Feature Car: Charlie Saliba’s 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

11 Oct

Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

My photo shoot on Charlie Saliba’s 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38 was featured in the September 2018 issue of Street Machine. The 265ci Hemi six-powered coupe took a long time to get to this point, but the results of Charlie’s hard labour is evident no matter where you look and you can read all about it in the Sept. 2018 issue.

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Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

Feature Car: Jeremy ‘Jet’ Martin’s twin-turbo, 5-second, 4000hp 526ci Holden VB Commodore

10 Oct

Jeremy 'Jet' Martin's 5sec 4000hp Holden VB Commodore

I had the pleasure of photographing Jeremy ‘Jet’ Martin’s insane twin-turbo, 5-second, 4000hp 526ci Holden VB Commodore for the September issue of Street Machine. This car, currently credited as being Australia’s fastest and quickest Commodore and Jet has also shipped the car to the USA to compete in the No Mercy 9 1/8th mile event where he finished in the Top 8 against some of the fastest cars in the world.

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Jeremy 'Jet' Martin's 5sec 4000hp Holden VB Commodore

Jeremy 'Jet' Martin's 5sec 4000hp Holden VB Commodore

Jeremy 'Jet' Martin's 5sec 4000hp Holden VB Commodore

Feature Car: Jason Grima’s 1971 XY Ford Falcon

03 Oct

Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

Jason Grima’s beautiful 1971 XY Ford Falcon was featured in the September 2018 issue of Street Machine magazine. I reckon the images speak louder than any technical info I could hurl at you. Enjoy!

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Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

TesseracT + Circles @ Metro Theatre, Sydney – Sept. 15, 2018

03 Oct

Live Review: TesseracT + Circles @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney – September 15, 2018

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Warning: this review may end up sounding a little biased. Both Circles and TesseracT occupy a very high level of rotation on this humble scribe’s playlists in any given month. There… I said it!
Anyway, I digress. Let’s begin 🙂
Melbourne’s Circles have undergone some significant change since I last witnessed them live at Sydney’s Bald Faced Stag – both in terms of personnel and sound. Now a four-piece after the departure of a guitarist and singer, new singer/guitarist Ben Rechter seemed right at home fronting the band tonight – which was a big relief to this reviewer. There’s no denying that they were some large shoes to fill.
There’s also no denying that Circles circa 2018 is a different band to the one that brought us some of Australia’s top modern metal over the last eight years. But it’s a case of different good, not bad.
While Rechter handles the old material with seeming ease (playing guitar as well as performing the vocals), Circles’ new material, as heard on new album The Last One, has shed some of the more jagged ‘djent-ish’ angularity in favour of bigger choruses and a direction that is a little more straight ahead than before. Some might call it a more ‘mature’ direction. Either way, it’s killer and tonight’s performance more than lives up to the lofty heights that those new tunes have reached. It’ll be a great injustice if Circles don’t at least reach the level of bigger progressive bands like Karnivool within the next few years.
TesseracT walked onto a darkened stage and showed no signs of nerves at having to perform after such a strong act. After all, this nearly-full Metro crowd was here to see them – and over the next hour or so, the UK band didn’t disappoint.
I’m not sure how I missed it, but the last time the band was on our shores was 2015. I was lucky enough to see them in a very sweaty Annandale Hotel on their first Australian tour back in 2011 with Periphery and the band has been through a lot over those ensuing years. Singer Daniel Tompkins left the band after that tour with TesseracT releasing an excellent second album fronted by another singer before Tompkins returned to the fold. They’ve released two stellar discs since then, including latest, Sonder.
To his credit, Tompkins performed cuts from Altered State despite being originally performed by Ashe O’Hara and he did a killer job of them, too. In fact, the set list included tracks from across the band’s four album history and the crowd lapped up every emotionally charged second of it – including Tompkins’ trademark dramatic stage moves.
There was no encore, but no one seemed too upset by the fact. TesseracT had done their job and the audience was spent, having witnessed a truly astounding and technically brilliant performance of modern progressive metal. Hopefully we’ll see the band back on our shores before too long.

