TELFO

WE ARENíT OUT TO COMPETE WITH ANYONE ELSE, JUST OURSELVES. ALL IíVE EVER WANTED IS TO HAVE THE BEST CAR IN THE CAR PARK

SIMON TELFORD

STREET MACHINE isnít just a magazine about cars, it is about the people, who build, drive and love them. Our sport is full of cool, colourful and inspirational characters and we lost one of the best back in February - Rod Johnston from Wongarbon in NSW, at the age of 79. Rod spent his long life building cool stuff, but from the early 90s, he and his son Hud produced a stream of customs from their humble shed that have surprised and delighted just about anyone who saw them. The pair had no less than five cars featured in SM and won plenty of trophies too, including a couple of Elite Top 20 spots. The fact that all but the last of those feature cars Ė Hudís FJ Holden coupe, SM, May í11 Ė was built in a dirt-floor shed with very minimal tools only added to the interest in the pairís creations. How minimal? With typical dry humour, Rod liked to say that he had his own CNC machine to create his signature custom billet pieces Ė namely a hacksaw and some files! And until the FJ coupe came along, they drove each and every one of their cars to Summernats and back. The FJ was a big step up from their previous (and mainly Ford-based) creations, with massive body mods, an almost endless list of billet dress-up items and a fully-detailed undercarriage. It took out Top Custom at Summernats 24, but for Rod, it was never about the trophies. ďWe arenít out to compete with anyone else, just ourselves,Ē he told me when photographer Simon Davidson and I visited the boys back in 2008. ďAll Iíve ever wanted to do is have the best car in the car park.Ē

Rod passed away doing what he loved best, working on his í34 Ford coupe. His vision was of a vintage race car for the street, powered by a 4.2-litre Jaguar six. It is a mark of how wellrespected and liked Rod was in his local community that a number of car builders in the area are going to pitch in to help Hud get the coupe finished and do Rod proud. I for one, canít wait to see it. And if youíd like to read some more about the Johnstons just do a search on streetmachine.com.au s

WE ARENíT OUT TO COMPETE WITH ANYONE ELSE, JUST OURSELVES. ALL IíVE EVER WANTED IS TO HAVE THE BEST CAR IN THE CAR PARK