IRON MAIDEN

CHELSEA CIANTAR

STORY CARLY DALE

> TAYLORS LAKES, VIC

SINCE the tender age of six, Chelsea Ciantarís single-minded passion was to own a Volkswagen Beetle. Over the years she stoically her dream, and now the 18-year-old proudly cruises her own pristine, bitumenhugging Bug.

Iím guessing youíve always liked cars.

Yes! I grew up in a car-mad family. My mum, dad, brother and nannu all have Australian and American muscle cars and hot rods. So itís been normal to grow up around cool cars.

How did the Beetle love begin?

When I saw the movie Herbie as a six-yearold, I fell in love. I thought Beetles were a phase, but it turned into an absolute obsession. I collected Bug memorabilia and I became really persistent about my dream.

When did you get the í63?

I told Dad that I wanted to buy a Bug when I was 13 years old. Once he realised that was serious we spent the next few years looking, and there were a lot of rust-buckets. But the first time saw my í63 got really teary; knew that this was my Bug. She was beautiful: a stock, Gulf Blue, Australian-delivered Beetle. After we got it home, I was hysterical that whole night; I was 16 years old and my life-long dream had just come true!

Tell us about it.

The previous owner had swapped out the original 1200cc for a twin-port 1600cc Kombi engine with a small cam. Heíd also lowered the suspension, including two-inch drop spindles. On the front guards heíd added the swan-neck mirrors, which were an original option.

What mods have you done?

I wanted a slammed Beetle with Americanmade 17-inch Escra wheels, and happened to find the only set in Australia. I kept the red pinstripe, as it matches the H-plates; they make the car pop! Next, I added new chrome bumpers, the grille headlight covers, and a venetian for a bit more detail. The Bug is full of character!

What is it like as a first car?

Learning how to drive in a non-synchro manual was hard. On the way to my first car show I had my parents in the car and they were shitting themselves Ė they thought my driving might kill them! Now I can drive it well and I really look after her.

Do you turn spanners on it?

Dad bought me up to be hands-on and Iíve always been in the garage with him. Itís a good bonding experience; whenever the Bug needs something done he teaches me how and I help him with the other cars too. Future plans?

Girls ó wanna be famous? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Iron Maiden, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166. Or email: streetmachine@bauer-media.com.au.

THE FIRST TIME I SAW MY í63 I GOT REALLY TEARY; I KNEW THAT THIS WAS MY BUG

Iím on at Dad about a horsepower and brake upgrade. want more cubes and twin carbies; she needs a bit more power as the motor has to work so hard just to sit on 100km/h. Mostly Iím honoured and privileged to have the Bug sitting in the garage and to say that itís mine; supporting for that I thank me. my s mum, dad and brother for supporting me.