Grand Champion at Street Machine Summernats is a culmination of a strong showing in the judging categories – quality of paint, execution of engineering, bodywork etc – and driving performance in a two-discipline driving event that tests acceleration, braking, handling and driver control. The prize is the Chic Henry Memorial Grand Champion sword, Summernats’ ultimate accolade.
The Summernats 35 Grand Champion is Livi Krevatin and his stunning 1978 Porsche 911 SC. Levi and his car’s combination of quality and driving performance edged out a tough field of Elite-grade street machines for the award.
Sometimes, Grand Champions are crowned after one or more attempts but Summernats 35 was the first crack of the whip for this reimagined rear engined air-cooled German performance thoroughbred that debuted at Motorex last year. Although Livi, too, is a first-timer at Grand Champion,
this was not his first Summernats.
“I had a V8 Celica here years ago,” laughs the building industry worker who, with wife Jennifer, are Canberra locals. “It was an RA40 with an alloy Rover in it. It was just a ‘street’ thing out on the oval and I did the driving events in it.”
Livi collected this then-tatty 1978 Porsche as part-payment for a job about 13 years ago.
“I put a year’s rego on it and drove it for a while; I took it to the track at Wakefield Park before I took it off the road,” Livi explains. “Like a lot of people, I guess, I’ve always dreamed of a Porsche and getting this one gave me that opportunity.”
The build of the car from what was effectively a tatty trade-in to a world class driver’s car took seven years just over the ACT/NSW border at Real Steel workshop in Queanbeyan.
“It was going to be a nice road car but things evolved,” Livi explains of the now Summernats Elite car.
The result was featured in our Dec 2022 issue but the quick summary is: although built with plenty of hand-crafted parts, tricks and tweaks, Livi and the Real Steel mob built this wundacar to drive. It’s built a stunning level of Pro Touring quality.
And the hard evidence was right there on the bitumen strip on Sunday morning in front of the Chic Henry Grandstand. This car nailed it.
“To be honest I was a bit nervous,” Livi mentioned after receiving the sword. And he had every right to be nervous: It was a fresh build with less than 500 kays on the clock and these tail-heavy Porsches have a bit of a… ummm… trait for leaving roads and tracks backwards. There was none of those naughty tail-heavy traits on show as Livi drove – not wrestled or babied or drifted or blasted – his Porsche into Summernats Grand Champion history.