Classic Conversations

CLASSIC CONVERSATIONS

Classic Conversations

"Every dent and scratch has a story" - Harley Barkowski

If this 1967 C10 Chevrolet could talk, there might be more stories than owner Harley Barkowski would know what to do with. Discovered in Boise Idaho in 2016 by Harley’s mate Rob, the Chevy was spotted – rusting away in a paddock, after its original owners had discarded it some 18 years earlier.

THE C10 CHEVROLET RESTORATION

With the newly purchased truck in tow, Rob returned to Australia and commissioned Harley to its repair. With strict instructions to make it ‘low with big brakes and horsepower – but don’t touch the paint’, new life was breathed into this hardworking classic.

“As I was building, I sort of developed a relationship with it,” says Harley, and in 2019 he jumped at the chance to buy the Chevy. Finally, he was able to put his ‘own spin’ on the restoration and despite replacing the 20-inch steel wheels with a more traditional 15 inch Torq Thrust set, adding chrome bumpers and upgrading the interior, Harley faithfully left the paint in its near original purchase condition. “It’s liberating” he explains, and unlike the other classics he owns, does not require the constant upkeep to maintain a pristine exterior.

CHEVROLET - THEN AND NOW

The Chevrolet motor company was the brainchild of ex GM boss William Durant and Swiss automotive engineer and namesake, Louis Chevrolet.  After a slow start with their first and overpriced Series C, Chevrolet finally gained momentum in the competitive car market in 1915, with the launch of its more affordable Series 490.

Within two years the company was booming – so successful in fact, owner William Durant was able to regain his control of then competitor General Motors for a merger. It was Chevrolet who finally bought out GM – the company Durant had ironically been ousted from less than a decade earlier. In 1918 Chevrolet, now a division of General Motors, rolled its first truck off the assembly line – a one-tonne, 4 cylinder two-wheel drive Model T with a 36 horsepower engine and a payload of a little under a tonne. 

Fast forward to 1960 and the decade of Harley’s Chevy. This period saw the introduction of the popular C/K line of trucks – ‘C’ denoting a two-wheel drive and ‘K’ a four-wheel drive. Affectionately nicknamed ‘glamour pickups’ they brought with them a number of firsts – most notably a lower cab, independent front suspension and a more modern shape. Chevrolet was giving the American public an ‘almost car-like ride in a truck’, and it was fair to say they were utterly besotted. 

Despite becoming one of the top-selling vehicles in the US, it took GM another three decades to produce a left-hand drive Chevrolet truck. Launching under the HSV badge, the Silverado 2500 made its debut in Australia in 2018, followed by the 1500 pick-up earlier this year. Positioned against its big brash American cousin RAM, the Silverado retails on either side of $100k – depending on the model.

For the Australian market, these trucks are big – seriously big – measuring over 6 metres in length, 2 metres in height and just under 2 and a half metres in width. Although they mightn’t be the best vehicle for a crowded shopping centre car park, they’re fitted with enough kit to handle most offroad challenges and can literally tow a small house.

WHAT'S NEXT

For Harley, there’s no chance he’ll be trading in any of his 5 – yes 5 – vintage Chevys for one of these new Silverados. Still in the ‘phase two’ of the restoration on his C10, he’s enjoying the challenge of what has ultimately become his new career. So, outside of his obvious love of Chevrolets, what is Harley’s dream car? A 1968 Dodge Charger … or a ‘64 Corvette … or perhaps ‘67 Plymouth Barracuda – there are just so many to choose from he says, but these are for another day.



References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_C/K
https://www.cjponyparts.com/

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Best of Both Worlds

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Best of Both Worlds

Tom Wilkinson’s remarkable custom pickup, built with his own two hands from the ground up.

What do you get when you take a 1947 GMC and attach to a 1974 Holden one-tonner chassis? The result is none other than Tom Wilkinson’s remarkable custom pickup, built with his own two hands from the ground up. It was one of the biggest challenges he’s pushed himself to complete, and after many (many!) years of hard work, his masterpiece finally made its debut. And we’re all for it!

