At OTIS we love adventure. Getting out, seeing new things, pushing yourself and meeting like-minded people. So, when a couple of guys from our hometown in Western Australia came to us with a proposal they had to head into the desert and race in something called the Red Dust Revival, we were like - yup, we’ll support it! A great way to put our sunglasses to the test in a harsh environment and have some fun along the way.
When Jordan and Ben from Bennett’s Custom Co sent us back the images, our eyes lit up. This thing was a full vintage-vehicle bonanza out in some of the rawest country Australia has to offer.
We thought you might love it too, so asked Jordan a few questions about the trip to go with the photos. Here’s some insight into Red Dust Revival 2022…
What was Red Dust Revival all about for you guys?
Initially, this project was about a six-month ground up build of a Single Seater race car to race around a 2-mile clay pen at Red Dust Revival.
Our perspectives changed when we hit the desert of Perkolilli. Over the 10 day event, it became less about racing and more about the community and times shared in the pit area and around the campfire. This left us with lots of warm and fuzzies and lifetime friends.
Why do it?
WHY NOT lock yourself in a workshop for 6 months, sleep deprived, coca-cola addiction, angry girlfriends, excluded from social occasions, no surfing, and becoming generally worn out and grumpy?
Because that first pass around the racetrack made everything worth it. A feeling only experienced by those who have done it.
Tell us about the bike and car you built/re-built for the trip? Model, make, quirks, top speed...
This late 30’s Indy car inspired build was created from an original set of 1928 Ford frame rails. The rest of the car evolved over the process of a 150 days continuing to create something that paid homage to those who were racing before WW2. Our favourites pieces of this build was firstly taking pieces of a 1948 Anglia front grill in a surfboard bag back to Canada where myself and Karl Fisher from Japhands Kustoms created a track nose inspired grill that was flown back via a large suit case and was fitted back to the car in West Aus.
Another was working alongside the talented ‘The Scotman’ – Wayne to create a one off set of exhaust pipes that were polished and nickel plated and became a prominent piece that completed this build.
This 1948 Ariel 350cc was created only 2 weeks prior to the Event. It was purchased as a ‘stock’ restored bike and within hours it was complete disassembled and the process began to create a race bike looked to date in 1939. An original set of ’38 Triumph girders replaced the original telescopic forks. A custom tank and rear fender helped the face lift and was finished off with pinstriping and script done by Craig Baxter.
How punishing is the Aussie desert on vehicles like that? How do you make sure stuff is maintained?
Mother nature has groomed a perfectly flat, hard clay pen, so lack of suspension wasn’t the issue. The dust on the other hand, was a nightmare. Apart from the red dirt ending up in every crevice of your body, the most challenging aspect was not being able to see past your steering wheel or handlebars, or the person in front of you. Many a car ended up in the shrub, including Ben and his bike, on the last day of the last lap of the whole event.
Weeks later, remnants of the desert can still be spotted on both vehicles, a friendly reminder of the adrenaline you feel from making it around the track in one piece.
What was the biggest highlight of the adventure?
The people we met and the laughs around the campfire.
Who was the most interesting person you met? Tell us a little about them.
A bloke named Tony. He had made his way from Hobart to the desert via Darwin in his 1914 Ford Model T (Picture a motor, 4 tyres and a seat, pretty much). Plenty of stories were shared over the 10 days with Tony… Including his recollection of seeing Elon Musk’s rockets in the sky and his car ending up in a tree. What a character, g’day Tony!
To follow what the boys of Bennett’s Customs are up to next, hit up their Instagram here.
Or to shop styles that stand up to red dust and desert air, check out these options.