably the world’s best RX3 and is most certainly the benchmark against which all others will be judged.
See the extensive gallery at www.motorex.com.au