Australia Is The Most Powerful Place On Earth
Stacking Up

It’s the little differences you notice when you travel.

You know, the same things you’re used to back home, but they’re just presented in alternative ways. It’s one of the great aspects about discovering new places, cultures and meeting new people. But Australia is a little different.

To me, it’s more like an alternate reality rather than just a huge country 10 hours flight time away from Tokyo. Everything in Australia seems to be taken to the extreme; from the sun that wants to burn the skin off your face, to the wildlife that is trying to kill you, or the unique way Australian’s have evolved the English language. Then of course there’s the car scene.

If you had to sum it up in one word, you’d get the same answer from anyone that has visited the place: power. It’s all about power, more than anyone could, would and should ever need. Because you know, better be safe than sorry when the time comes to drop a gigantic skid. Australia is in love with massive horsepower – or kilowatts in this part of the world.

It’s amazing given the relatively small population that the country has spawned some of the most well known names in the industry, and there’s so much momentum going on that it isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. In that regard, it’s the complete opposite of Japan where good old-fashioned tuning seems to have dwindled into nothingness. The Aussies, on the other hand, well and truly own it.

This all said, I was excited to be visiting Meguiar’s MotorEx in Melbourne over the weekend.


This show’s all about the other half of Australia’s car scene, the one I had yet to experience. You could count the Japanese and European cars with your fingers, MotorEX being more about good old fashioned muscle for the modern area.


Matt flew down from Sydney to join me at the show and embark on a proper Speedhunting adventure which took us to some cool places and introduced us to some equally cool people. You’ll see what we got up to in the next week or two, but for now it’s all about MotorEx.

My first contribution from the event is all about engines. I don’t think anything could give you a better taste of what this show is all about than an massive motor gallery, incorporating all the naturally aspirated, blown and turbocharged insanity on display at the Melbourne Showgrounds…


Believe it or not, but this L-series was the only naturally aspirated Japanese engine that I came across at MotorEx, but what a beauty sitting in this 240Z.


What a better way to end the NA chapter with a VW flat-four stuck onto the back of a custom-built dune buggy for the road.

Blown Away

It’s now on to what is easily the most popular route to forced induction: the supercharger. With the V8 being the engine that spawned the whole performance car market in Australia, it’s no surprise that blowers are still the weapon of choice.

Just check out how many flavors they’re available in, from bolt-on aftermarket roots type solutions for modern day V8s, to massive stacked old school drag setups on older rides, to custom racing builds like this crank-driven Vortech beast.

The Snail Trail

Last but not least, there is of course the turbocharger, my personal favorite. Here we have a very generously sized example strapped onto a RB30 bottom end/RB26 head combo powering the most Australian cars of them all, a Holden VL Commodore.


What is there not to like about a turbo? They’re not a parasitic solution like a supercharger is, and despite it adding weight to any setup they more than deliver in the performance department.

The only thing is finding a sweet spot between spool-up/response and outright power, but if you look at the engine bays in this chapter you’ll notice that Aussies seem to massively favor kilowatts over pretty much everything else.


That said, it seemed most of the motors with snails strapped onto them had pretty generous displacement.


Some even used charge coolers to keep intake temps at optimum levels.

Every setup seemed crazy, the sort of thing you dream up for a joke but then it actually becomes a reality.


That’s why it’s so hard to not to love Australian car culture.

Twin turbo 1UZ. Yes!

On top of the odd RB26 I even spotted an RB25. This was probably the most subtle turbocharged engine at the whole event.


Even bikes are popular targets for a little dose of forced induction.


Of course, I couldn’t devote a chapter to turbos without including at least one image of a Barra 4.0-liter straight six. In all honesty, I was surprised I didn’t see more of these big Ford sixes at the show.


I hope this post not only gives you a good visual interpretation of Australia’s infatuation with power, but that it sets the tone for the rest of the coverage that Matt and I have coming.

For now though, it’s G’day from me!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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The "Barra" is not quite a Barra, a SOHC 4.0l that came about before the Barra.


