Steve Loader | VF COMMODORE – RELOAD
BURNOUT legend, Steve Loader, has done it yet again, with yet another gobsmacking tyre fryer, RELOAD! “I wanted to build a VF because no one had done one yet,” says Steve. “It’s much more refined than the old car.” The build was done in record time; 12-weeks from smashed, write-off, to Summernats showstopper. This included a heap of chassis and fab work to house the 22×8 and 22×12 Showwheels billets and making the engine bay all smooth. Steve devised the custom HOK Lime Green while the interior is equipped with a full custom, black leather trim with snake skin inserts. PowerHouse screwed together the new engine combo; a methanol-burning, 532-cube big-block Chev equipped with Enderle stack injection that Steve is hoping will spin to 9500rpm! “I went for mechanical injection, as everybody’s expecting a huge blower,” says Steve. Once the covers come off, RELOAD is going directly from the Great Meguiar’s Uncover to the Liqui-Moly Power Pit for burnout qualifying the very next day!

Matt Cowan & Mark Siracusa | 1974 LH Torana – ONIT
MATT Cowan’s and Mark Siracusa’s LH Torana, ONIT, is pure wow. They want to have a go at everything in this car, definitely skid it and maybe drag race it. Going with the; ‘if you’re going to go out the bonnet, you might as well do it properly,’ philosophy, Westend pieced together a methanol-slurping, 511-cube big-block Chev topped by a 14/71 huffer and carbon-fibre, Big Ugly. Tuned for only 1900hp on low boost, its potential is far more. That eye catching colour is HOK Planet Green, which shows off the Showwheels billets and custom leather interior. Matt and Mark poured a mountain of effort into uncluttering the engine bay. All they wanted in there was the engine, with figuring out where to hide everything proving to be a packaging nightmare. The intention is to save ONIT for a few shows (including MotorEx), before hitting the burnout pad to tear the corners off and have some fun and ultimately qualify for the Liqui-Moly Burnout Masters.

Bob Gallo | 1934 FORD COUPE – IMPACT
THIS is the second time IMPACT has been unveiled. It was a past Summernats Top Hot Rod and Meguiar’s Superstars Best of Breed Hot Rod finalist. New owner, Bob Gallo, has given the shape/Users/Jock/Desktop/FRIDAY_1ly rod a fresh makeover, with new the two-tone Orange Pearl and HOK Root Beer paint scheme being a striking feature. Other highlights include IFS, triangulated four-link (both in polished stainless), smoothed and detailed chassis supporting a 3-inch chopped Deuce Customs fiberglass powered by a 1996 Corvette-spec LT1 sporting a stylish custom cover by Sefton Smash. Mat Gilkes is responsible for the all-new all-orange leather interior complete with high-end audio system that Bob will use to compete in Sunday’s Sound-Off competition. Unlike a lot of show-only elite-level machinery, IMPACT is a real car as it retains all the proper lights, wipers and mirrors. Most leave them off, as they’re too hard to make look right.

Adam Cleary | 1957 BUICK SPECIAL – SLAMED
WHEN Adam Cleary’s US-based friend, Chad Canerday, was looking to sell this barnyard find, 1957 Buick Special, he just had to have it. Before shipping it home, Adam decided to give it a simple rebuild, however things got out of hand that the build team decided to go all out and debut SLAMED at SEMA. This included stepping up to 24-inch billets all-‘round, channelling the chassis up into the body and fabricating a new floor. Inside there’s a ’56 Chevy Bel Air dash, full-length console, bright red leather and bitchin’ cruising tunes. SLAMED was a huge hit at SEMA. It featured on Barry Meguiar’s Car Crazy TV and in several US car mags. Since landing in Oz, Pro Flo and Ground Level have been busy tidying it up, fine tuning it, making it more driveable and legal for rego. Although the journey has been quite trying at times, it’s been a great experience for Adam both in the USA and in Australia, with many people involved becoming close friends.

