Kingpin Takes Over Manhattan
By Mark Humphrey
Ringwood, Vic/Aus. 2nd March 2016. The Manhattan Hotel in the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood was the launching place for Kingpin Kuztums 2016 series of “Rats Tatts & Pin-ups” and as has been the case with past events the venue was packed with Rock a Billy rollers out looking for a good time.
Arriving late to the venue the first thing that hit me was how big this lifestyle themed series of events has become. The Manhattan looked impressive with hundreds of party goers cruising amongst hundreds of custom rats, Streeters, rods and bikes that had filled a number of car parks reserved for the show.
The 2016 series follows on from a successful 2015 series in much the same format with plenty of trade stands and merchandise available for keen shoppers along with make-up and hair care professionals that form part of the signature series that is “Rats Tatts & Pin-ups”.
The motorcycle guys were out in force this time out with the largest display of custom and signature bikes seen at a Kingpin event. Lots of cool rides on display for the admiring public. Street Rods have always been a feature of Kingpin Kuztums events and the Manhattan gig was no different with the huge main carpark filled to capacity with gleaming rods and pre 78 classic machines. It was refreshing to see so many new rides parked side by side in the Manhattan carpark and demonstrates just how big these events are becoming. To have that many cars parked at the Manhattan with so many regulars missing indicates just how big the promoter Rob Bellio has built his signature series in such a short time.
Inside the ALH venue live music was belting out of the speakers with 5 bands booked in to entertain the rock and rollers for over 7 twisting hours. An Elvis show was a new feature for Kingpin and proved to be very popular with the rockers on the floor. Food and drink specials were offered up on the day for the Kingpin following with an outdoor carpark booth serving up fast food throughout the day. The kids were taken care of with a jumping castle, clowns and magicians providing the junior entertainment.
All up it was another impressive display of custom motoring and partying by the Kingpin Kuztums crew with it must be noted, the massive support of the Australian Licenced Hotels group (ALH). I’m not sure if the ALH group thought they would see numbers like this so early in the promotion but judging on the public that packed into the venue on the weekend they have certainly backed a winner in Kingpin Kuztums.
The “Rats Tatts & Pin-ups” show will feature 3 more times in 2016 at ALH venues across Melbourne along with some Kingpin social cruise nights at nominated ALH venues. Meanwhile the Kingpin Kuztums lifestyle series makes it way down to the Victorian Market this Sunday starting at 9am. How cool to have custom rides parked under the historic roof line of the Victorian Market. As per usual live music will feature on the day along with some highly customized rides. This event promises to be something special.
For more info on the Kingpin Kuztums series check out the Kingpin Kuztums facebook page.
There’s A Xmas Rumble In Chelsea Tonight
By Mark Humphrey
Chelsea, Vic/Aus. 30th November 2015. Wow, a quick check of the memory banks took me back to last year’s Kingpin Kuztums Xmas party at Acland St in St. Kilda and here I was once again seeing the custom cruising year out this time at the ALH operated Chelsea Heights Hotel and what a way to finish the year. With no less than 9 bands listed on the day’s running sheet the day was set up to be the biggest culmination of hot-rods, tattoos, rock a billy merch and live music to see out what was an exciting year for Kingpin Kuztums and creator Rob Bellio. With just a couple of small Vic Market commitments in December the Kingpin Kuztums juggernaut can just about apply the brakes for the remainder of 2015.
After securing a deal early in the year with hotels giant Australian Licenced Hotels (ALH) Bellio got to work on developing his themed Rats Tatts & Pin Ups lifestyle events with events scheduled throughout the year at various ALH venues across Melbourne. The Glengala Hotel kicked off the series early in the year but with electrical activity forecast for the region on the scheduled kick off things looked a bit sketchy with some of the regions finest custom vehicles electing to sit out the inaugural ALH event . That aside the mix of custom cars, rock a billy culture and live music on the day was enough to convince ALH management that the Kingpin Kuztums lifestyle events were here to stay.
The following event was scheduled in for Lilydale and with perfect weather conditions forecast for the day Melbournians flocked to the event in droves signifying the confidence ALH had in Bellio’s concept of showcasing the regions finest custom cars, rock a billy and live music to the public free of charge.
Sandown was the 3rd instalment in the series and took another hit with thunderstorm activity in the area and although the number of cars on display was down from Lilydale the band room was packed with rockers.
