Blackfriars old scholar Michael Rugari has long had a drive to succeed.
A keen mechanics student during his time at Blackfriars, Michael (BPS’17) has taken his love of cars beyond the school gate, with his custom-built 1993 Nissan D21 Navara Ute now in the running to be named Street Machine magazine’s inaugural Young Street Machine of the Year.
“I have Blackfriars to thank for helping me get into the automotive industry; I participated in the mechanics subject from Year 10 onwards with Mr (Jeffrey) Drewer and Mr (Wayne) Thompson,” Michael says.
“Best part is, this is the car that I drove to and from school in my senior year.
“You could ask pretty much all my past teachers about my car and they’ll tell you that I was car crazy and I still am today.”
The ute was lovingly modified by Michael over about four years.
Little remains of the original car. The changes are almost too long to list, but include flares, a Pathfinder front-end conversion, blast pipes and a lowered base. There is also a rebuilt with an SR20DET engine.
The ute’s inside was completely overhauled and the outside finished with metallic blue paint, which one website described as a “top-tier paint job”.
The car has featured at car shows across Adelaide and even has its own Instagram page.
“Blackfriars influenced my career in the automotive industry,” says Michael, who started an apprenticeship after leaving Blackfriars.
“I hope that this shows students and parents that a lot can be achievable with a trade.”
Michael’s ute is one of 16 finalists in the 2022 Young Street Machine of the Year competition, with the winner decided by popular vote. To cast your vote, click here.