Steve Sherry | 1982 DATSUN 1200 UTE – DATZILA
THERE’S no getting past the monster turbo on Steve Sherry’s Datsun 1200 ute, DATZILA. It wouldn’t fit under the bonnet so Steve hang it way out; right in the face of any would-be passengers. It feeds a gnarly, 800hp RB30 Nissan controlled by a Haltec ECU and Racepak dash. A Datsun 1200 is an odd car for Steve, he’s muscle car guys who’s been a show regular since the 1986 Street Machine Nationals. Also, his side-business, Street Kings, specialises in building collectible muscle like Falcons and Toranas. Steve’s the body guy and his brother, Charlton (Choc), is the painter. Looking at DATZILA’s HOK Bitter Sweet and Cocoa paint job and slick bodywork, they’re pretty good at it. A mate of Steve’s begun building DATZILA but needed the money. It’s set up to run sevens with all the good gear including a fully-floating, 31-spline, nine-inch that’s almost as high as it is wide thanks to the M/T 15×15 rear hides!

Norm Corte | 1934 Ford – GUNZ34
“ALL I wanted was a flat back hot rod with a big motor,” says Norm Corte. Once he saw the quality of work the Malibu boys were doing, he decided to go crazy with the undercarriage detail, the chrome and billet. Westend facilitated the big-engine with a 383 Chev topped by a 6/71 Weiand blower, which looks amazing against the dark HOK Brandy Wine paint thanks to all its polished accessories and dress-up gear. GUNZ34 is an original ’34 steel body with 3-inch chop, suicide doors and original-style chrome door handles. To take the 383’s power, Southern Chassis Works welded up a new chassis with IFS and parallel four-bar. Norm spent endless hours sanding and smoothing the engine, gearbox and chassis – over 100 hours on the chassis alone. Halibrand is no longer manufacturing wheels and Norm is confident his fully-polished Sprints are the very last set they ever made. Inside its wall-to-wall leather by All-Trim, along with a smoothed off dash filled and a brace of Autometer gauges. “I’ve been coming to Summernats since No.15,” says Norm, “I’ve always wanted to build a car of this calibre to unveil.”

Peta Psaras | 2008 VE SSV WAGON – AGIT8
WITHIN days of its successful trip to MotorEx Melbourne, where it picked up a Street Elite Gold medal for Impact & Display along with a Bronze for Design & Execution, 2SUS custom Resprays had Peta Psaras’s AGIT8 stripped to a bare shell ready for an intensive, five-month rebuild. “I wanted to take it up a notch. Turn it into something completely different” says Peta. Highlights include a wild interior sporting numerous fibreglass panels and 17 screens. AGIT8’s audio system is setup for sound-quality competitions rather than doof, doof. While the custom fresh HOK Texas T exterior colour nicely contrasts with the black wheels. Engine upgrades include a super-aggressive cam, bigger heads and toughened internals to handle the nitrous system. Peta is far from a stand-about type of girl, she’s been the driving force behind the build, putting in huge hours at 2SUS, which included lots and lots of fibreglass sanding. “I itched for weeks,” says Peta, “I’m lucky I still have any skin left on my fingers.”

Peter Green | 1923 T-BUCKET – ELITE T
BY HIS own admission, Peter Green set out to build Australia’s best T-Bucket. ELITE T is a comfortable blend of modern and traditional, featuring classic aspects like the acres of chrome, baby 4/71 blower, highly detailed SB Chev, Lakes pipes, IRS Jag rear end, raked stance, lantern-style lighting, extra tall screen and HOK Candy Apple Red paint. Contemporary touches include sculptured red-leather interior, lots of one-off billet pieces and a kick-ass audio system. Peter, along with good friends Troy Heywood, Bruce Heywood and Craig Halling, pretty much built ELITE T at home – including most of the trick billet bits. The US fibreglass body is now wider and sits on a custom frame, which Peter fabricated. “Everything that could be chromed, was chromed,” says Peter. “Everybody spent countless hours polishing.” Peter’s a long term member of the Regency Ramblers and has always been a hot rodder and always wanted T-Bucket – he thought it was about time he built himself one.

Mark Hayes | 1971 LC TORANA – LC763
A GARGANTUAN 763ci, all-alloy big-block (whose rocker covers poke out the bonnet) powers this ballistic quarter-mile missile from well-known drag racer, Mark Hayes, who specifically built it to run in APSA 10.5 radial and ProStreet Blown. With a three-stage Nitrous system, output is around 2200hp, which push the LC to 6.5s@220mph. Mark has gone ballistic with the sensors, 42 in total for the Racepak dash and data logger. Mark also went to considerable effort to make LC763 look like a proper Torana; it retains the original dash, the tubs don’t cut up into the rear windows, the door handles still work and it’s mostly steel. Only the bonnet, boot and bars are fibreglass. As Mark states, “I didn’t want to lighten my wallet to lighten the car.” Mark built about 80 percent of the car himself, with LC763 only leaving the shed for the roll cage and paint – which is a custom colour called Nitrous Bottle Blue. Those faux nitrous bottles in the doors make everyone do a double take – they’re very realistic.