So after 3 scheduled events throughout the year attention shifted to the ALH backed Kingpin Kuztums Xmas party at Chelsea Heights. The venue housed several car parks with Kingpin Kuztums allocated the carpark adjacent to the main entrance. It didn’t take long for the carpark to get busy with the usual Kingpin mix of custom, rodding, muscle and bikes. The carpark was kept busy all day with cruisers dropping in to check out the scene and catch up with club members and the like. The Kingpin nominated charity for the event was Soldier On who fundraises to support our wartime wounded warriors and were kept busy with the donation tins rattling away for most of the day.
Inside the Chelsea Heights venue the scene was just as hectic as outdoors with the merch and trade stands kept busy with people wanting to deck out in the latest rock a billy gear. A live tattoo display worked in well with the greaser style barber shop and the beauty salon while the weary could take a seat and get a Fit Muscle Massage for as little as $10.
On the other side of the complex the night club was transformed into an all-day rock a billy room with no less than 9 bands scheduled in for the day with Ezra Lee And The Havoc Band kicking off proceedings just after midday. Some of the state’s best rock a billy bands were on the bill to entertain the hundreds of rockers who had gathered at the venue to take in the action of a now extremely popular Rats Tatts & Pin-Ups gig. With rockers hanging in there until late both Rob Bellio from Kingpin Kuztums and the ALH management would have put this one in the books as another giant hit in the series that is Rats Tatts & Pin-Ups.
Dizzy Davidson & Rumblin Wolf
The Kingpin Kuztums year has included 4 Rats Tatts & Pin-Up events, the inaugural Thunder Road event at Calder Park, the Victorian Hot-rod Show gig and the launch of the Kingpin social club along with various trade stand appearances throughout the hot rodding calendar. Two Wednesday night Victorian Market gigs are still to come on the 9th and 16th of Dec ember which will finish up what has been a dynamic year for the Kingpin culture.
With plans already down for next year expect an even bigger year with Kingpin Kuztums lifestyle events coming to venues throughout Melbourne and the region with the Victorian Hot-rod Show once again kicking off the Calendar. Expect another Thunder Road with possibly a further round later in the year. The ALH backed Rats Tatts & Pinups are back again along with a huge Sunday Vic Market day around March. Throw in a steam train gig a winery tour and the Kingpin Kuztums Headquarters grand opening and your Kingpin year is already looking pretty cruisy.
For more details on upcoming events keep an eye on the Kingpin Kuztums facebook page.
Repco Shines on Overcast Day
By Mark Humphrey
Truganina, Vic/Aus. 2nd September 2015. A bitterly cold weather front greeted the participants in this year’s Repco Hoppers Crossing Father’s Day Show n Shine held at the Foresite Training complex in Truganina. Car numbers were down as you would expect given the conditions but for the brave who ventured out to wander through the display they weren’t disappointed.The event showcased some of the stores major trading partners with companies such as Iron Heads Custom Motorcycles, Backlash Automotive, Penrite Oil, Sassy Party Hire & Event Services, Saas Automotive and Nulon showcasing their products. Backlash Automotive in particular was well represented with a number of promotional vehicles on hand to showcase their creative personal touch to the automotive industry.Backlash Automotive had several machines on display
Iron Head Custom Motorcycles was once again supporting the Repco Father’s Day show and I caught up with owner Alastair Coalter to get a few quick words on the expanding custom motorcycle business and started by asking Alastair the background of the business “well we have only been going a couple of years now here in Hoppers Crossing. The last time out at the Repco show was our first and since then we have had to move to a larger premises due to the workload” he said. Alastair added “we thought we would put something together for last year’s show with Repco and since then we have just gotten bigger to the point where we were just running out of room”. Iron Horse Custom Motorcycles caters for the customer off the street and can give your bike that personal custom touch from mild to wild. “Yeah I guess we cater for everything from mild to wild. You can bring in your Harley or metro and we can throw a set of apes’ at it, custom exhausts, complete rebuilds, anything you can imagine we can do at Iron Heads” he said. Looking at the bike on display I asked Alastair how Iron Heads got involved with the build “Yeah this is Shelley’s bike and we got it as a stock standard heritage Harley. We did the fishtail pipes, extended the cables to allow for 18” apes, installed a springer front end and threw a heap of accessories at her to finish it off” he said. Alastair added “whether it’s an update or simply just change the ride of the bike we can do it from full customize packages to engine rebuilds”. Iron Heads Custom Motorcycles are located at 387 Old Geelong Road Hoppers Crossing.Iron Heads Custom Motorcycles - www.ironheads.com.au - email@example.com
For noise the GEMWAR Gemini burnout car provided that familiar open exhaust rumble as it cruised from the trailer to the display point inside the warehouse nestled amongst some of the regions finest late model street cars.
