STREET Machine has influenced me over the years and helped me keep the dream alive. I’ve always wanted a really cool car that was unique and pretty trick. I’ve had a couple along the way – two Aussie Chargers, a Dodge Phoenix, Ford Escort, Aussie ’57 Chev... I let all of them go as life moved on. A few years ago, I decided to have one last go at making a street machine of my own. Now with four kids, I needed a car to fit us all in and still cruise, so I needed a four-door. I wanted something a bit different, so decided on a ’57 Chevy wagon. I searched for a year. I joined forums and clubs, and read every post and eBay sale with no luck. Nada. Zilch. Zip. There’s only a handful in the country and no one is letting them go.
Then, on 10 November, 2016, my sister came to see me on my birthday and saw I was in the doldrums about never finding my car. She told me that if you want to manifest your dreams to reality, you must write them on paper: “Make a wish list, and be specific”. “Yeah, sure, okay, whatevs,”
I replied, but I wrote it down among all of the background chatter of the kids and TV to keep me from going crazy. I wrote:
- 1957 Chevy
- 4-door wagon
- Almost finished
- Under 35k
- Not rusted
My sister looked at the list and said: “If you’re happy, now add a colour”. Okay: White. The next day, 11 November, I heard about a ’57 for sale three kilometres from my house in the Blue Mountains. I went to have a look and there it was, exactly as I had written down – four-door ’57 wagon, big-block, mostly finished, no rust, $35k, and it was white! I found my dream car three kays from home – I could have walked there!
I took her home and started work straight away. I fixed wiring and bits and pieces. I pulled the interior out and remade the bench seats from scratch, put in new carpet, new stereo and chrome wheels. I fitted a crate LSA and six-speed MG9, custom harness and factory ECU, big Baer brakes, nine-inch, drop tank, and moved the battery under the car. It’s been built to look as though the factory made it that way; clean and understated with a simple black and white colour scheme.
The car is 95-per-cent done, just needs an exhaust and a tune. There’s been many trials and tribulations along the way – pain, heartache, joy, despair, happiness. I hope to get her good enough to make it into your fantastic magazine one day. That’s the life-long dream.
Shane Hather, email
I’M SURE you get a few of these, and here’s another one: How about an article on engine swapability? Maybe with a chart with stats like weight and rough size, standard power and tuneability, and engines from standards to oddballs – from the normal small-blocks and big-blocks (Hemis!) to turbo Japanese motors, big Chev diesels, Rover V8s, local sixes, etc.
Going further, maybe have a regular column where you cover a more common car and swap options for it, like, say, first-gen Commodores and you could cover 202s, RB motors, the 5.0L, LS, Barra, etc. Explain how it’d fit, be cooled, and how to get it all working together.
I have an HZ panel van that’s coming together nicely. I was originally thinking of installing a LandCruiser diesel seeing as she’ll be doing a ton of towing and long-distance driving, but it was t it was too tall. So this kind of info would be useful for someone at the planning stage, and it’d be just a plain interesting read as well.
As long as I’m typing, I had another – more optimistic – idea: I used to read a US 4WD mag called Four Wheeler, and they had a yearly competition where readers nominated their own machines with a list of mods and a pic. Readers voted on them and the Top 10 went through to a competition that put the cars through a range of tests – acceleration, braking, and driving through different terrain like mud holes, hillclimbs, etc. I’ve always thought this would be a great thing for Street Machine to do. I realise it’s similar to the Grand Champ at Summernats, but I see it as being more of a street-car deal than a top-end show-car thing.
Steve Pacey, email
I READ with interest the letter sent by Steve asking about model car interiors (SM, Jun ’18) and the reply from David Loye, who suggested that resin is a good medium to use. While that is true, one problem is heat – as a professional scale-model car and truck builder, I learnt years ago that if you don’t hit the bare part with a good auto paint first, resin will craze the paint, and that means a remould of the part you spent time and money creating. That can be disappointing and disheartening, and may turn a new modeller off creating resin parts again. So I say to Steve: Prime it first!
Dingo Sharp, email
HEY guys, love the mag. I was reading through an old ‘where are they now’ article on Alan Cooper’s BLOBAK 2 (whichcar.com.au/streetmachine). It says in the article that the chassis was separated from the body along the way and the current owner would like to find it. There is an auction coming up in my local area – Gippsland, Victoria – and they claim to have the original chassis there. I have no way of contacting BLOBAK’s owner, so if you could pass this on that would be great.
Jake White, email
HEY mate, we saw that too! Check out Gossip on page 11 for more info.
