Summernats founder Chic Henry passes, aged 75

Chic Henry, the man who invented the Street Machine Summernats has passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer



  • Chic ran the Summernats from 1988 to 2009
  • The Summernats burnout pad grandstand was named in his honour earlier this year
  • Public celebration of his life to be held at Exhibition Park

The Australian street machine community is in mourning today for Street Machine Summernats founder and creator, Anthony Robert ‘Chic’ Henry.

Despite battling cancer over the last few years, Chic continued to relish his role as the founding father of Summernats, a position which involved everything from officiating at the Grand Champion award ceremony, to simply shooting the breeze with his fans alongside his famous ’62 Impala.

At Summernats 34 earlier this year, Chic’s contribution to the event and the wider street machine scene was recognised with the naming of the burnout pad grandstand in his honour.

Chic was also chuffed when long-time Summernats entrant Sash Mielczarek unveiled a new Model A Ford dubbed the Chic Henry Coupe.

These moments add to a long list of honours Chic received during his life, including being named the honorary Ambassador to Canberra by Chief Minister Kate Carnell in 2000.

Under Chic’s stewardship, the Summernats won the Major Festival or Event category of the ACT Tourism Awards four times.

Chic ran for political office twice, starting with the Australian Motorist Party in the electorate of Ginninderra in the 2012 ACT election. He ran again in Ginninderra for the Belco Party in the 2020 elections.

In 2017, Chic published his autobiography, I Remember One Time. It is a wild read, you can grab a copy here.

The Summernats crew also produced an excellent podcast series with Chic, check out the first episode here.

Chic is survived by his wife Debra Henry, daughter Georgia Henry, son Kody Henry and Kody’s wife Filia Henry, daughter Angela Henry, Angela’s partner Jason Pettet and granddaughter Lauren.

The family is planning to hold a celebration of Chic’s life at Exhibition Park in Canberra, with details yet to be confirmed. The event is open to everyone and cool cars are encouraged to attend.

Chic’s family ask that in lieu of flowers, that supporters consider donating to the Canberra Cancer Centre, here.