THE ILLEST AND A LITTLE ABOUT ME

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I thought it was appropriate to feature my ’62 Cadillac as my inaugural feature article on my new blog and to tell you all a little about myself and my love for cars at the same time.

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Stepping way back in time; to my early primary school years, I first discovered cars by accident in old magazines, stored in the cupboards at school. I was captivated by the hot rods and old school cars between the pages. Being a mad keen artist it wasn’t long before all I was drawing were old Holdens, Fords and pretty much anything else with a motor hanging out of the bonnet. At the time, my older brother Clayton was on the verge of getting his license and he was destined to get into something hot – it turned out to be a neat XC GXL Falcon and then that made way for a show-stopping Datsun 1600 that was as neat as a pin soon after.

By my teenage years, Clayton was heavily into rotary Mazdas and drag racing his infamous, 11-second RX3 Coupe at Ravenswood. It was no surprise then that the first car I owned was a rotary-powered Mazda 808 that he built for me and paid for too. I was well and truly hooked on Rotors back then and I just wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps.

By the time I was 21 I had already owned 5 or so Mazdas that Clayton had put me into. He upped the stakes on my first real serious car – The burnt orange RX3 sedan we put together. It was a step up from the other cars I had owned but was still well and truly a daily driver. The Bridgeported 13B copped a hiding on the street and much to both of our amazement, the car won Top Judged at Autosalon one year and after about 3 years attending shows, I had accumulated around 20 trophies with the car. It was all due to my brother’s hard work and it was built in a single car garage.

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The RX3 that my brother built for me back in the ’90s. Back in the day it was the shit 

I then discovered Mazda 1500s and 1800s through Clayton. I snapped one up cheap with him and then another and then another. I soon had a fleet of them. It wasn’t long before Clayton was building me a killer version – slammed on 18-inch ROH Modenas, bathed in perfect white paint and trimmed in red and maroon, the car looked a million bucks and once again, it cleaned up at the car shows. One year it even got in the Top Ten at Motorvation.

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The 1800 went through two wheel changes over the years and was another trophy winner. Anybody who saw it, knew it was quality through and through

I had another couple of Rotaries in between other cars and then I bought my first big girl – a baby blue, ’63 Chevy. It was dressed up with staggered billet wheels; it was bagged and had a decent stereo in it too. I cruised that for a few years.

DSC01528DSC01478DSC01540The ’63 was totally a spur of the moment purchase. It was rough but so cool!

The car I liked to call the ‘Urban Myth’ was a Pro-Touring styled RX3 sedan that came along after the Impala. Wheel tubbed, kitted out with a full chassis and with a gut scraping stance, it was powered by a 20B triple rotor with a Powerglide and a 9-inch rear end. The thing was as mean as they come but as life would have it, I never got to complete it. I was forced to sell it.

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Sadly, I dropped an old hard drive and lost most of the photos of this car and the build

It was some time before I got the next chance to play with modified cars again but when an old Mazda 1800 came up for sale that my brother built I snapped that up. That car became known as OLSKOOL after Clayton painted it Candy Gold and slammed it on satin black RX5 wheels. The whole car is shaved and features lots of cool touches inside and out. I have driven that old girl around now for that last 6-7 years and will never part with it.

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This car will never leave the stable I love it too much. This was one of the very first times that my now, best mate, Boris Viskovic and I ever spoke. I am so glad that a friend snapped this picture. It was the day I debuted the car at Big Als back in 2009 

Having always had a passion for older cars I reckon I have just about talked the ear off anyone who would listen to my list of dream cars. I am right into ‘60s styled show rods and kustoms – stuff like ’49-54 Chevys, Buick Rivieras, Model A’s, Packards, Plymouths, Tail Draggers, Gassers, you name it – basically anything wild from back in that era. Think of candy paint jobs, roof chops, wide whites on 15-inch wheels and tuck and roll interiors and you get what I love. The cars can be classy too, understated in colours and feeling but customised to the max.

If I had to choose another style of car that I rate, it would be Pro Touring stuff like Greg Hogan’s Camaro that I photographed – these cars are amazing in build quality and there is such a great ethos behind the concept too. Guys like the Ring Brothers and the team at the Roadster Shop are amazing. Don’t let me start about how good Troy Trepanier is or the main man Foose. I don’t think you will ever shake the Japanese bug out of me either – I still love the rotors, would just about kill for a 240ZX or the ultimate, a Hakosuka Skyline in silver would be a dream come true.

Now, onto the Green Machine – it was a few years ago that this glorious 1962 Cadillac Coupe Deville came into my possession. It wouldn’t have happened though, if it wasn’t for my lifelong friend Malcolm Pages. Being into cars himself, he has been collecting cars for years and he offered to bring this ride into the country for me. I couldn’t refuse and I will forever be in debt for his generosity.

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Dan Sobieski, an ex-employee of Boyd Coddington built the car as his own over in Cali. He was responsible for the factory green re-spray with that wild flaked roof and the incredible leather re-trim. The big girl is bagged and slammed over the custom wire wheels shod with wider than usual, thin whites.

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When I drive it, I feel like a boss. It is such a cool car. The icing on the cake are the plates I grabbed off another mate – the ILLEST is a hip hop term (my favourite type of music) which simply means – nothing better.

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When I admire that car I recall a quote from Leonardo da Vinci, ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ I can’t think of a better description for the Caddy. Old cars will always be a part of me – I have such an emotional attachment to them and my photography.

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I have lived and breathed this stuff from the first time I picked up that tattered magazine at 8 years old and hopefully I will still be dreaming of them when I am 98 years old.

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YEP

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