The Laurie Starling Scholarship for Innovation and Excellence in Automotive Fabrication during Vocational Education has been established by Laurie’s family.

The purpose of the Scholarship is to provide a level of financial support for course fees to a person undertaking a Certificate III, IV, or Diploma. The person will be demonstrating exceptional drive, commitment and desire to excel in their learning of technical and design skills and practical implementation.

We understand all too well that it is a very, very long and hard road to achieve the highest standards in Fabrication.  We hope that the Scholarship will assist in getting a solid start on that journey, one that Laurie exemplified in his own short but very extraordinary life.

A number of people who are themselves leaders in the Custom Vehicle arena assist the family in selecting the successful candidate.


Winner of the 2018 Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship is Corey Lepe of Campbelltown, NSW.


Corey Lepe

Rob Starling, Simon “Telfo” Telford, Corey Lepe, Julia Starling, Jamie Starling

Corey was awarded the Scholarship at the Valvoline Street Machine VIP Dinner by Laurie’s Mum, Julia, after introductions by Simon Telford, editor of Street Machine.  We all really appreciate the support of Valvoline and Street Machine for the presentation and to all the industry leaders who cheer the winner on this very special occasion on the eve of Summernats.

Corey is undertaking his apprenticeship at Xtreme Fabworx under the demanding eye of Cain Balzer.  In his application for the Scholarship Corey said “I have grown up around all styles of builds from trucks, to restorations, to tough street cars, big powered cars, drag cars and show cars. My love for all of this and my interest in this industry started when I was young, watching my Dad and other family members and friends build their own cars, seeing all of their personalities and tastes be expressed into each car they built. That’s a reason I love what I do, because I can be unique and express my personal style in each car I build. I have a passion for fabricating cars because I enjoy being able to work on something new everyday, to think outside the box and be innovative in my designs. I also love the challenges that occur when it comes to building each car, particularly adjusting to customer’s requirements, which sometimes make you think 3 steps ahead! In saying all that, my preference is the Pro Touring style cars because of the way they are built: to be a reliable, drivable car. I see no use in building any vehicle, whether it’s a ground-up build or just a restoration, if the car isn’t going to drive smooth or be reliable. I also enjoy this because it is absolutely limitless when it comes to how much you can customise a vehicle.”

Street Machine’s Andrew Broadley interviewed Corey, Laurie’s Dad Rob and brother Jamie at Summernats here is the article.

Street Machine News 1st February 2018

Scholarship Stand at Summernats 31 (2018)

The Stand at Summernats was really well attended as the reputation of the Scholarship and its winners grows.  Mick McCallum’s stunning work-in-progress 33 Roadster was featured and certainly drew attention! Mick was a co-winner of the Scholarship, with David Scenna, in 2016.

Admiring the workmanship

Corey’s Dad, Corey Lepe and Jamie Starling

Laurie’s Mum, Julia, on Summernats Radio

Mick McCullam’s (Scholarship co-winner in 2016) 33 Ford Roadster – a work in progress – can’t wait to see it finished!

Motorex 2017 – Sydney

Congratulations to owner Mike King and the man behind the build Steven Aldrick from Deluxe customs on winning the perpetual Laurie Starling Excellence Award at Motorex 2017.  Mick McCullam, one of the 2016 winners of the Scholarship, is completing his apprenticeship with Steve at Deluxe .. setting the highest standards!

Street Machine magazine, February 2017

The Valvoline Street Machine Street Machine Of The Year dinner on the Thursday before Summernats is the VIP occasion for bestowing …

“the most meaningful accolades in our sport: the Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year and the Laurie Starling Memorial Student Scholarship” ..

Our thanks to Street Machine for their great support and encouragement.

Read the full article here.

The winner of the 2017 Laurie Starling Memorial Student Scholarship is Michael Anstey of Gosford, NSW.

Laurie’s dad Rob Starling, Michael Anstey and Laurie’s eldest brother Jamie Starling at the Valvoline – Street Machine VIP dinner, sheltering from the Canberra rain!