Michael Stivala | 1975 XB Falcon – GS HOON
MICHAEL Stivala’s GSHOON, first hit the show scene in 2001. A few years ago it suffered severe damage after colliding with a huge slab of concrete that fell of a truck. Although it broke Michael’s heart the incident prompted him to give the XB Pro Touring-style revamp. Being a spray painter, Michael applied the factory Apollo Blue himself, while his brother John handled all the bodywork. The pair did about 80-90 percent of the whole car, including the addition of big Baer brakes all-round, tubbing the rear and adding a four-link to accommodate the massive 325 rubber and 20×11 FR Simmons. The engine bay is also significantly refined, all smoothed off along with a Mustang II-based suspension and tough, 550hp T&M Racing 351, with cast-iron heads. The stark-white leather interior is so hard to look after, but Michael says it looks mad. Dakota Digital converted the XB GT dash to full digital. This feature is indicative of the whole car, there’s so much custom stuff, very little is off-the-shelf.

Shane Harvey | HZ HOLDEN UTE – GRUNTA
SHANE Harvey’s slick, retro ute is a past Summernats Real Street Top Ute winner. However Shane wanted to get unveiled and decided to take it to the next level. Luckily his son-in-law, Daniel Slater from Kingpin Customs, was happy to tackle the transformation. Overall theme is classic 80s street machine, which includes 14×10 US Racers wrapped in fat 265/50/14 all ’round tucked under flared guards. Continuing the 80s theme, there’s double-stacked Statesman grilles, suicide doors, polished Redline tunnel ram, twin-fours, Top-Loader and nine-inch. Everything is either chromed or polished, there’s no billet. Refinement wise; front sheet metal has been welded together and blended back into the body, complete with hand-formed inner guards. Original plastic heater box was duplicated in steel and blended into the smoothed firewall. The chassis and floor have been plated and smoothed, tailgate welded up and there’s airbags to dump it in the weeds. Shane’s ute is without doubt a testament to old school cool, simply built far better than they ever were.

Gary Zahra | 1964 C10 CHEV FLEETSIDE
WHEN you’ve got panels as long ‘n’ flat as Gary Zahara’s C10 truck, your bodywork has to be spot on. Looking down the side of this eye-catch truck there’s not a ripple or a bump in sight. There’s a ridiculous amount of hours in the body, around 750! A lot of effort went into giving it razor-sharp lines and a reshaped bonnet. The custom, hand-rolled rear bodywork now wraps from one quarter, all the way ‘round to the other – with rounded-off corners and Cadillac taillights. The stylish wood tray hinges up to reveal the US-made, Porterbuilt air-bag suspension system that enables the Fleetside to be slammed over its 22-inch Centerline Smoothies – which are outfitted with original 1964 hubcaps. The inside features modern gauges, electric seat and distressed leather for that authentic look. After a few shows Gary intends to put plenty of road miles on his wild, fully-engineered, LS1-powered truck.

Phil Kerjean | 1980 COMMODORE WAGON – TUFFST
AUSSIE burnout icon, Phil Kerjean has owned TUFFST for over 20 years (it first appeared at Summernats 14 and is a past Tuff Street winner). This is revamp number four or five with the engine and gearbox being the only parts that haven’t been detailed, polished, modified or changed. Major changes include; suicide doors, shaved door handles and intense black ‘n’ red paint scheme. The already shortened diff had to have another inch lobbed off to accommodate the new Showwheels KWC 20×12 rear rollers. On the inside is a Racepak dash and new high-end leather interior, which everybody reckons will be easier to keep clean. “We’ll find out,” says Phil, as TUFFST is hitting the burnout pad for Saturday afternoon’s burnout eliminations! And just in case you’re wondering, those TUFFST plates are a tribute to the Summernats Tuff Street, one of Phil’s favourite competitions. Which is why he’s incorporated images of every Tuff Street winner into the liquid-metal razor flames down each side.