FOR Felix Cefai, the roar of an engine mixed with the sweet, sweet smell of a new leather interior is like heaven on earth.

The car enthusiast has just finished work on his 1957 Chevrolet and is getting ready to take the red beast to the annual Street Machine Summernats Car Festival in Canberra this week.

Mr Cefai has put five years of blood, sweat and tears into transforming the car into the bright beauty it is today.

"It has been a lot of hard work and this is probably the last time I will do this sort of project but the finished product has been well worth the effort," he said.

The Chev has been through a complete restoration including a new paint job, custom trim and dash, new gauges and sits on brand new Boyd Cottington 20 and 18-inch wheels.

The car also features a 385 stroker engine with 350 turbo auto transmission, nine inch diff, two link rear end and adjustable coilovers.

"When I began working on the car I stripped it back to nothing and basically started from scratch," Mr Cefai said.

"It is now finally at the point where everything is complete and ready to go."

This is not the first time Mr Cefai has focused all of his attention on a car.

"Since I was a little boy, I have always loved cars. I used to collect the toy models and now I guess I collect the real thing," he said.

"The Chev is the sixth and last car that I have worked on. I definitely need a break after all the time and money I have spent."

Mr Cefai will be showing off the 1957 Chevrolet at Summernats and will put his pride and joy on display in the Show and Shine competition and the Arena Cruise.

"I was also picked out of 1700 entrants to go on the City Cruise, which features 200 top cars travelling around Canberra."

"I am definitely excited. None of this would have been possible without the help I received from my mates and everyone else who chipped in. I am grateful to everyone who has been involved in this project."

The Summernats Festival kicks off on New Year's Day at Exhibition Park in Canberra and will be the first time Mr Cerfai is able to drive his Chev.

"I have been working day and night to get it complete so I haven't even been able to take it for a proper drive yet," he said.

"I am definitely looking forward to sitting back and going for a nice long cruise."