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The 31st instalment of Street Machine Summernats has been run and won. Despite the temperature being in the high thirties, plenty of punters made their way through the gates to experience the annual automotive festival.

Personally, it was my first time at Summernats, and I regret not having gone earlier!

Australia’s wildest car show has something for everyone: modified street cars, elite show cars, car audio sound-off, dyno competition, motorkhana and of course, burnouts.

Lots of burnouts.

 

The highlight for me was Tuff Street. I didn’t know what to expect when I walked down Tuff Street on the Saturday afternoon, but I was blown away by the atmosphere.

Thousands of people lined the walls and watched Australia’s toughest cars drive past so close you could high-five the occupants. Some of the cars were so loud that they shook the ground as they drove past.

There were few cars in the event that were as tough or as loud as BLWNVC. Owner, Paul Cook, was kind enough to let us jump on board his supercharged 532-cube big block 1300hp skid machine for a lap of the circuit on the Saturday afternoon.

Driving down Tuff Street, the car was so lumpy it felt as though the front wheels were going to lift off the ground every time Paul tapped the accelerator to move forward.

Riding along in this car, my eyes were watering from the methanol, my head was sore from hitting the rollcage each time we lurched forward, and my ears were ringing from the enormous sound – but it was one of my favourite parts of the weekend.

Go to the StreetFX Motorsport and Graphics Facebook page and YouTube channel (Street FX Motorsport TV) to check out the video from our lap in this monster of a car.

The Horsepower Heroes took place once again, and for the first time in Summernats history it was won by a traditional roots-blown car. Last year, the event was won by a yellow Holden Torana built by Jake’s Performance.

Unbelievably, this year’s winner was a completely different yellow Holden Torana built by Jake’s Performance.

Paul Allen decided to add a 14/71 supercharger and methanol injection to the 572-cube big block in his LX Torana just before Christmas. He took out the top prize with 1010hp after struggling with the air-fuel ratios.

Paul managed to beat out Greg South in his twin-turbo LS-powered Holden HQ Kingswood, who ramped up a 1081hp in qualifying. Unfortunately, he dropped a cylinder in the final, still managing to pull 915hp!

The burnouts were a crowd favourite once again, with the fans lining up against the fence so close they walked away covered in the black dust from the shredded tyres. Burnouts aren’t just about getting in there and spinning the tyres until they pop.

It takes a great deal of skill to throw a powerful car into a tight space, and be able to throw it around in circles and change direction when you can’t even see where you’re going, or how far away the walls are.

The ‘tip in’ makes up a big part of the judging. Get that wrong and you might lose your whole run. Matt James took out both first and second places in his burnout beasts UNWANTED and COMPACT.

The Elite Hall housed all the top judged show cars for the weekend. I don’t envy the judges who had a hard task ahead of them – the quality of cars was up there with the best I have seen. Each car looked like it had been built with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and very little money spared.

Each entrant wants to earn the illustrious title of Summernats Grand Champion and take home the coveted Summernats sword, which I’m told comes directly from the collection of Summernats founder, Chic Henry. The Grand Champion for Summernats 31 was Grant Connor with his BAD APPLE Ford XR.

Image courtesy of Meguiar’s MotorEx

Image courtesy of Meguiar’s MotorEx

Image courtesy of Meguiar’s MotorEx

Tickets for Summernats 32 are already on sale, so if you want to experience the greatest Australian car show, whether it be as an entrant or spectator, head over to their website and get your tickets. You won’t be disappointed.

I’m sure you’ll see StreetFX back there again in 2019, and hopefully we’ll be able to bring along our mental R35 GT-R-powered Toyota 86. Who knows, we may even have something new for you.

Images and write-up thanks to Andrew Harper.

 

 




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