ICONIC STYLING

The body of the 1947 GMC pickup is not one to be disputed. The signature headlights, grille and pronounced bonnet, are all elements of what we love about the iconic vintage. This particular pickup design had been in the works at GM’s styling department as early as 1942. Talk about getting it right! Clay models from 1943 laid the foundation for the 1947 model, with features like headlights integrated into the front fenders, tall hood, and split windshields. These models were referred to as GMC’s “Advance-Design” and were introduced after World War II as a new and completely restyled line. Production of the Chevrolet/GMC pickups began in May 1947 and was ready for consumer purchase by June.

ONE-TONNER WONDER

The Holden one-tonner is still considered a legend to most Australians, popularly known for carrying the ute variation of icons like the HQ and HJ. The name itself carries its purpose and beauty. With a full-length perimeter chassis, leaf springs, longer wheelbase, and unique cab design, this hardy one-tonner is invincible to long hours of hard work and roughing it out – pulling its weight while also taking on yours! Despite the decades since it was first released, many tradies would still consider the one-tonner a heavy-duty machine even today. Its durable design was referenced for contemporary models of Holden’s utes and trucks until production ceased in 2017.

So, when it came down to a chassis that would be hardy enough to support a custom pickup, what better choice than the trusty one-tonner?

47FAT "AUSTRA-MERICAN" COMBO

Living on the central coast of New South Wales, Tom did not recall seeing many pickups on the road. This spurred him to kickstart passion project “47FAT”. His mission? To build a pickup from the ground up using a 1947 GMC frame supported by a 1974 Holden one-tonner chassis. Obtaining the parts was the easy bit; he bought the GMC off a mate and purchased the one-tonner from the local wreckers.

The real work began when it was time to put everything together. Tom built this pickup in his single car garage space, so you can probably imagine how tight it was to store parts, let alone assemble everything in place! The matte black look and the bright orange dashboard added a modern twist to the vintage icon, also done by Tom himself. This build took him 8 long years to complete, and he says that finishing it remains one of the biggest highlights of his life.

You may think the years invested into getting 47FAT up and running has probably put him off another build. Nope! He’s got another project up his sleeve, and this time it’s a ute for his other pride and joy, his daughter. Last time we asked, nothing was set in stone, but we’re excited to see what Tom has in store next!

If you’ve got yourself a custom pickup like Tom, we would love to provide you with a quote! Simply follow this link to fill out the form: https://www.rynoinsurance.com.au/motor/submit-a-quote/

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Underdog Champion

UNDERDOG CHAMPION

Underdog Champion

When you bring up some of the best cars Britain has to offer, it’s easy to mention names like Triumph, Mini, Vauxhall, MG, and Rolls-Royce - just to name a few.

Sitting amongst these British giants is a seasoned forerunner that strikes a chord in people’s minds whenever its name is brought up. Rover has been around since 1878 and is easily one of the oldest automobile companies to date. Initially focused on manufacturing bicycles, supply and demand moved Rover into the car industry making them one of the leading automobile companies in the game.

SUBTLE BEAUTY

To describe Luke Thorneycroft as a Rover fan would be an understatement. His first ever classic was a 1975 Rover 3500 automatic, but it was sold in 2013. Since then, the desire for another classic was a hard itch not to scratch.

“I was lost without [a] classic. I needed a hobby, so I was constantly looking on the web tossing between an XJ6 Jaguar and a WB Holden Statesman…”

And then, there it was…

The 4-seater sedan equipped with leather seating, 4-speed manual transmission, V8 configuration, and cast-iron headers with a stainless-steel exhaust remain true to the original 1974 Rover 3500S.

Luke first fell in love with the 3500S owned by his next-door neighbour. “It was hearing him come and go, the burble of the V8, and the sharp lines down the side of the car that got me interested,” he recalls.

It was no turning back when Luke spotted this classic in arctic white and he knew he had to have it. What you see here is exactly what Luke saw in the advertisement—mint and in pristine condition. The car’s previous owner, Trevor Tyrrell (former WA Rover Club President), owned it for 25 years and carried out a full restoration, even supplying receipts and photos of all the work he undertook.

It didn’t take much before Luke was on a plane to Western Australia to see her in the flesh. In that trip, he secured the 3500S to have it brought back to Melbourne within the week – just before his wedding! “I have a very understanding wife as she let me buy a car instead of booking [the] honeymoon!”

