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Dave Portelli the Resident – President

Dave’s our resident car guru. He’s the president of The Smokin’ Aces, Hot Rod, Muscle and Custom Car Club which was founded in 2007.

Dave enjoys going to the Barossa Valley with his Mrs and trying full bodied red wines. He’s got his own collection of cars which he has proudly built…..but only takes them out for a drive on sunny days.

What did you want to do when you were a kid?

I was always around cars and bikes since I can remember. My old man use to race stock cars in Laverton when I was a kid so from a real young age there was always a connection. So ever since I was a kid I was always mucking around with cars and getting my hands dirty. I’m an apprentice tool maker by trade.

What’s your first car memory?

My Fathers XC Falcon which I inherited. It was a rust bucket but a good learning experience as I got to cut rust out of it and started doing mechanical repairs on it when I was about 16.

Who taught you to drive and in what.

My Dad taught me in a 1976 Valiant. I was about 8. Dad use to put me on his lap, have his right arm out the window with a ciggie in it, and off we’d go…..down the Great Ocean Road and all. I was a bit to small to touch the pedals….but eventually I grew….great memories.

What car do you currently drive?

I’ve got a company van that I drive everyday…..however I do have my personal collection that I’ve built over the years so I can pick and choose what I want to drive when I want to drive it. I’ve got:

1970 Dodge Challenger, 1968 Dodge Charger – all American, 1968 Mustang Fastback, 1960 Chrysler 300 F Coupe and a 1933 Hotrod. These are all the ones that are going.

I’ve got quite a few others but their all in the project stage – they currently are not being touched because I’m just to busy.

It’s been a long process and will keep being a long process – it’s my passion. I learn from every build. You just keep trying till you get it right. I prefer to do it myself – bodywork, paint, I’m not a master at it but I’ll give it a crack. I get more pleasure from doing stuff myself when I see the finished product. A bit more pride….you know.

What was the last concert you went to & where.

AC/DC in Melbourne. I didn’t know Sam and Dec where at the same show till I saw it on Facebook

Ford or Holden?


If you were driving from Melbourne to Darwin who would you have in the car with you (up to 4 people) and what would you be listening to?

A bunch of mates….I don’t think the wife would appreciate coming on this trip.
We’d be listening to AC/DC

Where’s you’re favourite place to drive?

I don’t really have one. It’s more about driving the car to me and if its a nice day…..I don’t care where I go.

Where’s the best place to have a drink.

Probably at home with friends and family. I don’t go to pubs much because I don’t really drink much. I do enjoy a nice drop of red wine and love heading to the Barossa Valley once a year. Me and the wife love heading out there and grabbing a few nice bottles to add to the collection. We love a full bodied red wine.

What would be your dream car to restore.

1970 Barracuda Cuda which I’ve actually got but haven’t started yet. I want to keep it as originally as possible but then add my personal tweaks on it.  And I’d also like to build a GT40 one day. I prefer to build then to restore

2 top cars in your dream collection

1970 Baracuda Cuda

My Hot Rod is really my pride and joy. I built the majority of it with my father. All up it was a 5 year process. Dad passed away, 2 years into the build… it hold great sentimental value to me.

“Follow” Dave on Facebook (click here)