IRON MAIDEN

KATE SYMONS

STORY & PHOTOS PETER BATEMAN

> BARGO, NSW

SIXTEEN-year-old Kate Symons has owned her WB flat-top one-tonner for two years, and is counting down the days to her next birthday so she can get her provisional licence. Her dad Matt runs a car club, Southern Highlands Streeters, and heís clearly passed on the automotive love to Kate: ďIn Year 11 I topped my class in Automotive Technology. There were about 20 boys and me in the class,Ē she says proudly.

Where did you find this WB?

I got it from Burtís Brakes; it was their old tradiesí ute. The thing was not very good; brake lines were squished and there were ciggy butts everywhere. It was badly rusted.

How much of the work did you do?

I did most of the bogging, because Dad wanted me to learn. He instructed me to wire-brush the chassis back and we sent it for powdercoating.

There were rust holes in the roof, floors, scuttle and the back of the cab that had to be fixed. I was too concerned I would ruin it, so Dad did the welding. He did teach me to weld on something else though, so I did learn something. 142

So you got it back to bare metal?

Everything was stripped back with an air sander. I had face masks, gloves and old clothes and got very dirty. Dad would inspect my work and show me what I needed to do next. When it was ready we sent it to Blue Print Smash at Minto for painting. I love the paint colour I chose; I saw it on a car at Harryís Cafe de Wheels one night and had to have it. Itís House Of Kolor. One of the boys in my car club works at Blue Print Smash and I kept harassing him to finish the car ASAP. While I was at school Dad would send me updates by phone, and I couldnít wait for the weekends when we went to see it.

Tell us a bit about the tray.

Dad and I built it from nothing.

Lots of cutting and measuring, and with no plans. It turned out okay.

The cream trim looks tops. Who helped on that?

Garyís Motor Trimming & Upholstery at Girraween. I have to thank them; they did a great job.

Whatís up front?

Itís only a six. Something to do with P-plate laws.

Itís been fully overhauled. One day Iíll change it, but that will have to wait. Itís original, with discs up front and drums at the back.

So how soon can you get your licence?

Exactly 37 days! Iím counting down the days. Iíve already done my 120 required hours. Canít wait.

What do you do when people are egging you on in the WB while youíre on L-plates?

Just laugh, keep driving. Itís interesting in the wet Ė no weight in the back. I built it, so I donít want to break it.

How much has the car cost?

About $30,000. I have a loan arrangement with Dad; he is my banker! I have a job at KFC and pay him back in instalments.

How long will you keep it?

Iíll never sell it; I love it too much and have put too much effort into it. s

IN YEAR 11 I TOPPED MY CLASS IN AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY. THERE WERE ABOUT 20 BOYS AND ME IN THE CLASS!

Girls ó wanna be famous? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Iron Maiden, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166. Or email: streetmachine@ bauer-media.com.au.