Well, it certainly was a privilege to be asked to photograph this event by the organizers — they certainly know how to put on a show. We’re now far enough into summer that the weather has started to play ball, and that definitely applied here, although it was the huge turnout of cars that really made SummerJam 2016 a memorable day for all who attended. 

This actually marked this first ever SummerJam event, after it was thought up and organized by Downtime Entertainment as a precursor to the anticipated Waikato Autofest. Essentially, it followed a very similar format to the Waikato Autofest, just a few months earlier, to capitalize on the clear deficit of events like this around this time of year. 

Burnouts, an outdoor car display, dedicated cruise route, live DJs, trade stands, food vendors, and kids entertainment all added up for an exciting itinerary for Saturday, December 17.

The burnout comp was a crowd favourite, and it was very well patronized through the amount of cars entered. Tough, purpose-built skid hacks, through to weird and wonderful creations, just about anything capable of peeling a set could be observed at work.

Cars like Shaun Jury’s tough Barra-powered Falcon … 

Through to Joe Coombes’ used and abused Holden HZ. 

But the ones that stood out the most were the ones that had a major point of difference. Ones such as this bright orange Sunbeam Rapier, powered by a Commodore-sourced 3.8-litre V6. Hey, the number plate doesn’t lie! This thing was built to go hard, and go hard it did — a real crowd favorite.

When you see a Morris Minor van roll up to the skid pad you tend to raise your eyebrows, but the sideways glances and wry grins soon turned to admiration when the wee bread van let loose, pouring plumes of white smoke skyward.

Something a bit different and requiring great skill was a two-up display on the pad.

Another phenomenon that the crowed loved was the nosing into the blocks, which a number of competitors obliged.

Walking around the park up it was good to see such a varied array of pride and joys with some very interesting finishes — be they painted or wrapped — motor choices, and graphics. 

This ’71 Dodge Charger looks every bit the classic muscle car with loads of rake, big fats out back, and a set of traditional Keystone Classic rims. Rad! 

Every bit as cool was Bo-Willie Wells’ immaculate ’64 Impala longroof. With a subtle paintjob, beautifully upholstered interior, and full hydraulic suspension, this thing is the rolling definition of summer. 

John Stride’s RX-7 holds it down for the import crowd, with a neat stance, stunning paintwork, and a healthy-sounding turbocharged 13B to fry the rears when required. 

SummerJam sure delivered the goods, and is something that we can only see getting bigger and better. A very well run event with great participation from all the entrants — we’re already amped for Waikato Autofest, not to mention anything else the Downtime Events team manages to whip up!