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– Words: Ryan Lewis. Photos: MJ Digital. Video: The Tith Brothers.

Car shows in Australia don’t come with more class than Meguiar’s MotorEx. It’s a pinnacle event on the calendar of any serious Aussie car builder, and this year’s exhibition marked a new high point in the show’s history. Records were broken for spectator numbers and cars on début; it was by far the most impressive collection of elite show cars we’ve ever seen. Here’s our look inside The Dome at MotorEx 12.

Mick Fabar is the man behind ‘ZERO’D’, a completely custom XR Falcon, and totally unique street machine in its own right. The car was built with a ‘zero carbon footprint’ approach, and the 600hp, 7.3L Ford turbo-diesel truck engine under the bonnet has been adapted to run on almost any kind of bio-fuel.

Waste materials and junkyard parts were recycled and put to use in the build of Zero’d. It’s been praised as the first turbo-diesel show car, but it is much more than that; it’s a proper go at an eco-friendly performance solution that happens to be in a world-class show package. You can read more about the lengths they went to here or even check out the car’s own Facebook page.

If you’ve never been to MotorEx, the variety of cars on display will take you by surprise. This classic ’34 Ford Coupe, owned by Ewan McDonald and built by Steven Aldrick, took out ‘Best Of Breed’ Hot Rod in the Meguiar’s Superstars competition.

The Tith Brothers captured the event well in the great video above. Check it out for a good insight into all of what MotorEx offers.

Phil Robinson’s 1939 Ford Tudor which qualified for MotorEx at Summernats.

Countless hours of work go into these builds, so it’s always pleasing for builders and owners to sit back during MotorEx and watch as crowds appreciate and look into every detail of their build.

If you’re looking at this and thinking ‘what on earth is that?”, don’t worry. You’re not alone! It’s a 1958 Borgward Goliath, but we don’t expect that to ring any bells. Based in Germany, Goliath were known for specialising in three wheeled cars.

Owned by Paul Bennett, GOLIATH took out ‘Best Of Breed’ Street Machine Champion this year, the most coveted award of all.

Known as GILTEE, this ‘1965 VW Beetle is totally bananas. It was first built with a Chevy V8 up front in the early ’80s and engineered as a VW hotrod. It’s been on the road ever since, but under the ownership of Joe Tanti since 2001.

Joe’s rebuild took things way over the top, and it must now be the most insane road-registered Beetle in all of Australia. It makes 820hp.

Mark Tarabay’s ‘SUBLIME’ 200SX is the latest in the Tarabay brothers legacy of elite show cars. It’s been seen around for the last couple of years now, but it’s still a centrepiece worthy of attention.

While it looks largely the same as when we last saw it, the build has continued with lots of tweaks and small details being added.

Steve Loader is most well known in Australia for his epic burnout car called UCSMOKE. If you don’t know, head to YouTube immediately. The VE Commodore above is where all Steve’s time has been spent lately.

What started as a stock standard SV6 Commodore is obviously much more than that now. The blown injected big block is actually a different motor to that in Steve’s HT, but the purpose remains the same and Steve has vowed to be out destroying tyres in no time.

The unveilings kept coming with a total of twelve cars on début. KILLA-B met a lot of hype coming into MotorEx, and a crowd surrounded it when it came time to pull back the cover.

Steve Nogas has plans to run this Camaro as a burnout car. The motor is a 632ci big block Chev, running a 16-71 supercharger and alcohol fuel. Dry sumped and full of the best bits, it’s set to make 1750hp with the tune the crew have planned.

Another hyped débutante was Gary Myers’ 2005 Mustang.  Gary has done well at MotorEx in the past with his ’66 Mustang.

The HQ Monaro is an iconic Aussie car, and Jody Vincitorio’s ‘CHOPPT’ was a highlight of MotorEx.

Engine bays like that will never, ever get boring.

In the main area of The Dome this year was the Kavalcade Of Kustoms, a section dedicated to classic Americana – chopped, slammed and flaked.

Show bikes are also garnering a more significant place at MotorEx. They played a bigger role this year than ever.

The now infamous Queen St drag car almost literally worth its weight in 24ct gold.

Another ’34 Ford Coupe, this one belonging to Norm McCormack.

Above is the Prodigy Z06, back for its second year at MotorEx. It’s based on a 2003 C5 Corvette, but the body is genuine C2, stretched to fit over the top.

Incredibly, this car was built in a small South Australian shed by a modest team of passionate enthusiasts.

A few ‘in the build’ ’50s customs were brought down. Just as interesting to look at as the finished product.

The presence of 1950s style at MotorEx was awesome. Americana is back.

We were stunned by PSYCHO at MotorEx last year, and it’s nice to see these cars continuing to receive the attention they deserve.

This is JURKSTER, Tony Jurkovic’s 1928 Ford Roadster.

Another HQ that blew us away, this one belongs to Karen Keves and has been dubbed ‘Mission Impossible’.

Over at the Performance Garage stand, Craig Hewitt had his Monaro drag car in the build. This particular shell was removed from the Holden production line before ever being made into a complete car. It has then been extensively modified with an insane cage and chassis for it’s future life as a 1/4 mile monster.

This is the latest look for Michelle Davis’ LX Torana, a wild Outlaw 10.5 drag car.

Also part of the Davies’ stable is this mini dragster, running 11sec passes with its single cylinder Briggs & Stratton motor.

David Cassar’s 1932 Ford Tudor.

Owned by Joe Panzarino, this 1932 Ford Roadster goes by the name JOBLOW.

We counted more cleared over bare metal cars in this years show than we can remember. Definitely a popular look!

Too slick. Makes us want a big American sled to drive everywhere.

While classic V8 muscle tends to dominate MotorEx, you will still find a handful of Japanese show cars in the hall.

There are limited places for cars like this to be seen these days, so elite Japanese car builders have latched onto MotorEx with a lot of enthusiasm. It makes sense as just as much time and money is sunk into these machines as the V8 cars which form the majority of MotorEx.

There’s even the odd Euro to be found.

TRD brought out their fully optioned Toyota 86 for the crowds to ogle. This particular car is an ‘uncompliable sample’, so where it ends up once the promo stuff ends is anyone’s guess. We’re hoping to see it out racing in some sort of motorsport.

Recognise this? It’s a former feature car of ours. Check out more shots here.

We were eager to see the Built To Order Civic for the first time at MotorEx. The team have been working overtime to get it sorted out.

The new VIP Modular wheels have been custom finished with a stepped lip. Built To Order continue to bring out new vehicles in ideal sizes and fitments.

The K-swapped engine bay is fully tucked with most components coated in black.

Dale’s S15 has changed a lot over the last year, now running a new set of COR wheels by Built To Order and a matte white paint job, not a vinyl wrap!

Oh and that’s the Batmobile.

Nathan’s Supra made the drive up from Canberra once more to be at a Sydney event. We were stoked to see him win overall at Showcased recently. You can see more of his car here.

Our mates from Zen Garage and All Stars brought a really class group of cars out to represent the scene we’re most closely aligned with, here at THE-LOWDOWN.

We had a great couple of days in The Dome at Sydney Olympic Park, and our congratulations goes out to Bruce Morrison and the team at MotorActive for another successful year chalked up.