Michael is a sheet metal forming and component fabricator for Classic Revival on the Central Coast of NSW.  He applied for the Scholarship under the Advanced Training Track and will use the Scholarship to further develop his skills with one of the shops on the West Coast in the USA.  Michael will continue and build on many of the relationships that Laurie and his brothers Jamie and Geoff have with the elite custom fabricators in the US.  Michael knew Laurie quite well, learned much from him and wants to continue Laurie’s enthusiasm for working with others, learning new skills, coming up with new ideas and sharing them.  Michael and the previous winners of the Scholarship, David Scenna (2016), Mick MacCallum (2016) and Tom Saunders (2015) are already thinking about what they can create for Summernats31 next year to challenge each other and have some fun.

We all thank those at Valvoline and Street Machine for the opportunity to present the Scholarship Award at the VIP Dinner, to Simon Telford “Telfo” editor of Street Machine Magazine for the lead in for us to introduce the winner to the VIPs of the industry and to thank them for their support and encouragement of these guys getting established in their careers with real metals!

We would also like to thank Summernats for their support enabling us to have a stand to promote awareness of the Scholarship and for one of the Scholarship winners to showcase their work, this year it was David Scenna’s 1946 Ford Jailbar Army truck.


It was fantastic that Chick Henry, founder of Summernats, found time to visit the stand to reminisce about Laurie and encourage us all.

Chick Henry (founder of Summernats) with Rob and Jamie Starling, Summernats 30 2017

Getting ready to open the stand, David Scenna’s 1946 Ford Jailbar Army truck, a work in progress!


Rob Starling, Norm Stewart, Michael Anstey (2017), David Scenna (2016), Tom Saunders (2015), Mick MacCallum (2016), Jamie Starling


For the 2016 Winners of the Scholarship we could not separate two excellent submissions so decided to award two Scholarships to

Mick McCallum (Melbourne) and David Scenna (Sydney).

Mick and David received their Awards at the Valvoline Street Machine VIP Dinner 7th January 2016 – Congratulations!  Tom Saunders, the winner in 2015, welcomed Mick and David as Winners with the challenge to keep up Laurie’s great work to their best.

Tom Saunders (Winner 2015), Jamie, Geoff and Rob Starling, Mick McCallum, David Scenna

Tom Saunders (Winner 2015), Jamie, Geoff and Rob Starling, Mick McCallum, David Scenna (Photo Courtesy of Street Machine Summernats 2016, page 145).


Read more about David and Mick


The Inaugural (2015) Winner of the Scholarship is

Tom Saunders of Derwent Park, Tasmania.

Tom received his award from Laurie’s dad Rob Starling at the Street Machine VIP Party on 1st January 2015.  The award was presented in front of many of Australia’s greats in custom vehicle building.

ChopShop FS 2008

Photo: courtesy of Street Machine magazine – February 2015 issue, page 17.

Read more about Tom ..and see the results of his efforts …


An editorial by Simon Telford September 2014, Street Machine September 2014

There is a facebook site for the Award .

Other links on facebook

Laurie Starling Memoirs

Laurie Starling Scholarship Award

Memorial Event 2015

Chop Shop Australia

and with GOOD NEWS from

Street Machine (December 2014 Issue)

Laurie Engineering Excellence Award at Motorex Sydney 25th-26th July 2015

Laurie Engineering Excellence Award at Motorex Melbourne 16th-17th July 2016

Laurie Engineering Excellence Award at Motorex Melbourne 16th-17th July 2017

Perpetual Trophy with keeper trophy for the annual winner

The Perpetual Engineering Excellence Award Trophy with keeper Trophy for the annual winner, a wonderful recognition, inspiration and challenge by Meguiar’s Motorex.

The innovative XM coupe that won owner Mike King and builder Steven Aldrick the Laurie Starling Engineering Excellence Award at Motorex 2017.



Congratulations to Mick Ellard, Laurie Engineering Excellence Award Winner 2016


Laurie Engineering Excellence Award winner 2015 - Mel Apps Holden FC

Laurie Engineering Excellence Award winner 2015 – Mel Apps’ Holden FC

Mel Apps Laurie Award

One last photo before Mel, still smiling, reluctantly had to hand back the Trophy so it could be presented to the 2016 Winner.