– Words: Jason Hanif. Photos: MJ Digital.
We’ve shared a lot of builds and published countless feature cars here at T-LD. What most of you guys usually don’t get to see is the amount of time we spend behind the scenes at various workshops and in showrooms piecing together the content that’s shown on your screen. One of these workshops is the infamous Queen Street Customs which has just been through a hefty expansion and rebrand to become the Queen Street Group.
Chances are you’ve probably seen a car with their workshop logo plastered along the side, or caught at least a glimpse of their gold plated drag car at shows and events. Queen Street have been in the business of custom cars for about thirteen years, and there are no signs of slowing down!
So what’s this all about then? They’ve just launched their eagerly anticipated, purpose built facility, which features an expansion to their workshop area, an all new showroom and VIP area, Built To Order (BTO) wheel boutique, serviced Car Wash facilities and an Awafi Chicken branch. Naturally, when the time came around for their official grand opening event, we went down in support to catch all the action.
Gone are the pink to purple fades and massive door stickers, and in are the exotics, choppers, custom bikes, rotaries, drag cars and upcoming JDM releases (Rocket Bunny 86, anyone)?
Before the event even officially started, former and current clients rolled in to check out the all-new facilities.
One of the first cars to catch our eyes was this extremely rare Black Series SL65 AMG. Mercedes Benz only produced 350 of these twin-turbo V12 weapons worldwide, so on-lookers were treated to a rare sight.
Queen Street and BTO took the opportunity to showcase two new cars they’ve worked on in tandem. As part of the expansion, a BTO boutique now forms part of the new showroom space. Their first fresh creation together is this Lamborghini Gallardo sporting VIP Modular wheels. We’ve been told that the brief from the client was to keep it simple and clean with an OEM look, we reckon they’ve achieved just that. Less is more!
The concept for their second creation, this Ferrari F430 was a little different. The custom Brandy Wine paint job and 22” Avant Garde wheels by Built To Order complement each other to pull off a clean classy look as expected by the customer.
A couple of Queen Street’s promo models came down to show people around the new venue, though they were quickly side-tracked by some of the cars and bikes on show.
The Ducati’s on display are part of the Sydney Ducati Club, which is a tight-knit group of enthusiasts.
The Awafi Chicken branch overlooks the car wash, and provides a great view to go with the delicious food.
This customer’s Gallardo features a full Alcantara interior re-trim. We’ll have some more snapshots of it to post up real soon.
Queen Street are big on rotaries and their choice of paintwork for this classic RX-3 will stand the test of time.
It didn’t take long for the new venue too reach capacity with cars lined up and down the street and around corner. We spotted countless exotics such as this Maserati GranTurismo GT.
Almost too much eye-candy in one shot!
The new facility has been a long time coming. The initial plans date back a couple of years with building development taking place steadily over the last year now.
This Ducati 999 is one of the many that Queen Street has worked on. From minor paint touches to full resprays, they do it all!
As you can see, Queen St’s expansion has added diversity to what they do, now catering for a wide range of exotics. On any given weekend you can safely expect to see cars like this GT3RS hanging about.
As the day progressed and customers past and present dropped by, it became clearer that without a doubt this is the West Coast Customs of Australia. This monstrous V10 F650 was a definite crowd pleaser! A very rare thing in Australia.
The new car wash facility boasts serviced car wash bays and is open seven days a week.
Those of you who have been following our Facebook page would have seen this Rolls Royce already. This is the latest addition to the owner of Queen Street, Mohamed (Moey) Ibrahim’s personal collection.
Some of his other cars include a H2 Hummer and this Ferrari 360 Spyder. The newly acquired Phantom will join a fleet of unique cars from Lamborghini, Ferrari, AMG and Audi that form the Queen Street custom car hire division.
Brandy Wine has been a popular choice for a lot of custom car owners going through Queen St, but we’ve never seen it on an F430 and it really works.
We’re still having a hard time deciding if the Gallardo or F430 is our favourite. Chime in through the comment section below and tell us what your favourite car of the day was.
Zomaya’s Evo was on display alongside Hendra’s WRX. It’s already been a year since this car made its debut at Showcased 2012.
The Ducati Superbike 1199 Panigal S (Tricolore), pictured in the middle would have to be our favourite Ducati on the day. It’s capable of 143kW at a dry weight of only 164kg.
The vast range of cars in the surrounding streets showed off of the huge variety of modified rides that Queen Street deals with.
Long time customer, Kevin Smith was down in support with a new matte wrap on his WRX sporting BTO AG Forged wheels.
