Ben Sorrenti – 1934 Ford Three-window Coupe 34 Coupe

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Ben Sorrenti – 1934 Ford Three-window Coupe 34 Coupe
Meguiar’s Superstars – Champion Awards // PAINTWORK BRONZE

Simon Benello from Ground Level Paint and Panel nearly wore his fingers to the bone flat rubbing and buffing every square inch of Ben Sorrenti’s ’34 three-window Ford coupe. “Nothing is off the gun, even the tailshaft yokes have been flat rubbed and buffed,” says Simon. Not to be left out, the 372-cube Sprintcar-based Donavan alloy small-block has also been fully polished, so too has the blower, intake manifold along with the TH400’s alloy case. Surrounding all this is a Deuce Customs body complete with suicide doors that rides on a Rod-City chassis. After kicking in the rear of the chassis to accommodate those fat, 29×12.5-inch Hoosiers on the rear, the whole shooting match was detailed to perfection, which included painting all the driveline and chassis in HOK Black Gold so that it contrasts nicely with the slick HOK Sunrise body.

Despite the independent front end, the coupe is still fairly old school thanks to its nice rake and Halibrand Sprint wheels with Frontrunners on the steering end. Loui from LL Customs has designed an interior of wall-to-wall black leather, producing a sharp finish and eye-grabbing contrast against the HOK Sunrise exterior. Although the body was purchased 12-years ago, the build really didn’t start making significant progress until about three years ago when Ground Level got involved. “I took it to Simon and said, ‘just do it,’” says Ben. Having previously owned a host of cool machinery, including a ’28 and a ’32 hot rod, Ben thought it was about time he built a ’34 – and this time around he’d go all out and build his first show stopper. You have to admit, this Sunrise coupe is a damn fine effort.

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Johnny Z’s – 1932 Ford Roadster SCARLET

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Johnny Z’s – 1932 Ford Roadster SCARLET

Called SCARLET, this trick ride out of Johnny Z’s is like a brand, new car wrapped in a 1932 roadster body. It contains 12 computers that control every aspect of the vehicle, including the EFI engine, electric windows, door poppers, rear parking sensors – even the readouts for the digital instruments. The Dearborn steel body has been outfitted with Johhny Z’s own five-piece bonnet and custom rear belly pan that features flush-fitting LED taillights and centre-exit exhaust. Befitting of lady who gioes by the name SCARLET, the body is finished in a very dramatic custom HOK candy red.

Underneath is a trick chassis and suspension set-up that includes independent front suspension (in polished stainless) and a highly-detailed Kugel Komponents independent rear end, that’s outfitted with in-board disc brakes and a nine-inch centre section. Sitting in front of the polished, fluted firewall is the aforementioned EFI engine; a Weiand-blown, 350 Chev topped with a bug-catcher scoop (converted to EFI) that runs electric fly-by-wire throttle. Thanks to a host of little tricks like this, there’s no wiring to be seen.

The fully-functional interior is equipped with climate controlled air-conditioning, custom bucket seats and swaths of high-end Connolly leather. And just like a modern luxury machine, the soft top folds neatly away, under a panel in the rear of the hot rod. The whole build has taken just 11, short months, with the crew from Johhny Z’s really burning the midnight oil. Everything on SCARLET is totally different to your traditional hot rod – it’s more like a modern ’32 that’s just rolled off the production line yesterday.

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Rob Zahabi – 1954 Ford F100 FUN 54

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Rob Zahabi – 1954 Ford F100 FUN 54
Street Elite Showcase Awards – MEDAL OF EXCELLENCE // IMPACT & DISPLAY Silver

How do you make a 50s truck fun? Slam it to the ground, drop in a bad-ass blown V8 and paint it in HOK Jet Black and HOK red – that’s how! This recipe has definitely worked for this Rides by Kam stunner, FUN 54.
Sure the recipe might be straightforward, however the ingredients are anything but. Dropping the Effie into weeds over the one-off 20×8 and 22×10 Boyds billets, is a Mustang II-style front end and airbags all ‘round. Holding up the old-school rootes blower is a late-model Aussie 5.4-litre Ford Boss V8.

To mate the Blower Shop huffer and quad-cam together, engine guru, Jake Edwards fabricated a custom inlet manifold and blower-drive set-up. With 600 neddies at the crank, it’s a horsepower match made in heaven. Getting rid of the F100s ugly bits and bobs required a myriad of subtle mods, – such as deleting the quarter vent windows and flattening out the tailgate. After KAM spent nearly two years fine-tuning all the body work, GC Collision Center was called into action to lay on the HOK hues. On the inside, Rob broke out the sewing machine and covered everything in classy black leather, which he offset with a swag of billet goodies and electronic wizardry.

