CHEQUE IT OUT

WE STARTED 2019 WITH A BANG AT THE STREET MACHINE OF THE YEAR VIP PARTY

STORY IAIN KELLY

THREE days into the New Year, a bunch of street machining legends and industry VIPs gathered at Canberra’s George Harcourt Inn for the Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year party. Held in the evening after the opening day of Summernats, the annual Thursdaynight bash is a laidback affair with just a touch of pomp and ceremony.

The roasting daytime weather gave way to a hot, clear night perfect for sampling the various ales the George Harcourt offers on tap. Valvoline even chucked on a beaut barbecue feed before the prize-giving and speeches got underway.

First up were Rob, Julia and Jamie Starling to present the 2019 Laurie Starling Scholarship. Laurie was a bright light in the Australian car scene taken far too soon, but the scholarship for up-and-coming fabricators keeps alive the passion and innovation bursting from his young mind.

This year’s winner, Shaun Lizza, is a mini-trucker and emergency nurse who is seekingto improve his fab skills by delving into the world of CAD and SolidWorks. He aims to have his ground-scraping Jeep at Summernats 33 to show why he won this prestigious award.

Next up was the presentation of a giant novelty cheque to Ben Judd, whose EH wagon took out the 2018 Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year award, as voted by readers of SM. With his family in tow, Ben accepted the $20,000 prize money from Valvoline Australia’s Tony McDermott, and the perpetual SMOTY trophy from Telfo.

From that point on the assembled throng, representing the who’s who of Aussie street machining, did their Canberra best to wipe night. out s the bar tab on a hot

> HOT GOSSIP

CAMARO & CASH

MATER Cars For Cancer lottery #85 is a cracker, with the charity fundraiser giving away a brand new HSV Chev Camaro 2SS, as well as $100,000 cash for a total prize pool of $202,270. The Camaro is a beaut piece with a 339kW 6.2-litre LT1 Gen V V8, eight-speed auto and 20in alloys. For more information check out carsforcancer. com.au/prizes/85.

TWIN TURBSKIS

DAMIEN ‘Chubby� Lowe created a stir at MotorEx with his wildly revamped VB Commodore project, and we were stoked to see it even further advanced at Street Machine Summernats 32. The biggest change was the fitment of rear-mounted, GCG-sourced Garrett G25-550 symmetrical turbos to the TIG-welded, oval-tube stainless exhaust system. Chubby has also carried out further development in partnership with United Speed Shop on his very trick independent A-arm front end, which is now production-ready!

NEXT!

NEXT month, we’ll take a guided tour of the Southern Rod & Customs workshop and reflect on 30 years of radness with front man Shane Rowe. We’ve got more technical teachings from our resident engineer Dr Tim, some fabulous fabrication tips from metal maestro Chad Atkinson, and a bevy of kick-arse feature cars, including a Summernats debutant. On sale 21 February!