It’s a cool look seeing a rod or classic cruising down the highway and it’s even cooler when the fairer sex of our species is behind the wheel, wind in the hair and a pair of cool shades on! To add to the coolness, Tara has just turned 18 and, while most of her friends are hunting down the plastic fantastic for their choice of ride, it’s refreshing to see some Gen Yers still have an appreciation for the old school rides. Tara is the owner of this super cool 54 Chevy pickup built and customized by her Dad, Lindsay Trevaskis and, as she is studying journalism, I thought who better to tell the story of this ex workhorse come hot rod but the proud owner herself. Take it away Tara. Read More →
I first saw this Nova in Jackson at a big car show held in the center of town. While it caught my eye due to its beautiful colour and aftermarket wheels, I never picked up on the subtleties of the overall build. Read More →
We all have visions don’t we? Visions of the perfect job, the perfect house or for most of us reading this mag, visions of the perfect car! But how many of us are able to turn this vision into fruition? Well, one such person who was able to accomplish this is John and his vision involved one of the classics from the United States; a 1956 Chev! But visions don’t just happen! They’re created from experiences in the field of desire as we make our way through previous visions such as a modified 1968 Toyota, Jags, Fords, a t-bucket and 34 rod John had previously owned. Not that he’s complaining about owning these cool rides but ultimately they were the stepping stones to his final dream pieced together from these experiences. Read More →
When we talk of Yank tanks of the 60s, the Ford Galaxies must come up amongst the top for sheer size and statue, what with their stack headlights as well as stacked parkers, big square tail lights not to mention just the size of the panels themselves! It was the era of opulence and nobody did it better than the Americans. With the big bodies came big motors, big interiors and big brightwork. The suspensions were soft and the steering was light. Read More →
There’s something about a blown ’55 Chev that always grabs your attention! It’s as though the curved design of the bonnet and guards were made to have an injector hat or hilborn scoop protruding out the center of them. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the grill, single headlights and indicators that lend themselves perfectly to it as well. Read More →
The impact our teenage lives can have on us creates a lasting impression for the rest of our time on this mortal coil shaping our destination and decisions during that period. For those of us reading this mag, most likely it’s to do with the wheels we prefer, be it two or four, Holden, Ford or other and the style we prefer them to exemplify. Read More →
So what’s your flavour when it comes to Mustangs; coupe or fastback, classic or wild, red, white, black…….or how about yellow? The list of options is endless and when you buy one that has no identifying colours at all and is the equivalent of a blank canvas, your list of options is completely up to you! Wow! Too much to think about! This is exactly what 19 year old Danny Sammut faced when he gazed over the newly acquired project parked before him in his garage!
Let’s step back a moment and see how this all came about. We all remember when we were 19, newly licensed and a head full of ambition and drive with our desire for that elusive piece of automotive art seemingly just out of reach! Well Danny was in the same predicament, not 100 percent sure what he wanted yet was ready to get his teeth into something! All he knew was that it had to be a Mustang. An annual trip to the Queenscliff Rod Run cemented in his mind the desire to own a 1966 Mustang fastback and within a week of the seed being planted, he had located one, checked it out and laid down the folding stuff! The overall condition of the Pony ride was questionable to say the least but Danny, with the help from his Dad, Nick knew what they were getting into. So dedicated was Danny that he even turned up late to his own 19th birthday party to buy it! “All the family were at my house waiting for me to attend my party and I was out with Dad picking up the car.” Upon seeing the classic fastback arrive home on a trailer, his Mum just cried thinking what have they done!
Purchased in Templestow, the classic muscle originally came from California where its final days in America were spent as a chicken coop (no pun intended) housing the flightless birds for a local Mexican farmer. The years of neglect and chicken manure weren’t kind on the metal leaving the floor corroded out beyond repair. The rest of the car seemed to be a mismatch of different panels and parts, perfect for a complete ground up rebuild. The bonus about taking on a dilapidated vehicle like this with your own ideas for its finish is you don’t feel guilty about destroying a piece of preserved history. Danny would actually be breathing new life into the old girl while customising it to his own personal taste.
