A lot has happened around this joint over the past 40 years, and you’d be crazy to try to narrow down the highlights, wouldn’t you?
First published in the September 2021 issue. Street Machine
Lucky I’m crazy! Through cup after cup of International Roast (aka ‘bogan dust’), copious amounts of Pepsi Max and many packets of Smarties, I restrained myself. Street Machine The archives emerge with this tour de force. It’s a journey through the highlights, lowlights and mysteries created by these pages since 1981.
And if you’re looking for a more formal history of the mag, check out the piece Geoff Seddon produced for our 25th anniversary in 2006.
The Australian Confederation of Motor Clubs is the peak body representing car clubs of all genres. We worked with them in 2012-13 to stop some draconian rules that would have had dire consequences for our sport in NSW. Together with our classic car, 4×4 and street rod brethren, and with the support of the then NSW Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, disaster was averted. While not everyone gets into the car club thing, it was a powerful lesson in the importance of having numbers on your side – something to remember as our sport faces future challenges.
Some people complain about them, but we wouldn’t have a magazine without ads. But we think most of the mag’s ads are actually pretty good content (with the exception of the Holden camera spread during the day) and a service to readers. Plus, they get the parts store phones ringing every month when mags go on sale, so that’s a win. Thank you to everyone who has advertised or used the advertiser’s products over the years. We couldn’t have made 40 without you.
The indomitable Ahmed ‘The Mad Turk’ Suhrlegal earned his nickname on the burnout pad of his BAD065 HD Holden ute, before founding Sprints in 1994. In addition to his accomplishments as a driver and event promoter, Ahmed is an insanely talented spray painter. , cartoonist and airbrush artist.
Creator of the Motivator panel van, Jay Rod and now a killer, wild custom fiberglass FJ Holden.
The first vehicle to grace the cover of a mag with Street Machine It was titled Ellie Kate by John Strachan, which appeared in the August/September 1981 issue. Van wheels and street machines. The Jag V12 powered weapon was one of the wildest vans ever made and still is today.
The man you can thank for coming up with the classic. Street Machine Lugo was Andrew’s art director. The wheels At that time, but joined Sm Full-time when Phil Scott became editor. He looked away. Street Machine A serious makeover and designed it by the July/August ’86 issue.
The first and by far the tallest of our three resident Mopar fanatics, Mark Arblaster probably did more than anyone to improve the image of the Aussie Valiant and make it cooler than ever because Alvin. Purple was making its way onto our silver screens.
TREKs and other events from the West Coast to Smyrnatus are fairly common these days, but Dave ‘Bam Bam’ Martin blazed the trail with his infamous and ill-fated chopped HQ sedan.
Photographer Peter Bateman was a major part of Phil Scott’s professionalization project. Street Machine In the 1980s, along with other gun shooters such as Gartside and Warwick Kent. Pat returned to the mag in the early 2000s and shot many iconic covers and countless events.
From the XR Falcon GT to the VN Group A SS, the most coveted Aussie cars on our scene were forged in the heat of competition at Mount Panorama. That, and the memory of countless October piss-ups, makes the Mountain one of our most sacred places.
GREG ‘Beach’ Ball brings a lot of fun to our game, but despite his wild antics, he’s a serious car builder – and shit-stirrer – of the highest order.
While Street Machine is a car mag and through it, we’ve featured more than a few bikes over the years, and a handful Street Machine Chopper Edition with Boris Mihailovich.
BOB was that boy. Sm Founding editor Geoff Paradise called upon to be our first technical guru, and returned for nearly three decades as our ‘stageright’ columnist, educating the public on the finer points of drag racing, engine building and more. What did
How many street machines have Peter Brook’s name written on their globe box lids? About the same number have named a child after the nine-time Bathurst winner. A great friend of the mag, Brockie has lent his wisdom to our pages on more than a few occasions, including driving tips and rebuilding the VC Brock (‘Lion Tamer’ – SmMarch ’99).