Gemini Burnout CarThe Renegades Hot Rod Club had rolled in with a number of club members displaying their vehicles and the Collectable Vehicle Club had a handful of vehicles also on display. The Boss Mustang was a standout in the Collectable Vehicle Club display.Classic Corvette Stingray
Several of the regions mobile food and beverage vans had set up both indoors and outdoors to feed the interested onlookers while the kids were getting their faces painted inside. The nominated charity of the day was the Victorian Police Blue Ribbon Foundation’s Westgate branch. I talked to Elizabeth from the Westgate branch who informed me that the foundation was set up to perpetuate the memory of officers killed in the line of duty. All money raised by the foundation goes towards public community projects with the recipients more often than not hospitals. The Alfred Hospital has benefited from a lot of equipment purchased through the proceeds of the foundation over the years with the emergency department of the Footscray Hospital the latest beneficiary of the Westgate branch. Elizabeth said “we recently completed a project to redevelop the emergency department of the Footscray Hospital to perpetuate the memory of police officer Tim Lewczuk who tragically died in a car accident while on duty” she said. The Victorian Police force supports the charity and all monies raised go directly to the foundation with proceeds going towards community projects. The foundation retains a very small portion of the fundraising to cover the cost of 3 administration staff. With over 15 branches state wide the foundation is seen as a vital cog in community fundraising.Victorian Police Blue Ribbon Foundation
Although the weather had a major impact on the event, for those that braved the chilly conditions they were rewarded with a small but fun show provided by the host Repco Hoppers Crossing. Usually run on the Saturday of the Father’s Day weekend the organisation is hoping to return to the familiar date next year. Mark it in the calendar for next year.
For more information on this year’s event go to: https://www.facebook.com/RepcoHoppersCrossing?fref=ts
KINGPIN KUZTUMS "ARE YOU VEGAS ENOUGH" VIDEO
By Mark Humphrey
Following is a trailer for Kingpin Kuztum's "Are You Vegas Enough" York On Lilydale DVD which is due to be released around the 20th of July.
The event showcased Kingpin Kuztum's vision of providing not just a show n shine but a complete lifestyle event encompassing retail outlets, tattooing, make-up, barber shop, trade displays, pin-up doll comp and of course live rockabilly performed by the best in the business.
The Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) was on board showcasing some fine examples of extreme drag racing and will look to support future Kingpin shows.
Jump on board for a quick 5 minute tour which features Rumblin Wolf, Cherry Divine and a few cars cruising by. Lots more action with plenty of cars, girls, tattoo's and loud live music on the full version.
Keep an eye on the Kingpin Kuztums facebook page for release dates.
Thousands Flock To Kingpin’s Ink N’ Iron
By Mark Humphrey
Lilydale, Vic/Aus. 19th May 2015. Kingpin Kuztums have just re-written the script on what a show n shine car event should be with their much celebrated “Are You Vegas Enough” themed series of rockabilly events showcasing their latest rendition the Ink N’ Iron party held at the York On Lilydale complex in the Melbourne suburb of Lilydale.
Creator of the Kingpin Kuztums dynasty Rob Bellio together with his hard working staff, had their hands full co-ordinating the day’s activities which kicked off at 2pm and went through the night with celebrated rockabilly band Rumblin Wolf closing the event just after 11pm. Rumblin Wolf headlined the entertainment package and delivered two sets of classic rockabilly music to see out what was an outstanding day of lifestyle entertainment.
With a 2pm scheduled start things looked steady with a couple of rows of custom street machines lined up providing spectators with a taste of what was to come. Within 45 minutes the designated display area for the custom machines was choc a block with cruisers having to find alternative ways to get their vehicles into the display area. Street Rods and customs were lined up as far back as 2kms just waiting to get their cars into the display area. Spectators had filled the car park along with the ANDRA drag racing display area which was situated at the main entrance. Inside the doors, Joy Ride kicked off the music entertainment with a 45 minute set in the main function room which was followed by The Detonators with 3 more local Melbourne bands lined up to take the entertainment right through to 11pm.Classic rides used for the Pin Up Model photography
The spectators mingling throughout the hundreds of cars and bikes on display in the carpark could have been forgiven for thinking this was just an awesome show n’ shine display. Just over an hour into the event the Russo Motorsport Team fired up their fire breathing supercharged outlaw funny car much to the delight of the large throng of spectators that had infiltrated the ANDRA display. With 2000+hp belting out through the headers it set the scene and indicated that this was going to be one outrageous party that would be burnt into the memory banks of those who attended for years to come. Russo Motorsports Supercharged Outlaw monster thrilled the crowd
And as if that wasn’t enough, Phil Parker from Parker Racing fired up his nitro breathing Top Fuel motorcycle giving spectators the sensation of breathing nitro filled air. Starting to get the picture! One minute you’re walking amongst classic rods, the next you’re head first in the ANDRA drag racing scene! What a mix and the start of your adventure into the Kingpin Kuztums Ink N’ Iron experience. Parker Racing's "Gracie" gave the fans a taste of Nitro filled air.
