THE 2018 running of the Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year award is a history-making affair. Since the inception of the award, the contributors of Street Machine have voted to decide the finalists, before the responsibility of selecting the winner is turned over to you – our valued readers.
This year, however, we’ve handed you the keys to the city. Not only will the winner ultimately be decided by popular vote, but the pool of 16 nominees has been decided according to the will of the people via whichcar.com.au/ streetmachine. And you’ve got great taste too, might we add!
Among the nominees we have some quality skid cars, awe-inspiring show cars, genuine streeters, wildly overpowered Tuff Street ground-pounders, and a noticeable resurgence of good oldfashioned ‘custom’ street machines.
Congratulations to the finalists. You are here by virtue of the most democratic SMOTY voting process ever, and that’s something to be proud of. As for the readers, your work here is not yet done! Read on to find out how to vote, and what you can win for your troubles!
TO BE eligible, cars must be primarily Australian-built and featured in one of the past 12 issues of Street Machine. Elite show cars, tough streeters and ballistic burnout weapons are among the finalists, and the outright winner is decided by you!
NOT only does your vote count towards your favourite car getting the gong, but it also puts you in the draw to win the ultimate Summernats experience. You and a mate could be off to Canberra on us, with flights from the winner’s nearest Australian capital (or from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch if you live in NZ), four nights in a top hotel, two Platinum Passes to Summernats 32, a pair of VIP passes to the exclusive Street Machine party, and $1000 spending money to boot!
SIMPLY jump online and head to smoty.com.au, follow the prompts to the promotion entry page and complete the entry form (including your full name, mailing address, telephone number and valid email address), and vote for your favourite vehicle. Voting opens 16 August 2018 and closes 8 October 2018 at 23:59 (AEDT). To help you make your choice, you’ll also be able to view the original feature stories on all 16 finalists on the site. You can only vote once, so make it count!
1988 - HQ UTE - Alan Cooper
1989 - HQ MONARO - Dave Bennett
1990 - HQ UTE - Ron Barclay 1991 - XY FALCON - Craig Parker
1992 - XB FALCON GT - Frank Piccolo
1993 - 1964 CORVETTE - Frank Rejtano
1994 - FJ HOLDEN - Colin Townsend
1995 - XA FALCON - Howard Astill FJ HOLDEN - Darryl McBeth
1996 - 1955 CHEVROLET - John Riskas
1997 - HT MONARO - Bill Murfin
1998-99 - HJ HOLDEN - Ed Brodie
2000 - HQ MONARO - Alan Lucas
2001- FORD MUSTANG - Gary Myers
2002 - 1957 CHEVROLET - Mark Jones
2003 - EH HOLDEN - Adam LeBrese
2004 - LJ TORANA - Steve Leerentveld
2005 - FORD MUSTANG - Gary Myers
2006 - HK MONARO - Adam Barbaresco & Donny Kevric
2007 - HK MONARO - Mark Sullivan
2008 - HQ ONE-TONNER - Rob Godfrey
2009 - LX TORANA - Angela Dow
2010 - BARRACUDA - Graeme Cowin
2011- FC HOLDEN - Peter & Michelle Fitzpatrick
2012 - XC FALCON - Adam LeBrese
2013 - XR FALCON - Mick Fabar
2014 - FB HOLDEN - Henry Parry
2015 - HR UTE - Nathan Booth
2016 - XB FALCON COUPE - Chris Bitmead
2017 - XA FALCON COUPE - Gary Myers
“I DID all the fab stuff myself, and my brother and I did the panel beating together,” said Shane Keene of his gorgeous EH ute. “We were working on it every day after work for four years in our backyard shed.” Shane is proud of the fact that his blown, small block-powered EH ute is shed-built, and so he should be. After all, it made the Top 60 at Summernats 31, graced the cover of Street Machine, and scored a SMOTY nomination!
A PRO touring masterpiece powered by a 604ci Ray Barton Hemi, Antony Atkin’s ’74 Plymouth Barracuda is as black as the ace of spades and just as sinister. Kinsler eight-stack injection sits atop the monster Hemi, which spits out a monumental 970hp! “I could have put a crate motor in it for six or seven grand, but I wanted the biggest-horsepower and biggest-cube motor they could build, so that cost a lot more,” explained Antony. “I did everything as top-notch as I could possibly do it.”
WITH stunning paint, slick panelwork, a slammed stance and monstrous wheels, Ben Judd’s PRO EH was always going to be a full-blooded people magnet. But it’s only after being drawn in by those big-ticket items that you get blown away by the clever marriage of old-school 202 six, the incredible attention to detail, and the innovative interior – all of which set tongues wagging at MotorEx 2017.
JOHN Saad wanted a streetable car that had 1000hp naturally aspirated, “no blowers, no turbos”. And that’s exactly what FAT XY is. With an engine bay filled to the brim with a massive 673ci Sonny Leonard, hemi-headed big-block Ford, this gorgeous black XY GT tribute exceeded John’s requirements with a bona fide 1354 98-octanefriendly horses.
