STAGE WRITE

GAV CASS SPENT OVER 1200 HOURS TURNING FOUR RUSTY OLD CAR BODIES INTO A STEEL TWO-DOOR í36 FORD HOT ROD WITH FEW EQUALS, POWERED BY A 754HP BLOWN FORD SMALL-BLOCK

BOB KOTMEL

HAVE you ever wondered what sort of car a mechanical engineer qualified to inspect and approve modified vehicles for Queensland Transport would build? Gav Cassís í36 Ford hot rod is your answer. Iíve been a journo for over 50 years, and his í36 is one of the most incredible cars Iíve ever seen.

Gav, along with Keith Woodley, a retired master coachbuilder, spent over 1200 hours turning four rusty old car bodies into a steel two-door hot rod with few equals. The car rides on four-link airbag suspension and is powered by a 754hp blown Ford smallblock that can idle smoothly in traffic without getting hot. Thereís a chrome-moly six-point rollcage built into the car that you can hardly see, along with creature comforts like air con, cruise control, hidden Alpine sound system, a reverse camera and hidden phone charger in the door. It even has baby capsule mounts in the parcel tray.

Gav started collecting bits to turn a dream into reality back in 2005, and the rod was finally registered 10 years later. Two rusty í36 Ford four-door bodies had their pillars moved back to suit genuine tudor doors imported from the US. The original rear door area was massaged and welded shut so it looks like it came that way from the factory. The roof was chopped 2ľ inches and the canvas roof insert turned into steel using a Ford XP station wagon roof.

The bodywork has to be seen to be believed.

The í36 is underpinned by a Lilow chassis, which is six inches narrower and has a threeinch kick under the guards to fit a 12.5x31 rear tyre. The triangulated four-link airbag suspension has QA1 adjustable shocks, and the front stainless A-arm suspension uses improved HR geometry. Gav designed and made the ANDRA-approved six-point ícage with a removable taxi bar and intrusion bars.

Underneath the custom-made floor is a 31-spline nine-inch diff with a Strange aluminium centre, full-floating Romac hubs and Truetrac fitted with 3.5:1 Richmond gears. A Gear Vendors overdrive keeps the rod cruising at 2000rpm at 100km/h. Thereís also a 78-litre fuel tank thatís good for 600km with 13L/100km economy. The transmission is a Coan-built C6 with a same-brand 2000rpm stall converter.

The engine is based on a 351 Windsor, with a Dart SVO block fitted with Ross forged 8.0:1 pistons, Scat crank and AFD 2V heads. The cam is a baby hydraulic-roller. The Canton alloy sump is set up with an Accusump that fills the oilways with 50psi of oil before cranking the motor over.

The 8/71 blower was built by Bob Fisher, and the twin 950 Holley supercharger carbs were

set up on Steve Gayís dyno for power and economical highway use. The engine purrs under 1000rpm at idle, unlike other blown engines that lope, hunt and spew fuel out the exhaust pipe.

Gav TIG-welded the ceramic-coated exhaust system himself. The four-into-one headers have two-inch primaries with fourinch collectors, passing through oval fourinch pipes to twin Magnaflow mufflers and resonators with a balance pipe.

Electrically the rod is controlled by a Dakota Digital programmable dash. Gav did the majority of the wiring himself, with all sensors and inputs wired to the dash with plugs to a central board. The cooling system, Alpine sound system, Vintage Air air con, and digital cruise control are all run from the dash. Gav designed the radiator in CAD and had the custom cooler made to his specs. A

single Cooling Components shrouded fan is controlled by a Davies Craig controller and electric water pump.

Thereís so much to marvel at with this tastefully built creation: the hand-bent fuel lines; neatly aligned plug leads; custom laser-cut and machined parts; superstraight black paintwork; tilt-forward louvred bonnet; front-opening windscreen; matching tan firewall, engine bay and wheels; and chrome hubcaps. And Jeff Fussell at Alltrim has done a sensational job of upholstering the hot rod in tan leather and hiding the ícage. Gav imagined how he wanted it to look and designed it, and Jeff then created the pure-class interior, which is sure to impress other upholsterers when they see it.

Much of the car is Gavís own handiwork.

He has spent countless hours designing and creating a masterpiece, and the imagination and ingenuity is incredible. This rod will hold its own in any show it enters in Australia, as well as be able to participate in Street Machineís Drag Challenge.

For anyone serious about building a modified vehicle, Gav would be one of the best mechanical engineers in Queensland to get in touch with. Heís built one of the most unique hot rods on the planet, knows what you can and canít do, whatís safe, and heíll steer you in the right direction. He is passionate about hot rods and modified cars and has hands-on experience in the real world. You can contact him at his Facebook page (CCW Central Coast And Whitsundays Vehicle Approvals), or phone 0407 570 024. But like many of the people I mention in my column, donít waste his time with bullshit! s

GAV CASS SPENT OVER 1200 HOURS TURNING FOUR RUSTY OLD CAR BODIES INTO A STEEL TWO-DOOR í36 FORD HOT ROD WITH FEW EQUALS, POWERED BY A 754HP BLOWN FORD SMALL-BLOCK