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Club Car of the Year 2014

Mid-life Crisis Management Tool.......

It all started back in 2007....After drooling over the shape of Holden's new VE "Billion Dollar Baby" for some time, HSV decided to release its own new version. I fell in love straight away. At the time I was driving a Mitsubishi 380, a car that did nothing wrong.....but didn't do much right either.

It was what I like to call a "cardboard" car.

Time for a "mid life crisis management tool"?? I thought to myself? The hunt began. Late one Sunday afternoon whilst trolling through CarSales I spotted an Impulse Blue E Series Clubsport with low KMs at Heartland Holden in Sydney's West. A phone call to the dealership later resulted in a "Sickie" being taken from work on Monday and a quick trip up to Sydney to clinch the deal. Shortly after I joined this wonderful club and met some great people and friends.

I decided to enter in my first Show and Shine event later that year and managed to jag a trophy...."best VE engine bay" I was hooked. Having seen the amazing standards set by other members cars provided me with the inspiration to continue on with showing my car off to its best possible standards.

In 2011 and with my beloved car nearing 100,000 kms and starting to show some signs of wear and tear I paid a visit to Gerald Slaven Holden to kick some tyres after work one afternoon. I walked out of there a proud and happy owner of a brand new E3 Clubsport in Sting Red. It was my first ever brand new car and I was determined at that stage, even though the car was brand new, I was going to go to the same lengths and efforts of cleaning in preparation for Show and Shine events. This meant taking it off the road for at least a week beforehand. Taking the wheels off to properly clean inside the arches, brakes, suspension components, and the wheels themselves. Clay Barring and multiple layers of various Wax Products were the main game. Friends and family could not and still don't understand the degree of detail and time that goes into the preparation but the half a dozen trophies in the following 2 years was proof that the time and effort does pay off.

I was determined that this car was a keeper and had absolutely no thoughts of even looking at new Gen F. I even resisted being offered a test drive by staff from Gerald Slaven Holden, only to succumb to an offer for a drive of a Club members car.

A week later I walked out of the dealership the owner of a new Gen F Clubsport SV in Phantom. I was extremely dubious about the colour and know only too well how difficult a black car is to keep clean and presentable. I took this on as a personal challenge and quickly realised that whilst difficult to maintain, black was absolutely the most rewarding colour to get right. Once again, the same amount of effort went into the preparation for events with this car as my previous cars. This time however, I was more knowledgeable and wiser and had learned quite a few tricks of the trade over the years and what is required to continue to be competitive. My goal was to win the ultimate trophy, The Car of The Year, which I successfully did and was determined by an accumulation of points during the year at various shows.

The car is as standard as the day it came off the show room floor and I intend to keep it this way. A tribute to the way Holden and HSV intended them.

There is no special formula for success. All of the work done on my cars is only by myself and only ever by hand, no machine polishers or hundreds of dollars spent on fancy products. Just an abundance of Microfibre towels, Meguiars products, hundreds of man hours and a genuine love of what you are doing.

If there is one piece of advice that I can pass on from my experiences its......

"If you can see it......CLEAN IT."..

If you can't see it -- STILL CLEAN IT IN CASE THEY LOOK THERE!!!!!!

Congratulations Julian Barisic on your well deserved award.