30 Rock




MOTORVATION turned 30 this year, but instead of settling down, buying a 4WD and going fishing, WA’s biggest car festival got some new threads and went out on the town.

While burnouts have always been a big part of the fun, a couple of years ago an Active Elite class was put in place, allowing owners to take their cars out of the elite show and cut some laps around the Motorplex – and I don’t mean just through the pit area. We’re talking down the strip and through the Snakepit. Quite often the cars would return with rubber sprayed across the back, with most owners leaving it on as a badge of honour and proof that the car does run and can turn the tyres.

This year the organisers also worked very hard to make sure the elite tent was full of quality cars, even bringing together seven of the nine previous Grand Champs (Allan Kirk’s LC Torana and Mark Miocevich’s XB GT coupe being the missing pair). These cars were all shown together in a Legends display and had their own competition to decide the Champion of Champions award. Alison Lougher’s 6APEAL Torana was judged the winner – a fitting reward for a stunning car that does get driven.

The paddock wasn’t as crowded as previous years, but this was an intentional move by the organisers, who limited the numbers to around 500 cars. While there weren’t as many cars to look at, the quality was definitely up, and the benefit of not having to wait so long to go cruising was that there weren’t the traffic jams of years gone by. It can get pretty warm in Perth at the end of January, so idling in a hot car on a dragstrip is not somewhere you want to be.


AS IF it wasn’t enough to build, prepare, maintain and compete with two top-level burnout cars, Justen Brown also manages to finish at or near the top in just about every comp he enters.

This year he finished first (with STRUGLIN) and third (with WONA GO), with the other place on the podium filled by good mate and fellow Fordhold Wreckers team member Matt Purnell in BLACKOUT.

With near-identical combos in each (bar the injector hats), both Justen’s cars are reliable and always on song. The basics are: 377ci smallblock Chev, Littlefield 8/71, port nozzle and hat injection and a heapin’ helpin’ of methanol.

Justen also built a car for his wife Kara, a VK with a blown, carby-fed combo dubbed RIDINRIMS, but she never got the chance to skid it. “I blew it up on Friday night; I snapped a rod bolt,” Justen said. “When I built it I only put cheap shit in the bottom end and George [Separovich] was going off at me, but I said: ‘Don’t worry, it’ll never make power.’ I never thought it was going to be what it is, but you get that. Just needs two pistons, crank and rods – the rest is good.”

Heaven help us if Justen decides to compete with three cars!

Twice as nice


ABOVE: Jordan Leist’s ’62 Cadillac is all class and proves that less is more. Apart from airbags, wires and some metalflake paint, it’s pretty much as it left the factory 01: Frank Santopolo’s HX is one of those cars that looks stock at first glance but has been built to the highest standard. There’s a neat 355 Holden stroker in the engine bay, backed by a Turbo 350 and a nine-inch, with some mini-tubs 02: Top Judged Street Rod was Phil and Leonie Wall’s stunning ’32 tudor. It took home trophies for Top Paint & Bodywork, Interior and Undercarriage, and all you Ford lovers can rejoice as it’s still Fordpowered with a 351 Clevo up front for and Fordpowered front 03: All bar two of the MV Grand Champions were in attendance, and they went head to head for the Champion of Champions crown, which was awarded to Alison Lougher’s impeccably detailed LH Torana 04: Being in the Active Elite part of the tent means you can go out and drive your car, or in the case of Reece Regan, flog the crap out of it. His Papaya Orange SS hatch still has the stock 13in rims, but thanks to a 355, Harrop single-plane and 750 Quick Fuel carb, it makes a little more power than stock 05: Keith and Jenny Dickson’s stunning ’57 Chevy impressed the judges enough to finish in the Top 10. It’s been updated with modern running gear, an LS3 and 4L80E trans, and a custom interior with all the mod cons. Airbags and 19x8 and 20x10 Schott Custom rims complete the package 06: Here’s something you don’t see every day. Brodie De Aguiar has taken a Gemini coupe and gone to town on it with airbags and a turbo 1.6 on E85 that makes 350hp at the wheels! It’s also the best use of a VZ vent I’ve seen 07: Mark Atkinson’s red-on-red HK Monaro is a stunning restoration with a bit of extra attitude thrown in. A tough small-block with AFR HK heads and a set of Weld Racing rims are about the only deviations from stock, and the paint and bodywork was judged to be the best in the tent 08: People’s Choice was awarded to Marlisa Beets’s ’49 Mercury limo, a fibreglass body moulded off an original that they constructed themselves! It features a sliding door and roof so that the bride can get in and out of the car gracefully RIGHT: It was a bit of a mad rush, but Mark ‘Happy’ Williams got his one-tonner to Motorvation and managed to take a bit of tread off those massive rear tyres as part of the Active Elite group

Grand Champ

CLINT Di Giovanni’s Capri featured in SM, Dec ’11, when it was blue. Not much has changed since, although Clint did fabricate and fit an adjustable front suspension not long before Motorvation.