The highest form of motorsport on the planet, of which the Australians are the undisputed masters.
The last real street drag meet in Oz.
Like Prince, Madonna and Lemmy, Chic was so big in his chosen field of endeavor that he’s universally known by his first name. Actually, his real first name is Anthony, but the fact that Chic – with the help of Sm Editor Phil Scott – Brought Street Machine Smyrnatus came into existence in 1988 and carried it on its broad shoulders until its sale in 2009. Chic has been active in Smyrnatus every year, and if you’re up for a cracking read, grab a copy of his autobiography. chichenry.com.
Not all fat anymore, Damian ‘Chubby’ Lowe has done more than anyone to make the case that Commodores should be known as fair-dunk street machines.
Overall Top Street winner at Smyrnatus in his beloved VB, Chubby once drove the car across the country to Motorsport in WA – the ultimate statement that cars should be go cars. The VB is currently undergoing a mind-bending rebuild, but it will remain a straighter, never-to-be-seen car trailer. What’s more, Damien taught a generation of guys how to build next-level engine bays and personally guided many through the highs and lows of car crafting.
SAM and Issy Blumentstein had been pushing the boundaries of performance before. Street Machine There was a twinkle in Paro’s eyes too. After dabbling in drag racing in the early ’70s, the brothers built their Chev Offroad & Marine Engines business into a powerhouse that saw them set numerous records on the track and develop a line of products that Camshafts, stroker cranks, aluminum cylinder heads and even complete blocks.
Brooke’s heir, an incredible racer in his own right, and Street Machine Columnist from 2005 to 2007.
Winner of the 1991 Street Machine of the Year Award with TUFFXY, long overdue Sm Tech Editor, Editor Street Machine Fords And builder of VUFORU and Comfort Cruiser, Craig has more cool cars in the shed than any other SM contributor.
PAUL Cundy hails from the frozen northern NSW town of Armidale, where he has been building impressive rides for decades. And a top block for drinking beer.
For nearly 100 years our American correspondent, Canberra-born Dave was the epitome of enthusiasm, talent and professionalism. He kept us up to date with the latest happenings Stateside and saved the best Yankee Streeters for features in the mag.
DAVE was co-founder and long-time director of Rare Spares. He was a huge supporter of the mag all the way through, and helped Geoff Paradise in the early days with great feature cars. Dave’s 1968 Pontiac GTO is featured in the first issue. Van wheels and street machines. Dave has lost track of the GTO over the years, so if you know where it is, sing along!
Simon Davidson came out of the world of high-end fashion photography but had an innate appreciation for custom cars and how to shoot them. Seddo let him loose on events like Easternats and Springnats, and the Mag has never looked the same since.
Take ours hot rod Drag Week, dreamed up and directed by Scotty Taylor. The best weekend you can have on four wheels.
DRAGO Ostric breaks the glass ceiling for four pots. Street Machine Summernats 17, became the first man to capture the Grand Champion Sword with fewer than eight cylinders on board. Now the head of the ‘Nats judging team.
Now defunct, Jon Davison’s Easternats was for years the premier event for Victorian street machines. Originally held at Sandown Park, the 2010 event was scheduled to be held at Calder Park until Bob Jean canceled the meeting a week later. In response, an estimated 4000-5000 angry punters blocked the Princes Highway in Oakleigh and vandalized the local Bob Jane T-Marts store.
Eleven Second Street Animals
In the early ’80s, naming your ride the ’11-Second Street Animal’ was as good as it got.
If you want to build a highly modified street car – or produce a magazine about it – it pays to employ the services of a talented engineer or two. We’ve worked with some of the best people in the business, including John Varetimidis and Dr Tim Bartrop.
It was PAGEY. Street Machine Editor from Jul/Aug ’92 to Oct/Nov ’94, and returned to Notice as associate publisher. Evan was a ball-tearing storyteller. His work is a landmark in the ‘Castrol Collection’ series chronicling Australian muscle car history.