Classic cars, hot rods, low riders, bikes and rat rods filled the car park. Heavily inked dudes and babes cruised the York On Lilydale car park paying special attention to the low riders section and the cool spinner who was mixing the rap on his twin disc set-up. So cool!Cool low riders were a hit with the crowd.
By now hundreds of people had ventured inside the York On Lilydale with a continual stream of new visitors making their way to the action. As soon as you entered the building you were greeted with a number of activities. To the right was a free mini pin-up both where aspiring young models lined up to get that by gone era image taken. To the left a Pancho’s Kuztums air-brushing display was taking place creating a Marilyn Monroe image with a twist and just behind them were the first of the traders stands. From here you could either veer left or right to continue your journey through this amazing lifestyle event. Veering left had you smack bang in the middle of the heart and soul of Kingpin with their fabulous range of greaser wear on display for all to buy. Mixed in amongst this was a tattoo demonstration provided by Desperado Ink Tattoo Studio, a ladies hair - makeover & beauty stand, a couple of traders stands and believe it or not, a men’s barber shop! Yep you read right. 2 barbers flat strap giving dudes that greaser style haircut. And this was not a gimmick where the barbers gave a demonstration at nominated times. These boys were flat out filling the chairs as fast as they would empty. Simply awesome and just one small part of the jigsaw puzzle that was ‘Are You Vegas Enough’.
A very large part of the jigsaw puzzle was music and although every category in some form or another is entertainment, music headlined the bill leaving no doubt that Kingpin Kuztums is a huge supporter of local music. Veering right from the entrance had you entering the York On Lilydale function room where a temporary dance floor had been provided to cater for the rock n roll twisters. First up was new band Joy Ride who kicked off the indoors entertainment at 2pm with one set of classic numbers. They were followed by The Detonators with a dance routine by the Shimmy Shaker Show Girls splitting the Detonators two sets. The Shimmy Shaker Show Girls
Cherry Divine was up next and also doubled as the guest MC for the night announcing the finalists and winners in the Tattoo competition with awards supplied by Desperado Ink and the Ink N’ Iron Pin Up Model with awards for this category supplied by Kingpin Kuztums. Ink N' Iron Pin Up Girls
Firebird Trio followed with a couple of sets and man were they rockin the room. Headline act Rumblin Wolf finish the night off just after 11pm. Rumblin Wolf’s lead guitarist and vocalist Dizzy Davidson greeted the packed function room with a big thank you to Rob Bellio and his staff for having the vision to put together such an amazing concept and was happy to have the band back together again after a bit of a lay off.
The music entertainment package as a whole was fabulous with all bands firing up the venue with their sets but there was no doubting why Rumblin Wolf had headlined the day. From their very first number, Rumblin Wolf had the floor packed with groovers rocking away to famous covers as well as their own compilations. It was a fitting end to a simply awesome standalone event that has significantly enhanced the Kingpin Kuztums branding and culture.
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) have to be commended here for sharing the vision of Kingpin Kuztums Rob Bellio for without their support this venture may not have left the ground. In the wash-up it was a decision that has rewarded the 300+ licenced premises group with turnover on the day set to be their biggest ever single day haul surpassing past events that include rock icon Jimmy Barnes. The nominated charity beneficiary in this case Very Special Kids Charity also fared well with the generosity of the patrons amounting to somewhere around $5,000 for the day.
All up it was a fantastically organised day that seemed to go down without a hitch, one that was free for all spectators to come and enjoy. The combination of the trade stands, novelty events, ANDRA drag racing, various auto groups and live music made this event one for the ages and one that has been captured on video and film for all to enjoy.
Expect the DVD to be available for purchase in the coming weeks. Caprice Photography was the nominated photographer for the event and has produced some cracker images. Joker Photography had the assignment to cover the Pin-Up competition also with some outstanding results.