LOVE the mag, haven’t missed an issue for over 20 years. I’ve been thinking about some of the great giveaway cars you’ve had over the years. I’d be happy to have any of them in my shed. But for a future idea, how about throwing it back to the reader and putting a different spin on it? We could send in our proposal for a build, your team could narrow it down to a final 10, and then the readers vote on their favourite proposal. The winner then gets their car built while being involved w with your team through the en entire process and using the ex extensive Street Machine ne network to see their dream st street machine built.
Keep up the good work!
HEY Telfo and Street Machine te team! To answer your question a about the new website (Telfo, S SM, June ’18), at first glance t the website looked a tad b busy, but then I realised it i is jam-packed with motor morsels and click-on points m that take you to a wealth of informative and entertaining features. Thumbs up, guys, great stuff!
Geoff Scard, email
I’VE been reading Street Machine magazine all my life; I still have a very early copy with a Corvette and Monaro on the front (maybe when it still had ‘Van Wheels’ in the title). I think you guys are doing a great job, but there seem to be plenty of people complaining that there are too many burnout cars or drift cars (I can hardly remember more than a couple of drift cars) or other unregistered cars. I personally prefer to see street-registered cars, but I understand you need to cater to what is currently popular, so it’s fine if that includes non-registrable cars.
However, I’d love to see an indication of whether a car has full rego, historic or even no rego in the specs section at the end of each feature-car article. It’s hard to work out just whether a car is street-legal or not, especially seeing a lot of cars seem to sport replica number plates. The May issue had Frank Bergamin’s Dodge Charger driving on a road, which made me think it must be street-legal (though the lack of plates had me sceptical). That article did mention that the car wasn’t registered, but most don’t. Just a suggestion.
Steve Lock, email
HI, MY name is Jarryd and I have just turned 10 years old. I love all cars, but my favourite is a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. I would love my drawing to be in my favourite magazine, Street Machine. Jarryd, 10, email
AMONG the many treats to be had at MotorEx in Melbourne was getting to see the progress that Damien ‘Chubby’ Lowe is making on the rebuild of his much-loved, country-crossing VB. Street Machine subsequently ran a web story on the amazing things going on beneath the Commodore’s skin, prompting some colourful commentary on our Facebook page...
Robert Thomson – Can’t wait to see this when it’s finished! Loved it when it was first built.
James Cockerton – This car has seen some changes.
Ben Reivers – How to make a tough car even tough.
Kelvin Norrie – Next level again.
Craig Holloway – Couple of bucks spent there.
Mick Woodman – That will be so sweet when it’s done.
Jamie Hansen – Whoa. Looks tough as hell already just like that.
Greg Hogan – Yeah, that cross bar does look a bit high. LOL.
Andrew Blackie Blackmore – That looked killer at MotorEx, amazing job.
Christian Henderson – More money than sense!
Brendan P D Kingswood – Why wouldn’t you start on a new shell rather than chopping up a good car?
Clint Shoemark – Came here to see if anyone else was thinking the same. It’s his car but he almost could’ve had both for the same effort/money.
Damien Chubb Lowe – Well, the old story goes, went into the shop for minor work and next minute the floor is gone! LOL. Yes, it was a good shell, but it was due for a birthday. After the trip to Perth where we hit a hole in the road where heavy rain had washed back fill away, it bent the strut tower, cracked the filler in engine bay, cracked all the factory joins on the roof to pillars. So that’s where the story starts. I had a dream to build a car that would handle like no other, so away we went. It was my first car so there is a lot of sentimental value in that car too. Scott Burmeister – This is sick.
Thomas Cubitt – This is mean-as.
Cameron Nottage – Wow, this will be nuts. Brad Cini – Work of art.
Grant Winger – Gotta love a VB Commo.
Barton Slade Mangrum – Why all that motor in such a boring looking car?
Clara Mark – Are you serious?
Ben Ross – Should have gone to Specsavers. Jordy Anderson – Been watching this thing for a long time. Wowee, it’s going to be a machine.
Graeme Kestle – Top 5 all-time cars. Love the old one, can’t wait to see the new one. Early Commodore Community – Well done, guys. Can’t wait to see it turning tyres again and driving across the country.
Mark Randy – Great guy and awesome car. Andrew Down – Hope he’s beefed up the seat brackets.
Vh Sle Simon – Sexy car that.
Dean Jeffrey Hodgson – Wonder if he’ll drive it over here to the west again?
Lowe Fabrications – It’s on the cards.
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