Rockynats 2023 day one – unveils, street parade and more!

All the action from day one of Rare Spares Rockynats #3

Photographers: Ash Wilson

WITH a record-breaking 1,300 entrants, Rare Spares Rockynats 2023 is geared up to be a massive Easter-long weekend event. It was a rainy start to day one, but that didn’t stop upwards of 7000 spectators from flooding in to watch Friday’s festivities.

The action revved up at 1:30pm with the CANNA Street Parade, which saw the largest-ever line-up of cars cruise from the showgrounds through the streets of Rockhampton into the heart of the CBD. Crowds cheered on as the massive convoy of burnout cars, drag cars, 4x4s, elite and street cars drove across the riverfront. 

The Elite Unveil Show was the highlight of the evening as six stunning cars and one bike had their covers pulled back.

Steve Wilkes spent the last 18 months finishing his VL Walkinshaw with the help of his mate Darren. The LS-powered beauty was finished just in time for its Rockynats unveil, but she’s not all show, packing a 408ci LS with Magnuson Heartbeat pump.

Elton Walker’s slick 1957 Chev wagon started life as a sedan delivery. “We cut the metal panels off the side and made it into a two-door, four-seat wagon,” Elton says. His son, Dane, designed more than 50 renderings before they settled on the two-tone colour combination and tan interior.

The sleek engine bay houses a 600hp LSA crate engine, paired with Tremec 6-speed, sitting on a four-link nine-inch diff. Attention to detail is next level, with push-button control to lift the tailgate and LED indicators placed behind the glass of the side mirrors.

This tough-as-nails LC Torana is a jaw-dropper. The blown V8 drag car has a custom build race frame. With a set of wheelie bars and chute on the back, Trevor Cooper is set to race at Willowbank Raceway later in the year.

Bruce Knight debuted his stunning 1977 LX hatchback. The eye-catching iridium silver colour is complimented by ghost stripes that run down the body. The Torana runs an LS2, TH350 and a nine-inch diff with Viking coil overs all-round. The custom interior includes a beautifully-integrated VE Commodore dash.

The Torry has definitely earnt its place on the showroom floor, though that was never the intention. “It’s not built to win a trophy but to remember our friends,” Bruce says. “That’s what it’s all about. “

When it came to restoring his XY GS Falcon, Chris Pasceo kept the build as factory as possible, making just a slight tweak to its original colour.

Luke Mitchell thrashed his HK Monaro together in the final five days leading up to the event. The Monaro sat in pieces with no paint or engine assembles- a far cry from the beautifully restored car that sits on the unveil floor.

Day one wrapped up with live music and a drive-in movie screening of Talladega Nights. Saturday’s program will see street drags from 9am , burnout qualifying, drift demos and the return of the iconic Mulletfest.