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Father and son win street machine gong

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Narrandera father and son Gary and Jake Myers have won the 2023 Milwaukee Street Machine of the Year 2023 award with their spectacular Mustang.

Readers of Street Machine magazine elected the stunning machine for the top award.

It is the second time the iconic Mustang has won the award, with the first being in 2001 and the fourth SMOTY win for Gary, who also claimed the award in 2005 with the twin-blown ‘Silver Bullet’ Mustang and again in 2017 with his Agroxa Falcon hardtop.

2022 Milwaukee Street Machine of the Year winner Jasmine Green jumped in her HiLux and cruised from Shepparton to Narrandera to hand the trophy over to Gary and Jake recently.

Jake was in on it, but Gary didn’t suspect a thing!

Cars are a family affair for the Myers family but this year was their first joint win.

The retro makeover of the Mustang obviously resonated with Street Machine readers and voters.

Jake said they had a lot of people asking online for them to go back to that original look and the 35th anniversary of Summernats was coming up so they thought, why not go back to black for ’Nats 35 and he convinced his dad to get behind the wheel for one last ’Nats skid, just as the Mustang was back when he first skidded it at Summernats 1.

It worked out well as he was awarded the John Peterson Burnout Hall of Fame jacket on the pad after the skid.

Gary said they were going back to black with flames and Convos this year.

The 2022 and 2023 SMOTY winners are very different cars indeed, with one being a street-driven, show-quality mini-truck and the other a purpose-built, blown and injected burnout car that has been on the scene for decades.

Jake said the plan is to do one last Burnout Masters in the car at Summernats 36 and it would be the car’s last competitive skid at Summernats and then it would be retired towards the end of 2024.

The first father-and-son team to ever win Street Machine of the Year, their win was a record fourth SMOTY title for Gary but a first for Jake.

The iconic Myers Mustang is in for yet another makeover and will be retired at the end of next year.

Gary said this SMOTY win felt that little bit more special, given that his son has followed in his footsteps and managed to win with the same car he did in 2001.

He said it had been Jake’s vision to keep the car alive and he was constantly changing it around.

Gary bought the Mustang when he was 17 and he is 60 next year so it will be 43 years.

Asked by a Street Machine journalist what case could be made for the Mustang being the most iconic car in Aussie street machining he responded by saying “How many cars have been from Summernats from number one right through to 36, stayed competitive and kept up with the times? Twenty years ago, I never would have thought I’d be running a blown alcohol burnout car alongside my sons.”

Aside from being a two-time SMOTY winner, the car has won a bunch of other awards.

Gary himself is the only person that has won three Summernats Burnout Championships in a row back in the early nineties. He won the first Burnout Masters in the car and there have been seven Summernats burnout competition/Burnout Masters wins all up.”

There’s nothing the car hasn’t done, from drag racing to salt racing, burnouts and the show scene. In fact, it won Top Ride at the Narrandera Rod Run at Easter this year,” he said.

Between them Gary and Jake have driven the Mustang to four Burnout Masters wins and hope to make it five. It still holds the Australian record for D/BGC [Under 305ci Blown Gas Coupe] on the salt at 170mph.

Gary said it would be a sad day when they retired the car.

“We’ll probably still do some demos from time to time; we’ll see what happens. But I’m happy to sit on the sidelines and watch the young guns come through. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with the car and what Jake continues to achieve with it,” he said.

Gary said Gazzanats was all run by him and his wife Deby.

“Our Gazzanats team has supported our events in SA, WA, NT and Victoria. Gazzanats NT pumps a million dollars into the economy up there each year.”

He thanked Milwaukee for sponsoring the award and Street Machine for allowing them to have the opportunity to share their stories and dreams with the world.

“Lastly, a big thank you to everyone who voted for us!” 

Narrandera Argus 30 November 2023

This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 30 November 2023.

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