NIKKI BOURKE

BACCHUS MARSH, VIC

STORY CARLY DALE PHOTOS GREG FORSTER

NIKKI Bourke is an inspirational, getout-and-do-it kind of gal with an unwavering passion for cars. You may remember seeing photos of her mud-spattered face at Chopped, from tearing up the dirt circuit in her topless í25 Dodge. Sheís also kept her very first ride, a genuine LC GTR Torry!

When did you get the LC?

I bought it in 1982 for $1200. All I wanted was a two-door Torana, and I wouldnít settle for anything else. After looking at 12 of them, I saw this and I knew that it was the one. In hindsight I shouldíve bought the cream XU-1 that I looked at as well!

Do you spin spanners on it? Iíve always been mechanically minded and working on the Torana was my pastime. Iíd pull things apart to see how they worked; Iím constantly interested, but not so much as to wreck anything. Itís thanks to my dad, as he fixes everything, and I love spending time with him. When I was young, if he went to the tip or wreckers, I was there!

Whatís in the GTR?

The factory 161ci S motor and an Aussie four-speed, as itíd gone through four Opel gearboxes. I had the seats reupholstered and added new carpet, but everything else is all-original. It was my daily for 15 years, then babies came along; my son was actually brought home from hospital in the LC. But negotiating baby capsules, car seats and prams in a two-door was just too hard. So, the Torana was put in the shed for 15 years.

Thatís great that you kept it, though.

I thought about selling the Torana; then I watched Love The Beast and Eric Bana said that his car was the thread that held his life together Ė I knew then that I couldnít sell it. So, four years ago I got it out again. replaced the water pump and that was it Ė off I went. Now itís like Iím 18 years old with my blonde spiral perm and my packet of Winnie Blues on the dash; Iím absolutely transformed into my heyday.

ITíS LIKE IíM 18 YEARS OLD WITH MY BLONDE SPIRAL PERM AND MY PACKET OF WINNIE BLUES ON THE DASH; IíM ABSOLUTELY TRANSFORMED INTO MY HEYDAY

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.

So, when did you get the í25 Dodge?

About four years ago. It popped up for sale and I like that itís different, plus I wanted a car to take to the hot rod and traditional events. I went to Chopped one year without a car and it sucked.

Done any mods to it?

Iíve rebuilt the suspension and carbies, had it painted and reupholstered. It has a 225ci Chrysler motor, late-60s Valiant auto and diff. Now that itís finished I get to as many events as I can. Iím not a fair-weather driver though, I just get out and do it; bugs, sunburn or the freezing cold.

What or who are the Betty Rumblers?

Weíre a group of like-minded women who enjoy getting out in their cars. Weíre very inclusive; the only real criterion is chrome bumpers. We go to events, each otherís houses or out to we lunch, all band and if together someone to needs help out. work s on their car we all band together to help out.