After attending the December Rotary Revival event, and getting to catch up with one of my favourite cars’ owners over Summernats (write up coming very soon). I immediately was excited for what lay head when the all to familiar name of Rotary revival showed up in my weekly car culture search.
Working a pretty flexible job where I can work remotely comes in handy when its time to pencil in calendar events for the year. Rotary revival is one of those events. Where the ground shakes and that all to familiar smell of premix flows through the air, and invariably your veins.
Arriving in Sydney on the Saturday afternoon, we were treated to an audibly great noise, revs, lots of them, and the sound of a crowd. Just hearing the park roar to life with the sound of squealing wheels and the occasional smell of rubber, rehashed memories. Not to distant memories, after all, I am that guy who is on the road at 5am to be at a car show in Sydney and then drive home after the last car has departed. Dedication to all forms of motoring expression runs through my veins.
Sunday morning was met with anticipation and nervousness, questions such as ‘What if this event isn’t as great as the one before?’ ran through my head. What if my mind had altered the memories of one of the most visually appealing car shows I had been to in a long time?
Least to say, I was about to be blown away again! For the second time in only a matter of months, we lined up behind some of my favourite cars ever built.
Forget the prancing horse or the bull, these were the undisputed kings of the streets of the 80’s. They still very much are, but the street is now a quarter mile long strip. Arguably still with traffic lights, but now with helmets replacing caps, and passengers having to stay behind a barrier instead of being part of the street barrier.
One of my favourite features of the motorsport park is the tunnel, where cars vibrate your eardrums, the sound reverberates around the room, and loss of traction is some of the highest pitched squealing you will ever hear.
Two stunning RX2‘s to start the walk wasn’t to bad for 9am.
I always like to start the walk in by just being part of the action, before switching into ‘photography’ mode, where its just about capturing images. It worked out perfectly, that this Lamborghini, sadly wasn’t getting much attention, to try out my new Gobe polariser. Capturing a bit of lens flare in the image in the process.
And lets be honest, who could really blame the crowd, when you have some of the most desirable machinery rolling in?!
Classic wheels, classic shape, and classic metalwork. Whats not to love?
Speaking of RX3‘s.
Simmons, red paint, and a co-pilot wearing a business shirt, these guys meant business.
Or is the classic yellow more memorable?
A few years ago at Summernats, a mental car came along, rotary, blown, high hat, chrome trim, and a burnout competitor of all things. One of the most insane cars of the weekend, the MUNTED Gemini. Rotaries aren’t known for their burnout competition prowess, holding a car just off the limiter for minutes at a time, they need air and lots of it.
Surreal paint, gold AME’s, with a diamond stitched interior, this FC was all about the finer details.
While the wagons were so popular in the 80’s for high school and college students, when drinking, smoking and getting sideways were all fun, sadly they are getting rarer in the wild. With even terribly rusty examples on ebay fetching average family car prices, whats a memory worth?
I’m sure the automatic badge was never meant to hint at a ‘race box’.
But the AM radio might help convince otherwise.
While owners always battle a love hate relationship with their cars, love the neighbours being woken up at 5am by the ‘buzz box’, hate the money from the wallet flying out the door for petrol kind of deal. You just cannot argue, these are car enthusiasts through and through.
There was a show and shine presentation to, of which this mint condition Mazda, picked up a few honours. Through a pain staking restore, down to the air intake being all original, even with the period correct stickers, you just couldn’t get a shot without a crowd around it.
Yes thats me in the reflection, the detail on this was insane, just had to capture the light off that paintwork.
Who would’ve thought, pair some new age Japanese light weight wheels with an old school Japanese car? Matte black really sets it off.
King RX3? Really? We will have to wait for it to hit the strip and see who’s king.
Reminiscing with the classic factory faded yellow, such a colour. This is how it looked brand new, its not sun faded but the factory paint.
New school meets old school. Low as F*ck and so much tuck.