Since he’s bought it, Luke made a few more touch-ups of his own. The most recent upgrade he had done was the installation of a new fuse box, just so his Rover would be up-to-date with a modern system. He also had the original 4-speed gearbox rebuilt and the radiator recored to a 3 bar to improve cooling performance. Apart from the necessary maintenance measures, Luke hasn’t had any major modifications done to it.

AWARD WINNER

If there’s another reason for Luke to be proud of, it’s the numerous awards this car has participated in and won.

They are the:

National Rover Rally – Outstanding Presentation 1998
West Australian Rover Owners Club Pride of Ownership – Best Original Car 2000
West Australian Rover Owners Club Pride of Ownership – Best P6 2000-2001
West Australian Rover Owners Club People’s Choice 2010
West Australian Rover Owners Club Best P6 – 2014/2015

Despite its many recognitions, the term ‘simple is best’ rings ever so strongly when reflecting on the 3500S. Luke describes the Rover as a decent car that’s still well respected today. “[It] epitomises quality and sophistication [that] you can feel in the drive and handle.

“The Rover is an under-valued car… and is a great classic for any motoring enthusiast”.

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Super Light Pagoda

SUPER LIGHT PAGODA

Super Light Pagoda

This is the kind of car that’ll make you feel like a million dollars each time you hop in.

The cool roadster profile and convertible top, who wouldn’t want to be seen cruising down in this stellar classic? Lucky for Bill, who patiently waited and scoured the web for the perfect SL 113 series, he finally landed himself behind the wheel and the proud owner of this very special 1964 Mercedes-Benz 230SL.

SEHR LEICHT

The year was 1963, and up until then the 190SL and 300SL have been the leading powerhouses of the marque. When it was decided that these models would terminate production in that same year, Mercedes-Benz needed a new face to take over the reins. The SL moniker was already popular and established, so there was no need to convince the audience of its reputation.

The 230SL was one of three series that made up the third generation of the Sehr Leicht (translated as Super Light). The big debut took place at the Geneva Auto Show in March to roaring success. Design wise, it was Mercedes’ signature to use bulbous curves to characterise its vehicles. However, the launch of the 230SL took on a new body aesthetic; with a squarish shape, clean lines and a removable hardtop, also known as the ‘Pagoda’. Though only a “spiritual descendant” of the previous cars, the 230SL managed to surpass expectations by doubling sales and even topping the 190SL when compared to its best year.

THE SUPREME SPORTING CAR

The third generation SL was mechanised by a straight-6 cylinder engine and equipped with front disc brakes and a single pivot independent rear suspension. The 230SL could hit up to 200km/h, and for the first time, the SL presented buyers with a choice between an automatic or 4-speed manual transmission. Interior refinement also sets the 230SL apart from its competitors. These cabin upgrades include luxurious leather seats, big clear gauges, a Blaupunkt radio system, and more refined craftsmanship throughout.

While looks did play an important role, it was the car’s performing ability that really skyrocketed the SL to greater heights. Bill Boddy, a MotorSport journalist back in the day who had the privilege of test-driving the 230SL in 1965, described it as a “supreme sporting car” with an “impeccable finish”. Handling was regarded as neutral, with light, easy steering even at the speed limit. Though it was not built for the racecourse, the reliability and robustness of the 230SL made it a suitable car for rally races. It even won the championship at the 1963 Spa-Sofia-Liege Rally.

ONE OF STUTTGART'S FINEST

As for Bill, a vehicle’s history and provenance are the most important. Right now, he’s got nine classics secured in his garage, including a 1993 limited edition Mazda MX5 (1 of 100) and a 2002 Mazda Motorsport MX5 SP (1 of 100).

Not much is known about his 230SL in particular, except that it has made several appearances in movies and TV shows (though the owner has not specified the titles). Bill purchased the car in 2014 in near original condition, and the only modification – or in this case, reversion – made by him so far was replacing the modern audio system to one that is period correct.

The timeless elegance and comfort are just some of the reasons why Bill loves his 230SL. We asked what his favourite memories are, to which he replied, “too many”. Of course, with a car that was regarded as “one of the finest from the Stuttgart firm”, making memories will come easy.