There were also plenty of other photographers on hand who have posted pics on the event’s Facebook page.
For more info on the DVD release, Caprice Photography, Joker Photography and upcoming events go to: https://www.facebook.com/kingpin.kuztums?fref=ts
Images From The Day
Renegades Cruise The Racecourse
By Mark Humphrey
Werribee, Vic/Aus. 8th May 2015. The 2015 Renegades HRCC swap meet and show ‘n shine at the Werribee racecourse has come and gone with monies raised supporting Australian Cancer and ANZAC 100 Year benefits. Stalls stretching across the tarmac offered trash and treasure goodies for buyers on the prowl while the member’s car park was a hive of activity with some of the regions finest examples of custom motoring cruising in and out all day.
The event was well catered for with a variety of food and beverage vendors feeding the large gallery of spectators that had assembled to grab a bargain or simply cruise through the car display. A handful of judges had made their way through the line-up of custom cars selecting what they thought were unique and exquisite examples of custom motoring and hot rodding with a Top 10 award ceremony bringing the event to a close. Run as an annual event on the 1st weekend in May, the Renegades HRCC event is fast becoming a must do event on the Victorian hot-rod calendar and if this year’s event is anything to go on expect the Renegades to be cruising around the race course for years to come.
Video action from the event.
Cruisers Come Out To Support Jasper
By Mark Humphrey
Rowville, Vic/Aus. 24th April 2015. Car lovers from across Melbourne came out in numbers last weekend to share in the celebrations of the Piston Steel Shakedown’s Fundraiser For Jasper event. With weather conditions looking ominous at day-break, the thought of a successful fundraising day looked a touch bleak. The fundraiser was a benefit for a little guy called Jasper who carries a number of debilitating illnesses making him wheelchair bound and in constant need of support. Parents Scotty and Mandi were mingling in with the Melburnians who had ventured out to check out some of the regions finest examples of automotive excellence on display as well as static merchant stalls, food vendors, supporter outlets and of course some good ol rocking music.
After several location changes The Stamford Hotel opened up their doors and carpark to house the benefit for Jasper with funds going towards a new passenger van complete with ramp access. Live music from Rumblin' Wolf echoed out from the Stamford while a couple of Transformers made an appearance in the carpark much to the delight of Jasper and friends. As the morning went on the numbers of spectators had risen alongside the improvement in weather conditions. In the end the day turned out perfect with any chance of rain dissipating by mid-morning.
The generosity of the patrons was reflected in the thankyou issued by Jasper’s father Scott Woodbridge as listed below.
““For those that contributed on the day and to all those who donated through his fund page, we thank you for your generosity and kindness in helping raise some much needed funds for our son Jasper to go towards a new van with ramp access. The total for the charity event at the Stamford Hotel raised $3222, ●$250● kindly donated incorporated from Shannons Insurance on the day. With a further $70 through his Facebook fund page "Little Jasper needs a Miracle Part 2". If you could not make it there and still wish to make a donation please do so via his page fund. A super effort by all who helped out and took the time to assist on the day and we are grateful to have the support of: PISTON STEEL SHAKEDOWN THE STAMFORD HOTEL SHANNONS INSURANCE CFA (The Basin) BASIN JNR FIRE BRIGADE SES THE MELBOURNE TRANSFORMERS PENRITE OILS ENZED ALL AUSSIE MADE DIDDY RAYS & THE BLUES MANIACS BAND RUMBLING WOLF BAND HQ BROTHERHOOD MCV'S MATT WALKER 60'S-80'S HOLDEN CLUB VIC EARLY MODEL HOLDEN CLUB YARRA VALLEY CHROME BUMPERS KINGPIN KUSTOMS AMY & LINDA'S CAKES JADES FACEPAINTING MIKE SLAPE ELLIS FRENCH ADAM KAMENEK COFFEE 2 GO DORSET RD WOODFIRE PIZZA SHOP BARROSSA OLD GARAGE SWITCH LIFESTYLE AUSTRALIAN CAR EVENTS SCHISM PHOTOGRAPHY GRANTLYY PHOTOGRAPHY WRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY KUSTOM PIX PHOTOGRAPHY AUSSIE PHOTOGRAPHY SPORTING SCRIBE MUSCLE LEADER NEWSPAPER HERALD SUN If we have forgotten anyone else we thank you also!””
