YOU’VE got to celebrate your victories when you get them, and modified car owners in South Australia had a hell of a win when the state’s previously restrictive concessional registration scheme was dramatically overhauled as of 1 July 2017. So what better way to acknowledge the occasion than to stage a bit of a get-together?

Under the old version of the scheme, there were no provisions for modified or post-1979 vehicles, and rules were particularly strict concerning lefthook cars. Now that the scheme has been revised, any number of legal modifications are permitted, a rolling 30-year vehicle age requirement has been introduced, and a huge amount of red tape has been trimmed from procedures and practices.

It’s a watershed moment for South Aussie street machiners, and one well worth acknowledging with a huge informal car show.

Street Machine Association of South Australia (SMASA) frontman and champion of the cause, Glenn Stankevicius, said: “The event was a collaboration between the Minister’s office and SMASA. We had just over a week to get it organised, so there was a heavy Facebook campaign and lots of emailing to get it done.

We had planned to only accept pre-registered cars, but while we only had 453 register, we had between 1000 and 1200 cars turn up on the day.

We had the weather on our side for sure; it was a beautiful day.”

The event was a celebration and information day for the newly expanded concessional scheme, and was free to attend. Clubs were invited to come along and peddle their wares to the massive number of punters shopping for a club through which to register their modified ride.

SMASA alone garnered over 400 new members – an outstanding result.

It’s only early days, but the implementation of the scheme is going off without a hitch. “It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point, but the actual implementation has been fairly straightforward because it’s only changes to an existing scheme, rather than a brand new scheme,” Glenn said. “From a SMASA perspective we’re just making a few changes to our constitution to protect ourselves and make sure the system doesn’t get abused.”

And what of lobbyists in other states who are fighting similar battles? “Stick to your guns and don’t take no for an answer; you just have to keep plugging away,” Glenn said. “I’ve had a lot of luck with petrolheads in the right places, and it helps to know people in government that can help you along. Also, presentation and professionalism are key; you can’t just rock up to a government meeting in a T-shirt and jeans, and they’re going to ask you lots questions, so make sure you have the answers!”

Glenn was quick to emphasise that this has been a lengthy battle, and plenty of people have been involved in getting it over the line.

“Thanks to everyone that helped out along the way, in particular Stephen Mullighan MP and Matthew Leyson.” s