Canberra has just finished paying host to the annual Summernats meeting, in which petrolheads from across the east coast of Australia come here to show off their modified cars, and compete in the "burnout masters" and "go to whoa" competition. Although I haven’t been actively interested in all this stuff since I sold my wide-tired ’76 Celica a decade ago, there was something rather fun about the streets of Canberra filling up with magnificently shiny, ear-splittingly powerful cars. Our home is only a few kilometres away from the venue, so the dull throb of engines could be heard in the distance morning, noon and night.
Having hung out with illegal street racers, I’m a big fan of the view that giving car enthusiasts a place to race legally is a good way of keeping the streets safer.* There are many worse hobbies than being a revhead. And it ain’t bad for Canberra, either. In a piece of promotion that doubtless brought a tear to the eyes of the folks at Canberra Tourism, our Acting Chief Minister said: "It shows that Canberra isn’t just the dull, grey place that some of our critics paint it to be."
* So long as they stay within the perimeter fences, that is.