When we say diverse we mean everything!
Moving inside the workshop has also seen an expansion and doubled in workspace. We’ll have a full workshop overview to show in the near future, but here’s a sneak peak for now.
We’re used to the likes of Evos, Silvias and GT-Rs being the most prominent makes and models at events we cover, but Ferraris seemed to be the most popular at Queen Street’s grand opening. Love the iconic shape of the F355.
Next to that was a rare 360 Stradale. This is a fully race equipped limited edition version with an aluminum space-frame chassis, engineering that was ahead of its time when released. We’ll have more on this once it’s finished and hitting local race tracks.
Tarik, owner of BTO and this EG Civic is now the manager of the ‘Customs’ division within the Queen Street Group. We’re excited to see the new creations that’ll come out with his guidance.
This, along with the F430 and Gallardo are one of the first. We can’t reveal too much on this EG Civic just yet but owner Danny, a self confessed Honda nut confirms that the car will debut it’s engine setup at Showcased 2013.
The race is on to get the rolling shell and interior ready by MotorEx 13, which is in Sydney July 19 – 21. We can’t wait to see it rolling around Sydney streets after that with its older K20 BTO sibling.
There aren’t many workshops where you’ll see so many genres merged together, but that’s what the new Queen Street Group is all about, explains Moey. “We’re no longer a niche, our new setup allows us to be a one stop custom shop for everything automotive.”
“Trends come and go, it’s all about keeping up and remaining innovative. What we’re seeing is a new era. Our original customers have all grown up into exotics and Europeans, what we’re focusing on is procuring the new generation, that’s what our new Queen Street Customs manager Tarik is in charge of.”
As the day heated up the Queen Street crew had a few more tricks up their sleeves.
Special guests dropped by including SBS TV show stars from the parody series ‘Housos’.
The celebration was dubbed as a family event and included live entertainment as well as face painting and a jumping castle for the kids (and some of the older kids!).
All parties involved in the expansion are looking to exciting things in the future and turning Queen Street into the ultimate one stop shop for everything automotive.
Spotted on the day was this R34 GT-R on TE37SL’s. It’s owned by Andy from the MotorActive group who dropped by to promote the upcoming MotorEx car show in Sydney.
Another favourite that caught our eyes down the road was this clean STI.
The Awafi Chicken shop spans two stories with an outdoor seating area and diner upstairs. As expected, the outdoor area was at capacity by lunch time.
Michael Zomaya was the first to put it to the test for us. Approved!
Gueen Street’s gold-plated drag car has seen a couple of rebuilds now, ‘though its remained fairly largely unchanged since its reveal at MotorEx 2010.
This 360 isn’t the first that Moey has owned. Prior to this was a similar white Spyder and a twin-turbo Brandy Wine coupe.
We hear that Built To Order wheels are on the way for his Rolls Royce Phantom too. This is indeed Kyle Sandilands’ old car, which we featured on the blog last year.
This R35 was once also part of Moey’s collection, funnily enough he says that this GT-R is one of the best cars he’s owned, purely for its sheer fun factor.
An overview of the new showroom, which has enough space to display two cars and a number of the trophies Queen Street have picked up over their years in business.
In addition to that is a selection of Built To Order wheels on display.
Custom bikes have only played a small part in Queen Street’s builds up until now, but they’re moving to do a lot more soon.
Moving upstairs to the showroom is a VIP waiting room and office.
We first chuckled to ourselves and assumed Moey was joking when he mentioned the thought of putting a Jacuzzi upstairs!
Queen Street also performs all trim work in house, which is led by Ben pictured here. His son Domenik could be their newest recruit!
Ex-Bulldogs NRL football player Hazem El Masri (pictured in the middle) popped by to see what all the fuss was about. On the left is Queen Street owner Mohamed Ibrahim, with the new Queen Street Customs’ manager Tarik Aly to the right.
We’ll close off with our favourite car from the day, the SL65 Black Series. We’ve featured a CLK63 Black Series AMG on the site before, which is also a Queen Street car, but this SL65 takes it up a notch in terms of performance and exclusivity.
The Australian price tag, $680,000 plus on road costs. One for the bucket list.
So where do you go when you’ve got some of the best modified cars and one of the best aftermarket automotive showrooms in Sydney? “We’re revisiting our grass roots”, says Moey. “You’ll see us out at all of the events a lot more, we’ll be hosting more Queen Street branded events, cars and coffee style and we hope to be out there racing down the quarter mile again real soon”.
QUEEN STREET GROUP
2 – 4 Queen Street,
(02) 9773 7595