A COUPLE of months ago 27-year-old Chris Tanner passed away in his sleep. At the time he had a burnout car in the build, a newly LS-powered VS Holden ute, formerly packing a Holden 355ci stroker, which Chris used to thrash at all the local events. He never got to hear the new combo run, so the day after his passing, about 50 of his mates banded together to get the car driving in time for his funeral, so that Chris, or ‘Big Red’ as he was known, could take one last ride in his car.
There were plenty of late nights as people donated parts and money to ensure the RUFFAS ute was ready in time.
Around 500 people, including a bunch of guys from the burnout scene, came to the funeral to support Chris’s close friends and family.
The car then went back into the shop for its finishing touches ahead of its first skid with the new LS combo at Lardner Park Motorfest that weekend. A 31-spline full-spool shortened diff was fitted and the ute was finished at 4:30am Friday. Then it went to Garry at Chev’s Performance Centre for a tune, and by late Friday arvo it was ready for Larder Park.
On the Sunday Chris’s parents came to Motorfest (their first burnout event) to see the car in action; his father Brian even went for a ride around the pad in the finals. Mick Burton was on driving duties for the weekend and he picked up 11th place overall. Shane D’Amato also ran Chris’s old ZZZ355 plates on his GHETTO ute.
Chris’s mates plan on taking the ute to as many burnout events as they can, to skid in his memory. Chris was a big fan of Performance Car Mania at Winton Raceway, so the boys are keen to get RUFFAS to that one, with Chris’s parents coming down from Queensland for the event.
While the boys were hacking away on the burnout ute, they also finished off Chris’s HSV Enhanced VS Calais and entered it in the show ’n’ shine at Motorfest.