IT IS Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year time again, now in its 30th year. That makes it one of the longest-running awards in our sport, even older than the Summernats Grand Champion gong. You can see the full roll call of past winners since 1988 on page 51. It is a pretty amazing list and a great snapshot of how our sport has evolved over the past three decades. And with a $20,000 winner-takes-all prize up for grabs thanks to Valvoline, it is the richest award on the Australian modified car scene.
While the cash is always welcomed by the winners, the real value of SMOTY is getting your name etched onto the side of the famous perpetual trophy. Why? Because to make it happen, your creation has to inspire a majority of Street Machine readers to vote for your car from a group that includes 15 other cracking rides. How fast your car is, how technically perfect it might be or how much money you may have spent on it only counts insofar as those things matter to the thousands of individuals who vote each year.
SMOTY is the one place where elite show ponies, genuine streeters, comp cars and off-the-wall concept cars all compete at the same time and on an equal playing field. It would be impossible for such a variety of vehicles to be fairly assessed by formal judging, which is why you guys get to do the choosing. Everyone is an expert, everyone gets a vote and everyone’s vote is equal.
As it happens, this year’s list of contenders consists mainly of street-style rides, with the exception of the awe-inspiring burnout machines of Gary Myers and the Castlemaine Rod Shop boys. The 16 finalists are chosen by a panel comprising the Street Machine staff and freelance crew, with any Australian-built feature car from the September 2016 mag through to August 2017 eligible to make the shortlist. Each panellist chooses their top 16 cars, we add up the results and get our contenders. The rest is up to you!
To make your vote count, head over to smoty.com.au to make your choice. We’ve got the full feature story on every car and a video as well, so check them out and then cast your vote.
And besides helping to create a piece of street machining history, we also have a killer prize on offer to reward your efforts. One lucky voter wins a VIP trip to Street Machine Summernats 31, held in our nation’s capital, 4-7 January 2018. We’ll fly you and a mate to the ’Nats from your nearest capital city and put you up for four nights in a flash hotel. And yep, Kiwis are eligible to vote, too. You’ll get two highly prized Platinum Passes to the event, an invite to the Street Machine VIP party and $1000 spending money. We’ll also deck you out in Street Machine merch and make sure you have a top time!
The winner of both the overall and reader prizes will be revealed in the December issue, so get out there and vote, share the voting link around online and get as many people involved as possible. I can’t wait to see which car you choose. s