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Melbourne International Motor Show

Motorhead Melbourne

Ali Kayn

Russ Swift at the 2005 Motorshow Photograph (c) Richard Hryckiewicz 2005 (18.95k)
Photo: (c) Ali Kayn 2005
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It's March in Melbourne and tyre fumes scent the air. Shannon's pre-loved vehicles and memorabilia line the concourse of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (Jeff's Shed), all 20 bays are filled with glossy stands and even glossier vehicles, and the bus car park has been converted into stunt driver Russ Swift's own personal play pen.

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Melbourne International Motor Show, auction cars, Melbourne Exhibition Centre
Russ Swift, photo: Richard Hryckiewicz
Over the period of the motor show, thousands of people watched Russ perform his world-record-holding and trademark manoeuvres, including hand brake parking, parallel parking (without the inconvenience of using reverse gear), doughnuts, J-turns and two wheeling.

Despite a limited space, Russ and his partner Chris managed to thrill and entertain crowds, and 'ballast' selected from the audience. Especially after Russ discovered the unused entrance to the underground car park and he demonstrated how to do a high-speed U-ie between a sign pole and a ticket machine.

peugeot lion
peugeot lion
peugeot lion
Local airbrush artist Darren (the spiderman car man of Air Xpression) reported, with wobbly legs, "The dash board was flashing warning lights, ABS brake failure, emissions control, and I'm thinking pole ... pole ... pole... and then we tip down onto the ramp and I see POLE ... POLE ... POLE" Melbourne Motor Show, stunt driving by Russ Swift
Russ Swift, photo: Richard Hryckiewicz

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go to Russ Swift's web site

Despite the far-travelling screams of a couple of Russ's female passengers, the two wheeling, from inside the cabin, feels as quite and controlled as an aircraft take-off. Your intrepid reporter speaks from experience here. When Russ travels on two wheels between two cars, carefully positioned by Chris, it looks to the audience like the upper wheels are riding over the stationary vehicle; very cool.

stunt driver Russ Swift at Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Victoria, Australia, 2005. Photograph by Richard Hryckiewicz
Russ Swift, photo: Richard Hryckiewicz
Don't try this at home, kiddies. Although three of the Peugeot 206s were standard with extra pressure in the tyres, taped-down hand brake buttons and disconnected ABS brake fuses, the two-wheeler had a locked diff.

Oh, and the DRIVER had 35 years of experience driving, four-times British motorcross champion, current British Autotest champion and England Autotest Team captain.

Russ has been working full time on displays since 1985, and driving in advertisments and promotions since 1987. Russ and Chris proved to be very welcome guests to Melbourne. Despite weather that ranged from searing heat to rain that very nearly washed out a session, they kept their good humour and patiently signed autographs after each session.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, motor show, at Melbourne Exhibitions Centre
Photo: (c) Ali Kayn

In Australia, interested wanna-bes can learn and compete in motor sport through CAMS , the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (www.cams.com.au).

Melbourne international motor show, alpha girl
Photo: (c) Ali Kayn

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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed: 15-Mar-2005 : Last updated: 15-Mar-2005

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