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“I BOUGHT this HX GTS Monaro when I was 15 years old from a friend of the family. I ended up selling it to a mate, but regretted it and had to buy it back! It stayed as a standard 350-cube street car up until about five years ago, when I had it built by a shop here in Alice Springs. We did a 383 stroker with Brodix heads and stuck a nine-inch diff in the rear hooked up to a Powerglide trans. We repainted it in the original factory blue colour, stuck on a set of Center Line Convo Pro wheels with Mickey Thompson radials then started to get into drag racing.
So far it has run an 11.5sec quarter-mile. At the moment the interior is as it left the factory, apart from a few additional gauges, so the next job is to give her a clean-up. And who knows, after that we might go down the nitrous route!”
Pics: Chris Thorogood
“THIS is my HX Sandman, in Absinth Yellow. It’s a genuine XX7 Brisbane build, with a 253 and four-speed. It was spotted by my brother-in-law in Brisbane around 2007; he passed the car daily parked down a small side-street. In 2008, I decided to see if it was still there, and it was – along with the faded paintwork and rust spots. I did a doorknock and found that the guy who owned it had been using the vehicle as his daily drive and work van for 20 years. I didn’t know if it was a genuine Sandman at that stage, but I left a business card and told him to give me a call when he wanted to sell the vehicle. A year later, I got the call, so went back, checked the ID plate and confirmed the vehicle as a Sandman XX7 with all the original running gear. It sat in the shed at home for three-and-a-half years before I began a full ground-up rebuild. Many thanks to Ron Robertson, the panel beater and painter, who put many hundreds of hours into the van to bring her back to life. The pictures tell the story – what a beauty!” Pics: Rick Welch
“HERE’S my AP6 V8; I’ve had it for 21 years. It runs a mild 318 and Torqueflite. It was originally a copper colour with a vinyl roof. It’s not supertidy throughout, but it’s not too shabby either. The interior is fairly good – besides the cowhide seat covers – but the engine bay needs a good detail.”
“I HAVE a four-cylinder ’74 Celica, and hubby says to me: ‘Get a car with some balls, will ya!’ So we find this ’73 Valiant Charger XL, go and check it out and I buy it within a day.
Love this thing! The front end has been entirely redone, and the engine is mildly worked, including roller rockers, ported heads, 360 headers, 904 gearbox with stage 2 shift kit and Dominator converter with big-neck 3000 stall. So yeah, it sounds tough! I think hubby is a little cut because my car is better than his – he’s got a worked ’62 Chevy Impala SS. As you can see, I am passionate about cars, and want the girls to have as much fun as the boys! I noticed there was a lack of girls in the car scene, so I started a Facebook page called Northern Gal last year, to get chicks to come to car shows, get interested and maybe buy and drive a classic!
Check out Northern Gal on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Shannons Club.”
“HERE’S my 2006 XR8, with a V3 Vortech supercharger. It started off as a daily runaround for work and slowly progressed with a few little mods until it turned into a blown XR8! I couldn’t resist going forced induction on these Boss motors – it really wakes them up! It’s currently running 8psi and making around 350rwkW. I will probably go up a few pounds soon! I also have a ’67 XR, which my old man and I are building at the moment. Plans are to restore it, with the usual goodies – four-link rear, minitubbed, and maybe sneak in a 6/71 blower.”
“THIS is my UC Torana. It was only just painted the week before Red CentreNATS by the paint and panel section of Charles Darwin University, where I manage the automotive trade school. The car was assembled as part of a prisoner training program designed to give indigenous prisoners a Certificate I and II in Automotive, prior to being released. We finished it just in time for Red CentreNATS! Under the bonnet is a standard injected 5.7-litre Holden V8 from a VR GTS, hooked up to a manualised Turbo 350 transmission and nine-inch rear with Strange axles, Truetrac with 4.11 gears and McDonald Brothers control arms. It runs low 14s down the quarter, which is pretty good for a factory engine.
With the current diff gears it launches really hard off the line, but is a bit slow through the top end. It keeps up with new XR8 Falcons and HSVs though, so I’m happy with that! Next we’ll probably upgrade the front suspension to A9X-spec 90/10 shocks – if it’s going to be slow down the quarter, it might as well wheelstand!”
Pics: Chris Thorogood
“I BOUGHT my EH from a local wrecking yard in Dalby. The then-owner was a Holden nut and couldn’t bring himself to break it up, so when I told him I’d be keen to restore it, he dropped the price and all of a sudden I was the proud owner of a van. I filled in the side windows, fixed the usual rust, did a custom EJ bonnet (which I copied off Telfo’s EJ!) and painted it a factory Holden commercial colour. The engine got a degrease and a fresh coat of red and I added disc brakes up front. Evan’s Trim Shop in Toowoomba did a great budget trim job as I didn’t want anything too flashy. My aim was to build a periodstyle service/business van that you would have seen everywhere in the 60s, so I tracked down an old family friend, Peter Caporn, to do the signwork for it.
The only brief I gave him was that my business name had to be on it and that it had to look like a car from the 60s. I couldn’t be happier with the result. Some whitewall-clad HG Kingswood rims with bullet caps and nuts completed the look.
The next owner will be my son; he’s a few years off owning yet but he’s already laid claim to it. Start ’em young, I say!”
Pics: Rick Welch