The Barra being a DOHC


I hate to be the wet blanket but that last image isn't actually a barra. It looks to be the Ford falcon Au straight 6


Yeah thats SOHC from the good old days of the E series and AU

Dino Dalle Carbonare

What do they call it?


The Pre "Barra" 4L Ford Motors in the AU era were called "Intechs" and then before that there were the Crossflow 250's from the 70's / 80's that are the basis of these later gen motors.

True story - When the Barra was being developed by Ford it's original internal code name was "Seagull" because the engineers knew it would shit on everyone else when it was released.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

haha that's hilarious


Dino there wasn't a fancy name for it been around for so long, only reason Barra as that was short for the nickname given to it when it was being developed

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Simon...wasn't that a name taken from the guy who pushed to evolve the straight six, Gordon Barfield?


Could be there was a big article on it there is lot of rumours as to how the nickname came about some said for the engineer, the whole b series project etc as I think it was called barramundi but end of the day one of the most underrated engines outside of the ford community

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's a pity it's no more. Will it beat the 2JZ for most swapped engine though?


A boat anchor is better than a 2JZ! Barra is life!

Dino Dalle Carbonare


Jay Soh Tsu Chung

I wonder how those turbo bikes are ridden, with the turbo and its pipings hanging off the sides, right in the path of where a biker's leg would be.


I wondered the same thing before seeing a turbo strapped to one. lol

Dino Dalle Carbonare

With heat shielding haha

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

The 2 above doesn't seem to have any though. LOL!


Yea they want to be "different" for the sake of catching world attention. Who the hell except them use kilowatt? Horsepower is used by the rest of the world. Australian cockiness?


Really unsure as to why using a measurement that portrays things as smaller is a defining feature of cockiness. Saying 400hp sounds more insecure than 300kw

Also, there’s so much angst here. We use kW officially these days, but we use HP too, we had it before and are used to hearing it from Americans. It’s not hard to whip out your phone and calculate a conversion. Can we all be friends now?

Matthew Everingham

It's pretty easy to convert on the fly. No calculators required unless you need exact figures.
1.34 hp in one kw.
0.75 kw in one hp.


I don't express my comment on 'behalf" of North Americans. All I stated was the rest of the world (Europe, North America, Japan etc) use Hp and Australia is the only one using kw. Whichever unit people adopt, Hp is the much more commonly used unit in power measurement.


Don’t Japan use ps?

Matthew Everingham

I prefer hp too. But kW is metric. Metric is the future. Australians are time travelers.


the Watt is a universal standard for "power" 100 watt light bulb, 455 kw car, both use the same linear incremental progression.
The metric system is easy, factors of 10 for EVERYTHING.

1 mile 5280 ft?? the fuck, 1 gallon = 8 pints / 128 fluid ounces???? 1 pound is 16 ounces lol.

Sit down yank.


Animosity and hostility toward America? Sounds like it Then go and make your own car from A to Z without GM assistance. I bet you can't do that. I merely highlight that you folks downunder is the only country (not sure about your neighbor New Zealand) which use Kw. Why you are so upset and make use of the word "yanks" sounds emotional and hostile.


GM cant even make their own cars without Government assistance to the tune of $13.4 Billion less than a decade ago.
I assume that as an American you feel a special connection to GM as your tax dollars bailed them out, so in a way you're a part owner.
I use "yank" to highlight the fact that despite being the only person on your side of the argument, with multiple others disproving your points you still stand proud as the "typical ignorant yank"


GM educated australians how to make cars and supplied the famous LS engine so y'all can proudly badge it as holden. Typical snobbish and cocky australian who think their car making know how is on par with ours. Not even close. You folks are cleveland browns when it comes to making cars.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Let's keep this civil please guys, no need for insults. That said I do have to wonder why a lot of US Ford cars/trucks & engines get developed in Australia at the the Geelong facility? Uhmmmmm


Well putting and screwing parts together is all ford asks you guys to do. Think about lego or assembling jigsaw puzzle. Easiest job we can ask you guys to do. After all we give you mustang in right hand drive for you to learn how we build cars and spread our know how to any third world country.


the current mustangs design manager Kemal Curic is.......wait for it.......................German!!!!!! LOL


Ford Technology center in Illinois taught and educated him how to design a world class cars. That's where he learned.