VIEW LIVE GALLERY

Tesseract @ Metro Theatre, Sydney - Sept. 15, 2018

Tesseract @ Metro Theatre, Sydney - Sept. 15, 2018

Tesseract @ Metro Theatre, Sydney - Sept. 15, 2018

LIVE MUSIC: Make Them Suffer @ The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – August 15, 2018

22 Aug

Make Them Suffer

Live Review: Make Them Suffer + Silent Planet + Oceans Ate Alaska + Thornhill @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – Wed, August 15, 2018

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Newcastle’s Cambridge Hotel has been playing host to a run of great metal shows of late. The latest gig to warm up the cold winter nights is Perth’s Make Them Suffer and despite being a mid-week show, Hunter punters turned out in their masses to witness a strong international line up of modern heaviness.

First on stage was Melbourne’s Thornhill who brought their own blend of contemporary metal styles to the proceedings. While they seemed a little self-conscious in front of the crowd, they brought with them some solid, dramatic progressions and some great, if well-worn riffage.

The UK’s Oceans Ate Alaska took to the stage in front of a half-filled room and proceeded to rampage like they were in front of a full house. Showing much more polish and cohesiveness, the five-piece boasted a great frontman in Jake Noakes, who stalked the stage with a brutal combination of screams, growls and hardcore shouts. From the blast beats, skittering riffs and finger tapping through to the breakdowns and sing-along choruses, Oceans had something for every modern metal fan and put on a very solid performance.

Perhaps the highlight of the night, LA’s Silent Planet made a big impact with their metal with a message. From themes of war and refugee welfare to mental illness, the band tore through a set that boasted metalcore at its core, but also included progressive traits for a sound that was at once mature and brutal. Singer Garrett Russell was clearly a bit of an eccentric, but that just added to the tension and sense of drama. Some fans up front looked as though they were having a religious experience.

After a short wait, headliners Make Them Suffer enjoyed a hero’s welcome to a darkened stage before they erupted into a powerful set of tracks from across their catalogue. The band were self-assured (coming straight from a sold-out show in Brisbane) and emitting a bruising energy that spilled into the crowd, where bodied flowed over the mosh barrier for the duration. At one point, singer Sean Harmanis instigated a Wall of Death, with half the audience politely obliging, no doubt causing more than a few bruises.

Currently touring on the back of their latest album Worlds Apart, Make Them Suffer were taut, tight and left the Cambo audience wasted, sweaty and just a little damaged.

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Oceans Ate Alaska

Silent Planet

Thornhill

RED DEVIL: Les Chadwick’s 355ci Holden LX Torana Hatch

21 Aug

Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Torana

RED DEVIL

Meet Les Chadwick’s interpretation of the classic Aussie hatch back
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden ToranaIt’s easy to understand why so many people lust after the LX Torana hatch. Thanks to its motorsport background in this country and that fact that history occurred in the wonderful years prior to the mind-numbing parity of the V8 Supercars when racers piloted vehicles much more similar to the road-going versions, anything even part-way resembling the legendary A9X tends to get pulses racing.

Even though Sydneysider Les Chadwick has always loved Toranas, this gleaming LX is actually the 56-year-old’s first. “I’ve previously owned a twin turbo Hilux, Datsun 720 ute, Holden tonner, an HR, XD Falcon and an XY Falcon ute,” Les says. Clearly, Les a man of varied tastes.

The LX has come a long way since Les purchased it back in 2005. There hasn’t been a single nut, bolt, washer or gasket that hasn’t been turned, replaced or recoated and the results show in these photos. At the heart of it all is the stroker Holden; based on a VT-era 304ci block and filled with a 355ci COME Racing stroker kit.Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Torana

The VT blocks are generally considered the pinnacle in the Holden design and Les’ combo runs a solid roller valvetrain operating within a set of heavily ported cast VN-style heads. All the air enters the engine via the 750cfm Mighty Demon and a Redline dual-plane intake. Power is untested at this stage, but as we learned during our photo shoot, the car has no trouble turning the 10in-wide Convo Pros.