As in all builds, Danny started with the strip-down to see what needed to be done and Danny’s Dad, handy with the welder, built a rotisserie to mount the body onto for ease of work. The majority of the body work was done in house by Danny and thanks to Nick’s skills in metal work while Danny was learning fast along the way. The whole floor was relaced while the rest of the body and panels weren’t too bad and cleaned up nicely. With the body work completed, it was now time to choose a colour. “Colour was the hardest choice” say Danny and I’ve got to say, it’s a bold choice too especially when combining the silver stripes. I asked him where he got the colour idea from and he informs me he saw another Stang on the Net in the USA with a similar colour while Photoshop helped decide the colour choice for the stripes. He wasn’t going in blind on this decision!
Paul from Chase Customs and Restorations was given the job of spraying on the bright yellow with silver stripes. To really go that extra step, a custom pearl mix was added complimenting the classic lines to perfection.
Once back home again, a new black Deluxe Pony interior was installed paying tribute to the Ford designers of the era who designed the popular muscle car while a custom billet dash and B&M shifter tells the viewer it’s no stocker.
The mechanicals of this 60’s beast have been treated to the full show quality detail, again allowing Danny to decide what he wanted to do. A highly detailed stroked 302 Windsor with alloy heads boasting 480 HP on the dyno resides under the hood followed by a C10 auto with stage 2 shift kit. Down the back is a True Track nine inch while a twin three inch stainless exhaust system lets other road users know he’s coming. With so much power under foot, common sense says this ride needs decent brakes and Danny fitted 300mm twin piston callipers and slotted rotors all round. Ride is courtesy of King coils and KYB shockers. As Danny is an electrician by trade, it was only natural that he would also handle the electrical duties. The whole car was rewired using a Classic Auto Wire update kit giving him piece of mind while on the road.
With a standout colour scheme, no ordinary wheels are going to cut it so Danny opted for 18 inch Intros all round fitted with Falken tyres. If you don’t hear it coming, you’ll definitely see it coming!
Taking approximately two and a half to three years to complete, this immaculately presented ride is no trailer queen and spends many a weekend at car shows receiving the deserved accolades along the way. While a car like this may have a dollar value on it, you can’t put a price on the father and son bonding time spent together working long hours consumed by their love of all things automotive. Danny also gives a big thank you to other family members including his partner Jess who, like most dedicated partners, tolerated the life of a garage widow while Danny burned the midnight oil to complete his dream.
In 1954, the FJ Holden entered our lives selling like hot cakes and could be found on every Aussie street corner. It came to be recognized as an Aussie icon, something for the quintessential Aussie to hang his hat on. Then in the sixties, the need to stand out from the crowd kicked in and with typical Aussie ingenuity we started customizing these iconic rides to our own taste and came up with some memorable cruisers.
With its sixtieth birthday just around the corner, many have ended up on the scrap heap having been driven to their end seeing fewer out and about on our roads. Those who are lucky enough to own one, tend to return them back to their original guise or visually anyway. I mean, if you came across one with a V8 in it, would you yank it out and drop the old grey six back in? Me neither and that goes for Andrew Searle as well.
Having spent his early years cutting his teeth on Monaros and other Lion based products, Searley decided he wanted a change and, like all of us, had a hankering for a hot rod, but found the price tag too high for his taste and went for the next best thing: a 1950s Aussie classic with a V8 in it and he knew just where such a car existed. Lets step back in time a minute. In the 1990s, good friend and fellow Colac resident, Trevor O’Dowd had purchased the already modified rust free 6 cyl red motored Humpy and set about modifying it further by converting it to an eight cylinder beast. Not about to settle for just any old donk, Trevor sourced the 350 c.i. Chev with matching Turbo 350 from an HR Holden drag car. Well, if you’re going to drop an eight in it, why not get one with some serious poke! With an HR Holden front end already grafted in from the previous mod, all that was required was a change of engine mounts, heavier coils and a strengthening kit from well known custom car identity, Rod Hadfield and he was on his way.
