Guest Blog: Mark Pakula>> Show Car Sunday

Some of you may have noticed my name on some Speedhunters posts already, I was the Staff Photographer and Production Editor for the Australian based Auto Salon Magazine, and with the last issue ever about to be completed, I will try to continue to feed Speedhunters with as much about the Australian scene as possible.

The Australian modified car scene has the usual categories of events, drag racing, circuit, drift, and shows. Show Car Sunday, is a relatively new event for Australia, with the two oldest and biggest show events being the Auto Salon show series and the annual Summernats event.

The main hall of Show Car Sunday featured Malcolm Glassett’s 2JZ-powered Toyota Solara. Built in the U.S. by Titan Motorsports, the car debuted it’s new livery.

The goal for the paint scene was to have it look as loud as possible, and the crew at Custom Body Works managed to succeed.

Inside is all business, with acres of carbon fibre covering key components.

Australian show cars were all too often about airbrushing, too large chrome rims and plenty of leather and audio components. This 5-series BMW shows how styles are changing.

Some old school gems often pop up at shows, and this Mazda RX-3 Savanna was one example.

It’s not too often a standard car like this is seen in Australia, most of them have been modified beyond recognition.

Complete with a classic Savanna badge and taillights.

Even rarer were the RE AP and 5SPEED badges. The exhaust was also a little unique.

The Interior was also a revelation, plastic covering on the doors, and plaid pattern on the seats were super cool.

This FD3S didn’t look all that different at first glance.

Walking around the back the graphics give a hint at what’s lurking in the rear.

And that is a Rolls Royce Viper 202-22 jet engine.

The engine is out of an Italian built Aermacchi  fighter/trainer jet, and produces 2800 horsepower, with up to 8000hp available when the afterburner is enabled.

The chassis is obviously built around the jet and the cage is more about holding the car together rather than providing occupant safety.

This would be one scary ride.

Mark I Ford Escorts are also a rare yet popular car in Australia. Mark I’s were actually produced locally from 1970-1975, but precious few remain on the road.

This car had a nice mix of old and new, with the wide flares needed to clear the large wheels.

Another RX-3, this time built to go down the quarter mile as fast as possible.

Most show cars in Aus (Sydney and Mel more so) are all about paint,
interior, wheels and stereo. All the S-chassis cars there, fit that
mould, which is why I didn’t take many pics of them.

The name for this Australia specific style is “sex spec”. Not sure it's really Speedhunters style though.

Supra’s are not overly popular in Australia, mainly due to the fact that they were never officially sold locally, our supply is only from Japanese grey imports. This JZA80 is owned by Jodi Toneguzzi and has been a well known car in the show scene around Australia. It is a ground up build, and the highlight is the 2JZ built by GAS Motorsport, which has made 1251rwhp.

Inside and out, “MIS52J” is pristine.

The source of the massive power, the GT55 turbo.

The underside of this Supra is also detailed, note where the exhaust exits.

Low-riders are not a common sight in Australia, so when an Impala on bags appears, it’s quite the head-turner.

The owner of this car wanted it very L.A. with the Compton number plate and Eazy-E airbrushing.

Muscle cars in Australia are a little different than the U.S. Smaller chassis cars such as this LJ Holden Torana are filled with huge motors, as this 410 CI DART engine shows. On Nitrous this car makes 715rwhp and has run a 8.7 sec quarter mile at 156mph. Not bad for a street registered car.

Another Torana, but this time a later model LX, and in SS form which had a factory fitted V8.

Along with the factory standard pumped guards, the LX reached legend status when it claimed the Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst 1000 race in both 1978 and 1979.

This example was full of classis Aussie muscle touches such as the alloy “drop tank” long range fuel cell and twin pipe exhaust system.

The supercharger was not standard equipment, however doesn’t look all that out of place.

The interior had only the bare essentials, so aftermarket gauges are commonplace.

-Mark Pakula



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these auzzies have wierd styling remind me never to live over there.. no bueno... ;-(


Vogue tires are some imports? Seriously?


Love the red Torana. Has old skool escort vibes about it?


Oh, and "sex spec" truly is vile!


Nice! More Aussie representing! Looking forward to more posts about the import scene in Aus Mark. I have been a fan of the Aussie import scene. You guys do crazy stuff down there. Cheers.


Jet car feature please.


The grey FD.....NO WAY !!!! Lol


Yeah the "sex spec" is awful. It's like what well off chavs do over here. Buy everything at Halfords n dump it in one little hatchback so it's unrecognisable. It's awful. I love the RX-3 though. I don't think any of these older Japanese cars were ever sold in the UK so aside from the ones I see pictures of on Speedhunters, I've never seen one.


"Most show cars in Aus are all about paint, interior, wheels and stereo. All the S-chassis cars there, fit that mould, which is why I didn’t take many pics of them."



I wonder how hard it was to find enough decent looking cars for this entry? Australia generally has the most godawful looking modified cars ever.


