DEVIL’S ISLAND: Matt Sharp’s chopped, channelled and sectioned Model-A Ford Tudor

14 Aug

Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A Ford

DEVIL’S ISLAND

Devil’s member Matt Sharp’s bitchin’ chopped, channelled and sectioned ode to the heyday of hot rodding leaves us all hot and flustered
Words & Pics by: www.hoskingindustries.com.au

Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A FordThere’s little dispute that hot rodding’s heyday took place in the decades of the 1950s and ’60s. Most of the important innovations we still rely on today were developed in these years by ingenious and often crazy fabricators here and in the USA.

Names like Roth, Barris, Jon Kosmoski, Gene Winfield and so many more forged the way for builders at all levels to tinker with their tin in sheds all over the world, setting a pretty clear stylistic path while they were at it. While styles changed over the ensuing decades, the new millennium has seen a distinct shift back to the aesthetic ideals of the early days and 29-year-old Matthew Sharp’s 1930 Model A tudor is an excellent case in point.

Looking like something from a 1964 issue of Car Craft, this HOK Tangerine candy metal flake sled may look like some serious coin has been lavished on it, but it actually started as a budget build. “It started as a budget build and it stayed that way,” Matt says. “We built it to drive and have fun in.”Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A Ford

While you’d never know it now, the project actually began with a dented and damaged steel 1930 tudor body and rails. The car still retains both today. “The sides were pushed in, the doors were rough but it was a cheap start,” Matt says.

Having previously built a Commodore ute “with all the usual bling” and tinkering with jacked up 4X4s, this build was to be Matt’s first foray into rodding. Luckily for Matt, he had some exceptional assistance in the form of his father-in-law, the inimitable Tony Webster from Webby’s Speed Shop in Carrington, Newcastle NSW.

What you’re looking at now is actually the second iteration of the project, with the first being decidedly more ‘rat’. With the ethos of having fun and doing it cheaply, the undercoat and rust aesthetic worked perfectly for Matt, who drove the chopped and channelled tudor for a few years before hauling it off the road for a quick respray. “When we first finished it, we drove it from Newcastle to Philip Island via the Princess Highway for the Kustom Nationals, then drove it home again,” Matt says. “We started off pretty tentatively, but after we got past Sydney it was pretty relaxing. We figured if anything was going to go wrong, it would have happened by then.”

Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A FordRiding on the car’s original rails, the Model A is snake-belly low thanks to the 5in chop and 5in channel job. The car uses a classic combination of parts to achieve the desired results, like the torsion bar suspension, super tall 16in Firestone white walls and super furry, stark white faux fur trim. However, the driveline is a little different, using a Holden V8 with triple Strombergs in place of the usual small-block Chev’. This is then backed up by a T5 5-speed manual.

No matter where you look on Matt’s tudor, you’ll be greeted by a large amount of cool detail. Peek inside and check out that awesome instrument cluster housed within the headlight bucket or perhaps the cabin-mounted Moon fuel tank from the 1950s. Outside, dig on the cool recessed tail lights or the centrally-located exhaust pipes exiting through the lower part of the cabin behind the number plate. If that wasn’t enough, you gotta love the Mooneyes logos plasma cut into the sun visor or the beer bottle top pressed into the radiator grille. And you can miss all the excellent pin striping courtesy Smith Concepts.Matthew Sharp's 1930 Model-A Ford

“You know, I think if I were to do it all over again, I’d probably not repaint it like I did,” Matt says. “I had more fun in it when it was still a rat.”

As it is, Matt is looking to sell the tudor on to new owners for less than you could build it for yourself. He tells us it’s time to pay some money of the house and start work on a new project; no doubt with the help of Webby and the rest of his Devils club mates. We can’t wait to see it!

NOTE: If you think Matt’s Model-A looks familiar, it’s because it was later sold to Kyle at Smith Concepts, who turned it into this CLICK HERE

VEHICLE: 1930 Model A Ford
OWNER: Matthew Sharp
BODY: Steel tudor body, 5in chop, 5in channel, frenched tail lights, custom tonneau roof, plasma-cut Mooneyes motif in visor, House of Kolor Tangerine candy over metal flake
ENGINE: 308ci Holden V8, stock crank, stock rods, ACL 40-thou’ pistons, cast heads, Chev’ LT1 springs, Crane hydraulic cam’, high-volume oil pump, shortened Model A radiator, 3x Stromberg carbs, custom intake manifold, mechanical fuel pump, genuine 1950s Moon fuel tank, steel fuel lines, custom exhaust
TRANS: T5 5-speed, Exedy heavy-duty single-plate clutch, custom long-arm shifter
DIFF: Borg Warner, 2.89:1 final drive, LSD
INTERIOR: Moon steering wheel, custom bomber front seats, white faux fur trim, 1968 Dodge Phoenix speedo in Diamond T headlight bucket, factory dash, long-arm shifter, white vinyl trim on seats
SUSPENSION: Torsion bar front and rear, hot rod front shocks, spring car rear shocks
BRAKES: Commodore front discs, Falcon rear discs
WHEELS: 16in steel rims, Firestone white walls
THANKS TO: Webby’s Speed Shop, Hamilton Chrome, Tidy Trim, Joel Butcher, Shlong, Corey, Tony Bidner, my wife Nicole and her mum Sharyn, Smith Kustoms for the pin striping and Webby for everything

LIVE GALLERY: Polaris @ The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – July 21, 2018

07 Aug

POLARIS LIVE AT THE CAMBRIDGE HOTEL – JULY 21, 2018
(Originally published on Lifemusicmedia.com)

CLICK FOR FULL IMAGE GALLERY

I pity any metal head in the hunter region that missed out on tonight’s show at the Cambridge Hotel. Between the four acts on show, just about any genre-loyal fanatic would have been well catered to.

While the overarching theme of the night was of a decidedly modern take on the style, from opener Junkhead‘s spasmodic Dillinger-esque riffage and Diamond Construct‘s more progressive tendencies (these guys have really matured and improved over the last few years), you’d have been smiling from ear to ear by the half way point.

By the time Sydney band Justice for the Damned took to the stage, the Cambo was completely full with an obviously friendly crowd and the five-piece wasted no time in laying waste to each and every one of them. Despite the toy dinosaurs on the stage and some members looking decidedly ‘late ’80s thrash’ in white high-tops and tucked in tees, Justice for the Damned’s blend of ridiculously heavy down-tuned grooving riffs, mixed with equal parts death and hardcore means that while they may not take themselves too seriously, their tunes aren’t to be messed with.

By the time Polaris take to the stage, the audience one big sweaty mess – despite it only being about three degrees outside. One punter has even managed to dislocate his knee in the pit – his only consolation being granted the ability to watch the remainder of the set from side stage.

For the uninformed, Sydney’s Polaris are a highly polished, modern, crushing blend of metal styles, from metalcore to deathcore with hints of progressive elements thrown in for good measure. The band’s mix of growls, screams and clean vocals really adds to the dynamic.

Bodies start falling over the barrier right from the start of the set and continue throughout the show – and anyone not breathless from the full body contact is singing every word at the top of their lungs. It’s really inspiring to see such support and enthusiasm for local music. I’ve born witness to plenty of international touring acts fail to fill the Cambo main room like this.

It was a truly amazing night of Aussie metal.

CLICK FOR FULL IMAGE GALLERY

COVER BIKE: Smith Concepts’ Bagged and Blown Harley Davidson VROD

01 Aug

I had the pleasure of photographing the latest creation from Smith Concepts late in 2017: Australia’s wildest Harley Davidson VROD. Stretched 2in, raked, bagged, blown and gassed… it’s got everything – including over 40k of custom, one-off billet alloy parts! That’s not to mention the amazing custom paint work by Kyle Smith.

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Smith Concepts' Harley Davidson VROD

Smith Concepts' Harley Davidson VROD

Smith Concepts' Harley Davidson VROD

 

Feature Car: Chris Rossi’s 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe

24 Jul

Chris Rossi’s metallic purple 355ci stroker Holden-powered LC Torana coupe, looks mean standing still. Chris did a lot of the bodywork work himself. It’s backed by a T350 and a 9in for good measure. It appeared in the July issue of Street Machine.

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Chris Rossi's 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe

Chris Rossi's 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe

Chris Rossi's 355ci Holden LC Torana Coupe

Feature Car: Dave & Sarah Cowie’s HJ GTS Monaro

24 Jul

David and Sarah Cowie’s pristine LS-swapped Holden HJ GTS Monaro was given a small feature in the June issue of Street Machine magazine. With a clean LS1 Conversion, flawless interior and a tough stance, it’s a largely home-built affair and the paint is to die for – a job David also handled himself.

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Dave & Sarah Cowie's HJ GTS Monaro

Dave & Sarah Cowie's HJ GTS Monaro

Dave & Sarah Cowie's HJ GTS Monaro

Feature Car: Adam Cleary’s 427ci 1957 Buick Special

11 Jul

Some cars take a while to be truly ready for a photo shoot. For Adam Cleary’s incredible, air-bagged and big-block powered 1957 Buick Special, that period was a little over two years from the first time I called him to the morning we did the photo shoot. When you do a build this extensive, sometimes there are just some niggling issues that take time to resolve. I like to think the wait was worth it. It was featured in the June 2018 issue of Street Machine.

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Adam Cleary's 427ci 1957 Buick Special

Adam Cleary's 427ci 1957 Buick Special

Adam Cleary's 427ci 1957 Buick Special

Adam Cleary's 427ci 1957 Buick Special

Feature Car: Jason McGrath’s 355ci Top 20 Elite Holden LC Torana

10 Jul

My photo shoot on Jason McGrath’s 355ci, Summernats Top 20 Elite, Holden LC Torana was featured in the June 201 issue of Street Machine magazine, which was on sale last month. It’s an immaculate little coupe, with detail for days.

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Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

Feature Car: Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden ‘WILDFB’

02 Jul

The Beauchamp family’s incredible 1960 FB Holden phantom coupe appeared in the June 2018 issue of Street Machine. It’s not every day I get to shoot something that is so comprehensively modified as this. From the chop top and two-door conversion, to the one-piece flip front and twin-turbo Lexus V8 – it’s one crazy beast. And the execution is flawless.

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Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden

Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden

Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden

RAT CAT: Paul Lonergran’s incredible DIY 327ci Phantom ’28 Dodge

28 Jun

Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod

RAT CAT

Paul Lonergran’s incredible 327ci phantom ’28 Dodge is a snake-belly-low rat rod that sets the bench mark for all others to follow – and does it cheap
Words & Pics by: www.hoskingindustries.com.au

Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat RodWe’ve run some bloody cool rat rods in our time here at Heavy Duty Hot Rods. Rat rods, when built to their true ethos of remaining cheap, encouraging parts scrounging and making rodding fun and hassle free, can really test a builder’s skills of sourcing and repurposing old bits and pieces into something new and exciting.

Sure, there have been some instances over the last decade of guys building big dollar ‘rats’ with the look of a rat rod, but offering mod-cons. We’ve even seen a fibreglass mid-’30s rod repainted to look like it was rusty. But the best rat rods will always be the ones that have risen from the pile of rusty parts that have been wasting away at the back of the shed.

For 39-year-old Paul Lonegran of PTL Fabrications on the Central Coast of NSW, building a rat rod hadn’t seriously entered his mind until someone planted the seed. “Well, actually a guy called ‘Black Plug’ inspired me to build this,” Paul says. “He asked me at a club meeting if I had anything to do with hot rods. As I’d been around rods all my life and have owned more than 20 cars over the years, I decided to build this to shut him up.”

Having previously owned and built a number of cars including a 1961 Studebaker, ’36 Terraplane and a couple of ’37 Ford coupes, Paul was no stranger to vintage tin. And as you may have guessed from that list, he’s no stranger to old cars that are just a little bit different.Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod

This here low-slung rusty bucket definitely falls into the different category. Paul tells us the body – hand fabricated by Paul – is meant to represent a 1929 Dodge. From a few metres back you’d be forgiven for thinking it might actually be some original chopped, channelled and sectioned vintage tin. But get closer and you’ll see the square tube frame underneath onto which Paul bent up the steel body panels before coating them in red oxide primer and scallops.

Behind all the surface rust and corrosion is a plethora of parts from Paul’s apparently extensive collection of goodies that he says he’s had gathering dust for around 18 years. Indeed, when quizzed on the final price of the build project, he smiles and tells us it came to a grand total of $42.

Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat RodPaul’s rat is powered by a 327ci small-block that Paul rebuilt himself using the stock crank, Carillo rods and Arias pistons. With a static compression ratio of 11.8:1 when squeezing the AVGAS against the ported cast heads, it’s no slouch, providing 480fwhp to this light weight go-kart.

This is backed by a T350 and HQ Holden Salisbury rear end with steep 4.44:1 gears. We’d be surprised if the rat was ever able to get traction on those old Goodyear stock car slicks with a combo like this.

Look inside and you’ll find the epitome of Spartan cockpits. Considering it’s always open to the weather and the interior of a rat rod, it’s probably for the best. But just look at it: custom buckets fabricated from a 60L drum, rusty custom instrument fascia with vintage gauges and decaying Anglia steering wheel and column.

“Installing that Anglia column and wheel was probably one of the highlights for me,” Paul says. “I used to sit in one and steer it when I was four years old with my grandfather.”

With an insane completed cost of under $50 and a build time of just two weeks, Paul certainly stuck it to old ‘Black Plug’. And with a trophy for Best Rat Rod at the 2010 Taren Point Rat Day as further vindication, who can argue that this is one of the coolest rats you’re likely to find?

VEHICLE: 1928 Dodge (phantom)
OWNER: Paul Lonegran
BODY: Hand-built cab, red oxide primer, pin striping, scallops
ENGINE: 327ci SBC, stock crank, Carillo rods, Arias pistons (11.8:1 compression), Thompson rings, ARP mains studs, ported cast heads, stainless valves, Isky springs, Corvette rocker covers, Offy breathers, Isky solid cam’, solid lifters, chrome moly pushrods, Crow 1.6:1 rockers, Melling oil pump, custom sump, custom pulleys, 1946 International radiator, 850cfm Holley, Holley intake manifold, Bosch coil, modified Chev’ dizzy, Holley fuel pump, Reg Rocket ‘Hillbilly’ headers
PERFORMANCE: 480fwhp
TRANS: T350, 4200rpm stall, manualised
DIFF: HQ Holden Salisbury, 4.44:1 final drive, 1-piece tail shaft, LSD
INTERIOR: 1949 Ford Anglia steering wheel and steering column, custom seats made from 60L drums, custom instrument fascia, vintage gauges
SUSPENSION: “Suicide steer, Ford style”, front transverse leaf spring, Monroe shocks, rear leaf spring
BRAKES: Deleted front brakes, HQ rear drums
WHEELS: 13x5in Holden front steel wheels, custom 15x9in rear steel wheels, Goodyear Stock Car Special rear tyres
THANKS TO: Shacko

CLOCKWORK ORANGE: Simon Grima’s Phantom FE Holden Ute

28 Jun

Simon Grima's FE Holden

CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Simon Grima created this incredible one-off ute from a $500 sedan shell and 20 years worth of spare parts
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Simon Grima's FE HoldenSimon Grima’s 1956 Holden FE phantom ute is proof that you don’t need to spend the earth to take home trophies. This Vermillion Fire two-door has won over 25 awards since he finished the build back in 2006; including five People’s Choice awards. He also took out the top gong at the very first ute muster he attended in 2010.

Yet for all the plaudits and praise, Simon has only spent around $25,000 bringing what was once a $500 wreck back from the brink.

“The vehicle was purchased off a customer that wanted it out of his shed,” starts the 39-year-old mechanic and proprietor of Bonnyrigg Tyres & Mechanical in Sydney’s southwest. “It was just a sedan shell with enough parts to build two cars, including a HR front end. I paid $500 for the lot.”

The enormous pile of parts joined Simon’s existing enormous pile of parts for a few years until the creative bug hit. “One day I decided the shell would make a great learning project to practice MIG welding,” explains Simon.  “So, I started to build a ute out of the sedan shell, knowing it would give me a challenge with no intention of building a real car out of it.”Simon Grima's FE Holden

Using only a tape measure and a ‘good eye’, Simon went about cutting and shutting bits and pieces of the panel work. After a few weeks Simon thought the project was really starting to take shape, but his welding hadn’t improved. “I spoke to a real welder at one point who told me that because I was welding outside, my MIG shield gas was being blown away causing messy welds,” Simon remembers. “So I built a shed and the welding started to get better.”

It was at around the same time that Simon’s mates started suggesting that his go-nowhere welding project could in fact make a pretty good work truck. “Before I made the decision to get too deeply into making the FE a real car, I approached an engineer,” says Simon. “He said it wasn’t a problem if I stuck to his instructions – which were contained within a 30-page report and a bill for $2000!”

Simon Grima's FE HoldenWith a new goal in his sights, Simon set to work more seriously on the FE and work progressed steadily. “When my mates used to come over my wife would tell them that I was in the shed with my second wife. That’s how much time I used to spend on it,” exclaims Simon. “Whenever anyone would ask me when it would be finished, I’d tell them Christmas. They’d always ask which Christmas! To everyone else it was a nightmare project and I wanted to do everything myself.”

Indeed, Simon did prove himself a very capable and handy guy to have in the shed over the course of the FE’s build. Not only did he perform much of the body fabrication (helped by paint and panel guy Jason Dean), but he also built pretty much everything else as well. This included the chassis mods and fitting the injected 5L.Simon Grima's FE Holden

Originally from an HSV SV89, Simon sourced the engine from eBay with 180,000kms on the clock. It sits within the tight little engine bay thanks to Simon’s handiwork fabricating engine mounts, steering rack mounts, cross member modifications and building a custom sump from three other pans. “I used a dummy 308ci block during the construction process,” says Simon. “I used a VH Commodore rack that’s rear mounted. It needed very little modification to work properly.”

The 304ci injected motor copped minor performance mods in the form of a Crane 286 cam’, ported throttle and Chip Torque MEMCAL and it’s backed up by a VP T700 auto’ that’s been fettled with a stage-2 kit and B&M 2500rpm stall. Being a custom install, the tail shaft came in for some modification and it feeds torque into a 100mm narrowed VN diff’ that still uses its 3.08:1 gearing.

Simon’s FE sits nice and low, achieved through the use of the HR front end that came with the original mountain of parts. Up front you’ll find the setup completed by King springs and Monroe shocks while out back the leaf sprung rear has been modified by reversing them and removing a leaf. Simon made up custom coil-overs by using modified Nissan Pulsar struts and front HQ shocks. He also strengthened the chassis to cope with the weight and power of the V8, at the same time rigging up some larger tubs that now house 17x8in VX SS alloys.

Simon Grima's FE HoldenIngenuity and resourcefulness are themes that run through this entire build and you’ll find more of it inside where Simon has used a plethora of factory parts and some creative vision to build a sweet interior. VQ Statesman leather buckets provide the seating while he steers with a HZ Monaro tiller. Fresh grey carpets and velour roof linings complete the look, together with a neat custom centre console trimmed in matching grey leather and featuring a few VX Commodore parts like the shifter surround.

“On its maiden voyage to the 2006 All Holden Day the ute was suffering a major fuel problem,” Simon remembers. “Upon further investigation we found that a wasp had decided to make my fuel tank home while it was in storage. So, after putting fuel in the tank and making mud of its nest and eggs, the filter clogged and staved the car for fuel. The car survived and I even won a trophy!”

Simon is right to be proud of his FE. It has been a huge undertaking that he’s completed with primarily second hand parts and stuff he’s had lying around from decades of collecting bits – not to mention all the work he completed with his own two hands. “The only things that were redone were the chrome work, door trims and roof lining,” confirms Simon. “I tried to recycle everything. I suppose that makes it environmentally friendly – recycling old parts.”

Owner: Simon Grima
Model: 1956 Holden FE
Colour: Ford Vermillion Fire
Bodywork: Phantom ute style
Engine Type: SV89 304ci 5L
Engine Mods: Crane H286 hydraulic cam’, Crow timing chain, custom modified sump, Chip Torque MEMCAL, VT engine covers, JP oil pump, twin thermo fans, ported and polished throttle, pod filter, ported and polished intake, alloy radiator, Bosch external fuel pump, modified Triumph PI fuel tank (behind seats)
Power: 200fwkW (268hp) claimed
Exhaust: VR Commodore cast exhaust manifolds, twin 2in mild steel system, twin cats, 2x high-flow mufflers
Gearbox: T700, B&M 2500rpm stall, stage-2 kit, modified tail shaft
Diff: Modified VN Commodore, 3.08:1 final drive
Brakes: HZ front calipers, VN rear calipers
Suspension: HR front end w/King springs and Monroe shocks, Modified rear leaf springs, custom rear coil-overs, VH Commodore steering rack, chassis strengthening
Wheels/Tyres: 17x8in VX SS rims
Interior: HZ Monaro steering wheel, VQ Statesman seats, custom centre console, Smiths gauges, grey carpets
Other Mods: Relocated battery, 100mm widened wheel tubs
Stereo: Sony head unit, DVD screen
Build Period: 7 years
Cost: $25,000
Thanks: Bonnyrigg Tyres and Mechanical, Jason Dean (paint and panel), Turbo Exhaust Systems, ACA Transmission Services, Hi-Torque Trucks, Bosnjak Engineering