Thursday, May 6, 2010


Without a doubt, when it comes to movie cars, some of the coolest cars come from the Batman franchise. The latest in this line up is the Tumbler, from the Christopher Nolan directed films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

The Tumbler on display outside Armadale Auto Parts in it's last official public appearance

Only four full size vehicles were built for the movie, but at least one collector from Japan was determined to get his hands on a Tumbler. In order to do so, he enlisted the help of a couple of guys from Perth, Western Australia, best known to many for their replicas of the Interceptor from the Mad Max films and if you head over to their website, you can check them out for yourselves.

The nose of the Tumbler is reminiscent of the star of the Predator moviesBuilding this replica has been a four year project for Grant Hodgson and Gordon Hayes of Mad Max Unlimited, and now that it's almost over, they have no plans to make another Tumbler. While they've certainly proven it's possible, the complex panel work involved has been a lot more time consuming than expected, although not without it's rewards. The Tumbler replica has already been featured in one national magazine, and will soon be featured in one of the biggest modified car magazines in Australia. It's too late to catch a glimpse of this car on Australian soil, as it's leaving for Japan very soon, but it will be on display in a privately owned museum over there, along with some of Grant and Gordon's other work. If you speak Japanese, or just want to look at the pictures, here's the website of the museum that commissioned this replica.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spotto a 57 Chev, A Blown 57 2 Door

This black 57 Chevrolet sedan was recently spotted at the Perth Motorplex. It was first noticed at a Whoop Ass Wednesday, but unfortunately did not pass scrutiny for the night, partly due to the large blower poking out of the bonnet, a definite no-no on a Wednesday night, due to noise restrictions.

After some work to make the car compliant, it was spotted again amongst almost 200 entrants at the Motorplex's Ford vs Holden event on ANZAC Day, where the supercharger doesn't present a problem. Some things that caught my attention on this 57 included the SuperChiller water to air intercooler sitting under the blower, the MSD EFI system controlling fuel and spark and some of the biggest rear tyres I've seen on a street car in a long time. The interior is a perfect blend of classic styling with some modern touches, including a full set of AutoMeter gauges and a B&M shifter.

The car was recently imported from Maryland in the United States, where it had been street registered and driven. It's also sporting a roll cage and has apparently run sub 10 second times in the past. On it's first and only pass at the Ford vs Holden event, the car ran 10.97s @ 128mph, with a launch that suggests there's still more to come from this black beauty, following the pass, the black 57's owner indicated his intentions to do the required work to bring the car up to ANDRA spec so that he can race again next season.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tanner Foust Drifts Mulholland Drive

Tanner Foust Street Drift: Mulholland

Streetfire.net recently posted this video of Tanner Foust drifting his (Toyota) Scion tC over a 2 mile closed section of Los Angeles' famous Mulholland Drive.

Tanner is an accomplished stunt driver and two time Formula D champion, and recently had the opportunity to close one of America's most famous stretches of road for a private drift session. The car in this video is far removed from a normal road going Scion tC, having been converted to rear wheel drive and fitted with a TRD prepared V8 originally built to run in Busch series NASCAR races.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Busy Weekend For Car Lovers in WA

Well, it was a pretty busy weekend for me anyway, although it kicked into gear a little later on Saturday than normal with the running of the second Night Masters round for the WASCC's championship season.

Wanneroo Raceway - Night Masters

I started the day off with one of the longest walks in Western Australian motorsport, down to Kolb Corner. This entails walking around 1.5km on the narrow wall that lines the circuit, interrupted by speaker poles and fences that have started to fall over. The walk to Track 6 at the Perth Motorplex is a breeze by comparison, plus you can often get a lift to Track 6 with a passing race team.

Wanneroo Raceway - Night Masters

The Night Masters presents a number of challenges and opportunities for photographers, and one of those is catching the glowing brake rotors at the main braking points. This shot was taken at the entry to V8Race.com corner (formerly known as a number of things, but I still know it as Shell Corner).

Wanneroo Raceway - Night Masters

Looking from V8Race.com corner down through the Esses and showing Westrac Cat Corner, this is a 30 second exposure showing the light trails from the HQ Holdens as they round Cat Corner and climb the hill to V8Race.com corner.

Cranksters Rod and Custom Pipeline Picnic

Sunday was definitely a day for those with an interest in classic iron, with two events catering to the hot rod and custom fraternity. The Cranksters Rod and Custom Club's annual Pipeline Picnic was held at Mundaring, with hundreds of hot rods, customs and street machines filling the grounds of the Mundaring Hotel and the neighbouring Mundaring Community Sculpture Park.

Cranksters Rod and Custom Pipeline Picnic

Ben Forster's 'Las Drogas', shown below, was built by members of the Cranksters, Goodfellas and a number of other Perth clubs, while the paint on the doors was laid down by signwriter and auto artist Scully, owner of the white three window coupe shown above.

Cranksters Rod and Custom Pipeline Picnic

After leaving Mundaring, I headed down to the Perth Motorplex for their Retro Drags event, these are a great relaxed event where owners of nostalgia type cars can race against similar cars or park up in the pits and check out some racing.

Retro Drags @ Perth Motorplex

Ron Crosby has been a long time supporter of nostalgia racing in Western Australia and was racing today in his Holden 6 powered Front Engined Dragster.

Retro Drags @ Perth Motorplex

Unfortunately, I know nothing more about this 68 Charger than that it was sitting in the pits and I just knew I had to get a photo of it as I was walking.

Retro Drags @ Perth Motorplex

This was the final Retro Drags event for the 2009/2010 season at the Perth Motorplex, so if you want to run at the next Retro Drags event, keep an eye on the Motorplex's website for their 2010/2011 season calendar when it's released. In the meantime, Nostalgia type vehicles have their own bracket at every Fast Friday event.

Over the next couple of days I'll be sorting through the rest of the photos from these three events to upload to High Octane Photos.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sculpture By The Sea - Cottesloe Beach

'Sculpture By The Sea' is a public art exhibition that visits Perth's Cottesloe Beach every summer. There are also 'Sculpture By The Sea' exhibits in Bondi in New South Wales, and Aarhus in Denmark.

Sculpture By The Sea @ Cottesloe Beach

This piece was constructed entirely out of plastic bottle caps contained in an onion-bag type of mesh.

Sculpture By The Sea @ Cottesloe Beach

Over 60 sculptures have been installed on the beach and on the grassy banks overlooking the ocean at Cottesloe Beach, from artists not only from Australia, but from around the world.

Sculpture By The Sea @ Cottesloe Beach

Last night, myself, my girlfriend Kate and a number of other Perth photographers and car nuts descended on Cottesloe Beach to check out this years exhibit. As we also all enjoy the challenge of night photography, we hit the beach around sunset and kept shooting until just after 10pm, before heading down to Capt'n Munchies in Fremantle for a bite to eat.

Sculpture By The Sea @ Cottesloe Beach

Sculpture By The Sea continues at Cottesloe Beach until the 23rd of March, and is well worth a visit.