Jet car fature. and honestly, id actually like to see more sex spec. because what (you) think of sex spec, the aussies might think the same of hellaflush


I really dislike and agree with you opinion on "sex spec". Definitely fits in the rice category. Plus, these cars, like the s chassis and rx7's, etc are sports cars, meaning they are meant to go decently quick, not put in a show with a bunch of junk that makes it weigh the same as a ford flex. Also, really dislike putting those huge wheels on cars like the mark 1 ford escort. love the original looking rx3.


Hey Mark, are the autosalon shows still going to be held or are they going to finish up too? I hope not, it's really the only import show around, Final battle was always good to go see.

Definitely not a fan of all the lame looking cars with chromies and i'm glad that 'westies' are changing their idea of 'a good looking car'


Only one word for that RX-7: DAAAAANNNNNGGGGG!!!!!


From the first picture i knew it was australian before i even started reading.. good to see you avoided alot of the sexspec cars.. rolling on 20s x 3J doesnt make you cool...

please dont do it peeps.


That yellow S14 is way dope.


woah look at the wheels on that blue s14 in the first pic! i threw up a little :P


wow on that impala... compton. really?




That blue "Sexspec" RX-7 is godawful. Mabey its because I'm a diehard rotory fan. Which brings me to the RX-3's. I would rock those bodies (Until the break of Dawn).


Ive never heard the term "Sex Spec", i thought it was just ricer or people who watched the first Fast & the Furious too many times... even some of the cars in that arent as bad as some of the ones ive seen in Aus....

There are some cool cars in there though, i like the old Rx3, and the yellow s14 would look good if he knew something about wheel choice...


We have some of the best modified drift, time attack, drag and "JDM" street styled cars in the world.

But we also have some of the ugliest, useless, woeful, disgusting show cars in the world as well. Usually the owners haircut and clothing matches the car...terrible. But if they like it, then I guess, good on em.

Thanks Mark for not putting up pics of the abominations that would have been there, or the owners.

When i stopped working for Ignition and started making Motive DVD I chose to stick to performance cars only for all of the above reasons!


We have some of the best modified drift, time attack, drag and "JDM" street styled cars in the world.

But we also have some of the ugliest, useless, woeful, disgusting show cars in the world as well. Usually the owners haircut and clothing matches the car...terrible. But if they like it, then I guess, good on em.

Thanks Mark for not putting up pics of the abominations that would have been there, or the owners.

When i stopped working for Ignition and started making Motive DVD I chose to stick to performance cars only for all of the above reasons!


That yellow s14 is an epic wheel fail. Trying to update their gay chrome wheels by painting this dish yellow. Im about to chunder.


This is a very poor reflection of Australian modified cars. If they were to do a feature on modified cars in Western Australia which is thankfully far away from the sex spec/ leb spec influence they would be able to see a selection of extremely well built cars, without god awful 22inch chrome rims!


Show cars are not my style, either it be from AUS, USA, EURO.


hey ease up on the hawkins hate, i think his s14 was a really well built car... anyway thankgod the 'sexspec' craze is dying out, now the jet car craze is starting... *sigh*.


haha i agree with hazzard this is a poor reflection on us aussies..

although i will back you on this comment

"Most show cars in Aus (Sydney and Mel more so) are all about paint, interior, wheels and stereo. All the S-chassis cars there, fit that mould, which is why I didn’t take many pics of them."

Australian show s-chassis are always horrible except for a select few.. its cause they are built buy fucks who love big 22' chrome wheels and get numbers plates saying 4DACHIX

Our drift scene is where its at.. so many clean and tuff cars.. the blue r31 which had a car feature on here a while ago proves we definantly have some good rides down under


The Ozzy import cars make me embarrassed to be an Ozzy. People really need to get over putting the biggest chrome rims under a car that can. They all have to stop being so "Fully sick mate"


I love the rx-7 more than any other car in the world and it breaks my heart to see a JET ENGINE put into one.


shit's whacckkk sonn.. New Zealand has cleaner cars.


Unfortunately that is the bad side to the Sydney scene (more so)...don't judge us but what you see there though. There are plenty of us Aussies who are just no into sex spec....and I laugh and cringe everytime I see a car modified that way. I am sure if Mark gets the opportunity he can show you the JDM/Euro Scene or the Old School V8 scene which is very different to sex spec.


Aussies need to stop modifying cars go work on your tans or something


No one can judge the Aussie scene by one car event....where no one in the JDM scene would even bother showing up at especially at $110AUD per car.

It would like me saying that the American scene is full of hardparkers wanting hellaflush wheels just to look good...which is no different to sex spec....except its easier on the eyes.


I'm Australian and I'm embarrassed by this post.

(West Australian, so luckily im as far as possible from car shows like this)


well this is only one part of their culture. From watching all the high import and high octane dvds, Australia and New Zealand have some sick performance cars, the show car scene is just still 90's from what i see...

Where were the rotories and more Hooldens? That's all i think about when i think of Australia..rotories in any and everything lol


Jacek.....aint you lucky....Iyou don't have to see all that crap everyday like I do lol.

But you can also find some quality stuff in Sydney if you know where to look.


oh shit! I thought sex spec was dead years ago. Im an aussie and believe me not all our car look like that. Mark i cant believe u showed no JDM stuff. U should feature power cruse on here mate.


