The Laurie Starling Scholarship for Innovation and Excellence in Automotive Fabrication during Vocational/Tertiary 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, Diploma or Degree. 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 Design and 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 2023 Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship is Dean Fiumara of Liverpool, NSW  

Each of the VIP Dinners is different and an occasion everyone remembers, especially this year for Dean Fiuma being winner of the Laurie Scholarship enthusiastically supported by Street Machine and sponsored by Milwaukee Tools.  The presentation began with a toast and a moment of quiet to remember Chic Henry who, despite his huge range of interests, was always encouraging us with the Scholarship.

It was a real pleasure to present the award to Dean who exhibits the great quality of persistence with confidence in his rapidly developing skills and innovations.  Congratulations Dean.

A warm moment on a chilly Canberra evening

Dean has been involved in vehicle fabrication and helping his uncle build engines since a young lad. He’s now a sheet metal fabricator working with Damien Lowe while completing a degree in mechanical engineering at Western Sydney University.  Apart from his engine and metal work skills he is really at the leading edge of 3-D design, machining and printing.

His recent projects include designing the cantilever rear end suspension for Damien’s iconic *Chubbstar* VB Commodore, and performance engine components used on the world’s quickest street registered Barra (KNGFGX) at Empire Elite Performance Parts.  He has also designed brake components for Brypar, where he has modelled brake parts from street cars to V8 supercars and even Formula 1.  He’s also designing and 3D printing custom dashes.  When given the opportunity he redesigns and reproduces many different discontinued parts to make restoring a car just that bit easier.

Here is a link the WhichCar article in which Dean is interviewed by Glenn Torrens and Simon Telford

The evening continued with presentation of the 2022 Milwaukee Street Machine of the year to a previous Laurie Scholarship winner!!

winner of the Laurie Scholarship in 2020 has WON the Milwaukee Street Machine of the Year 2022

We are all incredible proud of Jazzy and now her hard work and skills have been recognised by the Street Machine community by winning this amazing award.

A Very Happy Moment – all her own work, a fantastic achievement while still an Apprentice!     To see the video click on the announcement link below.         Photo by Street Machine

The announcement was made today 3rd November 

Jazzy’s HiLux minitruck “KHAOS”was featured in June 2022 by Street Machine.

Street Machine featured Jazzy when she won the Laurie Starling Scholarship for Excellence and Innovation in Automotive Fabrication in 2020.

Winner of the 2022 Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship is Corey Scragg of Wangaratta, Victoria 

January 2022 Summernats, a welcome break from the strictures of lockdowns and social isolation.  The Milwaukee Street Machine VIP dinner (Summernats 34) marked Simon Telford (Telfo) announcing the introduction of Milwaukee Tool as the Sponsor not only of Summernats and VIP Dinner but also of the Laurie Memorial Scholarship to spontaneous applause.

Rob Starling, Laurie’s dad, thanked Milwaukee for their sponsorship of the Scholarship and generously adding $3,500 worth of tools which this year will be the 56″ tool chest and cabinet, something to be a lasting reminder to the recipient to keep doing their best in their work and with customers.  Rob also thanked Street Machine and their team for the amazing support and encouragement they provide and enthusiasm with which articles on the Scholarship winner appear on the WhichCar website and in Street Machine magazine.

Corey Scragg, the Winner this year, kept saying that he is a very quiet person, but after receiving the Award from Laurie’s dad Rob he handled his interview with Telfo and other interviews during Summernats with Milwaukee and others with great enthusiasm.

Simon Telford, Corey Scragg, Rob Starling at the Milwaukee Street Machine VIP Dinner presentation.

In Corey’s application he said that his main area of interest in vehicle fabrication is with hot rods, muscle cars and restoring cars. He has always wanted to be a panel beater ever since he can remember. He’s grown up attending car events with his family and always helping his Dad fix and build his cars. He enjoyed learning new skills at a young age and wanted to turn his passion of cars into a career, that is why he went to see Steven Alldrich at Deluxe Rod Shop starting out doing work experience at the age of 16 then a school based apprenticeship before started his full apprenticeship. He learned new skills everyday worked on some pretty cool cars. in his spare time he enjoys helping friends and Misled Youth Hot Rod Club members build their cars, all are under 25 years old.

Here is the link to the WhichCar article

Corey and Rob on the Milwaukee stand in the Rare Spares Pavilion at Summernats and with the Holden FX by Steve Alldrick’s Deluxe Rod Shop in the Mequiar’s pavillion

Special Mention (2022) was also given to Dean Fiumara.

Dean also provided a very strong Application and is certainly another young person to keep an eye on.  After studying CAD at TAFE Dean is now undertaking a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Western Sydney University.  He has started his own business 3dfx Engineering and is working at Lowe Fabrications designing custom billet products and sheet metal CAD designs to streamline production processes.

