Looking back on all the action and big smoke of Wagga's last Revfest held in 2012
THIS was Wagga’s last chance to savour the Street Machine Riverina Revfest before the party was planned to head elsewhere, and the local revheads turned out in force. They didn’t go home disappointed either, as a new one-day format meant there was start-to-finish action for the fans.
Heavy rains on the Friday kept dust to a minimum over the weekend but it also provided some excitement for those travelling from Sydney, where hail and torrential rains caused traffic chaos. Thankfully the 30C forecasts for Saturday didn’t come true and spectators instead enjoyed some early cloud cover which kept the temperatures down. First thing we noticed coming through the gates was that while entrant numbers might have been down slightly, the quality was fantastic. Plenty of new cars filled out the show ’n’ shine area and a strong turn-out from the Riverina Torana Club kept the Holden fans happy. Over in the Elite Hall, fans got a chance to check out Aaron Fitzpatrick’s amazing Datsun and Mike Holland’s beautiful LX Torana (now with a Vortech blower), along with plenty of other smooth machinery.
First in the dyno cell was Revfest organiser Mark Arblaster, with his WAR440 Valiant Hardtop. The blown 440 Mopar had no trouble reeling off 966hp before maxing out the single-retarder dyno. Rob Godfrey’s orange one-tonner just pipped Arby in the horsepower stakes with a personal best of 971hp at the treads — not bad for a naturally aspirated car.
During the day, spectators were entertained by the Super Seven, motorkana, go to whoa and burnout qualifying. Other spectacles included some Top Fuel engine warm-ups thanks to Phil Read and the Auto One Dragster, which had the crowd jumping backwards on the throttle blips, and the Bray boys filling the air with smoke. Victor and Ben were given a great reception by the fans who took the opportunity afterwards to talk to their heroes and get shirts, posters and even body parts signed. It was a hungry crowd too; the food and drink stands had to order in extra supplies, while a couple of Mr Whippy vans were drained of ice cream before the day was out!
Just on 6000 paying guests flowed in through the gates and after watching a couple of engines get destroyed in the blow-up show, and enjoying the fury of the demolition derby, they were primed for some tyre-shredding action.
Phil Kerjean set the pace early on, with an awesome run in his 383 Chev-powered VH station wagon. Over in the Ford camp, John Taverna’s XD Falcon was another strong naturally aspirated performer but the blown Holdens of local hero Dave Vearing and Sydney tyre-fryer Joe Pagano proved too strong this time around. In the end Pagano came out on top, followed by Vearing, Taverna, Denis Maloney in the rat rod Dodge, with Kerjean in fifth spot.
With food, drink and tyre resources depleted it was a satisfied crowd that ebbed back out into the night. The one-day format proved to be a winner with fans and entrants.
1. Victor and Ben Bray made the haul down from Queensland to show the locals how it’s done and the Wagga crowd loved every moment
2. Steve Chapple’s black ’35 Dodge coupe ticks all the boxes. Gone is the old tunnel ram set-up, replaced by a GM blower. The twin LPG mixers remain, which means it’s cheap to fill
3. While it wasn’t an original R/T, this E38 Charger replica sparked a lot of interest. Driveline was a 265 Hemi and Torqueflite combo with a trio of Webers
4. Attempting to back up his Revfest Burnout Party win, John Taverna Jr had the little Windsor singing in the finals but could only take third on the day
5. Purchased ready-built from Queensland, Geoff Davies reckons this twin-turbo Commodore struggled to make 500rwhp. “I took it to Jake’s Performance — he fitted one of his carbs and the hat and it made 700rwhp with no other changes.” Too much boost and pump fuel killed the engine at Easternats but with a fresh Peter Pulford-built donk, Geoff put the Commy on the rollers at Revfest and cranked out 773.1rwhp at 20psi
6. Braving vicious hail on his way from Sydney, Rob Godfrey was lucky to make it in one piece. The trip was worth it, with the 655ci tonner reeling off 971.7rwhp naturally aspirated, enough for Top Aspirated Big-Block and the overall horsepower trophy. Rob also snared Top Pro Street and Pro Street Engine Bay
7. Jon Smoother said: “That’s my only car — I chuck the tools in and drive it to work.” The HK pano had its VN V6 Commy motor and Turbo 700 trans when Jon bought it. He’s given it a tidy-up, fitting a nine-inch, wheels and stereo
8. Sporting a new bottom end, Dave Vearing smoked out the pad with the green-flamed HZ van. He’s been chasing a fuel-related miss for a while — he solved it by switching the fuel bowls from front to back. As he said: “Weird, huh?”
9. Revfest organiser Arby had the VF Hardtop on display, fresh from some eight-second passes at WSID. The dyno struggled to hold the Val down and the best figure was 966.9rwhp with the dyno screen reading: ‘Retarder maximum power exceeded’
10. Summernats burnout fans would recognise Phil Kerjean’s Commodore wagon — it’s been smoking up the pad for years. Phil was playing with the VH while he was rebuilding the gold HB Torana that nudged the wall at Sydney Powercruise 18 months prior. Running a 383 Chevy stoker, the wagon makes 347rwhp and uses the intake set-up (without nitrous) from the HB
11. Clinton Schwob and his genuine HK GTS Monaro. “It’s got more horses than I can handle,” he said of the fresh 383 stoker and Protrans Turbo 400 fitted by Forza Performance
12. Making the trip over from Canberra, Aaron Fitzpatrick took eight trophies home. The Datto runs a GT35/40 turbo instead of the old ProCharger set-up and makes 360rwhp at 14psi. “I’ll put it on the dyno at the Nats if it makes more than 400hp with the big cams, at 25psi boost,” Aaron said
13. Shifty’s a big bloke who just loves his ’36 Chev sedan — he’s had it for nearly 30 years. With a 565ci blown big-block, the old Chevy packs a punch. “She’s got four figures mate,” Shifty says of the horsepower but with the original suspension she’s a handful. “Back in ’36 if you were doing 50mph you were flying. It gets scary when you get into it”
14. “I want to go back to back,” said Jay Bloss, who won Super Seven in 2011. Back then the Sigma was beige but a respray in magenta pearl and a new set of wheels had the Mitsu looking sharp. Under the bonnet is a 351 Clevo with a 150hp shot of gas
15. Sydney’s Joe Pagano was $2000 richer for first place in the burnout finals. A new, more efficient engine from Feneck’s Race Engines allows Joe to make as much power as before on just 14psi boost — instead of the 25psi he used to run. The VR ute’s gone as fast as 9.72@146mph at WSID, still using the original style BorgWarner rear end
16. It’s called Revfest for a reason. Sal Mancuso fries a fresh pair of 4WD tyres during the go to whoa. He uses the heavy tyres because the rear suspension is the first thing that hits the ground if the tyres blow, so it’s best not to pop them
17. We just love Denis Maloney’s old rat rod Dodge. Denis won the go to whoa and came fourth in the burnouts after splitting one of his rear guards open in qualifying. The 360 bottom end will be making way for a 408-cube stroker, and that’ll be filled with Carillo rods, Diamond pistons and possibly a set of Indy heads
18. Blowing up a few engines has always been a favourite in Wagga — this time it was EA versus VN. The Ford couldn’t handle the pace set by the Holden which lasted more than 10 minutes at wide-open throttle