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Millennial Falcons

MILLENIAL FALCONS

Ford Better or For Worse

You’ve heard of his and her towels, mugs, and even jewellery; but this may be a first for you – his and hers Ford Falcons.

The stunning duo you see here belong to Anthony and Chrisy Haber, a husband and wife team with a supercharged enthusiasm for Falcons. So of course, what better way to celebrate one another than with a pair of FPVs? For Chrisy, the show-stopping 2012 Falcon GT GT-P, a homage to her Ford Fairlane heyday, and for Anthony, the fast and furious Falcon RSPEC. Both vehicles joined the family at different times, having landed into the hands of the Habers in second-hand conditions, but there’s no doubt these two will ride together for a long time coming.

RED & BLACK

The launch of 2012 GT was no quiet affair. The new kid on the block was the first supercharged V8-powered GT in the Falcon’s 43-year history. Boasting 335kW of peak power and an impressive 570Nm of turbo torque, drivers are spoilt for choice with four variants – the GS, GT, GT-P, and GT E.  And even better? The cost to own one is much more affordable compared to similar cars from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, with a range between $60,000 to $83,000.

You can’t unleash a new GT without first upping the ante on its technology. The new 335 kW engine was the brainchild of a $40 million program by Australian-based company, ProDrive, a leader in FPV organisation at the time. Inspired by the Coyote V8 found in the contemporary American Ford Mustang, the base of this new FPV engine was brought in from the United States and then put together by hand using top grade Aussie-made components.

The drive does not fail to impress either, regardless of what driving appetite you have. It’s perfectly adaptable as a city car and will oblige you the short drive to the shops without any fuss. However, plant your foot on the accelerator and you’re just asking for it. The power that roars to life is instantaneous and the GT-P will happily show-off what it was designed to do. It’s a beautiful drive on cruise mode, with the hum of the V8 filling the interior with its muted beat. Not to anyone’s surprise, fuel consumption of the GT-P isn’t the most efficient, but that isn’t a deal-breaker.

CODE NAME 'PANTHER'

If there’s a worthy cruising partner for the GT-P to ride alongside, it’s the GT RSPEC. FPV engineers nicknamed it “The Panther”, and the public soon chimed in. A limited-edition model, the RSPEC had only 350 units manufactured, making this something of an experience if you ever manage to catch one on the road. The wow factor of the Panther is, of course, the 5-litre supercharged V8 engine, making it Australia’s fastest accelerating car ever produced. Initially tagged at 335kW, actual engine outputs were close to 420kW, with many production models hitting 330kW at the rear wheels during tests. Chrisy has even fitted her GTP with the RSPEC, giving her Falcon the same turbo power to zoom down the quarter mile alongside her husband.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Being husband and wife with the same taste in cars reap its own reward. When asked what she loves most about the couple’s Falcons, she replied, “There are no arguments between [us] as we both have matching V8 supercharged [cars]!”

And if you’re going to have matching red and black vixens, then all the more reason to show them off together side-by-side. The couple enjoys taking the twins out for cruises and car meets where they receive lots of looks from fascinated passersby.

But we know this won’t be the last we hear from the Habers. Under wraps are two more Falcons that are currently being restored and dressing up for their debut. One, a GT XY Ute that once belonged to Chrisy’s father, and the other a GT Wagon. No news as to when these Ford classics will be ready, but until then we’ve got the twins here to keep us busy.

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The XW Factor

XW FACTOR

XW Factor

Ben Chesterfield’s genuine XW GT sedan is one of six class XW’s in his collection.

Some car buffs love all types of vehicles, some love a particular make, era or even a particular model. Ben Chesterfield fits into the latter category. His car of choice? Ford’s classic XW Falcon. Ben confessed that he’s owned a lot of nice cars over the years, but the XW Flacon’s have that special something – that ‘X Factor’.

The Queenslander isn’t content at having just one example of his favourite ride, though. Ben owns six XW Falcons, including some very desirable versions.

BEN'S XW

The Reef Green 1969-model XW GT pictured was first purchased by Ben 25 years ago. It didn’t stay in his possession for long back then, but such was Ben’s passion for XW GT’s, and this car in particular, that he tracked it down and bought it back.“I bought the car back in 1990,” Ben explained. “However, after a couple of years, I had to sell it, as I needed the money for some equipment for my panel shop.

