If you’re wondering where this site is based, it’s Adelaide, South Australia.
I was inspired to create this site after seeing Don’s Hot Rod Page (Don Dillard’s website displaying thousands of his car photos from events in the USA). I had the pleasure of meeting Don and his wife Cindy in 2010 at the Goodguys 24th West Coast Nationals at Pleasanton
CA, and several weeks earlier at West Coast Customs Cruisin’ Nationals 2010 at Santa Maria (also in California).
About me – my interest in cars started rather late in life due primarily to being raised on a 6,000 acre farm for the first 13yrs of my life, some 800km (500 miles) from the nearest city (Adelaide, South Australia).
While my future car mates were growing up with the influence of car magazines, model cars, motor sports and seeing cool cars on the streets of Adelaide, I was living as a young lad on a 6,000 acre farm without mains power or TV 500 miles from ‘life in the big smoke’. This kept me culturally isolated from the things that would later become a passion.
However, in 1975 my parents sent my twin sister Nola & I to Adelaide for our high school education at Immanuel College where we lived on campus (boarding). Living in the ‘big smoke’, we started to see another world.
Once I finished school & started work in Adelaide, my new mates took me to the Adelaide Hot Rod Show – I couldn’t believe what I was looking at! Trevor Cass’s EH Holden, Paul Atkins’ HR Holden Premier (PREM-67), Steve Dobson’s ‘Midnight Express’ HT Holden panel van, the McDonald Brother’s supercharged 455 Buick powered T-Bucket (my favourite). These cars were highly detailed and displayed under coloured lights, and were elevated over mirrors to display their undercarriages etc. (remember – I came from a large farm where a Massey Ferguson tractor, Ford truck & a HK Holden ute (with Mick the border collie in the back) was normal.
Later that year, my grandfather updated to a new HZ Holden, so my Dad kindly purchased me my first car – my grandparents factory black 1962 Holden EJ Special sedan which they had owned since new! As I grew up living near my grandparents, the car was special to me. Their beautiful black EJ was well known in and around Ceduna (far west coast of Sth Australia) as ‘Stan & Dulcie’s old black Holden’, as it was always clean & tidy, never leaving their property without being well presented – just like them!
My mate Greg Behn encouraged me to fit chromies (chromed steel rims) & a SAAS sports steering wheel – my journey into the car scene had begun and I thought I had a hot rod! I joined the EH Holden Club of SA and made many friends which opened the doors to my involvement growing to what it is today. I fully rebuilt that car (with the help of good friends & my dad) to a standard. the EJ was good enough to enter the Adelaide Hot Rod Show, SMASA Show ‘n’ Shine & other events, winning several trophies along the way.
During the build of the EJ Holden (about 1985) I purchased my 1st American car – a 1957 Chevy, which I cruised the wheels off. Within a couple years (1988) my mate Paul Edwards invited me to the USA with him for an 8 week trip (4 of us went in total). We attended 8 car shows in 8 weeks – I was totally overwhelmed with what I experienced (which included 10,500 hot rods at the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, KY – the largest event I’ve ever attended).
I returned home to Adelaide totally enthused and determined to enjoy my hobby through regular cruise nights (I had attended some in the US). Soon after returning home I invited several friends to the first regular cruise night for American vehicles in Adelaide.
It was also at this time that I met my wife Stephanie – we were married in 1991. I’ve been fortunate to return to the USA another 5 times (3 times with Stephanie). For someone who knew nothing about cars, she has sure learnt a lot from being around me.
I thoroughly enjoy the social aspect of gathering with like-minded people with our cars, and many years later my cruise nights are more popular than I could have imagined with regular attendences of 300-400 American vehicles.
My interest in cars has developed to a point where I see them as ‘art’ (as seen by their overall design and appearance – stance, paintwork, wheels etc). For me, ‘STYLE’ is everything!
The cars that most interest me today are the more ‘traditional’ American Customs, low riders (bombs) & Hot Rods built in the early styles (1940’s – 1960’s) and muscle cars. However, I am interested in any American vehicle from the late 1920’s through to the early 1970’s in particular. Given that, I also appreciate cars from other nations. I currently drive a 1965 Chevy Impala SS coupe & a 1948 Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan which was imported in early 2012 from Sth Africa where it was produced factory RHD. My daily driver is an Australian ’63 Chrysler Valiant AP5 sedan (with scalloped & pinstriped paintwork) – 3 very different cars. I also own & enjoy 2 cruiser bicycles – both retro syled with white-wall tyres. In late 2012 I wrote off my ’67 Camaro in an accident on a very slippery & wet road (I was not injured). The ’65 Impala is the replacement.
I enjoy cars best with my car friends, ‘kicking the tyres’, ‘bench racing’, having a bite to eat & generally enjoying each other’s company!
I hope you enjoy my website and the photos of the many wonderful cars I’ve had the privilege of photographing.
Zip (Grant Zippel)