It was a grand effort by all concerned and especially Piston Steel Shakedown who jumped on board to organise the event. Lots of images from the event are available from the photographers listed above with Grantlyy Photography going a step further by asking photo purchasers to nominate how much they are prepared to pay for their photo with the entire proceeds being passed onto the Jasper fund.
To donate to the fund (Little Jasper needs a Miracle Part 2) go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/798864700202016/
Video Highlights From The Day
Images from the day
Greezed Up Kingpins Rock The Suburbs
By Mark Humphrey
Sunshine, Vic/Aus. 3rd March 2015. Rats, Tats & Pinups was the theme of Kingpin Kuztums latest motoring party that took place at the Glengala Hotel in Sunshine last weekend. The Glengala Hotel show followed on from the very successful Rockabilly Nevada event which showcased at a suburban Dandenong warehouse early last month.
The unique automotive format is the brainchild of Rob Bellio and is a favourite of the suburban greaser community. Catering for everything that is cool, the auto parties showcase some of the region’s best examples of custom motoring combined with the region’s best rockabilly bands which normally go deep into the evening belting out the familiar dance and cruise music tunes.
The hard-core greasers will deck out in their Big Bad Wolf gear with the girls getting around in their sweet little party dresses as they mingle with the ever growing crowd of spectators who are drawn in by the party atmosphere of the Kingpin events.
Unlike other motoring exhibitions, the Kingpin Kuztums events cater for the well-worn traditions of the greaser lifestyle with the Rockabilly Nevada event in Dandenong showcasing exactly what the organisation is all about. In the space of a couple of hours you could have entered the event as joe blow and walked out the other end completely decked out in a brand new greaser outfit complete with a cool rocker styled haircut. If you felt like a new tattoo no problem, Kingpin had a tattooist on site penning the latest in greaser style tatts. A Kingpin event would not be complete without the regions finest rockabilly bands belting out old favourites and Rockabilly Nevada was no exception with a handful of bands taking their place on stage well into the evening. I don’t know of any other car club/car event that offers a complete service or entertainment package like Kingpin Kuztums with the added benefit of your gold coin entrance donation going straight to a nominated charity on the day. Good all round value.
Walk in for a re-fit
Maybe some make-up
Or a haircut
And finish off with a brand new Tattoo !!!
Everywhere you looked there was a story to be told with proud owners polishing any speckles of dust off their gleaming machines. I caught up with James at the Dandenong event who was proudly standing beside a very rare Commer pick-up. Happy to talk about his neat pick-up I asked James about the car “well it is a 1939 Commer that basically has commodore running gear. The engine is a black 202 motor coupled to a VT commodore transmission. The rear end is also from a commodore as is the disc brake front end” he said. James has owned the pick-up for about 18 months and except for a tidy up the car is as purchased. James believes his vehicle is the only fully registered version on Australian roads noting that there are a number of versions getting around on club reg. Driven daily and used in the business, the Yass built Commer checks into numerous car shows around the state in between delivery duties for the business. James owns Bonsai By Design which as the name suggests is a Bonsai plant business operating out of Hoppers Crossing and uses his vehicle for deliveries and also product transportation for weekend market stalls. James is often seen at the Kingpin events with Sundays set aside for markets and fairs.James with his 39 Commer. Used daily in his Bonsai By Design business.
Rats Tatts N Pinups video clip
Note: Technical issues prevented sound on the Rats Tatts N Pinups video.
Rats Tatts N Pinups pics
The Rats, Tatts N Pinups event was the last planned event of the summer series and wrapped up what was a very successful 2014/15 Summer season for the company. The focus now shifts towards the grand opening of their Melbourne outlet towards the end of July this year. Once completed the outlet will house pool/billiard tables, coffee shop, hairdresser, tattoo parlour and of course the headquarters for their greaser style clothing range.
For more details check out their facebook page Kingpin Kuztums Clothing: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kingpin-Kuztums-Clothing-Ink/285108008248606?fref=ts
Rockabilly Nevada Pics
Kingpins Rock The Prince
By Mark Humphrey
St.Kilda, Melb/Aus. 17th December 2014. Kingpin Kuztums took over the Prince Complex on Acland last weekend for their annual Rockabilly Christmas Party. Comprising 5 levels of undercover parking The Prince Complex provided the ideal venue for the specialist clothing company to put on a show like no other.
The theory behind the venue setting was to provide enough undercover parking for custom street rods and street machines on display whilst dedicating an entire level for the company’s merchandise store including associated support industries. The level also catered for live music belted out by back in the day rock n roll bands.
