Paul Hart, pictured with his 1967 XR Ford Fairmont, celebrates with wife Jade after being crowned grand champion at the Rare Spares Rockynats.
Paul Hart, pictured with his 1967 XR Ford Fairmont, celebrates with wife Jade after being crowned grand champion at the Rare Spares Rockynats.

Rockynats grand champ: ‘I can’t believe this has happened’

Paul Hart says he is still in disbelief after being crowned the inaugural Rare Spares Rockynats grand champion.

He took the top gong at the three-day car festival in Rockhampton with his striking opal green 1967 XR Ford Fairmont.

It was one of 954 cars and 323 bikes entered.

He said he left his Ipswich home with no grand expectations.

“I was coming up with my wife Jade and a couple of mates just to have a good time and to do a few driving events,” he said.

Paul Hart's 1967 XR Ford Fairmont.
Paul Hart's 1967 XR Ford Fairmont.

“I’m blown away. I can’t believe this has happened. I never thought the car was going to get anywhere near something so prestigious.

“To have respected authorities in the car scene tip their hat to me is pretty humbling, especially given the quality of some of the other cars that were there.”

Paul said he found the car for sale purely by chance.

Paul Hart's 1967 XR Ford Fairmont.
Paul Hart's 1967 XR Ford Fairmont.

“It was a factory Fairmont which is hard to come by and the overall condition of the vehicle - you just don’t find them like that,” he said.

“I’ve had it since mid-2014. I started building at the end of 2014 and finished it just over a year ago.

“It’s just a streeter; me and the family get around in it, I commute to work in it on the weekends.

“It just lives in the shed, it doesn’t get a car cover on it, so we wiped it down and brought it up.”

Paul Hart's 1967 XR Ford Fairmont.
Paul Hart's 1967 XR Ford Fairmont.

Paul said his love of cars was ignited when he picked up a car magazine back in high school.

“Straight away, I got bitten by the bug and it’s been there ever since,” he said.

Paul was glowing in his praise of Rockynats, which will be held in Rockhampton again in 2022.

“It’s a great concept, and it’s a credit to Advance Rockhampton and the Summernats team that they were able to put it on in this time of COVID and the fact we had the three-day lockdown (in Brisbane) right on the eve of it.

“Their dedication and perseverance were amazing.

“We will be back for another run next year.”

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