To finish his now V8 modified and street engineered beast off, Trevor changed the colour from white to its current flavour of turquoise blue and hit the road testing out its potential around the town. The car eventually found its way onto the market seeing it leave the O’Dowd’s stable, pass through two more owners before ending up in the hands of its current owner, Andrew in 2005.
Having acquired his new toy, Searley set about disturbing the serenity by cruising the streets of the quiet country town contemplating which direction he wanted to take the classic four door. While the makings of a tough street car was all there, it needed to be finished off giving Andrew the benefit of adding his own touch to it as he went. “I wanted the car be seen in its original style when parked but to have the potential to take off quick when required” says Andrew.
Settling on his plan of attack, the car was taken off the road and work began in earnest with a deadline of the next upcoming Colac car show giving him a tight schedule of just four months. In order to complete this monster challenge, the obligatory late nights and long weekends were required. The first thing to be ripped out was the Torana diff which lacked the strength keep up with the power being thrown at it from up front.
Having chosen his rim/ tire combination, Searley loaded up the vehicle and trailered it to Geelong Differentials for a custom nine inch to be fabricated with strict instructions that the 8 inch rims could be fitted underneath without requiring any body mods so as to fit in with his “sleeper” plans. Next came the completion of the exhaust with the Chevy already having complimentary custom made extractors bolted to it when purchased. Exhaust Bros got the nod and again the plan was to hide the tailpipes from view. From there it went down the road to A1 Automotive where motor guru, Pete Smith added his knowledgeable touch to the street sleeper by adding a 650 Holley carb, HEI ignition and tuning it all up to run smooth but fast. A 3000 stall and stage 2 shift kit was added to the Trannie for good measure. Says Searley “I wanted the best of both worlds; to be able to still cruise in it yet have the ability to take off when required. Anyone can drive it without the worry of it being too much of a handful”.
With the running gear done to his liking, next came the body work. Still in excellent condition, all that was required was the removal of some unwanted rubber beads and a respray and, while Andrew could have gone with a colour change, he liked the Turquoise colour for its visual impact while still suiting the J’s era.
Last, but not least came the interior which again had to keep with the time honoured style of the FJ seeing Searley rip out the bucket seats which had previously been installed and hunt down a period correct bench seat. The B&M shifter was then moved forward to accommodate the old school comfort. The whole lot was then covered in tuck n roll cream leather and fawn carpet for the feet. A custom steering wheel was mounted to the column and mandatory visual aids in the form of gauges have been added too while the stereo from input to output has all been hidden.
Future plans for this street cred classic? Well, Searley’s got itchy feet and is already contemplating his next ride, maybe some classic muscle from Detroit so if you’re after a well preserved yet potent classic Aussie icon, just keep your eye on the classifieds. You never know when it might turn up!
What do you do when you’ve spent the last thirty years building elite show cars and all you want now is a driver that you can enjoy with your wife or take to car shows? You know that if you build one yourself, it’s not going to turn out to be the driver you had planned on but will most likely end up back on the elite show circuit. The best plan is to buy one ready done and just make the alterations yourself which should see you not strip to the bare bones and build it back up…as long as you keep a tight leash on yourself!
Peter Olver found himself in this predicament, having spent the last few decades building a number of top award winning street rods which consisted of a ’32 Roadster ,’33
coupe, ’32 three window and ’34 Sedan. Having stepped away from the scene in the early 2000s and moving his attention to other priorities, Peter still had a hankering for something that would satisfy the classic V8 urge running through his veins. While on a trip to the States, he was down in Dallas, Texas and came across a neat 1955 Chevrolet 150 post for sale. “I liked the simplicity of it, the fact that it has very little trim on it gives it a clean look” says Pete. Largely ignored for many years by the American modified car scene, these two door budget rides came out in their day with sparse trim on the body and lend themselves well to being modified as a cool cruiser and are now just starting to attract attention. With a previous build on the shoebox Chevy completed in 2004 and with very little miles put on the clock since then, the car was relatively fresh. Having a good look over it, Pete was satisfied it had been done properly and he layed down the required green backs before shipping it back to our shores.
