The 35th running of Motorvation saw Western Australia’s biggest festival of modified cars turn on three days of high horsepower thrills at Perth Motorplex.
Thousands of spectators filled the Motorplex to see more than 500 competitors showcase their street machines and hot rods over three days, demonstrating the health of the car scene in WA.
The highest honour of Motorvation is the Grand Champion trophy, awarded to vehicles that have show-quality appearance but also prove themselves in a number of driving events. This year the winner was Stuart Vernon, whose 1969 Camaro impressed the judges with its ‘pro touring’ style.
“I’m very honoured to win Motorvation Grand Champion considering the quality of the other cars competing,” Vernon said. “As always there is a lot of stress and emotion leading up to the event and over the weekend but it all paid off.”
Vernon brought the car in from the USA a decade ago and fully restored the classic coupe, which now runs a 454ci big block Chevy V8 combined with a Tremec Magnum six-speed manual transmission and a suspension set-up suited to cutting laps on a race track as easily as the cafe strip.
“What I love about the car is its multiple functions,” he said. “I built it to be able to cruise the street whenever I want, and I take it to the track and cut plenty of laps. I also built it to DOT regulation which is sometimes harder, as there are lots of limitations. It’s fully engineered and licensed.”
Just as hotly fought as the contest for Grand Champion was the Motorvation 35 burnout competition. Taking place over two days, entrants put their cars to the ultimate torture test on the Perth Motorplex burnout pad.
Taking pro class honours was Wayne Daw in the SLYLUX Toyota Hilux, earning his second straight major event victory at Perth Motorplex. Kevin Mantach drove his Holden one tonner to the Open class win.
The Sportsman class has proven to be a hotbed of talent lately and earning accolades after his win was Dayne Bairstow and his Falcon ute. Sportsman suits budget runners with cars limited to six cylinders, but that doesn’t mean the competition is any less intense.
“There’s a pretty hard field of six cylinders around these days,” Bairstow said. “(My skid) got me the win in a tough field so I must have done something right.”
Winning burnouts often run a fine line between success and failure, with judges appreciating entrants who use all of the pad but taking off points for any contact with the walls. Bairstow’s performance ran the edge.
“The skid felt great and it was all going really well until I went back up the entry chute,” he explained. “I got the car turned around but then heading back into the main pad it drifted towards the wall and I thought for sure it was going to hit. But somehow it stayed off and blew both tyres. I came off the pad all smiles and pretty excited about how it went.”
Entries are already open for entrants for Motorvation 36, which will take place on February 4-6, 2022.
Words: Luke Nieuwhof
Pics: High Octane Photos