Originally purchased as an unfinished project that was mostly in boxes, getting this killer pick-up back in one piece proved to be a nightmare. “A lot of the work had to be redone,” says Rob from Rides by Kam, “and it was missing so many pieces. You couldn’t bolt anything up without having to buy extra bits or fabricate missing parts.” Rob predicts FUN 54 is unlikely to see many shows after MotorEx. “The owner lives in Northern Territory and is definitely going to be driving it,” says Rob. You can bet he’ll be having a tonne of fun in his ’54 F100.

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David & Ange Hellyer – 1974 Holden LH Torana

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David & Ange Hellyer – 1974 Holden LH Torana

This is the second time around for David & Ange Hellyer’s killer LH Torana, which they’ve owned since 1997. “Three years ago I started with a 10-second show car,” says David. Take two has been specifically built to compete in the APSA Pro Street Unblown class. They’re chasing 7.50s, which is well ahead of the current class record of 7.93. To run this quick, JL Race Cars TIG’d up the intricate ANDRA-approved Chrome-Moly, twin frame-rail chassis into which they slotted in a Pro9 nine-inch diff, complete with alloy housing. JL also formed the carbon-fibre floor, tubs and door trims.

Body wise, Kingpins Kustom did a mile of work on the body which included smoothing out the engine bay along with fine-tuning along with a myriad of modifications. After all this, Kingpins rolled it into the booth and laid on the HOK Bright Yellow – which looks awesome next to the dark grey powder coated chassis. Running a record-smashing time requires a record-smashing engine – which is where BK Race Engines comes into the picture. They screwed together the normally aspirated, 632-cube big-block Chev, using the very best gear including a sheet metal intake manifold and Big Chief heads. “It’s a good class to go racing in,” says David, “It’ll be good to give it a shakeup.”

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Steve Hopes – 1968 Camaro SINISTR

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Steve Hopes – 1968 Camaro SINISTR
Meguiar’s Superstars – Champion Awards // ENGINE & COMPONENTS BRONZE

The centre point of Steve Hopes’s ’68 Camaro is undoubtedly the Nelson Racing Engines 1500hp mill under the hood. However this incredible HOK Dark Bronze Camaro is so much more than just a big engine. This elite-level machine sports sensational detail and a high degree of engineering throughout. Being built to go around corners, SINISTR now sports a full SRG-Force chassis underneath that’s equipped with modern suspension architecture along with power rack ‘n’ pinion steering, torque-arm rear, watt’s linkage and adjustable coil-overs all ‘round.

To clean things up, the extended sills wrap smoothly under and across the chassis rails. Grabbing the pavement is fat 345/25/20-inch rear boots and 215/40/18 fronts filled with monstrous Wilwood brakes. On the inside, the custom dash flows into a full-length console, which flows into the rear parcel tray, which flows into the doors and back up to the dash. It’s full wrap around without looking like a full wrap around. Except for the fibreglass, all this is done in steel – not bad for a bloke who makes his living as a builder. Steve did everything himself bar the paint, electrical and interior stitch work.

“I started out just putting in a big-block,” says Steve. “I then started to cut the floor for the chassis and big wheels and one thing led to another.” It might look like a stock Camaro with big wheels, however Steve spend most of the five-year build on the underside. There’s also a host of little modifications that only Camaro people will notice. Oh and that engine; the brutal 406-cube brute uses Dart wide-pan block, Callies crank, JE forged pistons, solid roller cam, Brodix CNC-ported heads, all topped with NRE’s billet Alien intake and a pair of their symmetrical turbos.

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Mal Apps – FC Sedan INTREPID-C

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Mal Apps –  FC Sedan INTREPID-C
Meguiar’s Superstars – Champion Awards // INTERIOR & REAR COMPARTMENT GOLD
MotorEx Laurie Starling Award

The previous owner of this FC known as INTREPID-C had spent considerable time and effort building up the sedan into a Peter Fitzpatrick tribute machine complete with V8 conversion – then parked it in a shed for 16 years. Current owner, Mal Apps, saw the potential and bought it with the intention of finishing it off, as it pretty much just needed trim. Before all that could happen, Mal decided he wanted disc brakes on the rear and a better front end. This quickly escalated to Glen (the man responsible for building most of INTREPID-C) dragging out the plasma cutter to remove the entire floor. To fill the gaping hole, a custom perimeter chassis was fabricated complete with a Rod-Tech front end and triangulated four-bar rear to clear the 20×10 and 19×8 rolling stock. This chassis was also tucked 90mm up into the body to enable INTREPID-C to sit on the deck, while remaining fully functional.

