Rockynats plays its part in firing up the national car restoration

Published on 04 April 2021

Owen's Yarn.jpg

The demise of the Australian car manufacturing industry has kick-started a car restoration economy generating untold millions of dollars each year.

That’s according to Rockynats chief steward Owen Webb who says he’s seen 150 to 200 cars in Rockhampton that he has never seen entered at other events across the nation.

“That tells me two things; that more people are getting into car restoration across Australia and there are a couple of hundred people here this week who chose Rockynats as the place to show their cars for the first time,” Webb said.

“That’s a huge endorsement for the car restoration industry in this country and for this event.

“And as more people get into the cars, we’re talking massive economic benefits to businesses in the Australian customisation and modification sector such as panel beaters, spray painters, parts suppliers, upholsterers – the list goes on,” he said.

Webb spoke as he stood in the middle of an estimated $15 million worth of car flesh on display in the Rockynats Elite Car Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

He said without local car manufacturing, people are growing increasingly keen to preserve their own piece of automotive history.

And, he says, they are likely making a shrewd investment.

“A restored 1964 EH Holden sold the other day for $92,000, but that’s nothing compared to the $1.1 million someone paid not long ago for an XY GTHO Falcon.

“I mean, these are cars that sold for $5,000 when they were new,” he said.