THERE is a bit of a buzz around the Street Machine office at the moment; a spring in our step that can only be brought on by the acquisition of a new project car! We can’t tell you what it is just yet, but let’s just say that it is a bench-seat, early-1960s sedan – one that came right-hand drive from the factory and fitted with a thumping big V8. Our example is a little worse for wear, but besides not currently having an engine, the beast is pretty much complete, very straight and seems to be rust-free. What’s more, we picked it up for less than $2K and we reckon we can have it on the road – with a big-block in it – for around $10,000. We’ll cover the whole thing for our Carnage web series.
That’s the basic plan for stage one, anyway! Stage two will no doubt involve more horsepower and maybe some 60s Super Stock vibes.
Of course, we need a deadline to work towards or the thing will never get done. It is a job Scott Taylor can probably knock over fairly quickly, but we’ve already got four other Carnage projects to finish up first. I’m well overdue for a big road-trip, so our new big-block buddy might be just the thing for the cruise to this year’s Red CentreNATS in Alice Springs (31 August to 2 September) or the Running On Empty Festival in Cobar (26-28 October).
Either way, we’re pumped to have a chrome-bumper project car again. Don’t get me wrong – Turbo Taxi and the MX5.7 have been more fun than a barrel full of monkeys, but real-steel cars are where our true passion lies. And it will be cool to have a big-block car in the fleet – we haven’t done one since Craig Parker screwed together the Comfort Cruiser ’67 Ford Galaxie (pictured) back in 2006.
The prices people are asking – and in some cases getting – for classic metal can be a little depressing for those of us looking for a new project. And yep, if like our features editor Andrew Broadley, you have your heart set on an HK Monaro, you’re gonna need some serious moolah to get in on the ground floor, even with a rusty dunger. So we’re hoping our project might inspire a few folks out there to look past the usual suspects and find their own affordable steel-bumper beast to play with. We’re not yet at the point where a Morris Marina is the only affordable option for a young kid interested in old cars; there is a lot of fun to be had if you are patient and cast your net wide.
To be sure, our car won’t be a thing of beauty, at least in its first incarnation, but it’s big, it’s tough and it’s going to a hoot to drive – the perfect ride for enjoying good times with your mates.
And speaking of which, we’re really excited about Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend, which is running in South East Queensland, 13-15 April. It will be our first time taking the Drag Challenge concept north of the border, and it is awesome that we’ll have a bunch of brand-new entrants – as well as some Drag Challenge veterans – taking part.
While DC can be quite competitive, it is the camaraderie and sportsmanship that makes it so special. It doesn’t matter if you have a seven-second contender for top honours or a tough streeter running 11s – Drag Challenge is all about proving your car’s street credentials and having a bunch of fun doing it.
If you can’t make it to Queensland for a look in person, keep an eye on streetmachine.com.au and our Facebook page for coverage over the whole weekend. And yep, our regular five-day event will be running in Victoria as usual, 12-16 November. Entries will open shortly after Drag Challenge Weekend winds up.