We check out the winners and grinners from this year's Tuff Street competition at Street Machine Summernats 31

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

WHEN it comes to judging time at Street Machine Summernats, there are just three classes. Elite for the top-end show cars, Street for cars without a detailed undercarriage and Tuff Street for Pro Street-style weapons. The competition in all three classes is serious, especially in Tuff Street, where there is only a handful of trophies on offer. Here are the winners and a couple of our favourites as well.

Pino Oppedisano’s XY Fairmont is an older build that’s been treated to a bit of a freshen-up. The engine combo is super-cool – twin TorqStorm centrifugal superchargers astride an EFI big-block Ford. 

A fat stance, big Forgiato wheels and lairy blue-on-white GS colour scheme make it a real head-turner.

Robert and Scott Reeves are the Queanbeyan-based father-and-son team behind this XY ute, which has been 10 years in the build. With a 450ci Clevor aided by a Nitrous Express plate system riding up front, it’s good for 770hp even without the spray.  This top-quality, shed-built car picked up and Engineering Excellence award in Pro Tuff.  The recipient of the Judge’s Hardcore Award, Darren Paine’s CSV ute is a mental piece of kit. With a JB Fabrications three-quarter chassis and 16-point ’cage, it’s powered by a blown 403ci stroker LQ9 and rolls on epic 24×15 three-piece Simmons rim with 405-wide rear tyres. Sydney-based car chick Alysha Teale drag-races her recently revamped HQ sedan on an almost-weekly basis, so her race sticker stayed stuck to the Quey’s rear side glass at all times. In Tuff Street judging, that bumps you into the Comp Tuff class, where Alysha finished runner-up. With its alloy wing and race-ready demeanour, Matt Mayberry’s ultra-tough BRAWLR Capri got the chocolates in Comp Tuff. Dean Beattie’s VL Calais is an absolute showpiece, but with a stout blown Holden V8 combo, meaty rear tyres and a don’t-screw-with-me stance, it’s also plenty tough enough to mix it with the best on Tuff Street. Dean’s Calais backed up from Summernats 30 with another win in the Street Tuff class, as well as an Engineering Excellence award. With a mental Holden V8 on board and fastidious levels of detail, what’s not to love about Domenic D’Agostino’s nine-second LX Torana hatch? It nabbed a podium place in the Street Tuff class. We fell head over heels for Brad Phillips’s VN SS when it debuted at Summernats 30, and featured it in our September 2017issue. This year we were treated to a lap around the cruise route in the blown small block-powered beast, and loved every minute. Brad staged a repeat performance of Summernats 30, being awarded runner-up in Pro Tuff and in the outright Tuff Street stakes.

What did Craig Morrow reckon of winning Tuff Street Champion on debut with his just-unveiled VH SL/E? “It was the best!” he said. “I’d always hoped to do well but I never expected to come away with the gold trophy. I wanted to present the car as a tough street car and that’s what it is, so I’m stoked.” Hands-down one of the most menacing-looking rides to grace Tuff Street, Paul Patterson’s Camaro is the very embodiment of tough. Running a 548ci Merlin big-block Chev, the motor makes 931hp, with nitrous still to come. At 3800lb, she’s a heavy old girl, but she’s currently sitting on a PB of 9.40@146mph aspirated. And who could forget our MX5.7? Surely it is the first Miata to ever have the pineapples to strut its stuff on Tuff Street!