8 October 2021

Car show to bring together 'the best of the best' for men's mental health

| James Coleman
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Ford Mustang

A Ford Mustang on display at Summernats 33 in 2019: Canberra has a history of attracting the best in show. Photo: Peter Norton.

As the states and territories begin to crack open again, so are the garages.

Summernats is the first massive car-themed event to confirm its plans to return to the capital in 2022, and now another one is set for the Anzac Day long weekend.

The ‘Tuff Day Out’ car show will take place on Saturday, 23 April at EPIC, bringing together the very best performance cars to promote and raise money for men’s mental health.

Organiser Brad Gordon says that Beyond Blue and Picking Up The Peaces have both come on board as the event’s official charity partners. Money raised from the sale of tickets on the day will be split 50/50 between the two.

READ ALSO Start your engines: Summernats is on track to be the first major Canberra event post-lockdown

“We will have around 200 performance cars in a static display which will include performance street cars, race cars, drag cars, time attack cars, burnout cars and more. Some of them will do regular start-ups too.”

Brad says to make sure it’s truly a special event that celebrates the best of the best, the cars are all ‘invite only’, including about 150 cars from across south-east Australia. Many of these have featured in Australia’s major performance car magazines, including Street Machine and Performance Car Magazine.

Brad is the proud owner of an HSV GTS, but it hasn’t made the cut.

Drag car

A BMW drag car being loaded up for transport. Photo: Brad Gordon.

Brad says the grand plans for a car show started as a dream about five years ago with “an empty aircraft hangar filled to the brim with hundreds of cars. Maybe there’d even be a fighter jet in the middle!”

Brad found such an aircraft hangar at Fairbairn and went around to look at it, only to discover it was simply not big enough.

Plan B was EPIC, but the hire cost for the day prompted Brad and his fellow organisers to put out feelers into the local community to gauge the level of support for such an event.

“I put an ad out on social media in Canberra and the owner of CPS Concrete Group gave me a call immediately and said that he would love to be the naming rights sponsor.

“That’s been a heavy weight lifted.

“The Anzac Day long weekend actually turned out to be a bit of a blessing. With so many coming from interstate, it gives them the opportunity of coming down and having some more time to look around Canberra.”

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Brad says the outreach of car owners and business owners who have been dealing with mental health issues during lockdown and want to support the event has been “mind-blowing”.

He says some have agreed to be interviewed on the day and will talk through their personal battles.

“We want to have this be a major attraction, the idea being that the better cars we have, the more people it’s going to draw. We can then get the [mental health] message across.”

Motoring journalists from Performance Car Magazine will be on-site covering the event alongside FM 104.7.

There will also be live music, kids entertainment, food and drink vendors, businesses selling their wares and more.

“We want this to be something truly special,” Brad says.

If you have an exceptional vehicle, or would like to get involved and support the event, see the Facebook event for details.

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What ‘Romsey Quints’ used to call ‘muttering wrotters’ are pretty boring folks most of the time.

With the exception of Romsey, who could be relied upon to make me laugh.

Geeze I’m old!!! 😉

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