Dean is designing CAD models such as the Cantilever rear end suspension for Damien’s iconic *Chubbstar* VB Commodore, custom dashes, performance engine components used on the worlds quickest street registered Barra (KNGFGX) at Empire Elite Performance Parts, brake components for Brypar, where he’s modelled brake parts for street cars to V8 supercars and even Formula 1.

Dean and the 2021 Scholarship winner, Aidan Donald, are already in close contact which is great, as the network of Laurie Scholarship winners grows.  We look forward to staying in contact with Dean and seeing how his skills and career develop.

Winner of the 2021 Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship is Aidan Donald of Murwillumbah, NSW.

Aidan’s main area of interest in design/vehicles is street elite and elite show cars. As a kid, his Dad often had early commodores and worked as a spray painter, so he was always exposed to cars from an early age; that’s what sparked his initial interest in cars.

Aidan with Laurie Scholarship, and Aaron Gregory with SMOTY Award – quite the double, the Chop Shop name goes on!! (photo thanks to Street Machine)

His interest in show cars began in 2010, when his family went to MotorEx in Sydney. Other than the quality of the cars, it was primarily the ideas and innovation in some of these cars that really got him interested in the show scene, the builders and tradespeople behind all these cool ideas.

That deep enthusiasm for vehicle design and show cars has stuck with him ever since, and driven him to develop his skills in drawing as he sketched cars through most of his school life with the goal of one day drawing these cars as a job. Eventually, he reached out to some elite car owners and builders and began taking on commissions, creating photorealistic artworks of elite cars. While he was still interested in design, he loved capturing the details of what already existed in the show scene on paper.

Since then, he has moved into designing cars for the show scene rather than capturing what already exists. It’s his main area of interest because this scene exposes him to so many different ideas, styles, and ways of modifying cars. Especially now with different CAD/CAM and digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing, the idea that we can implement so many great ideas into these cars relatively easier than before with these fabrication technologies is really exciting to him.

From rendering to the real thing in the Griffith University article.

Read more 

Industrious Griffith student’s car design career races ahead

UPDATE:  CONGRATULATIONS … Aaron’s ’51 Chev Memphis Hell wins 2020 Street Machine of the Year (SMOTY) see here

Winner of the 2020 Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship is Jasmine Green of Kyabram, Victoria.

Laurie’s Mum Julia announced Jasmine Green as the Scholarship Winner for 2020 at the Valvoline Street Machine VIP dinner (Summernats 33).  Simon Telford, Editor of Street Machine and Master of Ceremonies, introduced Jasmine to enthusiastic applause from the gathering, many there had heard of her skills and work but had not met her.  Julia thanked Valvoline and Street Machine for their support and hospitality at this special evening.

Jasmine is currently working in a cafe to fund her car addiction. She graduated from university with a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design.  She applies her design skills to her vehicle concepts and fabrication as well as her side business, creating and selling 
car related apparel, Khaos Design.

Jasmine is building a 91 HIlux and through building the truck, she has learnt most aspects of vehicle fabrication. From beginning with a bare frame, learning about the air suspension geometry with setting up a 4 link, airbags, tail shaft and engine angles, the full engine conversion including wiring, sheet metal shaping using a wheeling machine and bead roller, tig and mig welding, bodywork and paint. She’s got a real “Laurie Attitude” by trying out and making everything that she can to minimise purchased parts because “there’s no better sense of satisfaction than overcoming a challenge and seeing it work”.

Jasmine was featured in her local newspaper, the Riverine Herald, and Street Machine.

Rob Starling, Mick McCullam, Jasmine Green, David Scenna, Julia Starling

Winner of the 2019 Laurie Starling Memorial Scholarship is Shaun Lizza of Healesville, Victoria.

Shaun Lizza                Photo: Courtesy of Street Machine Summernats 32

This year’s winner was announced by Simon Telford (Editor of Street Machine magazine) at the Valvoline Street Machine VIP dinner on the eve of Summernats 32.  A big thank you to Street Machine magazine, Valvoline and all those at the dinner for their ongoing encouragement and fantastic support.

Shaun is a family man with two daughters, a nurse in a cardiac care unit as well as a talented fabricator, yet still finding time to upskill into 3D design, CNC work and 3D printing. Shaun certainly shows the exceptional drive, quality of work and vision for the future that we are looking for in the Scholarship winner.

Shaun’s interest and love of fabrication originate from spending time with his dad as a kid. Growing up with VWs and a garage full of old machinery and learning to weld, fabricate and design by watching and helping him work.  As he got older his interest moved towards

Rob and Jamie Starling, Shaun Lizza, Simon “Telfo” Telford and Julia Starling.   Photo courtesy of Street Machine Magazine

mini trucks, that’s where his passion for fabrication and design really developed. He loves having the ability to be able to build a variety of suspension setups for chassis from the simple to the sophisticated. He sees himself as having the ability to be an integral part of the design process of full vehicle chassis, suspension components and builds.

Read more about him here.

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.