Five Memorable Summernats Grand Champions

Summer is fast approaching and for many that means one thing; Summernats. Summernats plays host each year to Australia’s best show cars, street cars, burnout cars and more in a festival of cars, music and burnt rubber. Each year the elite entrants compete in a series of events to establish who is the year’s Grand Champion, with criteria stretched from the typical ‘car show’ presentation points to include a number of driving tests. A scroll through the list of previous Grand Champions is like a walk through one of the most impressive car museums you’ve ever seen, and in this article we’ll take a quick look back at some of our favourites.

Rob Beauchamp’s VL Commodore – Top Street Machine Overall at Summernats 1, 2 & 3

Rob’s Jaw dropping VL Commodore will be remembered as not only one of the meanest VL’s in the land, but as also a car that pushed the limits of the term ‘street machine’. Fitted with a Kinsler-injected 302 Chev at the time, the VL was a full blown drag car, capable of mid 10’s and barely suited to use on the street. It was the immaculate attention to details that won fans and judges alike to win the then named Top Street Machine overall at Summernats 1, 2 & 3.

Howard Astill’s Rock Solid 3 – Grand Champion at Summernats 4 & 5

Howard Astill’s XA Falcon went through a number of guises throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s before it was reborn as the gobsmacking Rock Solid 3. Featuring an ever-so-cool neon paintjob, Rock Solid 3 typified what the punters love about show cars – it was fast, loud and eye catching. The XA would dominate Summernats 4 & 5 before being parked to allow Astill to move on to the next of his many incredible builds. In recognition of his contribution to the show car scene, Astill was honoured as a Rare Spares Legend in 2009 – check out our blog from 2015 with Howard here.

Joe Lore’s BLOWJO XY Falcon – Grand Champion at Summernats 23

Everybody loves an XY, and you’ll struggle to find any better in the land than Joe Lore’s purple beast. Featuring a 351 Cleveland (stroked to 383cu) and a humungous blower, BLOWJO is an incredibly striking vehicle that ran away with victory at Summernats 23 in 2010. If you haven’t had the chance to see this XY up close yet, keep an eye out for the incredibly detailed airbrush work on the interior and underbody, this car is a true work of art.

Peter Fitzpatrick’s ’59 FC Holden – Grand Champion at Summernats 2

A six time Grand Champion winner, Peter Fitzpatrick is a name that stands without peer in the Summernats history books. At Summernats 24 Peter Fitzpatrick arrived with his ’59 FC Holden and swept all before him, taking out not only the coveted Grand Champion award, but also winning the People’s Champ and Top Judged awards, the first to do so in the history of Summernats. Peter Fitzpatrick is also a Rare Spares Legend, recognised in 2012 for his legendary contribution to the street machine community.

Mark ‘Happy’ Williams’ HQ One Tonner – Grand Champion at Summernats 30

The most recent Summernats Grand Champion winner, fan favourite Mark ‘Happy’ Williams and his HQ One Tonner was a popular winner with the huge Summernats 30 crowd. The Supercharged One tonner is a sight to behold and sounds incredible, becoming the first Western Australian built car to take out the Grand Champion sword at the 2017 event. An emotional victory for Williams, who lost his father only days before the event, in his memory the car’s license plates were changed from ‘2HAPPY’ to ‘4MYDAD’.

Which is your favourite Summernats Grand Champion? We would love to hear which car and why, so head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know in the comments section below.

The Rarest Part – How Rare Spares Select Which Parts To Produce

25. March 2014 14:05 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

Rare Spares produce anywhere from 30 to more than 100 parts each month, with each part undergoing a rigorous checking and approval process at the Rare Spares Research and Development Facility in Victoria.

Requests for new parts are sourced from research, online forums, requests in-store and online ‘wishlist’ requests which come through directly to Rare Spares.

A wishlist of requested parts is compiled in a spreadsheet by Rare Spares staff and directors, so that they can easily identify parts which are in the highest demand.

 

“I decide there’s a need in the market and then I work out some way for the part to be made,” said Rare Spares Director, Les McVeigh.

 

The majority of parts are produced through reverse engineering and the production process can be anywhere from two or three months to two or three years.

 

After sourcing an original part, it is sent to one of hundreds of suppliers who can reverse engineer the part and they then come back to Rare Spares with the cost of tooling, quantity and unit price. If the option seems viable they are engaged to produce a sample, which is then submitted for testing.

 

“Parts are thoroughly tested,” said McVeigh.

“Once we get a first sample, we test for fitment, quality of production and whether or not they look the way they should.”

“Last month and this month we released 120 new parts. The number we are working on at any one time can range from about 50 – 300 parts, all in various stages of development.”

Product Sourcing Manager at Rare Spares, Greg Barker said, “Just before Christmas, we released the complete range of door handles and window winders for the 1948 Holden. So we’re still making parts for the first models and for reasonably current models.”

McVeigh added, “We are working on parts from 1948 models up to about 1990. We made more parts last year for the 1948 – 56’ range than we did in the previous two years, where as we probably only made a couple for 90’s models. You have to catch up from behind.”

 

“The problem that we’ve got is trying to keep up with how many parts we can make because the car companies are deleting parts faster than we can make them,” said Barker.

 

If you can’t find a part and would like to add it to the Rare Spares wish list, you can do so in-store or online at http://www.rarespares.net.au/Wishlist/Wishlist.aspx