TELFO

MY EJ WAS IN AN ACCIDENT AND IS BADLY DAMAGED. NO ONE WAS HURT, BUT Ií M DEVASTATED. I NEVER DREAMED Ií D HAVE A CAR THAT NICE

SIMON TELFORD

SO THINGS didnít exactly go to plan with my road trip to Mud Run. As youíll read on page 72, my EJ Holden was involved in an accident and she is badly damaged. No one was hurt, in the physical sense. But Iím devastated. The EJ was by no means perfect, but never dreamed Iíd have nice.

Not that I kept it in a glass case. Besides performing daily driver duties for years, it has been to shows all over the country, though we hadnít made it to Perth Ė yet. It picked up a couple of trophies too Ė Top Aussie Custom at both GreazeFest and the Kustom Nats.

The accolades for that need to go to the guys who designed and built it Ė primarily Paul Kelly, Lindsay Houston, Aden Jacobi and the guys from Annvid Auto Upholsterers. Many others had a hand in keeping it running and upgrading it over the years, especially Rob Brown, Frank and Anthony Tedesco, and Appendix J guru Bob Harris.

Far more important than trophies are the good times Iíve had in that car with my family, workmates and friends. Drag racing, airport pick-ups, family events and just a cruise to the beach were all more fun in the EJ. It was the one car I intended never to sell.

MY EJ WAS IN AN ACCIDENT AND IS BADLY DAMAGED. NO ONE WAS HURT, BUT Ií M DEVASTATED. I NEVER DREAMED Ií D HAVE A CAR THAT NICE

Where we go from here, donít know. Rebuild or re-shell the car in the same vein? Iím not sure I have the appetite for that, as much as Iíd like it to happen. Another option is to drop the running gear, interior and stereo into another EJ Ė maybe a wagon Ė so that parts of the car can live on in another form.

Iíve got some thinking to do, so it is lucky that Iíve found an HZ Holden One Tonner to buy in Bundaberg. Itís only a six, and it is no show pony, but Iím going to fly to Queensland to collect it and drive it back to Melbourne. It will give me something to tinker with until I decide which way to go with the EJ Ė and hopefully I can throw a 253 in the HZ and discover if they really do have Ďthe power of a six, with the fuel economy of an eightí.

Losing the EJ has made me appreciate the stories that come with the 80 cars that were in the running for a spot in this yearís Valvoline Street Machine Of The Year. Each owner is deeply invested in their car, so it was great to give every Aussie-built feature car from the past 12 months a shot at the title, with you guys choosing the finalists for the first time ever. Your taste is impeccable, and you can check out the final 16 on page 50.

Then head to smoty.com.au to cast your vote. You could win a VIP trip to Street Machine Summernats 32 and $1000 spending money. The winning car will be Valvoline. announced Happy in the voting December Ė and hug issue your and car take tight. home s a cool $20,000 thanks to Valvoline. Happy voting Ė and hug your car tight.