Les says that the completion of the flawless Brilliant red bodywork was one of his most memorable moments during the build, and with good reason: it looks fantastic. “Just being able to show everyone what all the hard work had been for was a real defining moment,” les says.

Painted by Bathurst Paint and Panel, the flanks of the car show no rippling, no dents and no signs of the car’s 30-odd years of existence. Contrasted by Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Toranathe traditional blackouts, the red really stands out, but it is a colour that isn’t going to date like the latest flash-in-the-pan fad.

Les has achieved a similar level of timelessness with his treatment of the interior as well. It mixes the classic primary architecture of the LX cabin with some more modern parts and styling to create a place that’s fresh and updated without feeling – or looking – weird.

Up front you’ll find some aftermarket reclining race seats. These and the rest of the cabin has been decked out in some soft leather with red stitching to match the paintwork outside. With a modern steering wheel and the addition of some Autometer gauges, Les sits pretty in a cockpit that grabs your attention with its subtlety and cleanliness as opposed to whitewash of tan leather and billet that is likely to date a few years down the track.Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Torana

Luckily for Les, the build up of the Torana went pretty smoothly. “About the biggest problem I had was that my shed was too small,” he says. “There are no further plans for the car at this stage other than to enjoy it.”

Whatever the case, Les has the pleasure of cruising around in one of the nicer LX examples we’ve seen lately, bristling with attention to detail and packing all the right hardware to allow him to do just about anything his heart desires; whether it be long trips, drag racing or just going to the shops. What more could you ask for?

Owner: Les Chadwick
Colour: Brilliant red w/blackouts
Bodywork: A9X, painted bumpers
Engine Type: VT Commodore V8
Engine Mods: 4-bolt mains, COME 355ci stroker kit (10:1-comp’), ported cast heads, Crow solid roller cam’, Yella Terra rockers, double-row timing chain, High Energy sump, twin thermo fans, 3-core radiator, Gilmer belt drive, 750cfm Barry Grant Mighty Demon, 76A alternator, 8in K&N air cleaner, electronic distributor, Earl’s fuel filter, billet throttle linkage, braided lines and Speedflow fittings, alloy catch can and radiator overflow, Redline intake manifold
Power: Untested
Exhaust: Hurricane 4-into-1 headers (1-7/8in primaries), twin 2.5in mild steel exhaust, Hooker mufflers
Gearbox: T400, 3000rpm stall, ‘stage-2’ kit
Diff: 9in, 3:1 final drive, LSD, 31-spline Mark Williams axles, 3.5in double-wall tail shaft, tail shaft loop
Brakes: HZ front rotors and calipers, HZ rear drums
Suspension: HZ front shocks and springs, 26mm rear sway bar
Wheels/Tyres: 15in Centerline Convo Pro rims (8in front, 10in rear)
Other mods: Mini tubs
Interior: Black leather trim w/red stitching, front race seats, black carpets, B&M shifter, Autometer gauges, sports steering wheel
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Sony Xplod rear 6x9in speakers
Build Period: 4 years
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Walker Race Engines, Gary Campbell Auto Electrics, Active Automatics, KCDR Drivetrains, Bathurst Paint and Panel, Blue Chrome, Craft Diffs, “My wife Kim for all her support and patience and also to Sarah and Jake”

DEVIL’S ISLAND: Matt Sharp’s chopped, channelled and sectioned Model-A Ford Tudor

14 Aug

Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A Ford

DEVIL’S ISLAND

Devil’s member Matt Sharp’s bitchin’ chopped, channelled and sectioned ode to the heyday of hot rodding leaves us all hot and flustered
Words & Pics by: www.hoskingindustries.com.au

Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A FordThere’s little dispute that hot rodding’s heyday took place in the decades of the 1950s and ’60s. Most of the important innovations we still rely on today were developed in these years by ingenious and often crazy fabricators here and in the USA.