“I always regretted it, so after 17 long years, I found it and bought it back – the inflation hurt though,” Ben said. That inflation? Almost nine times what he originally paid for it back in 1990 – ouch!

Through his own research, Ben believes the car has had five previous owners, while an ACCHS reports (Australian Classic Car History Services P/L) confirmed the car was finished in Reef Green with a black vinyl interior from the factory. Under the bonnet was the XW GT’s standard 351 Windsor V8, hooked up to a toploader 4-speed manual transmission (a 3-speed FMX auto was optional for the GT at this time).

One of 66 XW GT’s built with this particular paint and trim combo, the ACCHS report also showed that Ben’s car was one of the only six to share the same build specifications and that the car had been originally delivered to Harrigan’s Ford in Wollongong, NSW, on 20 August, 1969 – only a couple of months after the XW GT had been released.

TOO BOLD?

Hard to imagine now, but when the XW GT debuted in June, 1969, it’s bold, aggressive appearance came in for criticism from some quarters for being a bit too lairy. Against the more subdued XT GT, the XW was identified by broad stripes, locking pins and an offset-scoop (designed to cool the brake master cylinder) on the bonnet, with bolder side stripes and the now iconic ‘Super Roo’ emblems on the front guards.

That emblem had been previewed in early 1969 on a motor show “ideas car” commissioned by Ford Australia’s then Managing Director, Bill Bourke, and based on an imported US 2-door Falcon.

Inside, the GT was trimmed with a Fairmont-spec interior, but added additional gauges in an instrument panel that had been resigned for the XW series. One knock on the XW GT interior was that it dropped the genuine wood-rim steering wheel of the previous two GTs for a plastic lookalike unit.

Under the bonnet, the new GT may not have had the stonking 427i (7.0-litre) V8 from the Super Roo showcar, but it did pack a 351ci (5.8-litre) ‘Windsor’ V8. ‘351’ badges on the guards and bootlid let everyone know that what was under the bonnet was an upgrade from the XT’s 302 (4.9-litre).

With add-ons like hydraulic valve lifters, a 450cfm Autolite carburetor, and an 10.7:1 compression ratio, the difference in power was 290hp (217kW) against the XT’s 230hp (172kW).
Over a regular XW Falcon, the GT also added power-assisted Kelsey Hayes disc front brakes as standard, a twin-plate clutch and limited-slip diff, as well as a fuel tank that, at 36 gallons (164 liters), was more than double the capacity of the previous tank.

All these features, of course, were designed with the racetrack in mind, but the GT-HO was even more specific; its combination of parts was designed solely to deliver victory for Ford at Bathurst.

Considering he’s something of an XW fanatic, it’s no surprise that Ben’s got an XW GT-HO, as well.

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Two Pony Garage

TWO PONY GARAGE

Two Pony Garage

These two “horses” are a perfect combination.

Think of “cars” and “horses” and most people think of either a Mustang or a Ferrari. But take a closer look at a Porsche and you’ll notice a horse in its badge, too. While Ferrari’s ‘Prancing Horse’ may be the best known of any car emblem, Porsche’s rampant stallion – taken from the coat of arms of the city of Stuttgart – has been around almost as long, first appearing on a 356A in 1953.

A little over a decade later, that other famous horse would come into the automotive sphere, when the Mustang arrived. Since its debut in April, 1964, the Mustang’s millions of sales created the whole ‘pony car’ genre in the US and made the car an icon around the world, including here in Australia.
One of those local Mustang devotees is Chris Clifford. Despite a long-held desire for a Mustang, the Queenslander only added on to his garage relatively recently.

MY FIRST PONY

“I’d always wanted a Mustang since I was a kid,” Chris said. “I wanted a Mustang and a Porsche 911 coupe.”

That desire for a ‘Stang wasn’t satisfied until 2005, when Chris came across the car you see here.

A largely standard 1965-model coupe, running a period-correct 289 V8 and 3-speed automatic, the car featured a few minor changes from stock, like a mandrel-bent aftermarket exhaust system and Holley carby, adjustable White Line suspension and Koya 19-inch wheels.

