Rockynats 2022 day one

A jam-packed Good Friday schedule launched Rare Spares Rockynats 2

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson, Brad McDonald

It may only be its second-ever running, but Rockynats felt right at home in the regional Queensland city on day one.

Relaxed Covid rules compared to last year’s inaugural running and much-improved weather saw even bigger crowds flock to the Rockhampton CBD, as the weekend kicked off with an enormous 1200 car-strong Canna Street Parade at 11:30.

Elite-level streeters mingled with everything from angry rotaries to LS-powered 4x4s on the riverfront cruise route, all backed by magnificent heritage buildings.

Almost five hours of burnout action took place at the Northside Burnout Precinct, beginning with a Burnout Masters test-and-tune session followed by the first championship round.

Some of Australia’s best burnout cars assaulted the pad from 4:30 for a round of test and tune skids, including from Jake Myers and reigining Rockynats king, Wal Gersekowski. The Masters competition starts today, with three Burnout Masters tickets on offer for Street Machine Summernats 35.

The evening saw the covers pulled off four incredible new rides in the unveil hall.

Phil Kirby’s incredibly straight XT Fairmont is the product of 18 months of after-hours work. Phil, who forms Rockhampton’s Auto Craft Collective alongside Grant Maclean, says the car has been in his family since 1982.

It runs a 427ci Dart-blocked Windsor, paired to a T5 manual ‘box and Truetrack nine-inch diff. “Not much is getting built in Rocky,” Phil laughs. “So I thought I’d see if we could rub shoulders with the big boys!”

Finished in HAMR Deep Crystal Blue, a 1968-spec Shelby bonnet scoop and Hurst shifter knob are welcome period touches.

Corey Phie of Street Elite Industries built this eye-popping LC GTR for a client. This car also copped a 427ci Dart-blocked mill, this one of the Tremaniac-built LS7 variety.

It’s packed chock-full of good stuff, including a Daley dry-sump system, and is topped off by a pair of Precision 6062 turbos. A Pro Trans turbo 400 handles the power, controlled via a PCS paddle shifter and push-button arrangement. On pump fuel, the donk made 730hp at 6psi, and Phil says it was built to handle 2000.

The diamond-stitched and five-point harness-equipped interior carries more rose gold highlights, with a Holley digital dash and oodles of billet aluminium.

Warren Burggraff of Wazrods & Restoration further represented Rocky’s pool of talent, presenting a transformed 1933 Crossley.

“The client came in with this ugly little Pommy car,” Warren recounts. “I was basically given free reign.”

Nothing remains of the stock body thanks to a new all-steel body hand-fabricated by Wazrods.

It’s now a boat-tail speedster design, with the grill insert, windscreen, roof irons, and both bumpers all existing as custom-made pieces.

A 350 Chev crate motor provides motivation, feeding a Turbo 350 auto with a Lokar shifter. Out back is a shortened diff pilfered from an EB Falcon, packing 3.25 gears.

Most suspension and steering gear is from Holden, blending HR and HZ parts. All up, the build took about four years.

Rounding out the unveil cars was Shannon and Karen Christoffel’s LX Torana sedan. A 434-cube small-block Chev by MPR Engines sits under the bonnet, topped by a towering TBS 8/71 billet blower and Joe Blo injector hat.

You’d likely expect a toughened auto behind a stonking blown engine like this, but the Torry features a TKO600 five-speed manual! 320mm Wilwood four-pot brakes sit on all four corners, covered by 18 and 19-inch Simmons.

Inside are Recaros wrapped in Scottish Leather, which can even be found in the engine bay. Shannon of Otto’s Custom Trim managed the interior, which also uses as billet steering column and Haltech IC-7 dash.

Other stunning elite-grade metal gracing the hall included Dean Rickard’s SMOTY-finalist HT Monaro and Jason Mansweto’s Street Machine Summernats 34 Grand Champion XW Falcon.

Other Friday highlights included live music and DJ sets, bike action, and even free virtual racing.

There’s still two massive days of Rockynats to go. Street drags are on from 9am tomorrow, plus more burnouts, a show-and-shine, CBD cruising, and, of course, an iconic ‘Nats mullet comp. Be there!