His preparation for the event was probably a bit different to most. While others were pampering and polishing their cars, Clint took the Capri up to Barbagallo Raceway and did about 35 laps.

This wasn’t some test ’n’ tune either, this was the Christmas party that his business Street, Race & Muscle puts on in conjunction with ACM Electrical.

Like Summernats, the Motorvation GC is a combination of show and go, and often the go part is the stumbling block. With Top Judged in the bag, it was Clint’s to lose. “The first run in the driving events was a bit squirrely because the tyres still had all the marbles from the race track,” he said.

Even so, the Capri was clearly quicker than the other contenders, even beating Stuart Vernon’s big-block Camaro pro tourer, both in the twisty bits and the go-to-whoa.

Oh, and by the way, it’s actually Clint’s wife’s car. So, well done Natasha Di Giovanni!

Riot Patrol

I LOVE seeing things you wouldn’t normally expect pulling ripper skids, and Jason Fletcher’s Nissan Patrol is precisely one of those cars.

It seems he’s got a bit of a thing for Land Cruiser recovery vehicles, as he’s got another Patrol (LOOSE CHANGE) that he’s skidded for a while. “My old man has had one for longer than I’ve been around,” he said. “It’s the first thing I learnt to drive and I’ve always been around them, so I had to stick with it.”

After he went rods-out at UBC Bindoon with the old Patrol, he decided to do the wagon version – that means the whole thing was done in about three months. Most of that time was spent filling and smoothing the engine bay and getting the LS2 mounted. “I’ve pulled the front diff out and made my own front crossmember, and we smoothed out the firewall as well. The coils are behind the firewall mounted to my mum’s chopping board. My old Patrol had a catchcan made from one of Mum’s saucepans, so I had to use something of Mum’s.”

The LS2 was screwed together by Blown Motorsports and has strong internals to make sure it hangs together. It’s topped by a Holley Hi-Ram intake with Quick Fuel 750 carbs delivering the methanol.

With a fresh paintjob in Toyota Hot Lava by Kustom Panel & Paint, it was one of the best-presented cars on the pad.

The cruising was also separated into a Smooth Cruise and a Super Cruise, the difference being no burnouts were allowed on the Smooth Cruise. From what I could see, people stuck to the rules, but many of them did both, smashing tyres one minute and then lining up in the lane for the more leisurely cruise. As Motorvation committee member Gavin Migro put it to me: “There isn’t another event in the country that lets you go flat-out on a drag strip and do burnouts.” But of course, a couple of clowns still decided to do skids in the paddock – amongst all the public and kids in strollers – and got turfed out on their arses quick smart. There’s ample opportunity to smoke the tyres during the cruising, so why people do this is beyond me.

Speaking of burnouts, there are still shitloads at Motorvation. It starts off on Friday night with the Pound the Ground competition, a winner-takes-all event that gets the crowd in the mood for a three-day diet of tyre smoke and rubber. Chad Douglas in his mental twin-turbo Commodore ute 2MENTAL took home the bacon and earned an instant spot in the Sunday finals.

Other standouts and crowd favourites were Aiden Stampalia, who slammed together an HZ Premier with an LS combo in a matter of weeks and proceeded to skid it like he stole it. He even went out the exit chute, spun the car around and headed back onto the pad, which brought a massive cheer from the crowd but several stern looks from the judges.

Yep, apparently you can’t do that.

Jason Fletcher’s RUCKUS Patrol was another favourite. It looked great with its Hot Lava Orange paint and tunnel-rammed LS, but the way he threw it around the burnout pad made you think he was driving a Mighty Boy!

There were plenty of neat cars doing the cruising, but not many of them stopped long enough for me to chat to their owners, and there was a bunch of cool stuff in the elite tent too, but check out the pics and make up your own mind. Then rock up next year and join in the fun. s M OTO R V AT I O N