Just got back from Canberra and Summernats 19. A few very interesting things cropped up for my dissertation research. The main thing was the focus on Chic Henry and Summernats being only 19 years old.
“Wait!” I hear you exclaim.
“Didn’t Chic take over what was called the Street Machine Nationals in 1986-ish only to create a new event from its ashes in 1987?” You astutely question.
Yes, I do believe it was something like that.
“And were not the other car magazines incredibly suspicious of ‘Kerry Packer’ (ie ACP) taking over the event through primary sponsor Street Machine Magazine?”
Yes, I do believe they were.
There was a crash last night.
During the presentation ceremony of some of the main trophies, Geoff Seddon (current editor of Street Machine) said, “For as long as the Summernats exists, Street Machine Magazine will be proud to sponsor it.”
The bumper stick I bought for $3 says “Not Just a Car Show, A Way of Life.”
The the singularity of Street Maching and the ‘stream of singularities’ that define Summernats are: “Boobs, Blowers, and Burnouts.” What is a singularity in this context? Anything that will turn heads. (Or put differently: 1) a heteronormative ‘Aussie’-cum-’Bogan’ masculinity and resultant ‘pack mentality’ objectification of women, 2) the symbolic excess of efficiency technologically embodied in modified vehicles and performatively displayed hrough ritualised practices of automobility, 3) and the related collegiality of enthused spectatorship enthralled while others display their ability to build a modified vehicle and drive it demonstrating the vehicle’s ‘excess’.)
I should have been more Sun Smart ‘slip-slop-slapping’.
The Armygeddon revhead woo’er propoganda machine for the Australian Army broke on the burnout start line. Suck shit. It was talked up so much by the announcer. Everyone had a good laugh and I don’t think any youth fellows were impressed enough…
Is there much difference between Summernats and other Australian revhead festivals?
Difficult question. On the surface of things, not much, but there are two main differences. The first is mostly in scale. Narrogin Revheads is a good example of something that has almost the exact same offering only at half or a quarter the scale. The second is the way the event of Summernats is not just contained to 4 days in January, but contniues on and is differentially repeated at various social levels organising Street Machine culture and correlative enthusiasms. A good example of this is the way Street Machine magazine gets at least 2 or 3 issues and most feature cars from the event.
Here are the rest of my photos. A mix of relatively high quality (digital camera) and low quality (mob-phone snaps). [Still updating]