When it comes to modifying cars, it's "each to their own". There's no reason to hate on others just because you're a performance guy or a drifter etc. We can all learn a thing or two from everyone's experience in modifying.

I'm Australian and I don't feel embarrassed about this post, this is just the other side we have of modifying down here. Like "Will" said it's just like the Americans and hellaflush wheels, "no one can judge the Aussie scene by one car event". Remember this is also the same photographer who shot the Hi-Octane Racing Time Attack R34 GT-R that was posted one here back in July and featured in Modified magazine and that car surely isn't a show car.

So don't hate. Just sit back and enjoy the other side of modifying.


I'm not about show cars that aren't driven...

No FB or SA22 love again...

Sad considering the Ausie's have got a cool rotary scene...

Kudos to you for at least including the clean RX-3. It's hard to find one of those stock ANYWHERE, let alone Australia.


Oh and as far as I know, "sex spec" isnt the official term for this style (the FD for example). It's more a term that has been made to make fun of that style I think.


That Jet powered FD! Is that considered rice? LOL.


I hate these car shows, living in australia we have loads of great tuners and cars.

But these shows just show kids with too big of a bank loan and no sense.


as an aussie, sexpsec is looked down upon by every other type of modifier. the cars are ugly and a joke. 22s dont belong on an s15. i think the us guys would cry if they caw the ed hardy s15's.

aussie's also do some jdm and muscle cars.

sexspec is about largest diamter possible, lowest possible and flashy paint and interior to attract girls, hence sex spec. its terrible form over function


Australia is an awesome place, we made Miranda Kerr, Elle McPherson, Crocodile Dundee and Phat Sliggity DVD (it's great you should buy it :P)

Awesome work Kula!


This post was mentioned on Twitter by pakula: My speedhunting:


Wow, they sure have a bad taate for wheels there, my god.


Im not going to say im a fan of how theyre cars are done but as long as they like it thats all that matters


I dig the old Escorts. Ford should have made that model into a sporty car in the states like the did elsewhere.


Compton?...Really?...Poor Easy. He is rolling over in his grave.


uhhh...what happened to the blue 240 in the first picture? hahahaha

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This thread is like a who's who of the Jap Scene - at least in the posts anyway.

This post by Mark is representative of a sliver of the enthusiast community in Australia. Most ordinary enthusiasts want a bit more speed, a little more looks and some all round upgrades. Just like enthusiasts everywhere else in the world. We don't all roll in airbrushed FDs on 20s in the same way we don't have kangaroos hopping down our streets, although I did have an Emu walk down the street at the beach house one time, I digress.

Maybe someone like Boxer or Hawkins could do a more accurate roundup of the Australian Import/Jap scene?



That Mazda RX-3 Savanna is absolutely wicked. I saw one the other day, I forget which website it was, and I thought it was really cool. The one featured above is even better though. I gotta get me one of those.


I'm from Sydney, and I think Sex-Spec is horrible.. As big as the Sex-Spec scene is in Sydney, it doesn't seem as prominent in other states.. Although the JDM style scene is pretty big too, just they're not as "showey" so don't often get as much coverage as the blingy showey cars at events.. Melbourne seem to follow JDM more than Sex-Spec! Queensland is a mixture of both from what I've seen around..


I cant believe u didnt post the photos of 2 certain ferraris that were there Mark :P Considering both of them have been modified (tastefully of course!!) The Sydney car scene is pretty much a "Sexspec" scene. I, myself (and im awaiting the slagging comments for this) am apart of this scene with my car (a modified Audi A4), however...i do respect all cultures of the motoring scene. I agree with some of the comments, probably not the best photos to post up to reflect the Australian Modifing scene due to so many different cultures we have here.


You guys need to sit back and look at what you're saying, if everyone had the same taste and style we would all be rolling around in soap bar shaped 4cyl hybrids. I myself am part of the modifying scene here in Sydney, and I happen to have a 2 cars at home, one of them has 20" chrome wheels and is bagged, the other is a JDM style modified WRX. A true motoring enthusiast will do nothing put praise an owner for the hard work and money he has committed to his or her pride and joy. Most of you cannot sit here and seriously call yourself an enthusiast after the comments you have posted, it’s because of people like you that the modified car scene is frowned upon in Australia.

I have been to countless car shows/events/cruises, and you know who happens to be the best group of people out of them all? The hard working ones that enter their own cars... next time you post such negative comments about people's cars how about posting yours up so we can all comment too? What’s that? You drive your mums Camry? Who would've guessed...

*gets the violin ready for upcoming replies*


Gey Mark. Been a fan of your photography for a while, Loved the shoot of Jspec and Jebus' cars. Johnny raved about the speed at which you completed the shoot on his car.

Sad to see A/S not make it to 100 issues, I liked reading the articles in A/S because it didnt treat the reader like a 10y/o.

Good to see you will be a regular on Speedhunters. look forward to more of your photography



Did anyone notice the unpiped intercooler on the yellow s15 lol?

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