For spectators the venue offered an ideal viewing platform where they could jive to the live music in basement, stroll the Kingpin Kuztum clothing outlet for their greaser outfit and for the ladies, drop in for a rock-a-billy style hair do. The next 4 levels of carpark were dedicated to the show n shine category and although car numbers were slightly down the quality of muscle, street and hot-rods was a good as anything going around.
The Kingpin Kuztums Clothing Ink has aligned itself closely within the street car/rod industry in Melbourne and surrounding areas over the past 2 years and is now a regular at many car shows throughout the area. I caught up with owner Rob Bellio on level 5 of the complex to get an idea of how the day was going “Yeah the day is ok. I was hoping for a few more cars so we could fill every level to the brim but you can’t have everything” he laughed. Bellio added “we have had a lot of cars drop in for a while and then head out cruising which is what the day is all about. If all the cars were parked for the day then the carpark would have been really busy” he said.Promoter Rob Bellio (Right) has come a long way in 2 years with his clothing company.
Bellio was spot on as lots of cars cruised in for a spell then headed off to various parts of the city and suburbs to go cruising. The idea is certainly unique to have a multi-level carpark where muscle cars and street rods can come and go as they please. Normally at show n shine events the cars are in for the day but the Prince Complex offered the right atmosphere for guys to cruise in and out as they pleased. All up it was a fun filled day with plenty of music, rock n roll dancing, girls and guys dressed up in greaser gear and of course awesome examples of automotive muscle.
With Christmas fast approaching the street rod scene is winding up for the break. No doubt there will be plenty of muscle cruising the bay and down the coast over the holidays. To see what’s happening next for Kingpin Kuztum go to their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kingpin-Kuztums-Clothing-Ink/285108008248606.
Images From The Day
End Of An Era For Calder.Nino Cavallo always puts on a show @ Calder
By Mark Humphrey
Calder Park, Vic/Aus. 3rd December 2014. It looks like its official. The last ever race meet on the existing racing surface will most likely be on the 7th of December 2014, as the works order for the new surface is about to be finalised. Current track promoter Peter Pisalidis has scheduled in round 9 of the Street Outlaws qualification series for the day along with a test n tune session for competition vehicles and bikes. With so many competitors having competed at Calder over the last 40 years the staging lanes might be full of comp cars as they celebrate what was once the best drag racing venue in Australia. Lots of memorable moments have taken place over the last 40 years with the 95 ANDRA Nationals a standout. More than 50,000 spectators packed into the Keilor Park venue on finals day to watch the likes of Rachelle Splatt, Jim Read and co slug it out for the famous ANDRA Xmas trees. Who can ever forget Victor Bray laying down ½ track burnouts in his Castrol Chevy or the new kid on the block in Doorslammers John Zappier. Romeo was at his peak in the Funny Car ranks with household names like Russo, Phillips and Cowin all there putting on a horsepower extravaganza like nothing before. The Herald Sun was on board with full page centre spreads on what makes the sport tick with numerous other publications also on board for the ride that was the ANDRA Nationals. A full list of qualifying and finals results from the 95 Nationals courtesy of ANDRA are listed below. Check out the names of drag racers competing back in the day. Plenty are still going around today. (Quality is poor)Matt Forbes has picked up Aussie Championships on the way.
Sadly for Victorian drag racing fans the good times were to last only a handful of years down the track as legal wranglings and in-house friction saw the demise of the sport in Melbourne with just the odd True Blue event and some legal off-street drag racing the only form of drag racing available for Calder Park spectators. ANDRA threw their hat in the ring in October of 2013 with a Top Fuel event coupled to some sportsman categories. I remember Victor Bray down as an observer, on the PA throwing his weight behind the Calder resurrection and then returning to Calder earlier this year to compete in the ANDRA sanctioned Southern Nationals. Although the Southern Nationals turned out to be “topical’the chain of events that occurred after the meeting seemed to kick start that well-worn request to upgrade the racing surface. With Rodney Jane now in charge of all things Calder the push for a new racing surface all of a sudden seemed a reality. Jane knowing the full earning potential of the Calder facility put out a tender to replace the racing lanes and barriers with a brand new concrete version. Contracts to build the new racing surface are due to be signed at the end of this week or early next week after some finer points of the contract had to be ironed out. Make no mistake; we will see a brand new racing surface ready for the Top Fuelers in February.Hugo !!! True Blue Victorian and Calder die hard with Frank looking on.
