HALL FIRED UP

ELITE HALL

STORY ANDREW BROADLEY & IAIN KELLY

SUMMERNATS 31 was awash with brand new builds, especially in the Elite Hall, where nine new cars were unveiled to the world as part of the Great Meguiar’s Uncover. There was a good mix of hot rods and street machines lurking beneath the sheets, with everything from a mega-horsepower latemodel Monaro skid car to a 60s show rodstyled Ford tudor.

But the fresh metal was by no means limited to the unveil cars. Amongst the new stuff we found a bunch of killer Toranas, a couple of early Falcons and a blown EH ute. There were skid cars, street cars, show cars, pro tourers, pro streeters and rods; something to please punters of every persuasion.

Some old favourites returned to the fray to battle it out with the new offerings; most notably Sam Caruana’s stunning HJ Holden (SM, Mar ’11), which still presents beautifully and shows no signs of age even though it’s been on the scene for a good many years.

The Perrys’ Tailspin Holden also figured heavily in the results, amassing an impressive trophy haul totalling five dust-collectors plus a Top 10 plate.

Of the new crop of cars, the gorgeous TC Cortina of Dave Xuereb was the biggest hit with the judges, earning five trophies and a Top 10 berth at the presentation. It was also a favourite with show-goers, and once the votes were tallied, the car was also bestowed with the honour of the coveted People’s Choice award.

But of all the trophies on offer in the Elite Hall, the biggest and shiniest is reserved for Top Judged Elite, and at Summernats 31 that was found to be Grahame Barker’s jaw-dropping FX ute.

“Winning the awards, especially Top Judged Elite was surprising,” said Grahame.

“We weren’t really expecting it and we were really happy. The car wasn’t built for show; it was built to drive. It was a shock when they read my name out, which is not normally how I’d react. Normally I take things in and don’t get shocked easily.

“I’ve never built a car in my life, and I went to a lot of trouble to make it good to drive, so I could jump in and go. Although I’ve been going for 20 years this was actually my first time at Summernats with a car.”

Huge congrats to Grahame and all the other winners!

ELITE TOP 10

G R A H A M E B A R K E R

T I T A N I U M 1 9 5 1 H O L D E N F X U T E Top Bodywork Top Standard Paint Top Pro Custom Top Judged Elite

P E T E R B E N N E T T

O R A N G E 1 9 5 5 C H E V Y B E L A I R C O U P E Top Custom Classic

S A M C A R U A N A

C I N N A M O N 1 9 7 5 H O L D E N H J S E D A N Top Engine Bay 3rd Top Bodywork Top Custom Interior (Trimming) Top Sedan

G R A N T C O N N O R

O O T B E E R 1 9 6 7 F O R D F A L C O N S E D A N 2nd Top Special Effects Paint 3rd Top Sedan

M I C H A E L C O N N O R S

I L V E R 1 9 3 4 F O R D H O T R O D C O U P E 2nd Top Standard Paint Top Closed Hot Rod

S I M O N M O K D A S S I

R E D 1 9 7 0 F O R D G T F A L C O N S E D A N Top Interior

D A V I D M U R P H Y

M A R O O N 1 9 3 2 F O R D R O A D S T E R 3rd Top Undercarriage/Driveline Outstanding Engineered Hot Rod Top Open Hot Rod

K Y L I E P E R R Y

G R E E N 1 9 6 1 H O L D E N F B C O U P E Top Undercarriage/ Driveline Top Engine Bay 2nd Top Bodywork Top Special Effects Paint Top Custom (Mild/Wild)

R I C K W E R N E R

C A N D Y A P P L E R E D 1 9 3 2 F O R D P I C K - U P Top Custom Interior (Fabrication) Top Closed Hot Rod Artistic Expression

D A V I D X U E R E B

R E D 1 9 7 3 F O R D C O R T I N A S E D A N 2nd Top Undercarriage/Driveline 2nd Top Engine Bay 2nd Top Interior 3rd Top Standard Paint 2nd Top Sedan