We get American, UK, Japanese, Korean, European cars here. Then also our own. Pretty doubtful you’d find a car person who has sampled them all and would still think North American cars are generally better designed/superior to Australian. When you throw in the budgets used, and the gulf in quality is quite embarrassing.

Also, as Dino hinted at, it’s very interesting that the Ford big wigs kept the engineering section open in Victoria when Australians are apparently only good enough to follow LEGO-like instructions. Maybe they see a future in metric?


Man, when you stated "Then also our own" you have got to think twice if not a million times. Australia assembled cars. Example: Holden. Engine and transmission were NOT Australian made. Tremec, Muncie LS are all made here not downunder. Try to make a distinction between assembling cars and producing your own cars from A to Z.


Ford has numerous design and engineering center Scattered all over the world and Australia happens to be one of them but the 'engineering brain' will always be in Dearborn. or somewhere domestic. Question: Why did both 'Holden' and Ford quit 'making cars' downunder if the cars they produced were of high quality?


To be fair, I never said Australian cars were of necessarily high quality, just generally higher than American, especially with the budgets/markets involved.
It's reasonably easy to explain why they stopped. A little population making good (cheap) cars in a market of 24million, with no/limited export opportunities (RHD and being literally on the other side of the world from Europe and America) compared to cars from Asian countries who could produce quality at a lower cost. Our Tax and import ruling changes hurt our market, there was less reliance on locally produced objects, the market opened up, our local journalists comparing our cars against twice-the-price rivals (don't fret, they were European, not American), fleet sales being forced to share the love between all car manufacturers, and Australians having an inferiority complex assuming imported is better.

Our market was a little mix of British engineering, American power, and began to adopt Euro refinements (no, they weren't at the same level, but our cars cost half the price). The cars were often fun, reliable, easy to fix, comfortable, quick, quiet and (for their size/weight/power) efficient.
However, why would Europe take our cars when they can pay for their own for way less than we pay for them? Or, why would Americans take our cars (despite our joint love of stupid power) when they have to pay over to get our cars when their own are cheaper?


Say what? Australian cars? Should have been Australian assembled cars. Engine and transmission (example: Holden) come from here.


Firstly HP is used just as often as KW when referring to power out put.
Australia stop making the Falcon and Commodore because they sales numbers weren't there to make it viable. I've luckily not had much to do with American cars as they aren't very popular here. A few 300C's Jeep's are pretty popular though. And the mustang seems to be selling well here. But in general the price and quality of the US stuff is pretty lacking. I'm not sure why Americans car companies can't make a nice interior.


Australia uses the Metric System and has done since the 1960's. using Kilowatts much like Newton Metres are a derivative of thinking that comes with that system, specifically what is termed as the International System of Units:

In other words nothing to do with cockiness, more to do with aligning to an established proper world-wide convention on a consistent way to measure and represent things across countries and systems.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I doubt it's cockiness. I was told there was a change about 20 years ago, HP used to be the unit of measure everyone used. Metric is good as that's what I'm personally used to but there seems to be so many variations per countries, Germany and Japan use PS for example, but Germany quotes torque in Nm while in Japan they still use kgm. Then of course there's the L/100 km vs Km/L nonsense.


Dino, a few years ago speedhunters featured a 1000 horsepower Alfa project but I never hear what the outcome is I think the owner wanted to use Nissan RB engine It would be great if you can publish the latest from that conversion. Alfa just returned to the US although not that many on the roads, at least in the midwest.


My point is, there is no need to introduce another unit of measurement. 1 PS is about 1 Hp and the rest of the world (at east here in North America) uses HP. OK the German & Japan want to use PS but we - car enthusiasts- know it is about 1 HP. Kw? Never heard of it till speedhunters mentioned it.


Btw, Boeing is American isn’t it? What do you think Airbus uses?


Airbus uses: GE and Pratt& Whitney engines, made in USA. That I know as I flew Euro carrier a few years ago. During the flight the pilot announced that the plane was at an altitude of 32,000 feet so again not a metric unit.


