DECK THE HALL

ELITE TOP 10

STORY ANDREW BROADLEY

WITH a record pool of over 2500 entrants and a dazzling level of quality, you wouldn’t be a judge at Street Machine Summernats 30 for quids. And with the sheer volume of competition this year, it could be argued that being awarded an Elite Top 60 berth meant more at Summernats 30 than it ever has before.

As if to really hammer home just what an honour it is to occupy a parking space in the hall, this year’s finalists were flanked by 30 of the most pivotal cars of Summernats past, including the Howard Astill-built ROCK 3 Falcon, Peter Fitzpatrick’s sixtime Grand Champion-winning FC Holden, and Rob Godfrey’s TOYTON HQ one-tonner, which has both Tuff Street and Grand Champion wins to its name.

The magnitude of the occasion was not lost on West Aussie Chris Bitmead, whose XBOSS Falcon hardtop wrote a whole new chapter in Summernats history. “It was awesome to be part of Summernats 30 being such an historic year, and it was great to be able to display the car as the current Street Machine Of The Year,” he said.

Following on from a SMOTY win and a stellar performance at the Detroit Autorama in 2016, XBOSS kicked off the new year by making the Elite Hall its own, winning just about every single award it was eligible for. The epic trophy haul included Top Undercarriage/Driveline, Top Engine Bay, Top Bodywork, Top Interior, Top Standard Paint, Outstanding Engineered Pro Touring, Top Pro Touring, and the coveted Top Judged Elite.

“We were really hoping to come away with

ELITE TOP 10

CHRIS BITMEAD

BLUE / GREY 1976 FORD FALCON COUPE Top Undercarriage/ Driveline Top Engine Bay Top Bodywork Top Interior Top Standard Paint Outstanding Engineered Pro Touring Top Pro Touring Top Judged Elite

JOSHUA CRONIN

BROWN / GOLD 1932 FORD THREE-WINDOW COUPE 2nd Top Standard Paint Top Closed Hot Rod

JAMES DEMETRE

KANDY GREEN 1971 HOLDEN TORANA 3rd Top Special Effects Paint

CRAIG DIXON

GREEN 1971 HOLDEN MONARO 3rd Top Interior Top Coupe

MICK FABAR

EARTH GREEN 1967 FORD FALCON 3rd Top Undercarriage/Driveline 2nd Top Engine Bay Top Interior Top Special Effects Paint Top Pro Custom

AARON FITZPATRICK

ROCKMELON KANDY 1969 DATSUN 1600 SEDAN Top Super Street

DARRELL LEEMHUIS

RED 1990 HOLDEN RODEO UTE Charley Hutton Standout Top Engine Bay (’86 or Later) 3rd Top Bodywork Top Custom Interior (Fabrication) 2nd Top Custom (Mild/Wild)

KYLIE PERRY

GREEN GOLD 1961 HOLDEN FB 2nd Top Undercarriage/Driveline 3rd Top Engine Bay 2nd Top Bodywork Top Special Effects Paint Top Custom (Mild/Wild)

JOHN SAAD

YELLOW GLOW 1971 FORD XY SEDAN 3rd Top Standard Paint

GARY SCICLUNA

BLUE MICA 1978 FORD ESCORT PANEL VAN Top Van

XBOSS KICKED OFF THE NEW YEAR BY MAKING THE ELITE HALL ITS OWN, WINNING JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE AWARD IT WAS ELIGIBLE FOR

Top Judged Elite, so to win that along with the other trophies was great,” Chris said. “Western Australia seemed to be really well represented at Summernats this year, and it was good to have a West Aussie win Grand Champion, too.”

Also starring come presentation time was Kylie and Adam Perry’s back-to-front FB Holden, Tailspin, which won a whole swag of trophies along with a Meguiar’s Superstars invite. “It was such a huge weekend for us!” Kylie said. “We got the car registered before Christmas so we could go in the City Cruise on the Thursday, and the car drove really well. Being in the hall for the 30th anniversary was awesome; there were so many great cars, and we were happy to be competitive in a field like that.”

Seven killer new cars were unveiled to the world in the Great Meguiar’s Uncover, including a bunch of outstanding street machines, a traditionally styled hot rod, a couple of razor-sharp classics and a Top Doorslammer. As always, the crowd was immense, despite the whole thing being streamed live on the internet to tens of thousands of punters in their homes all over the world.

Summernats 30 was a prime opportunity to look back on where the sport has come from, but if Aussie car builders keep churning out quality metal like what we saw in the Elite Hall this year, the future looks every bit as bright.