PHOTOS | LUCIA BRAHAM
Driving through the idyllic town of Castlemaine in the goldfields region of Victoria, the reasons for its moniker as the Hot Rod Heart of Australia become obvious: it is a place where large murals clad the exterior walls of buildings, and spotting a hotted up American classic in the Woolies car park isn’t a rare sight. Lucky for us (‘us’ being anyone with a fascination for vintage gasoline culture), five minutes up the road in the Wattle Flat Reserve, the yearly extravaganza known as The Boogaloo Invitational takes place.
One thing I really love about The Boogaloo Invitational (and something that we’re starting to see more and more frequently at petrol powered events) is that women are being openly encouraged to join in a culture that (let’s be honest) has been dominated by dudes in past years. It’s just really nice to see organisers and event hosts acknowledging women can be just as passionate about cars and bikes and dirt and grease, and doing everything they can to make them feel welcome and comfortable.
I had arrived fairly early on the Friday, and somewhere between setting up my swag and walking to the bar for a beer, Nicole Bourke appeared at the gates. Sadly, her 1925 Dodge Roadster broke down just as she arrived so five guys sidled up to help push it into the event. Once safely to the side, I watched Nikki as she pulled out her tools, popped the hood and started tinkering. Not two hours later, she fired it up, and the invitee drove to her spot and parked. I totally fangirled out on her, telling her I knew nothing about cars but that she was my idol. She just laughed. Also turning heads in the motorcycle display was a chrome clad Sportster belonging to Meighan Mary, tattoo artist and creator of Scorpion Silver.
As night fell on Saturday, the Throttle Moles entertained the crowd with their screwball selection of music and questionable dance moves. Even the event organisers are “glad it’s the kind of show where these girls got away with playing songs we would have heard at 16 year old birthday parties in the late 90’s and early 2000’s… I saw my friends girlfriends dirty dancing on tables comfortably with everyone smiling, I saw a school teacher rip his shirt off to AC/DC haha, I saw two people get engaged, and I saw grown men who ride Harleys singing Killing Heidi and No Doubt at the top of their lungs”. It really is something special.
The Boogaloo Invitational will be on again from 27-29 April 2018, and we highly recommend you make the trek and check it out!
Lucia is a firecracker. She’d prefer to spend her days on top of her Harley. Interstate/continental riding adventures are her jam, but kicking ass at interior design and photography are her bread and butter. She’s a stylin’ lady, and brings with her a wealth of skill in this department, her contributions to IVV combining the best of art and production with a healthy dose of sass.