Actually most Airbus aircraft can be supplied with the user's choice of engines, but the "default" setup is with Rolls-Royce turbofans.

Using feet for altitude is an imposition made by the US and UK on the rest of the world, much like the use of English as the language that is always spoken when talking to and by ATC. The only reason it's still a thing is that it would be more expensive than it's worth to change, much like with NASA.


"It's used in the US so.... basically everywhere" lol.
That's why we love you guys. You have maps but still think the US is most of the world haha


Just because you haven't heard of it, or it's not used in North America, doesn't mean it's not legitimate. I could argue that Fahrenheit is a weird and outdated system of measurement that no other country in the world uses, but that wouldn't change a thing.


Well I do not doubt its legitimacy but feel odd as it is only used by a tiny faction of the world (number of vehicles, population) in a country which doesn't even mass produce cars. OK Holden has GM engine and transmission so technically not an Australian car.Not sure about Ford (Fairlane?)


Yanks & Poms use Miles. Almost everyone else uses Kilometers.

Here's why the metric system works really really well.

A kilometer is 1000 meters, which is 1000 millimeters
A kilowatt is 1000 watts which can also be broken down in to easily and mathematically sensible increments.

So "Horsepower" is used on the internet mainly because the numbers sound bigger as 1 Mechanical Horsepower is only 0.7457 kilowatts.

But because "Horsepower" is a shit catch all unit of measurement there's more than one kind of horsepower. There's "Metric Horsepower" which 735 watt equivalents (0.73549kw), there's electrical HP which is 746 watt equivalents (.746kw) and we're not even close to done yet. In automotive terms you need to workout if it's "DIN" or "JS D 101" or "SAE Net Horsepower"...

Or just use kilowatts and keep it simple. Just because American's can't figure it out doesn't mean the rest of the world should ignore the logical benefits of the metric system.


The rest of the world does NOT use kilowatt, only in your remote downunder Australia. If you want to apply metric then tell Boeing (the plane you fly) to not use gallon, knot and see if they care to modify their unit just to sell the plane(s) to you guys. Likewise Oil is traded in barrel not cubic liter or what have you. Rim of your wheel(s) is also given in inches (18", 20" and so on) and NOT in m. You buy off-road tyres specifying 33", 37" etc and NOT in metric.


Look at the side of your tire. The number is in MM. nowhere on your tire does it say 33”


The Rims says inch NOT mm or cm.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Wouldn't it be great if we all used one system. And while we are on the subject...wouldn't it be great to have 1 type of electrical plug and all electricity distributed at one voltage... lol


I used to work at an engine shop that did 1,500 horsepower V8s and a lot of guys from Australia bought their motors. Australia is kind of like America when it comes to their love of big power.

Those bikes look properly pants shitting fast. Sick post Dino!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks. I'd love to see those bikes driven hard. Wheel spin in top gear? Scary


I have some pretty big stones in my trousers, but I will pass on that one haha. Take one to the Isle of Man TT!

Alf's Ugly Mother

Some of these builds had to be better than just the engine bays. A bit difficult to evaluate any kind of cohesion in regards to the builds from this post.


Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'd say those engines belonged to some of the most complete cars I've come across, very much on par with what you'd see at SEMA. In fact SEMA was present at this show as they have a relationship with the organizers. I've got some spotlights you will enjoy so hang on for those ;)

Anthony Chang


Fear the Reaper

It's time to begin harvesting the males of the Australian species for testosterone.


Australia does American muscle better than America does!

Fear the Reaper

Australia does American muscle better than America does!

“American Muscle” primarily refers to talking sphincters now.
Where have you been???


Turbo'd bikes make me giddy like a little school girl!


Heard the U.S. is going metric, but they're doing it slowly.
Inch by inch.

Matthew Everingham



Haha. Stealing that.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL good one


I hope you were there on Sunday when half a dozen burnout cards did a lap. The sound was glorious.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

No we weren't, were off to drive a pair of Lexus


Yeah, that "barra" literally says intech on the rocket cover