FOUNDED by the late custom car guru John Katsanis, the Kustom Nationals at Phillip Island has been a fixture on the calendar since 2003. While it usually falls on the same weekend as Street Machine Summernats, we have a soft spot for the Kustom Nats event, which is run by John’s sons Luke and Dean. Being able to cruise around one of Australia’s most epic race tracks in your custom, hot rod or street machine is pretty special! So we were bummed when we heard that 2019 will be the last Kustom Nats – ever!
But don’t worry, the boys aren’t going too far away – in fact, they are running a new Vintage Drags event at Bairnsdale Raceway, with the first event kicking off this Easter. It’s for period-style, pre-1965 dragsters, gassers, altereds, hot rods, bikes, super stockers and customs. That means no billet and no rat rods, please! Quite a few genuine old Aussie race cars are being pulled out of the shed for the occasion, but the big news is that the Mooneyes dragster will be in attendance from the USA as well, making its first appearance in Down Under. It then moves to NSW and will be appearing at the Hot Rod and Custom Auto Expo in Sydney, May 26-27. www.hotrodandcustom.com.au
For more info on the Vintage Drags event, check out kustoms.com.au or call Luke on (03) 9796 2251.
Here's some highlights from the Phillip Island Kustom Nats:
1. It's more of a pro tourer than a custom, but who can resist Matt Newman's bitching EH? It runs LS2 power and is slammed down hard over a custom chassis on airbags.
2. Custom paint guru Mat Egan rolling heavy in his radical ’54. Body mods include a 5in roof chop, 4in channel and 4in section.
3. Dale French’s latest ride is this tasteful ’36 Ford. Rear airbags and custom fender skirts bring the tail-dragger look, coupled with flathead power and a T5 cog-swapper.
4. You don’t see too many ’50 Ford Squire wagons around, but that didn’t stop Dean Katsanis lopping 1.5in out of the roof at Phillip lsland.
5. We love Ron Smith’s ’59 105E Ford Anglia gasser. Power is provided by a 250ci crossflow Falcon six, backed by a four-speed ’box.