Body mods have been limited to shaved door handles, flush fitting door frames and shaving some of the factory molds. Under the side-opening bonnet it’s a different story. The underside of the bonnet has been skinned and now wraps around the cross-arm injection that sits proudly top the detailed four-bolt, 350 Chev. The smoothed off inner guards, firewall and radiator cover panel were all fashioned from sheet metal. In a nod to the FC’s factory colour scheme, the body is finished in HOK Oriental Blue and Snow White pearl.

Virtually the entire interior is has been made from scratch. In the dash you find a nicely-integrated, ’55 Chev gauge cluster, while Mickz Motor Trimming spent a huge number of hours fashioning the kick trims, door panels, parcel tray, boot panels and hood lining side moldings out of aluminium – before covering them in sumptuous leather. Considering Mal has just turned 70, INTREPID-C has been a massive commitment and a pretty brave move. However there’s no doubting the end product.

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Peter Elliot – 1934 Ford Tudor SIMPLICITY

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Peter Elliot – 1934 Ford Tudor SIMPLICITY
Having taken out the Superstars Best of Breed Hot Rod with his swoopy teal and silver ’37 Ford (37 WLD) roadster in 2008, Peter Elliot thought he’d build a more family oriented hot rod this time around. “It’s just a driver,” says Peter, of his HOK custom Brandywine ’34 Ford Tudor called SIMPLICITY. However even Peter admits the detail and workmanship have gone well beyond his original intentions. The three-year build is based around a Deuce Customs body riding on a Rod City chassis that features a IFS, rack ‘n’ steering and a four-bar rear end complete with Currie nine-inch. To give SIMPLICTY plenty of rake and attitude, there’s 20×10 Budnik billets on the rear and matching 16x6s up front.

Except for the heads, the rest of the carburetored 383 small-block Chev has been finished in a contrasting satin HOK Root Beer. The TH350 has received the same treatment, which looks great against the polished diff and stainless exhaust. Peter painstaking took every ARP 12-point stainless bolt, machined the head smooth before polishing them. Inside its wall-to-wall light tan leather with Mercedes carpet on the floor. The front buckets are custom pieces, while the rear seat has been built from scratch. What really stands out on this car is the detail and paint – there’s a lot more paint than polish. After Paul Kelly finished off the body Pats Pro Restos spent seven, solid months just on the paint. “There’s not one part of this car that has not been buffed,” says Peter, “the underside of panels, the underside of the floor, everything! I find hot rods easy to build. Every time you have a piece in your hand, you finish that piece as best as possible before bolting it on.”

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Gerry Mediati – 1969 Fiat Abarth Cabriolet – SCORPIONE

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Gerry Mediati – 1969 Fiat Abarth Cabriolet – SCORPIONE
Meguiar’s Superstars – Champion Awards // OVERALL INNOVATION BRONZE

Gerry Mediati’s Abarth is hands down the most left-of-field machine ever unveiled in Australia – and quite possibly the world. The international Fiat 500 Club is 25,000 members strong and none of them have ever seen a 500 taken to this extent. “I’m only the crazy one,” says Gerry. The car started as a bit of joke around what you could build that no one has ever seen before – which spawned the idea of a Fiat 500. Gerry loved the concept so much, he set about building one for real. The donor car was originally a hardtop, which Gerry lopped the top off to make a Cabriolet. Mind you there wasn’t much cutting involved, as the donor car was a complete basket case. Rust had just about eaten away all the pillars. In fact only the outer rear quarter panels were retained, every other inner outer panel was made from scratch. So too was the custom chassis, complete with fabricated, tubular suspension that uses modified Fiat stub axles and scaled-down coil-overs all ’round that were specially made in Italy. Also out of Italy are the one-off 12×5 wheels – which feature a huge PCD. Displacing the original 500cc air-cooled engine is an 800cc version that makes 55rwhp – which is almost triple the original’s output. Gerry built 90 percent of the car himself, with Mick’s Custom Trim interior and that seductive HOK Majik blue laid on by Sefton Smash being one of the few things outsourced. Despite the Fiat’s diminutive size, it comfortably seats four adults.

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