DARCY CHIRCOP

17, HOPPERS CROSSING, VIC

STORY TA S MCMILLAN PHOTOS SHAUN TANNER

WHILE most other teenagers spend their weekends glued to their smartphones, 17-year-old Darcy Chircop occupies himself by restoring his EH with the help of his dad Manny and the guys from Showroom Finish Smash Repairs in Hoppers Crossing. Itís his first car, and heís investing a great deal of effort in making it something really special.

Fair to say that cars are in your blood, Darcy?

Yep, my grandfather owned an EH, and Dadís one of the founders of the Cruzin Knights Car Club. My EH started out as a shell; the only panels that came with it were the boot and bonnet. My dad bought it for me for my 12th birthday, and then Nino from Showroom Finish put his hand up to help us out and took me on board. If it wasnít for them, itíd be nowhere.

Whatís gonna make it go?

My dad used to crew for Steve Russell of Cameron & Russell Racing, and Steve said: ďYou bring me the motor and what it needs and Iíll build it for you.Ē Itís a 179 with twin 97 Stromberg carbies on a Redline manifold and a basic exhaust. The car was a manual, but Iíve changed it to a column-shift Trimatic, and we fitted the HR front end for the disc brakes. Weíve still got to run all the fuel and brake lines and all the wiring for the auto. We lowered it a little bit and itís going to run 15-inch wheels with adapters to mount the original 13-inch hubcaps.

How much work have you done yourself?

Iíve done all of the panelwork, with lots of help from Nino and the other guys at Showroom Finish. I started with replacing the floors and deleting the aerial; then I cut all the rust out of the doors and welded in the patch panels. There was a lot of work in getting the doors to fit properly and making the panel gaps acceptable.

What colour will it be?

Itís going to be Seacombe Green metallic with an offwhite roof, wheels and venetians. We picked up the interior from an old bloke who had it all retrimmed in green 10 years ago but got too sick to continue with his project.

What do you love the most about the EH?

Coming here every weekend and having people wanting to help me. There arenít many kids out there doing this. If it wasnít for the support that Iíve got, thereís no way Iíd be where I am now. I struggle in school, a lot. Doing stuff with my hands like this makes me happy. Trying to get me up at 7am to get me to school is hard, but Iím up at 6:30 waiting for Dad to wake up to take me to work! Everyone says they hate work, but I love it. Iím excited to come here and work, see the guys and learn. I love learning.

DAD BOUGHT THE EH FOR MY 12TH BIRTHDAY, AND THEN NINO FROM SHOWROOM FINISH PUT HIS HAND UP TO HELP US OUT AND TOOK ME ON

Tell us about the community work you and the Cruzin Knights have done.

Ninoís son Nick was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and I wanted to do something for him. I didnít want all the stupid little things like bills and petrol to be an issue for him while he was sick. The Cruzin Knights were having a dinner dance and they were struggling to get the numbers, so I thought we could make it about him. We sold out of tickets, we had a raffle and auctions and I shaved my head. We ended up raising $49,000 for him and he was cancer-free by Christmas!

Aged around 21 or younger and have a neat ride? Send some pics and info to: Young Guns, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166 or email us at: younggun@ bauer-media.com.au.

EVERYONE SAYS THEY HATE WORK, BUT I LOVE IT. IíM EXCITED TO COME HERE AND WORK, SEE THE GUYS AND LEARN

Great result! When do you intend to have the EH finished?

Iíll be 18 in July so Iíll be able to drive it, but my goal is to debut it at the 2018 Bright Rod Run.

Is there anyone youíd like to thank?

Yeah, my dad for everything heís done for me. He goes out of his way to look after me and make sure that Iíve got everything I need. Moneyís not something that grows on trees, and every week he drives me around and helps me out. Also Nino, Nick and Mike from Showroom Finish; theyíre like family to me now, and Iíd do anything for them.