Names like Roth, Barris, Jon Kosmoski, Gene Winfield and so many more forged the way for builders at all levels to tinker with their tin in sheds all over the world, setting a pretty clear stylistic path while they were at it. While styles changed over the ensuing decades, the new millennium has seen a distinct shift back to the aesthetic ideals of the early days and 29-year-old Matthew Sharp’s 1930 Model A tudor is an excellent case in point.

Looking like something from a 1964 issue of Car Craft, this HOK Tangerine candy metal flake sled may look like some serious coin has been lavished on it, but it actually started as a budget build. “It started as a budget build and it stayed that way,” Matt says. “We built it to drive and have fun in.”Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A Ford

While you’d never know it now, the project actually began with a dented and damaged steel 1930 tudor body and rails. The car still retains both today. “The sides were pushed in, the doors were rough but it was a cheap start,” Matt says.

Having previously built a Commodore ute “with all the usual bling” and tinkering with jacked up 4X4s, this build was to be Matt’s first foray into rodding. Luckily for Matt, he had some exceptional assistance in the form of his father-in-law, the inimitable Tony Webster from Webby’s Speed Shop in Carrington, Newcastle NSW.

What you’re looking at now is actually the second iteration of the project, with the first being decidedly more ‘rat’. With the ethos of having fun and doing it cheaply, the undercoat and rust aesthetic worked perfectly for Matt, who drove the chopped and channelled tudor for a few years before hauling it off the road for a quick respray. “When we first finished it, we drove it from Newcastle to Philip Island via the Princess Highway for the Kustom Nationals, then drove it home again,” Matt says. “We started off pretty tentatively, but after we got past Sydney it was pretty relaxing. We figured if anything was going to go wrong, it would have happened by then.”

Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A FordRiding on the car’s original rails, the Model A is snake-belly low thanks to the 5in chop and 5in channel job. The car uses a classic combination of parts to achieve the desired results, like the torsion bar suspension, super tall 16in Firestone white walls and super furry, stark white faux fur trim. However, the driveline is a little different, using a Holden V8 with triple Strombergs in place of the usual small-block Chev’. This is then backed up by a T5 5-speed manual.

No matter where you look on Matt’s tudor, you’ll be greeted by a large amount of cool detail. Peek inside and check out that awesome instrument cluster housed within the headlight bucket or perhaps the cabin-mounted Moon fuel tank from the 1950s. Outside, dig on the cool recessed tail lights or the centrally-located exhaust pipes exiting through the lower part of the cabin behind the number plate. If that wasn’t enough, you gotta love the Mooneyes logos plasma cut into the sun visor or the beer bottle top pressed into the radiator grille. And you can miss all the excellent pin striping courtesy Smith Concepts.Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A Ford

“You know, I think if I were to do it all over again, I’d probably not repaint it like I did,” Matt says. “I had more fun in it when it was still a rat.”

As it is, Matt is looking to sell the tudor on to new owners for less than you could build it for yourself. He tells us it’s time to pay some money of the house and start work on a new project; no doubt with the help of Webby and the rest of his Devils club mates. We can’t wait to see it!

NOTE: If you think Matt’s Model-A looks familiar, it’s because it was later sold to Kyle at Smith Concepts, who turned it into this CLICK HERE

