Russell Walton: 1969 VF VALIANT SAFARI

PART-TIME STAR CAR

WORDS & PHOTOS ? RUSSELL WALTON WITH GUY ALLEN

Valuation

Varies hugely according to condition. Around $30k for a good one.

Call 13 46 46 for a quote or visit shannons.com.au

I bought it from a gentleman who used to deal in used cars and supplied them for commercials, about five years ago.

It got put in my garage and stripped the whole way back to bare metal, and a friend of mine who’s a panel-beater sprayed it for me in teal green, which is a colour I liked. Underneath the bonnet there was originally a slant six, but I found a donor car and put a 318 V8 in it, with power steering and air-conditioning just to make it a bit easier for driving around.

I just bring it out on Sunday and cruise around – I love it.

There is a family connection: my father was a Valiant nut.

He started off with an original VG Pacer and then went to the Chargers and so I grew up with them.

My son, who’s now 25 and is about to get married, loves it. So this is the wedding car.

It took about 18 months to do the restoration. It still appears in commercials from time to time, and it was in Home & Away for a couple of years, which helped to pay for the rebuild.