Street Machine February 2021

Street Machine is the country’s biggest selling, most widely read and most respected modified car magazine. Combining great photography with accurate, expert coverage of the Aussie modified car scene and in-depth technical features, Street Machine celebrates Australia’s passion for older cars, V8s and the lifestyle that surrounds them.

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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

I DON’T think I realised how much I’d missed car shows until I attended Summernats Slam. It was local to me, which meant I got to catch up with a bunch of good mates who I hadn’t seen since COVID-19 flipped the world on its roof, and it reminded me that the social aspect of cars is a huge part of what drew me to the hobby in the first place. We staged our Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year VIP party on the Friday night of Slam, and that was yet another long-overdue opportunity for a catch-up with mates, colleagues, industry players and friends of Street Machine. It was a damn good time with an awesome group of people. Both events were certainly affected by the pandemic, with COVID-safe practices in…

3 min
party time! excellent!

WE NORMALLY kick off the Summernats weekend with the annual Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year VIP party, and despite COVID’s best efforts, we weren’t going to be denied a chance to raise a glass. With Summernats Slam rocking Sydney Dragway, a COVID-safe crew including 2020 SMOTY winner Aaron Gregory and his mates, Street Machine staff and industry VIPs took over the Cricketer’s Arms pub around the corner from the Harbour City’s drag strip. The formalities began with Rob Starling presenting Murwillumbah-based designer and all-’round whiz-kid, Aidan Donald, with the Laurie Starling Scholarship for Innovation and Excellence in Automotive Fabrication. The hyper-talented 21-year-old behind Aidan’s Design & Illustration specialises in awesome car renderings, the likes of which have been used by top-line shops like ProFlo, Full Throttle Custom Garage, Southern Rod…

2 min
hot gossip

REV ROCK ’N’ ROLL CANCELLED DUE to the recent COVID outbreak and continuing uncertainty around borders, the Summernats team has decided to not proceed with the Rev Rock ’n’ Roll event that was due to happen 5-7 March in Canberra. ’Nats co-owner Andy Lopez said: “We’ve done this both out of respect for the health and well-being of the ACT community and also our interstate patrons and commercial partners. Rev Rock ’n’ Roll would’ve seen a huge influx of interstate travellers and we don’t want to put that sort of pressure on ACT health services or risk staging an event where a majority of entrants can’t come.” However, entries and tickets to Summernats 34, 6-9 January 2022, are on sale now from With more than 1700 entrants and thousands of…

3 min
vale sonny leonard

SADLY, the curtain came down on legendary US engine builder Sonny Leonard on 10 January. The quietly spoken Sonny, from Lynchburg, Virginia, became internationally famous when Bill Kuhlmann bought one of his 615-cube mountain motor kits in 1987 and became the first Doorslammer racer in the world to break 200mph. I met Sonny in his old shop when Street Machine founder Geoff Paradise sent me to the USA to crew for Kuhlmann in 1989. At the time, Sonny was building engines for some of the best racers in America. While I was there, a 707ci motor destined for legendary racer Ronnie Sox’s Pro Mod Comet was ready for pick-up. Sonny also showed me the dyno sheets for Rickie Smith’s Pro Stock engine, as well as other Pro Stock racers he was…

3 min
henry spicak

WANDERING the pits on Day One of Summernats Slam at Sydney Dragway, you couldn’t miss Henry Spicak’s eye-popping yellow Beetle packing a cool vintage drag vibe. We were blown away to hear more about Henry’s history with V-Dubs, but were sad to learn that ’Nats Slam would be his Beetle’s last race meet in his hands after nearly four decades. Your VW looks like it could tell some stories! It is a 1956 Beetle that I race here at Sydney. I’ve been racing Volkswagens for years, starting way back in the 1970s at the old Castlereagh track. I’ve owned this car for 38 years, but I built it into a race car in 2000. I have to say, though, this is my last race meeting in it. Why are you stopping after so…

2 min
van nuys blvd. 1979

SMALL-town mechanic Bobby (Adler) is thirsty for some excitement in his life, so he packs up and hits the road for the action of LA’s Van Nuys Boulevard cruising strip. With his cool Ford Econoline allegedly sporting ‘425 Turbo’ power, fat chromies, sidepipes and more rake than Bunnings, he definitely has the look down to slip right into this late-70s scene. Bobby is soon enjoying the benefits of his newfound freedom, and before long he hooks up with local spunks Moon (Wood) and her galpal Camille (Prophet). The girls challenge Bobby to a race against Moon’s super-cool Dodge Tradesman, but the trio get busted by the cops and spend the night in the slammer. There they meet the impressionable and naïve teen Greg (Bowen) and lost-in-life 60s rodder Chooch (Hayward), who themselves…