One of the absolute highlights of Australia’s Biggest Horsepower Party is the Meguiar’s Great Uncover. Witnessing the sheets slip off a bunch of fresh builds is always exciting, and the Summernats team raised the bar at the most recent ’Nats, with over 20 all-new cars unveiled to the masses.
What’s more, if all goes according to plan, they’re looking to eclipse that at Street Machine Summernats 36, with a monumental 30 cars lined up to take part.
“This is set to be our biggest year ever!” said Great Uncover ringmaster, Owen Webb. “We’ll have around 30 cars, and while it might be difficult to envisage unveiling that many cars, we’ve worked out a way to do it that will be really cool, both for the spectators and for the people who are having cars unveiled. The variety is amazing with this lot, from full-on race cars to almost-stock resto stuff, and a great spread of makes and models. We’ll have anything you’d ever want to see at any car show.”
Among the many highlights for this year, the sentimental favourite will no doubt be the late Sam Fenech’s iconic ORSM LJ Torana. At the time of writing, the car is at Grange Smash Repairs being treated to a fresh coat of dark green paint, before it will head to one of Sam’s good mates, Phil Kerjean at Fuelworx, to be fitted up and plumbed.
“The build had been in progress for six or seven years, but with Sam’s passing, it was kind of in limbo,” said Phil. “The car is engineered with a 308, so it’s going back to GTR-style trim with a Holden engine like it had back in the day, and being set up for street duties. The goal is to unveil it at Summernats and have it on display for the anniversary of Sam’s passing.”
On the Ford side of the fence, there’s an epic Barra-powered XE Fairmont Ghia being built by twin brothers Eddie and Younan Khazi. The pair form a great painter/panel beater team, and they’ve paired up for many past projects, including their epic tunnel-rammed XE Falcon, WRNING. This current build promises to be their best yet, with Elite-level finish and power to spare.
“We’ve been building it for four or five years as an after-hours project,” Eddie said. “We’ve always wanted to enter a car at Summernats, and Owen has checked it out and thinks it’s good enough to be unveiled, which is awesome! It’s got a tough Barra with lots of billet components, ESP trim, and the colour is the factory Satellite Brown. My brother and I wanted to build something we could enjoy that would also showcase our workmanship, so it’s not a show car, it’s just a really nice street car.”
Simon Bonello and his business Ground Level Panel & Paint have had a hand in countless Summernats builds, but this year it’s personal, with his son Chris and brother Mick debuting a VL Commodore and XW GS Fairmont respectively.
“My son is a concreter by trade, but he’s done so much of the work on the VL himself,” Simon said proudly. “He did the bodywork, the tubs and all the welding; all I did was the final prep and laid the paint on. It’s got 275 radials, Weld wheels and a tough turbo six, and Chris can’t wait to drag-race it. It’s great that he’s following in my footsteps.”
And it would hardly be a Summernats unveiling without a ProFlo Performance build, and Tim McDonald’s XY is certain to draw a crowd. We featured its 1000hp, 8/71-blown Windsor as our Mill of the Month in the June issue of Street Machine, and if the rest of the car is finished to the same standard, it will be a real trophy-magnet, sporting an X-Trim interior and rolling on 20x12in wheels.
“The car was my dad’s, and I bought it off him when I was 16 and restored it with him,” Tim explained. “I had it parked up while my daughter grew up, but when Dad got ill, we decided to take it to Paul to throw a blown 427 in it, then ended up doing the whole car. We lost Dad during the build, so the car is a tribute to him.”
These are but a few of the highlights, with many more amazing cars in the pipeline. “We’ve got a bit of everything this year, from Commodores to Monaros, XYs, a bare-metal Impala, a killer Dodge Charger out of Brisbane, and even an early Chevy truck,” grinned Owen.
Street Machine Summernats 36 takes place at Exhibition Park in Canberra, 4-7 January. Don’t miss it!