With Summernats now a distant memory, it was now time to get the Torana back into the workshop and get it running.
At the time of writing, we’re about a week away from start-up, and the hope is to have it ready in time for the big annual classics race meet at Phillip Island. (If you haven’t yet been to one, get down there next year. It features hundreds of entries and is truly unforgettable.)
Last time we looked at the car, all the big pieces were in, but none of it was hooked up.
And that’s where Mick and his crew at Glenlyon Motors have been putting in their time. It’s fiddly work and has to be done right, as even something minor like a misplaced wire or hose can let down the whole show.
As an example, the good folk over at BBE Auto (look for an upcoming story) have put together a very tough Turbo- Hydramatic 350 transmission, to mate to the 355 V8. BBE is one of the very few outfits that has an in-house dyno, so the unit gets comprehensively tested before being sent out. That’s nice to know, particularly once you consider the hassle of installation.
In this case there’s no actual rocket science involved, but there have been a host of jobs that required patience.
For a start, Mick had to make up custom fluid lines to get everything hooked up, while there was a bit of work involved in setting up a one-off shifter/console unit.
It’s worth the trouble, but it’s fair warning that any custom car is going to take a whole lot longer to assemble and sort out than a stocker where you’re simply painting by numbers.
So, given we’ve hit the edge of driving Mick up the wall, what’s his advice for the would be car-builder at home? It’s a familiar refrain: “Do your homework,” he says. “Your
biggest trap will always be the body. Get a good one and the job will be easy, get a bad one and you can easily double the time and money you’ll need to do the job.
“If it’s your first time building a car, don’t get too ambitious. Doing this always - always! - take longer and costs a lot more money than you think it will. So there’s nothing wrong with trying to keep it simple.”
What about choosing componentry? “Pick brands that everyone knows. That way, if there’s a problem someone will know how to sort it out and, you are less likely to have problems in the first place.
Fair point: look over our car and you’ll see brands such as Holley, Koni and Aussie Desert Coolers in the mix - all gear that’s stood the test of time.
So will we make the deadline? Watch this space.
Mick over at Glenlyon Motors reckons we’re on the home stretch and he just might make the deadline if we’d just leave him alone!
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