SNAP SHOTS

LEE GOODE > GAWLER, SA

STORY SIMON MAJOR

WHAT we’re exposed to as kids can have a huge impact on the path we end up following in life, and South Australian Lee Goode is a perfect example. Passionate about anything automotive, Lee grew up in a car-obsessed family surrounded by 50s Chevs and Customlines, which planted the rod and custom seed, and was taken for joyrides in a VH Valiant Pacer, explaining his enduring love for the Chrysler marque. He’s also a talented artist, with a healthy obsession both with old-school jellybean mags and Brigitte Bardot; check out his work on Instagram: @goodecustomconcepts. 01: IN THE mid-80s Lee’s dad bought him his first car, this FJ ute, for 150 bucks. “It was in pretty good condition and I used to drive it around the paddock as a 10-year-old,” he says. “We started to strip it down for a resto but people kept dropping in wanting to buy bits off it, so we ended up parting it out. I made enough money selling the tailgate alone to buy a GT BMX.” 02: WITH the proceeds from the FJ tailgate burning a hole in Lee’s back pocket, he headed to Star Cycles in Elizabeth and plonked down the readies for this spankers ’86 GT Pro Performer.

“I loved freestyle and pored over mags like BMX Plus! and BMX Action, and dreamed of being the next [champion rider] Eddie Fiola. It was originally hot pink with yellow Tuffs – man, did I cop some shit for that!” he laughs. “I rebuilt it a few years ago in orange and black, and it saves my arse every time the car breaks down. It’s more acceptable to ride as a 40-year-old now that BMX is cool again.” 03: HERE’S Lee in his Ralfus ’32 Ford hot rod shirt outside the SA Hot Rod Show. “I was 10, and sporting my normal attire of a flanno, slickedback hair and Ciak shoes – I just liked what I liked. And all the tough guys wore them too!” he laughs. “I swear, the look on my face is because the scoop is wrong for the style of that T-bucket; the scoop is wrong for the style of that T-bucket; I was passionate even back then! I went to every Adelaide Hot Rod Show between 1976 and 2000.

I’ll never forget the year I walked in and saw Gary Stevens’s red C-cab hot rod for the first time. It was spectacular; I nearly fainted.” 04: LEE’S VF was built in the late 90s and featured a hot four-barrel slant-six, Honda NSX silver paint, ’67 Dart tail-lights and was eventually finished with a black vinyl roof. “There’s a weird story behind this one,” he says. “I had a VC sedan that broke down in Smithfield. I’m under the bonnet and a bloke just rocks up to me and says: ‘Do you want to swap for a VF coupe?’ And that was it. It was built in the driveway and featured a lot of NOS parts, as repro stuff was hard to get for Vals back then. I always drove it hard but got nowhere! I pranged it racing a Porsche 911 one night, and eventually fixed it up and sold it on to buy an immaculate VC sedan.” How cool is the Lemon Twist Drifter pano in the background? Lee’s old mate Andrew Black still owns it today; it runs a 265/four-speed combo and came complete with an ultra-rare tail tent. 05: LEE has always loved art, and his skills in a number of different media have seen his work recognised internationally. “From the late 80s I was always flaming and pinstriping stuff, long before it was cool again,” he says. “If my dad was into it then so was I, whether it was popular or not. This pic is me with the fairing off a mate’s Ducati. I bought those brushes from [custom legend] John Katsanis who brought them in from the States, and learnt how to flame by reading rod and custom magazines.”

06: THIS XY ute was always getting Lee in trouble, he reckons. “I worked at Gateway Ford in Gawler as a teenager and one of my jobs was moving the ute in and out each day. Of course this meant going around the block – as you do – and I would just hammer it through the gears. By the time I got back there would always be a complaint about my driving style,” he laughs. “It was built from a wrecked Electric Blue GTHO, so had all the fruit.

Our parts-chasers were two Escort panel vans in full Cobra paint schemes with worked motors, so it was hard to behave yourself.” 07: THE West Beach Esplanade and the Bay car park in Glenelg were hot Adelaide cruise spots for many years, and the 90s were some of the best.

Lee’s mate Liam Dent owned this neat burgundy VJ Charger, which featured the factory A54 sports stripe

and W35 slot mags. “It was only a stock Hemi 245 and auto, but this Charger was just perfect, a real proper immaculate thing,” Lee says. “They were great times and the street scene was so strong. I clearly remember seeing Phil Rillotta’s red LC Torana out cruising and it just blew my mind.” 08: LEE bought this ’39 Willys sedan for $500 out of The Trading Post back in 2000, with a restored chassis and Jeep four-cylinder donk.

“I always knew these were special,” he says. “I fitted an HT front end and the plan was to cut it down into a ute. It was all drawn up and ready to go but I got offered good coin for it and it went to Melbourne. I was doing a bachelor degree at uni at the time, so the extra bucks came in handy.” 09: IN 2011 Lee was invited to display a piece at the South Australia Living Artists Festival, and painted the famous ’34 coupe built by Jim ‘Jake’ Jacobs of Pete & Jake’s Hot Rod Parts fame. The snub-nose ’38 Ford truck grille makes it instantly recognisable, and the painting was a standout amongst the work on display. “It was cool because it wasn’t just car people who liked it,” Lee says.

“I painted it for my dad, who loves it and has it hanging on the wall.” 10: CARS have long been the inspiration for the majority of Lee’s art, and this cartoon-styled Dodge Tradesman was commissioned as a shirt design for internet sensation Lucifer’s Death Squad. “It all started with doing drawings for ‘Sketch Pad’ in Eddie Ford’s Custom Rodder when I was a kid,” Lee says. “These days I still draw for fun and to get all of the crazy ideas out of my brain and onto paper; I’ll add my own twist to anything. I do plenty of commission work too, both here in Australia and for the US, and even have a piece hanging in Jay Leno’s museum, which is very humbling.” 11: LEE’S current daily is this VC sedan (at right), which he has owned for 17 years. “It was a lowkilometre one-owner car that is a total base model – it is everything-delete!” he laughs. It runs a slant-six with three-speed column manual; the slot mags off Lee’s silver VF hardtop are the only modification. “I’m building an old-school VH Valiant ute that is the total opposite end of the spectrum – tunnel-rammed small-block, huge slot mags and – tunnel-rammed small-block, huge slot mags and custom paint. US artist Scott Stevens drew me up a concept (at left) and it will be exactly like that. I can’t wait to hit the streets in it!”