Gotta get there: Summernats

I’ve been writing about cars since 2005 and since around 10 years before that, my automotive interests have centred mostly on European vehicles; cars that look fantastic, are beautifully engineered and balanced, comfortable and….. well….. able to go around corners.

My automotive youth, however, was full of horsepower dreams. I had a bunch of mates all obsessed with Holdens and Fords. I even had what I now recognise to be a reasonably lame LJ Torana (but crikey, it felt HOT at the time!!). Few of those mates ever realised their dream, though the few that did had some seriously powerful cars over the years.

I’m reminded of this because Summernats has just been held in our nation’s capital, Canberra. Summernats is an annual festival that celebrates the Australian love of horsepower.


Yes, that’s a Mitsubishi Sigma and someone spent a mountain of cash on that mountain of an engine.

It’s completely ludicrous, but then again, most passions are.

I’ve got to get to the Summernats one year. Just as Top Gear theorise that you can’t call yourself a real car nut until you’ve had an Alfa, I’m not sure you can call yourself an Aussie car nut without getting to at least one of the holy trinity of motoring here in Australia – the F1 GP, Bathurst, or Summernats (country music fans and ute enthusiasts might want to include one of those musters that happen in dusty locations around the country, but I wouldn’t know anything about that).

This year, some of the attendees at Summernats set a record – a real Guiness World Record – for the number of cars simultaneously involved in doing a burnout. A strategically selected sixty-nine vehicles smoked it up for at least the minimum required 30 seconds in order to claim the gong. I’m sure there’ll be some international competition throughout 2013, making a record defence necessary next year.

Maybe I should try and get there to see it. Better start looking for an XP Falcon Coupe now……


The following photos borrowed from the Summernats Facebook page.

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