“It was purchased off a follow car enthusiast who had a collection,” Chris explained. “I was lucky enough to get it after seeing it advertised.”

MUSTANG MODDED

As purchased, the car was already a stunner in its bold red paint and tidy black vinyl interior, and also came with an aftermarket air con system, so it needed very little. But Chris did add a modern 3-row aluminum radiator and fan for trouble-free cruising in the Queensland Summer, as well as new two-tone door trims.

“I then spent numerous hours polishing and cleaning it to bring it to mint condition,” Chris added.

Those Koya alloys are a standout, their impact augmented by the fact that the car now rides 60mm lower than stock.

With a car history that includes a 1962 Rambler Classic and ’65 HD Holden, Chris is no stranger to the highs and lows of owning and running a classic, and has some Ford history, too, as his first car was a ’72 MkII Escort 2-door, but the Mustang is something extra special.

“I love the ability to cruise in it, its classic appeal, as well as the nostalgia it brings from that era,” Chris explained. “It’s great that my young boys and family love the car as well.”

As well as regular cruising, Chris has also provided the car for wedding duty on several occasions – “I continually get requests for it to be used at weddings.”

OLD AND NEW

In 2009, four years after the Mustang was bought, the second part of Chris’ dream came to fruition when he purchased a 2003-model Porsche 911 Carrera.

The Mustang and the 911 Carrera may seem strange companions, but Chris enjoys them both equally, reserving his new and old “horses” for weekends and special occasions, while a Chrysler 300C serves as the daily driver. While he’s quite enamoured with the Mustang, Chris said he may be persuaded to part with the car sometime in the future, especially if a tidy 1958 Corvette came along at the right price – keeping the “horse” theme going, albeit in the form of “horsepower”!

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Hot Half Tonner

HOT HALF TONNER

Hot Half Tonner

this Chevy pickup packs a lot under the bonnet… and under the tray!

When the Advance-Design series made its debut, it was actually Chevrolet’s first all-new post-War range, preceding the new passenger cars by more than a year.

The new-for-1947 ‘3000 Series’ light duty pickup were split into three basic versions – 3100, 3600 and 3,800 – covering ½ ton, ¾ ton and 1- ton load capacities, respectively.

CHOICE OF THREE

When the Advance-Design series made its debut, it was actually Chevrolet’s first all-new post-War range, preceding the new passenger cars by m ore than a year.

The new-for-1947 ‘3000 Series’ light duty pickup were split into three basic versions – 3100, 3600 and 3,800 – covering ½ ton, ¾ ton and 1- ton load capacities, respectively.

While restyled from nose to tail, the most notable change with the Advance-Design was the cabin. In the case of the 3000 series, the cabs were both wider and longer by more than a foot each way. The result was greatly increased in-cabin space, which allowed for the adoption of three abreast seating on an adjustable bench seat for the first time.

Glass area was enlarged too ,with optional ‘Nu-Vue’ cut-outs in the rear corners of the cab further increasing visibility.

From the 3000 series’ debut, right up to 1954, changes were minor, but there were small numbers of modifications made each year, which purists can use to identify when their pickup was built.

A FINE '51

In the case of Mark’s, it doesn’t deviate a lot from the ’47 model, but can be identified as a 1951 thanks to the side vent windows which debuted that year, deletion of the left-side cowl vent, a lower position for the rear-view mirror and a few other minor changes.

Paint choices were unaltered on the ’51 models, while the previously available two-tone paint option was restricted to fleet sales only.

However, Mark’s 3100 runs a two-tone treatment in the factory-style and extends the black and blue theme from that into the ‘CHEVROLET’ embossing on the tailgate.

MORE GRUNT

From the factory, the ’51 3100 could only be had with a 216ci ‘Thriftmaster’ inline six hooked up to a three-speed manual transmission, producing 92hp – but Mark’s pickup differs a lot from stock!

Powerplant is now a 350 Small Block Chev, juiced up with alloy heads, a Scat crank, roller rockers and a 650 Holley carb. There’s also a 2 ½ inch exhaust system and a Turbo700 4-speed auto trans with a hi-stall torque convertor.

