WINTER Warmer

MELBOURNE TURNED ON SOME UNCHARACTERISTIC WINTER SU NSHINE SO WE COU LD CHECK OUT THE COOLEST CARS IN THE LAND AT MOTOREX 2016

Story BORIS VISKOVIC Photos CHRIS THOROGOOD & BV

THANKS to a year-long qualifying series, Meguiar’s MotorEx brings together the finest cars in the country to duke it out for the bragging rights of being crowned Superstars Grand Master – in other words, the best of the best.

It was no great surprise that Chris and Colleen Bitmead’s XBOSS Falcon (SM, May ’16) took home the top award, but I’m guessing there were some anxious moments for those guys after Adam and Kylie Perry’s back-to-front FB, Tailspin, took home gold in three of the categories. “We weren’t planning on debuting the car at MotorEx, but we wanted to make them work for it and give them a run for their money,” Adam said.

The two big drawcards were parked right next to each other at the front of the Superstars pavilion, ensuring a constant crowd around both, but there were still plenty of other great rides to see, with all of the Superstars qualifiers that could make it to Melbourne on display. Of the 16 qualifiers, the judges narrowed them down to the Super Six, with XBOSS and Tailspin joined by Peter Elliot’s SIMPLICITY tudor, Steve Hopes’s SINISTR Camaro, Mal Apps’s INTREPID-C and Graeme Urquhart’s BLOWN FORTY.

Other highlights in that pavilion were Josh Cronin’s BEARS32 deuce three-window, a stunning car with a bit of a sad back-story, having been finished off by Josh after his father passed away while building it. It was also great to r o

THE SHOW DIDN’T LACK VARIETY. IN ONE PAVILION YOU COULD BE LOOKING AT A CHOPPED ’55 CHEVY, THEN WALK A FEW METRES AND BE CHECKING OUT A TAILDRAGGING ’36 PLYMOUTH COUPE STILL IN THE THROES OF BEING CUSTOMISED

see Brown Sugar again, one of my all-time favourite hot rods, now owned by Trent Driscoll and renamed Refined Sugar after he made a few mods to the car, chucked some chromies and wide whites on it and got it licensed and cruising.

The bulk of the show was spread over four pavilions, but the brisk but gorgeous weather also brought out a swag of cars for the outdoor show ’n’ shine. It was a real mix of old-school muscle cars, some hot rods, a smattering of Euro stuff and a sprinkle of JDM – in other words, something for everyone, and no one seemed to be knocking any of the cars, just enjoying everything that was on display. Of course, my favourite would have been the tubbed ’64 Rambler Classic that rocked up on Sunday, even if it did have a 400 Chev powering it.

That’s one thing that definitely wasn’t lacking at MotorEx Melbourne – variety. In one pavilion you could be looking at a chopped ’55 Chevy (Tim Fletcher), then walk a few metres and be checking out a taildragging ’36 Plymouth coupe still in the throes of being customised (Leon Davies). A few more steps might find you at a cool display of every GT Falcon from XR to XB. There was a

MOTOREX 2016 WAS A CRACKER. WITH SOME KILLER CARS IN THE BUILD, THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS ARE LOOKING PROMISING

bunch of late-model stuff there as well, but I’ll have to admit I pretty much bypassed all of that and headed to one of my favourite cars of the show, Jimmy Jivakis’s ’32 three-window.

I don’t think it won any prizes, but wow, what a car. Clean, simple and classy, but with a different take on your regular hot rod interior that just puts this car in a class of its own.

If you’re into restored muscle cars, there was a fair whack of them on display too, with Reef Green seeming to be the colour of choice amongst the GS and GT owners, although my favourite was the XB coupe of Bosko Serkinic, resplendent in Red Pepper and wearing the optional two-piece ‘Sports Road Wheels’, which is sales-speak for a set of steelies that look like mags. What was really cool was being next to Chris Bitmead when Bosko came up to him to congratulate him on how stunning XBOSS was. There probably aren’t too many GT restorers that are on our side of the fence when it comes to cutting up Falcon coupes!

All in all, MotorEx 2016 was a cracker of a show. Melbourne really brought its A-game in terms of weather and crowd numbers, and with some killer cars in the build, the next couple of years are looking promising. Next year the ball is back in Sydney’s court to see if they can show those Mexicans how to put on a car show, so get cracking ladies and gentlemen, you’ve got 12 months to get your machines finished.