With a stroked and detailed 400 c.i. Chevy donk pushing out 500 HP located in the smoothed engine bay and backed up by a Turbo 700 box, this baby’s no slouch on the street and could do alright on the strip too. All that power is fed to the road thanks to a 1959 Corvette rear end . By running the Corvette’s single leaf spring setup, it allows those tough looking 17” American Racing wheels to slot perfectly under the rear quarters while 16” rims up front finish it off in the rolling stock department. Two inch drop spindles and three inch lowering blocks give it that timeless stance that suits this classic American iron so well.
The Tropical Turquoise Blue sedan arrived in Australia in February and after getting it home, Pete subsequently set about partially tearing it down to arrange the necessary adjustments to his own liking. Pete resides in country Victoria and with mainly two lane roads between himself and his destinations, driving on the left side of a vehicle has its challenges especially when it comes to overtaking maneuvers around large vehicles. Visibility becomes a serious problem and for this reason, he converted it to right hand drive using a power rack and pinion steering kit from Rod Collins. To help with the road performance, tubular A arms replace the old 1955 units allowing for a better castor on the front wheels giving the driver greater steering control. Stopping power is courtesy of a set of aftermarket discs up front while drums do their anchoring duty at the rear.
The paint job has been left relatively untouched as it is still in excellent condition from its last respray and Pete didn’t want to mess with the subtle mauve and blue pin striping which adorns both flanks of the car and the boot. With the bonnet and boot shaved of its jewelry, Pete enhanced that smooth look by bolting on a set of aftermarket “smoothy” bumpers, doing without the over riders and bolt caps. To complete the minimal theme, the taillights were swapped for a set of custom items while upfront, custom Headwing headlights give the operator better night vision also vital for driving on country roads. Those roos don’t appreciate classic rides like we do! To keep it as the driver it is intended to be, the underside of the tri-five Chev has been finished in a standard sub frame black making it easy to clean, no detailing required! While we’re under here, exhaust gasses exit via extractors modified to suit the right hand conversion through to a twin system with tailpipes tucked neatly under the bumper.
While the outside maintains a minimal look in the bright work department, inside it’s a different story with all chrome and alloy trim retained. Complimenting the classic trim is a set of aftermarket billet dash inserts and an Ididit steering column with old school column shift. A full set of Dolphin gauges look the part while helping Pete keep an eye on all vital information regarding mechanicals and electricals. A cool optional extra found on this ride are the wind down rear windows giving the rear passengers that “air through the hair” feeling when cruising. The interior had been upholstered in tweed with turquoise piping but Pete prefers the feel of leather and had the seats, roof and door trims redone by Phil of Daylsford Upholstery in tan leather with matching carpet. To keep a consistent look throughout, the boot received the same makeover including spare tire and battery box. The original A/C and heater controls keep the ’55 theme alive while operating the aftermarket aircon which is vital on those hot summer days. Peter from Creswick Auto Electrical was given the job of rewiring the whole car and has done a great job of hiding the bundles of coloured spaghetti.
Pete plans on keeping this one in his company along with his VC Brock Commodore and CVZ8 Monaro although, with a twinkle in his eye, he says there maybe plans brewing for a ’32 rod……just as a driver though!! Yeah, right Pete!!
We recently had the pleasure of photographing Mark’s 1970 Dodge Super Bee after he purchased a half day package off us. We organised a suitable time and place and shot in a number of locations in that area. As Mark was familiar with the area, we were able to access some great spots to shoot his classic piece of American iron.
This selection of pics are just a sample of what Mark gets to choose from while most of the 200 images will be set on a DVD slideshow set to his choice of music as a visual reminder of his day.
Mark also upgraded his package to include an acrylic panel which will look fantastic hanging up on the wall!
If you’re interested in having your pride and joy captured in this style, check out our packages or contact us to discuss what we can do for you.