Fun in the sun: Downunder Beachfest

We check out Downunder Beachfest at Caloundra on the beautiful Sunshine Coast

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson

Founded in 2015, Downunder Beachfest is a multi-day event run on the Sunshine Coast by the Queensland branch of the Australian Street Rod Federation.

Beachfest activities include various cruises and meet-ups and even driving events on occasion, the event is best-known for the Friday night cruise and Saturday show ‘n’ shine in the streets of Caloundra.

It is one hell of a picturesque spot – if you nab just the right park on the beachside, you’ll be able to get a photo of your car with Moreton Island, the very northernmost tip of Bribe Island and the Glasshouse Mountains all in the background!

And while there were a stack of hot rods, classics and lowriders on show, we were struck by just how many tough street cars were in attendance! We could have run a Drag Challenge Weekend using only the cars present.

The vibe is laid-back and the turnout was impressive, especially when you consider that both the Winternationals and Cooly Rocks On are held on the same weekend.

Rob’s HQ Monaro was the star of the Friday night cruise. Packing a blown and injected small block, this thing sounds tough!

Steve and Kris Jenkins built this HK ute after Steve decided he’d had enough of dirt bike action to last him.

Steve handled most of the build himself, including applying the sparkly Mako Blue duct. Running a 355ci Chevy and Powerglide combo, the ute has proved it’s worth with two trips to Rockynats and a three week outback road trip during COVID times.

Tony’s super-low ’62 International Scout had our eyes out on stilts! To get the necessary lowness, Tony fabbed his own chassis and used narrowed Jag front and rear ends, plus airbags all ’round. Power is provided by a mild 350 Chev and Powerglide combo.

Six Banger Nats regular Greg Larsen has owned his XP Falcon for almost 30 years! After running turbo crossflow power, Greg has treated the old girl to a Barra upgrade in recent years, including water/air ‘cooler and Haltech ECU, backed by a C4 and Centura diff.

Robert Downing’s Roth-esque Fiat Topolino always pulls a crowd!

Luke Josling’s XM Falcon Deluxe made the most of the cruising action along the Esplanade.

Jason Seng’s LJX275 Torana recently scored a new paint scheme in black and doesn’t she look tough!

Will Taylor’s ZC Fairlane has been in the family for over 30 years! It has had a bit of an upgrade since we last saw it at the 2021 All Ford Day at Willowbank. The engine has been upgraded to a 427-cube Dart block-based combo to really take advantage of that huge 88mm huffer. With 1000rwhp running on 275 radials, we’re pumped to see this beast in action at the next Drag Challenge Weekend.

We loved this combo – a 1969 F150 dug out of a paddock and revitalised with a 6.9-litre International Navistar diesel V8 – and a 1962 Hillman Husky wagon on the back.

It was cool to see Peter Sauer’s stunning HG Brougham out in the sunshine! The build contrasts brute horsepower (565-cubes, fed by twin 88mm turbskis!) with incredible factory details, including the vinyl roof, brocade trim and gold pinstripe.