Putting all 340hp to the ground is a 9-inch diff and a BIG set of rear boots – super-fat 31 x18.50-15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro tyres on Weld Racing rims – with Hankook 185×60-15 rubber up front. That big back end was part of the appeal of this vehicle, which Mark actually received as a present for his 50th birthday in 2013: “I loved its fat ass,” Marked laughed.

Given his passion for old trucks, tractors and utes, Mark’s wife clearly chose well in selecting a pickup for Mark’s big 5-0.

MODS AND MORE

As presented to Mark, the pickup featured shaved door handles and a split rear window, with the fuel tank moved to load area, between those enlarged tubs.

Out back, there are a couple of neat additions, including the rolled rear pan, LED lighting (which runs through an upgraded 12 volt electric system) and stop/tail lights in the “rolled” section of the tray sides.

The lack of a rear bumper isn’t unusual, as it was wasn’t actually standard equipment with the ’51 model pickups when new, but could be had as an option.

Similarly, chrome trim for the grille and bumpers was rarely seen on these workhorses when new. Nowadays, though, it seems all the restored and modified 3000 Series pickups carry a bold chrome front end.

Inside, Mark’s pickup features a Momo steering wheel and full complement of instrumentation, but the rest of the cabin area is pretty much stock.

Since getting the 3100, Mark’s modified the suspension – ’70 Camaro front and leaf spring rear – so it sits lower. Other more recent changes include a blower kit for the V8 and a few touch-ups on the paint.

Given this pickup was a gift, Mark says it’s definitely a keeper, so there are no plans to sell it. There are, however, ongoing plans to drive it – and drive it often!

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Black & Strong

BLACK & STRONG

Black & Strong

This old school Model A roadster is a pretty tasty brew!

For a bloke who’s owned a string of classic American pickups, a roadster may seem like a weird diversion, but for Ray Rust, it’s been a perfect fit.

In Ray’s garage, a ’48 model Chev C3100 (that’s currently for sale) sits alongside the hot rod featured, but before that, Ray has had a ’69 Chev C10, ’65 Chev longbed, ’52 Chev, ’51 Chev and ’57 GMC pickup in the fleet, as well as a ‘’66 HR Holden ute. So, given that history, why purchase the car featured?

“The Model A was all about owning an old-school hot rod,” Ray explained, adding that the car not only had to look good, but needed to be easy to drive and cruise in, too.

THE NEW BLACK

Last year, Ray started scouting for a suitable vehicle, and was initially looking to source something from the US. But, in putting his ’57 GMC on the market, he came across the car featured, which was located in Inverleigh in rural Victoria.

The bloke interested in Ray’s pickup had a hot rod for sale – a 1930 Model A roadster. With a ‘glass body and steel cowl, ‘Bigs n Littles’ wheel combo, whitewalls and a bunch of other cool touches, the rod looked the goods.

“The rod has been built and engineered in Ballarat in 1993 and the first owner was from Stawell,” Ray explained.

Despite its age, the triple-black treatment on the body, removable hood and interior still looked pretty fresh and was offset with a green-painted grille and wheel centres.

“It was exactly what I was looking for.”

The car really needed nothing to jump in and enjoy, which increased its appeal, so the two agreed to a swap, with the Ford coming in Ray’s possession last November.

SOLID, TRAVELLED.

In the 2-door roadster body style, the 1930 Model A had all the classic hot rod touches, like the classic ’32 Ford grille, low mount headlights and ’39-style teardrop tail lights. But, in a somewhat unusual touch for a hot rod, it also had a tow bar.

Inside, there’s vinyl bucket seats, Jaguar gauges and a steering wheel liberated from one of Ray’s pickups he brought out from the US.
A history file provided with the car detailed all the engineering work done, which had been proven with a trouble-free run from Victoria to the Sandgroper Nats in WA and back.

A very reliable and comfortable cruiser, the rod is equipped with a 307 Chevy V8 and 350 auto, with a new exhaust system being the only mechanical change made to the car before a minor bingle put it off the road at the start of 2016.