LOOK closely at any square inch of Steve Bellia’s ultra-sanitary XB and you’ll quickly realise that nothing is what it seems. Everything is modified (even if only subtly), re-engineered, or fabricated from scratch to be smoother, slicker and a whole lot neater. It’s not just the number plates that scream “fat”, it’s also the mean pro street stance and mile-wide rear rubber – all necessary, given the 754hp on offer from the 434ci Ford.
FOR custom car fans, Grant Mahoney’s extensively modified HQ Holden wagon is a blast of fresh air in this era of obsessive nut-and-bolt restos. The car boasts an exquisite level of detail throughout, and is slung low – or pitched high, for that matter – on airbags at all four corners. “I’d been planning this car for years – it’s all the things I wanted to do when I was 18,” Grant told us. “All these ideas have been spinning around; the wagon is almost exactly as I first imagined it.”
OUT of the Southern Rod & Custom stable, Shaun Braybrook’s HK Monaro is a drop-dead stunner. Starting with arguably the most revered body shape in street machining, the SR&C team created a resto-mod masterpiece without compromising any of the genuine GTS’s original appeal. The car has been completely re-engineered from a handling and braking perspective and stuffed full of 434ci of small-block Chev, wrapped up neatly in a factory-inspired colour scheme and GTS warpaint.
ANY time you drop a Holden engine – especially a 253 – into a Ford, you’re going to polarise people. But when we saw Shannon Heraud’s killer MkI Escort at MotorEx, we fell so deeply in love that we put it on the cover of our August issue. In turn, you loved it enough to nominate it as one of your favourite 16 street machines of 2018, and it’s easy to see why. The car has boundless appeal, with its loud-and-proud blown-andinjected thongslapper, prodigious stance, and fat Minilite-style rollers.
ROCKING a striking two-tone paintjob, bench seat and dashmounted shifter, this VH SL/E stands out from the crowd. It was one of the star unveil cars of Summernats 31, and it is packed with innovative features. We were into it as soon as we laid eyes on it, and the judges agreed, awarding it a swag of tinware including outright Tuff Street Champion. A mental, 1050hp Whipple-blown LS is one of many highlights.
THE more you look at Peter and Judy Beachamp’s WILDFB Holden, the more you see. They’ve owned it for 28 years and it once served as the Beachamp family daily, but these days it’s a far cry from those humble beginnings. We’re talking a two-door conversion and tilt front end, which flips forward to reveal a twin-turbo Lexus V8. The list of modifications is extensive, and the car is finished to absolute perfection.
WITH a carb-fed 355ci Holden motor and four-speed cogswapper, Jason McGrath’s delectable pro street LC Torana is decidedly old-school in the powertrain department. Searing Spitfire Green paint, a great stance and a neat custom interior make it a well-rounded, genuinely street-driven car, tidy enough to finish up in the Elite Top 20 at Summernats 31 – no mean feat.
MOST parents are against the idea of their offspring spending heaps of cash on cars. Not so with Scott Reeves – it was actually his dad’s suggestion to build the brutal XY street/strip weapon you see here. A howling small-block Ford spits out 770hp – more with nitrous – and most of the build was done at home in the shed, so Scott and his dad Robert were stoked to pick up the Engineering Excellence award in Pro Tuff at Summernats 31.
WHAT’S not to love about Phil’s real steel, eightsecond, 1740kg street bruiser? Packing a turbocharged small-block Ford worth 1400hp, the big hardtop takes Street Machine Drag Challenge in its stride (pulling a giant trailer, mind you), rips down the quarter in 8.46@165mph, sees regular street use, and looks great doing it.
DAVID Xuereb bought himself this Corty from a Parramatta Road caryard as a fresh-faced 14-year-old lad, and their relationship has been an enduring one. Back then it was a six-pot, but it evolved steadily over the years as David swapped in a 302 and turned it into a bit of a hottie. But this latest build really elevated things – the car is now a full-blown, mirrors-on-the-ground showstopper, popular enough to pick up People’s Choice at Summernats 31.
GRAHAME Barker’s FX ute is a stellar example of what you can achieve if you’re patient and take your time with a project. The car was 20 years in the build, but what a great result! Detailed to absolute perfection and beautifully engineered, the car won Top Judged Elite at Summernats – the top gong for Elite-level show cars at Australia’s biggest modified car show.
SHOCK horror! In a move that will no doubt draw the ire of purists, Anthony Ghinis has fitted a Nissan motor to a genuine LC GTR Torana. One of Adelaide’s quickest street cars, the LC is knocking on the door of an eight-second pass thanks to the 658rwhp being offered up by the heavily fettled RB30 singlecammer. Powertrain and wheels and tyres aside, the car presents as an original GTR, complete with the optional stripe package.