Hot Wheels

The 2018 RACQ Top Model Winners have been announced.


After hours of judging near 1000 Top Model entries, the final seven winners have been chosen.

RACQ’s expert panel of judges were blown away by the quality of the entries received for all six categories including American (215 entries), Asian (66 entries), Australian (374 entries), British (104 entries), European (73 entries) and Motorcycle (109 entries).

In some categories, it was easy to pinpoint the winner, but in others, it was an arduous process which turned into a hotly contested debate with each vehicle closely examined.

The Australian category proved the hardest with the eternal battle between Ford and Holden raging until the final decision. An impartial expert was even called in to break a deadlock as a final decision could not be reached.

But even that decision seemed easy compared with crowning RACQ’s first ever Top Model.

In the end, it came down to which vehicle was the most unique, well maintained and stood out from the crowd, this time around that honour went to a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sports Sedan. Stay tuned for the next edition of The Road Ahead, when it will be featured on the front cover.

Check out the winners below and come to RACQ’s MotorFest on Sunday 15 July to see the vehicles on display.


Top Model Winner & American Category Winner

Elton Walker – 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Sedan

“My 1957 Chevy Bel Air has been restored and modified but still retains the classic 50’s styling cues. Lovingly built, driven and maintained. It’s been on the road since 2008. Modern creature comforts added such as power steering, upgraded V8 and auto gearbox, disc brakes, new interior, hidden CD system, battery in the boot, custom paint and period correct wheels.”

British Category Winner

Neil Tregea – 1966 Austin Healey 3000 Roadster, BJ8 Mark 111

“This Austin Healey was fully restored in 1998 and has won awards on a Global basis.”

Asian Category Winner

Gary Lambert – 1976 Datsun 260Z

“I’ve owned my fair lady for 24 years, 15 of those years were spent restoring and tastefully modifying her to be my ideal sports car. She’s more than a car, a part of the family and I’ll have her for life. My car embodies many of the things important to motoring enthusiasts – classic lines, good engineering, tasteful upgrades and modifications, and is well maintained. She’s the whole package.”

European Category Winner

Barry Nalder – 1964 Volkswagen Kombi Transporter

“This Iconic kombi inspires stories of happy childhoods spent at the beach or on family drives that people love to share and never fails to get waves from people as it passes by. We have owned this beautiful Kombi for approximately six years. It was bought with considerable work required to bring it up to the level of finish we now enjoy.  We have several VWs but this vehicle is the only one that brings so much joy, not only to ourselves, but to those with which we come in contact. So many stories shared, so many photos taken, so much fun had, It’s truly a classic.”

Australian Category Winner

Grant Otago – 1973 Holden HQ Kingswood Wagon

“Lil attracts much attention and is a stunning old girl. I was lucky enough to come across her in July last year. The condition was very good, and I have added some finessing here and there to what she is today. Still a bit more work to go with some interior trim to tidy up, but she looks the part in my opinion. From factory she was ordered as a Kingswood badge with the twin light front as an option. Lil was also a column shift automatic with bench seat and converted to floor shift T-bar auto with bucket seats but will be changed back to column shift very soon.”

Motorcycle Category Winner

Graham Dobson – 1948 Indian Chief Motorcycle & Sidecar

“The bike was built as a tribute to my brother Robert George Dobson who rode off to the second world war on a similar bike. The bike is a 1948 Indian Chief Bonneville, a special sports version made by Indian after the war. The restoration took nearly five years of part time work and over 1000 hours. The bike is not perfect but is a joy to ride. The bike has more reconditioned parts than me, but we will grow old together.”

People’s Choice Winner (742 likes, 110 comments, 45 shares)

Andrew Bax – 1976 Volkswagen Golf

“Even though my Volkswagen may not be the most sought after or valuable, it is a unique car here in Australia. You don’t see many on the road in general, let alone restored or highly modified. I take my little golf to show ‘n’ shines and it gets a lot of attention. My car is unique, though it may not be worth a lot or sought-after, it gets a lot of respect wherever I go.”