GT’s Top 10 – Summernats 33

Glenn Torrens chooses 10 of his favourite cars from among the 2000 rides at Street Machine Summernats 33

Photographers: Shaun Tanner

JOURNO Glenn Torrens is the longest-serving member of the Street Machine Summernats crew, having racked up 24 events with his notebook and 2B pencil.

Each year he goes out in search of the gold to be found among the cars that don’t get the headlines enjoyed by the Top 60, Tuff Street and Burnout Masters crews. Cutting the list down to just 10 cars was tricky, but here they are!

1. HOLDEN never made a 1964 EH Holden One Tonner, but if it had, and it was then left to sit in a paddock after a life hauling bricks, it’d look like Stephen Murphy’s.

Tearing through the bonnet skin is a set of triple Strombergs on top of an ex-Commodore supercharger feeding a trusty Holden red motor. All this fun is on an HQ-type full chassis.

2. ANOTHER ripper City Cruise time-warper was David Reed’s LH Torana SL/R. The ACT local has owned it for around 20 years, buying it when he was fresh off his P-plates.

About five years ago Dave gave the Torana V8 a big ‘thank you’ by giving it a bodywork birthday, before a mate at work, Scott, repainted it in its original bright green.

3. QUEENSLANDER Max Carpenter brought his John Goss Special Falcon hardtop down to cruise at Summernats. “I’ve owned it about eight years,” he said. “I’ve always been a Ford man and this one popped up for sale. These days it’s not quite original, but the original stuff – the engine and the John Goss wheels – is safe in storage. It’s on Simmons rims and has a crate motor – a 460-cube Windsor.

We ran it on the dyno and it had 380rwhp. We get it out about once a month with our clubs, the Gatton Muscle Car Club and the Queensland Falcon GT Owners’ Club.”

4. VARIETY Australia ambassador Tim Miller was rattling the donations bucket next to the six-pot VL Commodore he co-drives with his mate Colin Tierney in outback charity treks.

“I’ve been pretty sick myself,” said the Canberra local, “and it’s even worse if you’re a little kid.”

5. WAS your pop’s car as cool as this? This Ford Fairmont wagon had the box ticked for the mighty 5.8-litre Cleveland V8 when it was bought new in 1978. Eventually it ended up disassembled in a workshop before being bought by Sean and Matt Stapleton.

Dad Sean fixed the body before son Matt applied fresh Desert Gold paint.

6. TASSIE Ainley bought this Monaro in Central Queensland after a farmer he’d started chatting to in a service station mentioned it.

“It was just a body back-half and chassis rails,” explained Tas, who decided just a month ago to install a blown 350 small-block Chev and bring it to Summernats. “It’s just for shits and giggles!”

7. SELF-confessed Holden chick Kathryn Smales was looking to buy an HK Holden, but instead found this 1959 Chev Apache in February last year, complete with a cammed LS1 V8 and four-speed auto. “It looked cool!” she said.

“But its beauty was only skin deep!” Since then, it has soaked up a stack of Kathryn’s time and cash, but it’s getting close to how she wants it.

8. WE MET Richard Attwood under his cool bathroom-green HG Holden wagon crimping off his rear brakes so he could blaze a set on Skid Row.

“It’s my first project like this,” explained the Wollongong electrician. “I built it in the garage at home.” Top effort, considering the build included an LS V8 transplant!

9. HAVING had a fat time at Summernats last year with this diminutive ex-paddock-basher 1974 Mazda ute, powered by a Ford 351, Newcastle’s Anthony Formosa went home and shoved in even more fun: a blown, methanol-swilling, 540ci big-block Chev with around 1500hp.

10. FOR plenty of ‘more experienced’ street machiners, there’s just something about a hotted-up FJ Holden.

“My mate Paul Cundy reckoned he had a dream about my FJ looking like a nostalgia racer,” explained owner Ben Wells, who had the Chev 350-powered FJ here last year. So just before Christmas, body-man Paul ‘patinaed’ the car for a fresh ‘old’ look for 2020.