For some, it's been like a loss in the family.
Losing Summernats from the ACT this week due to COVID-19 restrictions cut more deeply through the local classic car and street machine community than anyone expected.
For those who spend their weekends on the spanners, or with a polishing rag in hand, or helping someone else with a car project, a January in Canberra without the "Nats" is like spring without rain.
So when a rallying shout went out - as it inevitably does now, using social media - it's little wonder the Canberra and region classic and muscle car community responded in earnest.
Over 120 local cars and their owners rumbled into the Southwell Park car park, just off Northbourne Avenue, in Lyneham on Thursday to join what has been dubbed the Clayton's Nats cruise.
"For those young people out there who don't know what that means, ask your parents," advised Andrew Dale, a Canberra businessman and classic car enthusiast who has been one of the driving forces behind the informal cruise.
There were Holdens, Fords and Valiants almost right through the years of local manufacture, a smattering of Japanese products, but mostly US-built machinery from the "golden age" of American car-making.
Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Ford Mustangs, Oldsmobiles, and Cadillacs almost matched the locally made cars in number.
Dominating the landscape, like a huge orange basking whale, was Matthew Mayberry's 1960 Cadillac de Ville, all six metres long, 2.2 metres wide and with tail-fins the size of a small child.
Mayberry, from Holt, said his purchase of the big Caddy three years ago was a decision based on practicality, with two young children now part of the Mayberry clan and a desire to take them along with him on cruises and club outings.
"I've spent about $20,000 on the Caddy since I've owned it," he said.
"With the air suspension, it's like driving on a cloud.
"The only real problem is finding somewhere to park it because it's so big."
ACT police have given their blessing to the group's informal cruise, which will use the car park as a base and keep rumbling right through the days ahead, when the annual Summernats festival would usually be drawing thousands of car fans through the gates of nearby Exhibition Park.
"I've pretty confident everyone will behave themselves," Mr Dale said.
"The group we have here are not hoons, they're enthusiasts. It's not in anyone's interest to misbehave because they know that if they do, that will be the end of it.
"We have a system running where everyone cruising will have a sticker on their windscreen to identify them, they will scan the QR code as they come in and we'll be encouraging everyone to be COVID-safe."