Good Vibes - Pictures from Customers

It always gives me pleasure when our customers find the time to send me a shot or two of their current projects.  I think it was celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Phil speaking with Eric Bana in "Love the Beast" who said "whatever time you spend on a car or bike resto, is gonna be cheaper than paying a shrink" Folks with hobbies understand that. Having met so many restorers over the years I have to agree, without interests your life can quickly go off the tracks. (and it's not related to the size of your wallet either)

Here at Hydroblast we share the enthusiasm of all who bring old things back to life. Thanks for showing us what you can achieve with plenty of work, skills and passion. Well done, we're glad to have helped along the way - and keep sending those pictures too...

Yamaha 650 during assembly - courtesy of Ian at  Williams Patterns Melb.
Both Father and son shared the restoration duties on this tough Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans - courtesy of Barry Jones at Italian Motorcycle Eng. Melb.
Well detailed 1969 Porsche 911T 2 litre rebuild - courtesy of Paul Girt at Porsche Centre Melbourne

By the way - What's an Apsara?

Found dumped in a pile of unwanted junk and covered in paint - a local couple brought in this stunning bronze statue. Over a metre high, it felt like it weighed a ton and was made of solid brass. 'It's an old Apsara statue and it would look great in our home she said, could you bring it back to life?  - Hmm this looks interesting, we'll see what we can do.
By the way, eons ago an Apsara was a kind of alluring dancer (must have been hard to resist). It looked like a feel-good kind of job to us so we gave it our best shot. Everyone agreed the reborn piece was well worth the modest amount spent restoring it.
Finally back in the light of day - the statue reveals her charms
We're frequently asked to restore all kinds of interesting and unusual objects, anything from watches to firearms, surgical tools, antiques, architectural fittings, even a 20's peanut dispenser to feed monkeys at the zoo, and much more. In our business you've gotta be versatile, so I thought it'd be fun to show one or two of the projects we come across.

Tig welded alloy bike frame
Specialty stainless jobs - dental splints and wall plates for a new cancer research centre

Gasolene Muscle Car Expo

Muscle Car & Trade display
Many thanks to all of you who dropped in for a chat and to say g'day at our Hydroblast trade display during the recent Gasolene Muscle Car Expo here in Melbourne. It was fantastic to meet so many of you over the 3 day show. With the standard of cars being so amazingly high it would be almost impossible to pick a clear winner at this event. These Aussie and USA muscle cars would be in the top 10 percent on show anywhere. Hydroblast shared a display booth with friend and well known cylinder head modifier - Eddie Woods of Head Stud Development Co. HSD are one of a growing number of engine shops who use our resto services to enhance the componentry appearance on their performance work.

Royal Exhibition Building - a national treasure
As a Melbournian I've been to dozens of shows at our historic Royal Exhibition Building. It never fails to impress visitors. Opened in 1888, it is the only surviving exhibition building from that period in the world. Thanks to one of the world's biggest gold rushes, the state of Victoria had one of the highest standards of living in the world at that time and no income taxes! As a side note this building was also used for the opening of the first Australian Parliament in 1901. To see it packed with cars like these and also be a participant is a double treat.

There is no shortage of top shelf cars at this event - mark it in your diary for July next year
Muscle Car expo was heaven for Mopar fans with especially good turnout of Challenger's & Cuda's

Chelsea adds a definite touch of class to MadSam's radical XY Ford GT
Racing legends Bob Jane & Murray Carter                   Eddie Woods on Gasolene and in person

Recent Trade Displays

Our weekend calendar has been pretty full lately. Yes we do leave the shop sometimes! A big thank you to the countless hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts who took the time to come and visit our recent trade displays. It was wonderful to meet so many of you, share your passion, and see up close why bikes are such an important part of your life. Hopefully, in return we were able to offer you some helpful advice. The recent events we attended were:

The BSAMOA Club 'All British Rally' at Newstead
The Motorcycling Australia 'Broadford Bike Bonanza'
The Vintage Motorcycle Club of Victoria 'Scoreby Swap Meet'

Whether you ride a classic, road race, vmx, custom or other genre bike, here in Victoria we have so many opportunities to get out and enjoy a ride. 'Full marks' to all of the organizers, these were truly excellent events. Hope to catch you at the next one.

Why I Love Land Speed Racing

It would be difficult to imagine a more eclectic group of characters than the people who gather to race at the visually stunning Lake Gairdner. It's surrounded by Australia’s harsh outback. For a land speed racer, it’s the opportunity to run ‘flat out’ on the hard salt lake, usually in a self built machine, timed and with the full support of professional safety crews. This is a short, personal piece about my first visit to Australia’s Speed Week in 2006. It's an event organized and run by an amazing group of volunteers, members of the DLRA or Dry Lakes Racers Australia


Newly Restored Rising Sun on the Road

Back in 1975 the ‘little’ Honda four’s – including the 350, 400 and 500cc were well regarded for being extremely smooth & quiet engines. With it’s distinctive 4 into 1 exhaust, flat handlebars and a cool looking tank shape the Honda 400 SuperSport is a bike that ages very gracefully. 38 years later and Japanese expat, Nobukazu ‘Nobu” Kobayashi is reliving what it feels like to own a ‘new’ blue SuperSport 400.

Nobu is a full time Japanese language teacher who in his spare time decided to restore his own Honda icon. Almost three and a half years ago he bought a tired Honda SuperSport on ebay. After stripping the bike down to it’s various separate components (to the last screw) he treated all of the parts to the many cleaning and repair processes required for a restoration of this caliber.

Here at Hydroblast we’ve gotten to know Nobu well - as we’ve seen almost every part of his bike at one stage or another. Every piece of steel and alloy was firstly stripped in the hot tank, wet abrasive blasted and then bright finished. While carefully inspecting for further repairs Nobu organized all of the parts and services he would use before the final assembly like painting, electroplating, respoking wheels etc.

Our in-house engine shop heated & straightened the head before machining the gasket surface and carrying out the performance valve seat job. We use the Mira Centronic – an accurate and dependable Swiss made computerized valve seat cutting machine.


Assembled over the recent Christmas holidays, you can see the finished bike is a credit to it’s owner. Nobu is currently a member of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (Victoria, Australia)
As part of his job Nobu has recently hosted 2 tours of Japan, taking several groups of fortunate school students to his country of birth. Hmmm, if we could just talk him into hosting a tour of all the best that Japan can offer, especially those famous bike & car museums. Asahi beer, anyone?