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SUMMERNATS 35 A RECORD-BREAKER!

A record-breaking 125,000 rev heads descended upon Canberra to watch all things fast and furious at the world’s wildest car festival – the Street Machine Summernats 35.


The biggest horsepower party of all time from 5-8 January was one for the record books, attracting a whopping 2,700 entrants, 500-plus cars heading out to the streets for the City Cruise and ticket sell-outs on Saturday and Sunday.


Co-owner Andy Lopez said Summernats was the “biggest ever”, with no shortage of automotive candy, tyre smoke, noisy engines, mullets, burnout legends, a marriage proposal, and a high-level international visit to satisfy even the most demanding of spectators.



“This year’s Summernats has been a massive success right from the get-go,” Andy said. “We knew it was going to be a big one when the team at Media Scrum confirmed that indoor trade space had sold out months before the event.”


“It’s a great indication of the strength and popularity of the event, and those traders who secure their spots early reported huge sales across the four days, with many selling out by Saturday afternoon,” he added.

Tens of thousands of spectators filled Exhibition Park in Canberra to check out the many attractions, with hundreds of the most brutal burnout beasts in the country tearing up the Rod Shop Burnout Pad and battling it out in the Wildcard shootout.


The annual four-day week of metal mania included the first six inductees to the John Peterson Burnout Hall of Fame, non-stop action on the Aeroflow Cruise Route, Haltech Horsepower Heroes, Celebrity Modified Lawn Mower Racing, and the ever-popular Shannons Show ‘N’ Shine.


US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy made a surprise, incognito visit. The daughter of former US President John F. Kennedy talked cars with chief judge Owen Webb and Andy Lopez after touring the Meguiar’s pavilion.


Skid Row provided plenty of opportunities to shred rubber with wall-to-wall people at Tuff Street on Saturday for the Showcase and Judging, and a record number of 25 new elite builds in the Meguiar's Great Uncover.



“We’ve had a sensational four days – the biggest ever – with the Burnout Masters, amazing elite builds, crazy cars cruising the streets, an all-Aussie rock line-up, a proposal, a visit from Kennedy royalty and a record-breaking number of patrons and entrants, from all over Australia,” Andy commented. “The nation’s capital has opened its arms to us once again, and we’ve loved every minute.”


Previous years have seen up to 119,000 visitors attend the event, injecting $30 million into an otherwise quiet ACT economy at this time of year. But Lopez said this year’s figures smashed that record with 125,000 attendees.


Mr Lopez said that now that COVID restrictions have been removed, there has been a renewed enthusiasm for the event.


“People have been busily working on their cars with nowhere to take them to play, and we saw them all come to Canberra this year. The spectators lapped it up with record crowds pouring through the gates.”

This year has also seen more women of all ages come to the event. “It’s been awesome to see groups of women out with their mates enjoying everything Summernats has to offer. There’s been a real change in 2023, and we’ll build on that.”


Most of the official action took place at EPIC in Mitchell, only breaking outside the gates for the Fringe Festival in Braddon on the Friday and Saturday evenings.


There was plenty of family-friendly entertainment with two mega nights of concerts, including an all-Aussie rock line-up featuring Jon Stevens, Daryl Braithwaite, Diesel and Shannon Noll on Friday night, plus Bliss N Eso, Stafford Brothers, and Brooke Evers shaking up Saturday.


In addition, there were competitions for body art and fashions on the field, as well as traders galore with the hottest new gear.


Summernats wouldn’t be Summernats without the fan favourite, the Dirty Mullet competition on the Saturday afternoon, where 110 attendees competed over the length and volume of their back fringe.

A long-time staple of Summernats, the competition has taken on a life of its own since Summernats 33 in 2020 when Mulletfest co-founder Laura Johnson got involved. Tamzyn Dowell of Wangaratta, Victoria, was the stand-out Dirty Mullet winner at Summernats 35.


Summernats will return to Canberra January 4th to 7th, 2024. First-round entries sold out within hours of opening, and early-bird spectator tickets are selling faster than ever. For event, sponsorship and trade information, visit summernats.com.au or talk to the team at Media Scrum.

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