Craig McKenzie’s 1FATHR wins 2024 MotorEx Grand Master

The ute once known as Ditch Jones’s HR has taken out the top gong at Meguiar’s MotorEx 2024


Craig McKenzie’s obsession with revitalising old show cars hit its peak at Meguiar’s MotorEx 2024 today, his 1FATHR ute nabbed the coveted Grand Master award.

Having done Street Machine Summernats three times (once when it was still yellow) and MotorEx twice since Craig rebuilt it, he has slowly tweaked the car into Grand Master form. You can read the full feature of Craig’s rebuild of the HR from our July 2023 issue here.

“For this one [MotorEx] we focused a lot on the engine bay and undercarriage, with lots of polishing and refinement,” says Craig. “The bonnet is also completely new as well, but my goal was just to back it up in the Super Six two years running – I didn’t expect to go this far.”

The HR scored top honours in the Super 6 with first place in the Bodywork, Undercarriage, Engine Bay and Innovation, as well as a third place in Interior.

“People kept coming up to me [on the Saturday] saying I had it in the bag, but I didn’t expect it,” says Craig. “I still don’t quite know how to feel, but it’s a great send off for the car.”

MotorEx #22 was always going to be a final hurrah for Craig with the HR, as the ute will soon be shipped up to Queensland to be auctioned off by the lads at Seven82Motors.

I’ve got BLOBAK to focus on, that’s my next major one,” says Craig. “I’ve located most of the original parts including the body, so we’re planning to have that ready for Summernats 40.”

The Grand Master title is the second major win for the HR at MotorEx in its history, originally garnering the Best of Breed Street Machine award in 2007 when Ditch owned it.

“It’ll be sad to see it go, but I’ve had my time with it now, so hopefully it finds a good home and continues on,” says Craig.