READERS’ ROCKETS

NOEL CARPENTER LX TORANA

SEND photos of your car and a few details of what went into the build to Readers’ Rockets, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166 or email readerscars@bauer-media.com.au. Please note: Send us copies of prints as we are unable to return your photos.

NOEL CARPENTER LX TORANA

“MY FATHER bought this 1977 Torana brand new and it was our family car when I was a kid.

He sold the car 17 years ago but I kept an eye on where it was and managed to get the bare shell from Cowra in October 2016. With only five weeks to go until my father turned 80, we decided it would be a great idea to pick him up on his birthday in his old pride and joy. We stripped the body down to bare metal, repaired all dents and got the body primed and sent to Frank Myers at Custom Colours panel shop.

By the time he had the body painted we had b the panels primed and ready. We swapped them the panels primed and ready. We swapped them panels we began fitting all the interior, drivetrain, windows, etc. Matt Turnbull had an old injected 5.0- litre laying in his shed so we slotted that in up front. We finished at 12.30 on the Saturday morning before my father’s surprise party. I turned up to his house and he asked if it was the same car, and when I told him it was he told me I’d ruined it (typical old man)! But you could see the excitement in his eyes as he went over every little mark and said: “Gee, you even fixed that!” Big thanks to the guys who helped: Danny Board, Matt Turnbull, Ben Azmi, Jon Smoother, Darren Williams, Frank Myers, Dave Dolbel, James Dean, Ji Rissler, Jeff Patterson, Jack Smoother, Peter Butcher and many others that came and went. It was a massive effort by all, especially Frank, who got the paint sorted in miraculous time. Words can’t describe how good this was to get done for the old man on his 80th.” Photos: Ben Hosking with him for the body, and while he started on the

STEVE FLANAGAN EH HOLDEN UTE

“I’VE had this ute for 27 years and we recently did some upgrades. It’s flat black but will be painted again soon. It runs a very healthy black 202 with two-inch SUs, custom inlet manifold and custom headers.

It has a T5 gearbox with Mustang rear case with hydraulic thrust bearing, a Rod-Tech coil-over front and four-link rear with VL turbo LSD diff and Watt’s link. She’s in the shakedown stage at the moment. It will be pulled apart again in the coming months and a full rotisserie job will be done.”

ANDY AUSTIN HX KINGSWOOD

“SIX years ago I purchased the HX – dubbed The Reverend – sight unseen on eBay for $1200. It was being stored in a hayshed in St Arnaud in Victoria and the owner said it hadn’t been started for three years. So my mate Aaron and I made the trek five-and-a-half hours north-west, armed with a permit, battery and a few tools. We put the battery in, pulled the choke out, cranked it over and it ran quiet as a mouse. It then didn’t miss a beat for the long ride home. Once home I found all of the paperwork in the glovebox from when it was purchased. It was first owned by the reverend at the local church – hence the nickname. Initially I had just wanted to freshen it up a little and put a decent motor in it, but things quickly got out of hand.

It got stripped down to a rolling shell, the front end was rebuilt and powdercoated, then it was sent off to Lukes Custom Fabrications for the metalwork and on to Ringwood Body Works for the off-white paint and reverse-cowl. For the interior I wanted a standard look with a modern twist, so I handed it over to Lyndon at Croydon Motor Trimming and asked him to trim in maroon, use twin stitching and wrap the dash. I then fitted out the dash with VDO gauges set in the original positions, RetroSound stereo and B&M shifter on the floor. Under the bonnet is a mild 350 Chev and Turbo 350 trans.

Stainless brake lines run to Wilwood brakes. The hidden wiring and first start-up was done by Scott at SG Auto Electrics, who does an immaculate job. The HX was finally finished three weeks prior to marrying my amazing wife (I knew she was the one when she helped put the motor in) and was the perfect wedding car.”

MICHAEL PERRY ’48 CHEVY PICK-UP

“I’VE always liked rat rods/hot rods, but I never thought I would own one, let alone build one. It all started when I drove a family friend’s (Ron Zelukovic) 1934 Ford three-window coupe and thought: ‘Man, I need to build something.’ A few weeks later, I found a ’48 Chevy cab and HQ one-tonner chassis and started from there. I had never done anything to this extent before but I dived in the deep end and went with it. I remember hearing a saying by Peter Brock: ‘Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like hell.’ So I got the cab mounted onto the chassis and ended up changing the front sheet metal to a smaller American pick-up size front end. The motor is an injected 5.0L rebuilt with Crow cam, lifters, valve springs and a Mace memcal, all installed with the help of my mate Jeremy Shaw. The Chevy is sitting on a set of 20-inch Detroit steel wheels out of the States; I like the smoothie look, but wanted something to fill the guards up. My wife Kim and I painted the truck over a few weeks with rust-effect paint to create the rat rod weathered look. I fabricated the tub and running boards, and with the help of Ronnie we fabricated the tailgate. The truck is running a set of VE Commodore calipers and rotors up front with an HZ disc set-up at the rear with a 3.55 centre. An HT bench seat fits nicely inside, re-trimmed by a mate of mine, Geoff Baker at Ol Skool Auto Trimming. The door artwork inside and out was painted by Mim.” Photos: Ben Hosking

MARK COLLIS FORD ESCORT RS2000

“THIS is my ’79 RS2000. It’s been lying around in a shed for 22 years. It was a shell six weeks ago. It’s got a big brake kit, new bushes all round and an adjustable front. It runs a 2.1-litre Pinto with mild cam, ported head, big valves and 45s. It will cop a Zetec conversion very soon. We put it all together at my workshop and I would like to thank my guys for all their help.”