Video: Rockynats 2024 unveils!

We check out the eight cars unveiled last night at Rare Spares Rockynats 2024

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson

Of the eight cars unveiled last night at Rockynats, six were Holdens, so we’d better start with a Ford!


Andrew and Cassie Atkins pulled the covers of a very classy ’32 Ford roadster. “I’m 43, but I still think of myself as a kid,” says Andrew. “Back in the day, these highboy roadsters were the car that kids in the US built for themselves to race and that really appeals to me. I wanted something that looks like it doing 100mph standing still.”

The ’32 is based on a subtly-tweaked, Qld-made CW body and chassis, with a Rodwell windshield. Under the front is a SoCal front 4in dropped axle, with faux Buick finned drums concealing a set of disc brakes. Rims are Halibrand-style ET Sebrings rolling on Excelsior rubber.

The build was handled by Dion Wilcox at The Kustom Shop, with Trim by Image Trimming. Power is provided by a 347ci Windsor, topped by a set of Haltech-controlled injector stacks and backed by a C4.

What’s next? “I want to take it to the Sydney Hot Rod and Custom Auto Expo and hopefully MotorEx,” says Andrew. “And I know everyone says it, but after that I want to drive it. There are so many great events up here for this kind of car.”

HTI969: HT ute

Darren Ison’s HT Holden ute grabbed our eyeballs hard on set-up night. Built by Tony Wilkins and his sons at Hardwood Rod & Customs, the HT came into Darren’s life as an ex-show car, complete with pumped guards and plenty of chrome detailing. Darren opted to keep the body mods, giving the HT an extra-fat presence.

Tony and the team have added their own suite of subtle body mods, including a flat firewall in the engine bay and pushing back the rear firewall to give Darren some more legroom. The body is covered in a Lexus beige.

Under the bonnet is a tough 355, but the real story for mine is the trim. While the seats are very loosely based on the factory units, about all that is left are the runners. They’ve been extensively reshaped for comfort, with a design added in to match the swage lines that run through the custom metal work throughout the car.

The centre console was knocked up about of aluminium sheet, with a compartment at the front for Darren’s phone charger and another at the back to house a variety of switches. Other tricks include retractable seat belts with a hidden retractor box, one-piece Alcantara hoodlining, and flat floors.


Owen Webb reckons Michael Noscov’s HT Monaro is the epitome of a Street Elite build, so much so that he’ll be using it in an upcoming educational video as the demo car. The build started as a too-good-to-be-true Gumtree find, before being handed over to Pat’s Pro Restos in Beaudesert for a full nut and bolt resto. Except for the trim that is, which is all factory-original, bar the hoodlining!

Originally a six pot car, the Monaro now backs a tough 383 Chev block and Tremec TKO 5-speed combo for maximum fun times. Paint is sweet Platinum Gold Metallic.


Jacinta Locke has owned her HQ since she was 15, with her dad doing it up for her as a driver. It then came off the road 13 year ago for a major rebuild, the fruits of which you see before you now!

The insane paint is a DNA Candy Fuchsia that really sets off to custom work in the engine bay and the tray. Power is provided by an all-black, cammed LS1. Underneath is a Rod Shop tubular front end with Wilwood discs, with a McDonald Bros four-link at the rear.

Inside we have a bench seat, beige leather trim, billet steering column and a Haltech dash. Word is that Jacinta may have a go at the Grand Champion gong, we’d love to see that!


While Susan Burggraaff’s Torana is an LH, it has been treated to the full A9X-style glow up. Under the bonnet is a tough 308, backed by a Trimatic, 2800rpm stall and a VP Commodore Borgy cut down to suit and fittd with a 3.55:1 Truetrac. A Subaru power rack takes the muscle work out of parking, with VT discs up front and VK at the rear.

The interior is mostly better-than-factory SL/R 5000 spec, with the addition of air-con for comfort. Modern Hotwires and a drop tank complete the picture, taking us straight back to the 70s!


Geoff Davey has owned his HG Holden since he was just 16. The car copped a 1JZ conversion years ago and had the rear side windows filled in, sedan-delivery style. That made from a cool and punchy cruiser, but in 2020, Geoff embarked on the full rebuild you see here.

Big ticket mods include full tubs at the rear and mini tubs at the front, a Viking coil over front end, Monro Air Lift shocks in the rear and a beautifully-smoothed engine bay. Body mods include a pop-out fuel filler, frenched-in fog lights and a re-shaped rear back window surround. Paint is a two tone Baslac graphite and black.

Indoors we have reshaped Premier buckets, custom dash and console, LED mood lighting and a set of custom billet seat hinges to accommodate the wheel tubs. The car abounds with electrickery, including a Haltech Nexus R5 and keypad, a Link dash, Apple Carplay head unit, reverse camera, cruise control and a fly-by-wire go pedal out of a BMW. Phew!

The driveline is a 500hp 1JZ, backed by a R340 auto and Borg Warner diff.


Buddy and Leesa Hearne of Anaconda Torana fame debuted a beast of different stripe at Rockynats 4, namely a body dropped and shortened Toyota Hilux! Body mods include a Toyota Surf front sheetmetal, hand made grill, stretched cab, tubbed front end and smoothed firewall.

Getting the Lux down low are a set of Slam Specialties ‘bags, with a triangulated four link out back and 2in drop spindles at the front.

Under the bonnet is a 22RE four-banger. Inside is a tasty leather trim job by Aaron at All Stitched Up.


Rounding out the unveil cars, we have Allison and Jaime Cramp’s XW Falcon panel van. We’ve covered the van’s story in detail here, check it out!

Padrino: Loco hog!

In addition to the cars, we had one bike unveiled, namely Jason ‘Baldy’ Buckley’s 2001 Heritage Softail. The frame lays out thanks to Air Ride front and rear, with a 21in rim up front and 17in at the rear. The bars have been stripped of switches and levers for maximum smoothness and both guards extended.

The wild exhaust is the work of les at Fat Pipes, while the insane flake & candy paint is the work of Kane’o Customs Kreations.