JOHNNY Z's TO THE RESCUE

Ray entrusted the repair work to Johnny Z’s in Cheltenham, Victoria, who have plenty of restos, rods and custom builds under their belt, including the awesome ‘Scarlet’ 1932 Ford roadster that debuted at last year’s MotorEx.

Repair work included a new grille surround and bars, lights, new front spreader bar and nerf bars, suspension and axle repairs, plus some other minor front-end fix ups.

In a finishing touch that was very much appreciated by Ray, the Johnny Z’s crew tracked down the pinstriper who had originally done the line work on the car back in the 90s and got him to restripe the grille shell and add the personalized ‘Rusty’ script on the door. Nice!

This time around, the grille bars were left in stainless and the wheels repainted black. These mods aside, the rod looks pretty much as it did when Ray picked it up.

PERMANENT FIXTURE

With business and other commitments, Ray hasn’t had the chance to take the rod out since February, so is itching for some time behind the wheel!

While it’ll definitely be racking up some miles in the future, this rod also definitely won’t be sold off: “This roadster’s a keeper,” Ray laughed.

Alongside the Model A and Chev C3100, the American theme continues in the Rust household with an ’88 Chevy Corvette.

This is Ray’s wife’s car, and it’s a ride she loves just as much as Ray loves his hot rod!

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An Oldie but a Goldie

AN OLDIE BUT A GOLDIE

An Oldie but a Goldie

A conventional frame and engine to power the entry level car.

The Austin Seven transformed the British motoring scene.

How often do you get the chance to buy your first car back, 50 years later? For a bloke who spends his days entertaining and performing, owning an Austin may seem like an odd sidekick, but for Dan Burt, it’s a match made in heaven.

LORD AUSTIN

The quest for the first people’s car, with a classless appeal in the UK, was finally achieved when Lord Austin realised his dream of manufacturing a low cost, economical, 2-door, 4-seater family convertible in 1922. With full weather equipment, a 4-cylinder engine, 4-wheel brakes and 3-speed gearbox, the Austin Seven saved the company which was on the verge of liquidation post World War I.

The following for Austin Sevens has weathered all markets, from the aspirational first car owner through all decades. Including during the 1960s when Dan Burt purchased a 1927 Austin Seven Chummy Tourer for only 2 pounds 10 shillings.

'GREAT DAYS. GREAT PEOPLE. GREAT CLUB'

After the first restoration, Dan was inspired to join the Bristol Austin 7 Club. In doing so, he gained a bank of knowledge and “know how/useful tricks” of Austin Seven’s and was fortunate enough to go on some pretty amazing trips with fellow enthusiasts. He went on runs and tours around England, Ireland and France, just to name a few. 50 years later, Dan still has his original membership number and is not far off joining another Austin Seven Club in Australia.

SAME CAR. 50 YEARS LATER!

In 1972, Dan migrated from the West Country of England to Australia leaving his Austin behind. He sold her to its new Bristol owner who had the car for about 30 years. After this time, a mate of Dan’s bought it off the Bristol owners hands for himself.

When Dan went back to England for a visit, he got to drive the car and he fell back in love all over again. “She still drove like a rocket”.

The Austin Seven still had the stainless exhaust system Dan had made at Rolls-Royce (Aero) while an apprentice, and nick plating that he had done for a packet of fags- which was the currency back in the day.

In 2015, his mate kindly offered the Austin back to Dan- the ‘original’ owner- and before he knew it he had her imported to Australia.

THE TOURER

In the 2-door convertible body style, the 1929 Tourer has had minimal touches and modifications and is almost in completely original condition. Inside, there’s a bucket front, bench back seats along with a round aluminium steering wheel, which is in original condition. Since he sold her, she had done no more than 500 miles.

“She was virtually the same as when I left her some 40 years ago. Same hood, seats, side screens, paint, etc. which I’d made in the late 1960s. Body and paint the same with just a few marks. Some SU (non-original) carb.”

With log books dating back to 1949, Dan has all engineering and service history which proves the Tourer to be somewhat reliable.

PERMANENT IN THE BURT FAMILY

The tourer has been racking up some miles since Dan bought it back and he has no plans on letting her go again.

Alongside the tourer, Dan also owns a 1975 Citroen D Special (DS), 1989 Citroen 2 CV, and also 2 French Solex motorised bikes!

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