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Peter Fitzpatrick inducted into the Rare Spares Legend Hall of Fame.
Peter Fitzpatrick, an icon of the street machine community, six time Summernats Grand Champion award winner, and winner of the 2011 Street Machine of the Year, has become the fifth winner of the inaugural Rare Spares Golden Helmet, and has been inducted into the Rare Spares Legend Hall of Fame.
The Rare Spares Legend Golden Helmet, which recognises the lifetime achievements of those that have given great levels of dedication to the motor industry, was awarded at the Summernats festival in early January 2012. Each yearly inductee earns their place in the Legend Hall of Fame and receives a number of personal benefits as well as national acknowledgment.
Peter received the award and was inducted by David Rayner, General Manager of Rare Spares, during the Saturday night entertainment. As has become tradition, Peter received a lap of honour around the main Summernats arena in a chopped top HQ Statesman driven by V8 Supercar legend John Bowe. The lap was met with overwhelming support from the crowd, who were eager to pay tribute to one of the most respected legends of the Australian street machine community.
“It was a great pleasure for us to present Peter Fitzpatrick with his Golden Helmet at Summernats 25. Peter’s input and influence into the street machine scene is legendry, having built not only multiple award winning cars himself, but also encouraging others to follow in his footsteps,” said David.
“As a six time Grand Champion of the Summernats, he has truly earned his Golden Helmet and his new status of becoming Rare Spares’ 5th legend – well done Fitzy!”
Peter joins Owen Webb, House Of Kolor paint master and Chief Steward of the Summernats Festival, inducted in 2011, Chic Henry, founding promoter of the Summernats Car Festival, inducted in 2010, Howard Astill, master car builder, inducted in 2009, and Rod Hadfield, pioneer of Australian racing and custom car building, inducted in 2008.
“It’s a bit hard to describe the feeling of receiving this award. It was just a real honour, and I was really chuffed about it, and a bit overwhelmed. I’ve known the previous four Rare Spares Legend Hall of Fame inductees for a while now, and they’re all legends in their own right. All four of them were there when I won the award, which was a pretty special moment,” said Peter.
“This award is highly regarded, and was a great idea from the Rare Spares team. For guys like myself that are hobbyists, it really means a lot. We’re been recognised by one of the leading companies in the industry. You really can’t build a car without Rare Spares nowadays, because they’re the only ones that have all the gear. They’ve definitely done a lot for this industry.”
Peter has lived a life dedicated to his enduring passion for cars. He first learnt to drive in an Austin A40 at the ripe young age of 12, which set him off on a pursuit that has taken him and his prize vehicles across Australia. A sign writer by trade, Peter has been involved with the Australian street machine community for the greater part of his life. His first event was in 1975 at the Street Machine Nationals in Griffith, NSW, where his friend persuaded him to enter his EH Holden, which won the prize for Top Engine Bay.
Peter has been heavily involved in the Summernats festival since its inception in 1988, helping out with the scrutineering over the past 25 years, and only missing one event due to a misjudged holiday. He has been responsible for producing all the signs at the festival from the first event up until Summernats 24 in 2011. Peter’s love of building cars has secured him a number of accolades over the years, including winning the prestigious Grand Champion award a total of six times, most recently at Summernats 24 for his 1959 FC Holden, making him the event’s most prolific winner.
Rare Spares ‘Legends’ also receive mainstream recognition through a dedicated website www.rarespareslegend.com.au and full page advertisement in leading publication Street Machine Magazine, along with a professional photo shoot.