THE Nats cruiser has been a big part of hot car action in Canberra since the days of the Street Machine Nationals - the predecessor of the Street Machine Summernats.
Usually built on a budget and without street rego, the Nats cruiser is all about having a blast with your mates and making a big impact for minimal bucks. Rides like the Nalinga Lowriders's Burrito Dorado Brougham and the ACT Street Machine Association's Pontiac Laurentian (which was later given a spectacular rebuild) turned heads everywhere at the 1984 Street Machine Nationals.
The trend continued when the Summernats took over, with the likes of Paul Cundy, the Hiller brothers, Team Lorenzo, Greg 'Beach' Ball and Craig Parker (pictured below) all cooking up memorable Nats cruisers.
The latest inclusion in the Nats cruiser hall of fame is set to be Dave and Robert Stephenson's WH Holden Statesman. And it looks like the lads may have gotten a little carried away!
Built with the help of some mates - including next door neighbour Howard Astill - the Stato started life as a $2000 runner, complete with rego. The roof has now been lopped off, the tops of the doors smoothed over, the doors welded up and the handles deleted. The body been smoothed of of car park dings and been treated to a show-quality PPG paint job.
There are three rows of seats for maximum safe seating capacity and a swoopy new windscreen made of 6mm plastic. Rims are 20x8.5-inch TSWs.
Unlike many Nats cruisers, this one is pretty tough, with the driveline consisting of an LS1, Turbo 400, 3500rpm stall converter and a VL turbo diff. We can't wait to see it in action!