New blood: Summernats 36 unveil sneak preview

Five of the coolest rides ready to be revealed at Summernats 36!


With the ‘Nats just around the corner, a huge field of stunning unveil cars are in the final stages of preparation to have the covers pulled off. Here’s a small taste of what to expect!


Jason bought his Camaro over 30 years ago, saving up three years’ worth of meager apprentice wages to deck it out as a simple yet uber-stylish streeter.

It gradually morphed into a 350/350-equipped burnout machine, competing with the best of ’em until a heartbreaking blow-up at Kandos ended its career in 2005. “The last car had left some coolant on the pad; when I hit it the car just free-revved and threw a leg out of bed,” Jason says. 

With a young family to raise and a hefty rebuilt cost looming, Jason put the car into a shed-based hibernation. He started collecting parts for a rebuild in 2013, with some wise words from his wife ringing in his head. “She said ‘you’re going to build it once, and build it right.’” . 

That involved pulling the car down to no more than a turret and firewall, with quarters, chrome and just about everything else being replaced with new bits. It’s all been coated in an incredible three-layer green pearl topped off with ghost RS stripes, while the fully detailed undercarriage wears satin and gloss clear finishes.  

BG Engines was called up to build a blown 489-cube big-block, currently good for 1045hp on 9psi through a Powerglide and Bosnjak Engineering 35-spline nine-inch. “There’s room to grow with more boost but I’ve only got a standard block, not a Dart block,” Jason says. 

The interior has been reconstructed from an 18-inch-tubbed shell to a more family-friendly space, with a rear bench seat put back in. On that note, don’t expect the gorgeous Camaro to be used as a skid hack, but odds are on it making some track cruise appearances after it completes the show circuit.

Reaching the Elite hall is a dream Jason’s had since way back at Summernats 10, and he admits it almost didn’t happen. “I thought of selling it at one stage, but my wife said she didn’t want to have to live with my regrets!”


Chris Courouzou’s a longtime chrome-bumper Ford fan, so when he found this K-code ZD Fairlane 11 years ago, he jumped straight into a pro street toughie build. “It’s the gentleman’s GT,” he says of the factory 351 Cleveland, a/c and sunroof-equipped car. “I wanted to stand out from the crowd and be different.”

A panel beater by trade, Chris has spent the last decade sorting the car as part of his business, BBG Autobody. “Sometimes you get sidetracked; a year off here and there for a break,” he points out. “It was entered last year but I didn’t make it as I was running behind schedule.”

The numbers-matching Clevo is still up front, though it now wears a tunnel ram and twin Holleys for a rad look, and the factory air con has been replaced with a neater Vintage Air set-up. There’s also a four-link to hold the nine-inch diff, and Chris has covered the big body in its factory-specified Vintage Burgundy. As for wheels, it’ll be rolling on Weld Pro Stars and 325-wide rear rubber when the covers are pulled off.  


Adam’s taken a slightly different approach for his newest ride than he did with his ’57 Buick coupe, but it’s certainly no less epic!

His ‘51 Chevy 3100 pickup dubbed JEKYLL wears a patinated finish matched to some seriously high-end chassis and driveline work. The Proflo boys started with a Roadster Shop chassis, fitting it with airbags, and nine-inch rear and a 403-cube twin-turbo LS up front, dripping in bronze Cerakote to fit the vibe perfectly and match the 22×8.5 and 22×12 Schott rolling stock. 

Adam came up against a few false starts while trying to snag a 50s pickup from the US, but he persevered to get into one of his favourite automotive styles. “The curvy, rolling shape is such a cool look,” he says. “There’s just something about them!”

Of course, the panelwork hasn’t been left un-massaged, with a fully fabbed bay. Inside you’ll find brown distressed leather and FuelTech digital gauges, plus speedboat-style decking in the tub. “I went to school with Paul so we go back a long way. One thing led to another, I’ll put it that way,” Adam laughs. “Paul reckons he’s almost done more plumbing work on this car than any other car!”


We reckon the VY Maloo is one of the toughest-looking cars HSV ever turned out, and Leo Mortakis agrees! He’s been regular in the ‘Nats unveil hall over the last couple of years, first with his rad Valiant hardtop and then a retro father-son project LX sedan. This year he’s jumping straight to the 21st century. 

“I’d had a ute previously that was halfway there, and I ended up selling it,” he explains. “I regretted it, so my plan was always to build a modern ute instead of something older. It’s a mockup, because I just couldn’t come to grips with molesting a genuine car!” 

He’s been thrashing on this tough tribute version for 18 months, starting last June with a factory manual SS ute. “It’s just been after-hours and whenever I got a spare minute away from the family,” Leo explains. “I just went nuts on it.”

The LS1 runs a big VCM cam and all the internals to keep it happy, fed by a 102mm throttlebody via a sheetmetal manifold and requisite cold-air intake. Pleasingly, he’s stuck with the T56 six-cogger too. Complementing the aggro Maloo bodykit is a Falcon-style bonnet bulge that’s been smoothed, as has the underside of the bonnet and the engine bay.

Working on customer cars as Muscle Car Restorations takes up heaps of Leo’s time, so deadlines are a bit tight coming into Summernats. “I’ve gotta finish half of the wiring on the motor,” Leo laughs. “Everything else is just about ready to go, I just need to get the bloody thing started!”


Monique’s EH wagon is shaping up to be one of the longest-running projects to be unveiled at this year’s ‘Nats. Monique’s been a car nut since her teenage years, doing her first mechanic’s course at 16, and she’s had this wagon for over 30 years. “She had it when I met her in 1991,” hubby and builder Rob O’Garr recounts.

It ran a 186S and RT104 Corona ‘box in its early days, which has now been replaced with a supercharged Buick 3.8 paired to a T5 – a super-engaging combo that should be ideal for some weekend fun. The floor and undercarriage has been heavily modified, and you’ll find a four-link and mini-tubs out back to help accommodate the Billet Specialties Dagger wheels.  

The interior is just as varied, using Honda Prelude seats, a ‘57 Chevy-based dash and Dakota Digital gauges. 

It’s all been done as part of their Portland business, Pro Street Performance, and Monique describes Rob as being in the vein of Chip Foose, having built everything from Aussie panel vans to stretched Jag limos under his Pro Street Performance banner. “I’m just glad we’ve finally made it to Summernats,” Monique enthuses. “It’s been our dream for 30-odd years!”