Archive for the ‘Vintage Stuff’ Category


2011 Big Al’s Poker Run

Another Big Year for Big Al’s

beautiful red tbird
Ian’s gorgeous flamin’ red ’57 Thunderbird. With back-up truck.
Studibaker with cowboy kid
Now kid, don’t let anyone touch the paintjob!

Each year, the larger-than-life Al organises the car event that is sure to turn out the masses. Raising funds for charity, it’s also a proven incentive for the back-shed tinkering to be finalised, ready for ‘ignition-on’ by February. Apparently, sales of Carnauba wax reach peak around now!

As regular readers know, last year’s talking point was the Cranksters-manned checkpoint at Bridgestone Tyres (for those who came in late, read about it here). But due to certain er, differences of opinion, that was the curtain call for themed checkpoints. And Paul had his heart set on squeezing into Errol Flynn’s tights and puffy shirt this year!!

So, here are some pics from the show-and-shine departure point at the Burswood shore – see the full gallery in our Events page here.


2011 Victorian Hot Rod Show

Melbourne Hot Rod Show people

Power Rangers, sooks with teddies (this one under 5), painted ladies and petrol-sniffing blokes from all walks of life, laid a trail of rubber to the Annual Victorian Hot Rod Show, at the Royal Exhibition Building in beautiful Melbourne.

Loads of car pics in the gallery here.

A couple of Tbirds were shown, 1 inside and 1 outdoors. Luckily the Melbourne weather was perfect. By the afternoon, the hot sun was glaring off all the metal-flake and bald skulls.


Drag/Show Cars

55 Tbird gasser

When too much is er… too much.

Compared to the 55 gasser (top), this Vegas (SEMA) 57 Tbird is waaay over the top. The only thing that outscores it on the vulgar scale is the carpet. You know, Hot Wheels has a lot to answer for.

The 55 is a true ‘gasser’ style car of the 60s, where form and function co-exist. Although you may not want to cruise the freeway at 120 kph with a straight axle.


The “Battlebird”

1957 Ford Tbird Battlebird

Coming up at RM Auctions on Thursday 12th August is the last remaining ‘Battlebird’.

The Battlebirds were experimental, highly-modified, 1957 Thunderbirds, which made extensive use of weight-saving aluminium to replace many steel body panels. They were specially constructed to race the famed ‘flying mile’ speed runs at Daytona Beach in 1957.
2 Battlebirds were constructed for these show races, after which they were sold off by the Ford Motor Company.

This car, No. 98, originally ran a fuel-injected, McCullough supercharged 312 engine, and ran second to a Ferrari. It was restored painstakingly by Gil Baumgartner in the early 2000s. Check out Gil’s restoration here.

No. 99, powered by a 368 Lincoln engine, was later destroyed.

So if you want to lay some rubber down your street, here’s your chance to place a bid.

NEWS JUST IN: The Battlebird sold for US$280,000. (No, my wife didn’t buy it for my birthday.)

Picture from RM Auctions site.


Larry Watson R.I.P.


Sadly, Larry Watson passed away on July 20th, a day before his 72nd birthday.
The Custom painter supremo, who created the ‘panel painting’ style most famously on his brand new ’58 T-Bird, will be sadly missed by his fans and admirers.
No doubt there will be plenty of ‘Watson-style’ tribute cars appearing in the future.
RIP Larry.
Images from Kustomland: the Custom Car Photography of James Potter 1955-1959 by Thom Taylor.


Paso Robles T-Birds 2002

Travel back a little in time to when the beautiful Californian town of Paso Robles hosted the famed West Coast Kustoms car event over the Memorial Day weekend in May. Just before the earthquake a year or two later, and then the show moved South.

We travelled there in 2002 (little did Tracy realise that the entire 6-week round-the-world trip was choreographed to this one weekend).

These video snippets (amateur warning alert!) capture some famed show T-Birds (including the electric green 1963, which now resides in the U.K.; the renowned ‘Time Machine’ which has won more than its own weight in shiny trophies; plus a couple of 50s Birds) and a taste of West Coast car culture.

Plus to recreate the atmosphere, some very high-pitched American accents, extremely loud car noises, and a couple of em-Barrised moments (“is that a 61 or 62?”).

And the $10,000 question: why-oh-why didn’t Paul ask Barris for his autograph? or Von Franco? or Shige?


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