Go Fast Guru

LEGEND

STORY MATT REEKIE PHOTOS CHRIS THOROGOOD

WE CAUGHT UP WITH HOODOO GURUS FRONTMAN AND ALL-ROUND CAR NUT DAVE FAULKNER AT SUMMERNATS 29

WHEN Hoodoo Gurus arrived at Summernats 29, their eyes were practically popping out of their heads. The four band members – vocalist/guitarist Dave Faulkner, guitarist Brad Shepherd, bassist Rick Grossman and new drummer Nik Rieth – were glued to the windows of the 12-seater they rode in on, completely stunned by the carmageddon taking place around them.

“If you just see just a couple of these cars on the road on a Friday or a Saturday night you’re astonished, so seeing hundreds is mindblowing!” said Dave, who, as the biggest car guy in the band, was slightly more tickled than the rest of them. Which was very tickled indeed.

SM already had an inkling Dave was a fellow enthusiast. Years ago we got wind that he owned an XC Cobra and we hounded him for a chat and a photoshoot. But he always knocked us back, saying the car was not up to scratch. You gotta give him credit for that attitude.

Still, we never found out what was actually wrong with the car until ’Nats 29, when we cornered Dave ‘backstage’ (which was literally inside a shipping container) before the Gurus rocked the main arena on the Saturday night.

Street Machine was bugging you for an interview years ago. How come you wouldn’t let us see your Cobra, so to speak?

Yeah, I had an XC Cobra, number 362. A friend found it for me. She was driving home from work and saw it outside a tyre place and said to me: “I saw your car on the side of the road with a ‘For Sale’ sign on it.” I went and had a look at it and I was laughing. I was like: “I can’t believe I can buy this incredible car right now!” That was the coolest car I ever had, but it had a few mishaps. It got hail damage and then a guy did a shit job of repainting it; it was the wrong colour white!

I was embarrassed.

Did you think about having it repainted?

I kept meaning to but I never did. I ended up selling it to a friend who was going to take it back

to showroom [condition]. I sold it to him cheap and he made it his project, but then he wasn’t working for a while and sold it 12 months later for a lot more money, which was not supposed to happen.

Ouch. What are you driving now?

I’ve got a 2003 Monaro CV8. That’s a nice car and never gives me a moment’s trouble. Actually, there was a moment’s trouble recently and I needed to replace the engine.

What happened?

It was needing an upgrade anyway because it felt like it wasn’t quite as responsive. Then I had a problem with floodwater being ingested into the air intake and it shat itself, the pistons went through the crankcase, it was fucked. But the insurance company covered it and now it’s got a nice LS1 in it, and I’m very happy.

Can you remember the sketchiest vehicle the Hoodoo Gurus travelled in?

Absolutely, Brad’s car when we went on our first Tojo Tour in 1983. It was some Japanese shitbox.

We were driving from Sydney to Melbourne on the coldest night of the year and the car had no seals anywhere, so just freezing air blowing in.

It was disgusting. Then we got stuck at Albury- Wodonga, broke down on the outskirts of town at two in the morning and had to wait until the servo down the road opened so we could get someone to come help fix the car. It was just a shit night. s

MY XC COBRA WAS THE COOLEST CAR I EVER HAD, BUT IT GOT HAIL DAMAGE AND THEN A GUY DID A SHIT JOB OF REPAINTING IT; IT WAS THE WRONG COLOUR WHITE!