I admittedly had no idea what this was. Its actually a 1969 Toyota Corona, packing a 13B rotary motor.
Have camera, will photo, right? Two brave guys having a cruise, loving life with no air conditioner in 30 degrees.
One of the first cars to go through the tunnel when I arrived, the 2 SUS Resprays Rx2. Skill on the gun for this one, look at that depth and clarity!
Just entering the….
With the announcement coming over the loudspeakers of the track, that it was time for every rotor to get on the track for some happy laps and to see how many rotors could be on the track at once. We raced up to the perfect viewing point, just out of the first hairpin, with a slight curve, the cars were at a prime point to put the pedal to the metal.
A previous burnout champ on track, good way to represent how great your engines are.
My mum had one of these.
Classic not plastic.
Gemini, star sign or my first car?
So mint, even the door trims still had plastic on them. Lamborghini money anyone?
Sam and a rattle can.
Show car with side pipes? Yes please.
Nostalgic race history.
Arguably the first rotary of them all.
Cruising with the boys in ORSMRX.
Appreciation for the camera.
Suzuki built the rotary motor for two wheels. See? You will learn more from car culture than you will in a classroom.
A fellow Canberran has his rotary powered Celica out for the ride.
The Cosmo, a huge beast of a car that also fits a beast of an engine. Sleeper spec?
Maybe not so subtle in yellow.
Huge across the ditch in NZ, I haven’t seen many of these on our shores.
I cannot wait to shoot this car, Tex has built something amazing, from a rolling shell to this.
Ahh. The fond memories of an Era gone by. Autosalon, once Sydneys biggest car show for the automotive modification scene. Now just a memory.
The all to classic FD. Have kids? No fights over who gets the front seat in these. (Rear seats are rare)
Convertibles seem to have not taken off as well here as in other markets. The FC and S13 are prime examples, with few and far between popping up on import sites.
Can you tell my favourite body shape? It could just be the fact these cars are now six figure asking prices, unobtainable to many, makes desirable to the same crowd.
A certain Sydney collectors Friday night garage spray job.
Heath’s RX3, just old school vibes.
Race or drag, take your pick.
Hearing hundreds of rotors on track at once, is just insane, even my sound recorder distorted heavily while trying to get some good audio. With so many varying engine sounds, its almost impossible. Its audio porn to say the least, almost like when you race outside to watch a high revving car dump the clutch and sail down the street in a mess of rubber and smoke.
Later on in the afternoon after some refreshments and a bite to eat, it was time for the off street racing. Drags with an old school feel, whereby there are no warm up burnouts, there is one flag dropper (no lights or electronics) and very much looks like the fast and the furious. Rules are, line up, a single run, winner comes through to next round. Repeat until there is only two cars left.
With only a few months between events, Rami had a new paint and wheel setup already.
Battle after battle, the war waged on.
Once the war had been waged, it was time for some cruising laps.
Just like Grandma had, only rotary.
Vinyl Roof, back in fashion like mens tight pants?
Sydney workshop Pac Performance, once your car is touched by George and the team, you know its in God’s hands. George has been around the rotary scene for as long as I have been alive.
That all to familiar workshop logo.
Neat Gemini engine bay.
Looks like Jay bought the Porsche out.
Rolling out ready for war.
Father and son duo, with two very neat rides.
The decider, would Queensland walk away with another burnout trophy?
Or would it be NSW this round?
Company car comes in with strong smoke.
Sadly to much smoke, misjudges the edge of the pad and eats a cone.
By all accounts, this was such a great event. All car events are great, to see the expression and individuality that a hunk of metal can show is crazy. The hours, blood, sweat, tears and ultimately the investment of money are worth it to every single one of the owners. Credit to them for driving the machines they love so dearly.
Car culture is unique and always will be, some will get it, others wont.
And as the sun set at Sydney Motorsport Park, we were treated to one more surprise. A rare 2 door WRX, resprayed in none other than a sunset orange hue.