Eight cars to watch at Summernats Slam

We’re on deck for Day One of the inaugural Summernats Slam at Sydney Dragway, and we’ve already had our heads turned by these beauties

Photographers: Tim McCormack

DAY One of Summernats Slam is all about the Garrett Advancing Motion Drag Day, jammed full of quarter-mile action right up until 10pm. Saturday and Sunday is when the event begins in earnest, with Skid Row, a show ’n’ shine, grudge runs, motorkhana and, of course, skids aplenty! But for now, let’s check out eight of our favourite cars to surface today.


Holden VS ute

THERE are a few things about Chuck Jifkins’s freshly completed VS ute that are a little unusual. For starters, it has a Toyota 1JZ engine, a GM Powerglide transmission and a Ford 8.8-inch rear end. Then there’s the fact that he’s ditched the factory four-link rear suspension configuration and opted for HiLux leaf springs!

And you know what? It works! The darn thing upped and went 8.59 seconds on its first-ever quarter-mile lick, and you could have blown Chuck over with a feather! “I’m absolutely ecstatic,” he said. “I wanted to work my way down to an eight to match the number plate, but I really didn’t expect it to go 8.5 on its first ever pass.” Keep an eye on Arby’s Urban Warfare column in Street Machine for the full rundown on this weapon.


WEIGHING in at a diminutive 800kg and powered by a 400ci small-block Chev sporting 800hp, Nathan Cowie’s Suzuki Mighty Boy is not only one of the coolest-looking drag cars kicking around the pits at Summernats Slam, it’s also pretty bloody rapid. It’s run a 9.17@142mph pass so far today, very close to the the car’s PB of 9.00, but the mission for Summernats Slam is to break that elusive eight-second barrier.

Tiny though the car is, the wheelbase has been stretched four inches over stock to 90 inches, and it’s a full-steel factory body save for the fibreglass front clip. The 33x12in tyres mean it has a considerable grip on the earth, and it’s been converted to left hook to assist weight balance down the track.


YOU probably recognise this eye-popping, fat-blocked Nova from these very pages. It was built by young gun Cooper Zahabi of Rides By Kam fame, but has since been acquired by the good folk at Customs 4 Cancer.

It’s an absolute stunner, and you can check it out in the flesh in the pits at Summernats Slam, but better yet, you can chat to the team and shout yourself a raffle ticket to win the thing. It’s one hell of a prize, and you’re doing your bit to further a fantastic cause. Mad if you don’t, really…


AT THE absolute upper end of the spectrum as far as Garrett Advancing Motion Drag Day entrants go at Summernats Slam, the ACDelco Pro Slammer of Mark Hinchelwood is set to battle it out with the turbo teddies in this afternoon’s blower versus turbo shootout.

You’ve seen this 3000+ horsepower monster muscle up against a turbo radial car on the chassis dyno at Street Machine Summernats, and we’re hanging to see that battle extend to the brand new Sydney Dragway blacktop.


KNOWN as PLAN D, Anthony Galea’s XD runs an L98 six-litre LS with a Crow cam, LS3 heads, Garrett T51R party-starter, TH400 trans and a nine-inch.

Painted in Anthracite grey off a Toyota Supra, its Haltech 2500 Elite ECU was fitted by Dave Forrester from Wired By Dave, and the crossbred sedan has made 330rwkW on 10psi running 98RON pump unleaded.


HAVING previously run a PB of 8.08@172mph, Matt Whiting’s VE ute is gunning for sevens in the Sportsman Class at the Summernats Slam drags.

The 427ci LSX runs Mast Black Label heads, a Haltech Elite 2500T and a GTX55 turbo. Drinking E85, the 1880kg street car retains the stock IRS with upgraded driveshafts and a full spool.


AFTER 38 years of ownership, Summernats Slam is Henry Spicak’s last meeting with his ’56 Beetle. With a PB of 11.8@112mph thanks to a tough IDA Weber-fed 2330cc Volksy donk, Henry has finally sold the bracket racing machine.

He actually had another tough yellow Beetle on the cover of Street Machine way back in 1982!


JOSH Shelley and the Project Bumpstop youth mentoring program have their LS1-powered, rear-drive ’94 Corolla project, MISSFIRE, at Summernats Slam. They are here to have fun with the now-turbocharged beast in tribute to their workshop manager Neil Coulton, who passed away suddenly last Saturday.

The car runs a pair of GT35 snails, Haltech 950 ECU and a Hughes Performance TH400 auto, so Josh has a steep learning curve as he aims to run an 11 with the tiny terror.

Photos: Tim McCormack