There has been plenty said about the role ANDRA has or has not played in supporting drag racing at CalderPark over the past dozen years but one thing that can’t be disputed is the tremendous drive they have had in canvassing Rodney Jane for the upgrades at Calder. I caught up with ANDRA CEO Malcolm Bully to get his reaction on the official statement that Calder is finally getting the up-grades they had been canvassing, “Calder Park was always going to return to the calendar. Major ANDRA Championship Drag Racing events in Melbourne form part of a key strategy to return the sport to the upper echelons of Motorsport in Australia. Added to the developments of tracks in Swan Hill and Bairnsdale, there has never been a better time of growth for Drag Racing in Victoria. Calder Park is the centrepiece of this growth and with the upgrades to the track surface and return road we can ensure the on track action of our major Championship brackets is second to none thereby rewarding the starved Drag Racing fans of Victoria for their patience." Bully went on to say"The owners of Calder Park have expressed their desire to return the venue to a premier Drag Racing facility and we are working through the processes of achieving those goals. Further details will be released in due course but rest assured that once we get the key elements of the track surface and return road sorted out, the rest will come."ANDRA Doorslammers are scheduled in for October 2015.
Calder Park Drag Racing will undergo a complete track makeover with completion expected mid January. The existing ¼ mile strip will be removed along with the concrete barriers and be replaced with a new concrete racing surface incorporating new concrete walls. The first of many ANDRA open class drag racing events is scheduled for February 7th& 8th 2015 when the awesome fire breathing Top Fuel dragsters roll out for round 1 of the championship. Top Fuel bike along with Pro Stock and Pro Stock motorcycle will be in support.
The ANDRA sanctioned event kicks off what will be an exciting year for drag racing at Calder in 2015. I caught up with track promoter Peter Pisalidis and asked Peter about the upcoming year “yeah it’s really exciting to know the track upgrades are finally going ahead.We have a full program pencilled in for next year which will include the Andra Top Fuel event in February and the ANDRA Top Alcohol/Doorslammers event in October” he said. Pisalidis added “With the track upgrades completed, it would be nice to see Victorian drag racers turn up to support the local events planned for 2015”.On that, Pisalidis has put together a program that includes 8 rounds of Street Outlaws culminating with a final, The John Taverna Classic, Rowe Memorial and 2 other state rounds to give Victorian racers and spectators a full calendar of Calder Park Drag Racing in 2015. I asked Pisalidis the theory behind the 2015 calendar “well the John Taverna event is dear to my heart and was the first event pencilled in and we need to finish the year on a bang and what better way than with the 4th and final round of the State Championship sometime in December” he said. Plenty of local talent around to contest State rounds.TheDecember meeting will remain the Andrew Rowe memorial event and like the Taverna Classic will be annual events on the Calder Park Drag Racing calendar. Legal Street cars have also been catered for with the Street Outlaws series to continue in 2015. Although the track upgrades will push the 2014 Street Outlaws final into 2015 I asked Pisalidis about the 2015 Street Outlaws program and what he had planned “The Street Outlaws series is something I will persevere with. We haven’t been inundated with entries this year but I want to continue the series in 2015 so the regular guys off the street have a local competition they can compete in” he said. Pisalidis added “The plan is to run 4 qualifying rounds before winter and then 4 rounds after the winter break. Street Machine has indicated they would like to tie in their drag week with the outlaw series in 2015 which would be a fitting end to the series” he said. Indeed it would. We had a glimpse of what could be with day 4 of the 2014 Street Machine Drag Week series rolling into Calder Park to run with the Street Outlaws series last month. The thought of combining the Street Outlaws final together with the final day of the Street Machine Drag Week has substance and no doubt would be the pinnacle of street car drag racing in Victoria.
So with the track upgrades finally getting the go ahead attention is now focused on what could be the final meet for 2014 which will take place on December the 7th. Pisalidis has scheduled round 9 of the Street Outlaws series and like past Outlaws qualifiers the track is open for comp vehicles and bikes. In the past we have seen a good number of comp vehicles roll out to put down some passes with some dipping into the 7’s. As the last ever day will be a daytime meet the tired old track will still give up plenty for those horsepower heroes who want to come out and celebrate the curtain going down on the current track surface. Already there has been plenty of interest from comp competitors wanting to share in the history making day and I have no doubt that more will join in as we close in on the day. There have been so many wonderful memories and highlights over the journey at Calder Park and who knows, the old girl might throw up a couple more on the 7th.Jess Turner is one of the many female drivers competing @ Calder.
To keep up to date on the track upgrades and the 2015 Calder Park Drag Racing calendar go to the Calder Park Drag Racing website and their facebook page.