VEHICLE: 1930 Model A Ford
OWNER: Matthew Sharp
BODY: Steel tudor body, 5in chop, 5in channel, frenched tail lights, custom tonneau roof, plasma-cut Mooneyes motif in visor, House of Kolor Tangerine candy over metal flake
ENGINE: 308ci Holden V8, stock crank, stock rods, ACL 40-thou’ pistons, cast heads, Chev’ LT1 springs, Crane hydraulic cam’, high-volume oil pump, shortened Model A radiator, 3x Stromberg carbs, custom intake manifold, mechanical fuel pump, genuine 1950s Moon fuel tank, steel fuel lines, custom exhaust
TRANS: T5 5-speed, Exedy heavy-duty single-plate clutch, custom long-arm shifter
DIFF: Borg Warner, 2.89:1 final drive, LSD
INTERIOR: Moon steering wheel, custom bomber front seats, white faux fur trim, 1968 Dodge Phoenix speedo in Diamond T headlight bucket, factory dash, long-arm shifter, white vinyl trim on seats
SUSPENSION: Torsion bar front and rear, hot rod front shocks, spring car rear shocks
BRAKES: Commodore front discs, Falcon rear discs
WHEELS: 16in steel rims, Firestone white walls
THANKS TO: Webby’s Speed Shop, Hamilton Chrome, Tidy Trim, Joel Butcher, Shlong, Corey, Tony Bidner, my wife Nicole and her mum Sharyn, Smith Kustoms for the pin striping and Webby for everything

LIVE GALLERY: Polaris @ The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – July 21, 2018

07 Aug

POLARIS LIVE AT THE CAMBRIDGE HOTEL – JULY 21, 2018
(Originally published on Lifemusicmedia.com)

CLICK FOR FULL IMAGE GALLERY

I pity any metal head in the hunter region that missed out on tonight’s show at the Cambridge Hotel. Between the four acts on show, just about any genre-loyal fanatic would have been well catered to.

While the overarching theme of the night was of a decidedly modern take on the style, from opener Junkhead‘s spasmodic Dillinger-esque riffage and Diamond Construct‘s more progressive tendencies (these guys have really matured and improved over the last few years), you’d have been smiling from ear to ear by the half way point.

By the time Sydney band Justice for the Damned took to the stage, the Cambo was completely full with an obviously friendly crowd and the five-piece wasted no time in laying waste to each and every one of them. Despite the toy dinosaurs on the stage and some members looking decidedly ‘late ’80s thrash’ in white high-tops and tucked in tees, Justice for the Damned’s blend of ridiculously heavy down-tuned grooving riffs, mixed with equal parts death and hardcore means that while they may not take themselves too seriously, their tunes aren’t to be messed with.

By the time Polaris take to the stage, the audience one big sweaty mess – despite it only being about three degrees outside. One punter has even managed to dislocate his knee in the pit – his only consolation being granted the ability to watch the remainder of the set from side stage.

For the uninformed, Sydney’s Polaris are a highly polished, modern, crushing blend of metal styles, from metalcore to deathcore with hints of progressive elements thrown in for good measure. The band’s mix of growls, screams and clean vocals really adds to the dynamic.

Bodies start falling over the barrier right from the start of the set and continue throughout the show – and anyone not breathless from the full body contact is singing every word at the top of their lungs. It’s really inspiring to see such support and enthusiasm for local music. I’ve born witness to plenty of international touring acts fail to fill the Cambo main room like this.

It was a truly amazing night of Aussie metal.

CLICK FOR FULL IMAGE GALLERY

COVER BIKE: Smith Concepts’ Bagged and Blown Harley Davidson VROD

01 Aug

I had the pleasure of photographing the latest creation from Smith Concepts late in 2017: Australia’s wildest Harley Davidson VROD. Stretched 2in, raked, bagged, blown and gassed… it’s got everything – including over 40k of custom, one-off billet alloy parts! That’s not to mention the amazing custom paint work by Kyle Smith.

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Smith Concepts' Harley Davidson VROD

Smith Concepts' Harley Davidson VROD

Smith Concepts' Harley Davidson VROD

 

Feature Car: Chris Rossi’s 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe

24 Jul

Chris Rossi’s metallic purple 355ci stroker Holden-powered LC Torana coupe, looks mean standing still. Chris did a lot of the bodywork work himself. It’s backed by a T350 and a 9in for good measure. It appeared in the July issue of Street Machine.

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Chris Rossi's 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe

Chris Rossi's 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe

Chris Rossi's 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe