Posts Tagged ‘car’

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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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

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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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

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

SMOOTH CRIMINAL: Chad Darke’s Smooth 336ci EH Holden Ute


18 Jun

Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

SMOOTH CRIMINAL

A long list of subtle refinements makes Chad Darke’s inky blue EH stroker one slippery character
Story and Pics by Ben Hosking

Chad Darke's EH Holden UteBesides the 48-215 and FJ, there’s no more an iconic Holden model than the EH. Even today, almost 50 years since the introduction of the EH range, they remain as popular as the 260,000 they manufactured between 1963 and early 1965.

It’s no wonder then that Holden lover Chad Darke scoured the country for the right basis for his next automotive project back in 2005. “I rang my mate to see if he’d come with me to check out a car,” the 37-year-old electrician from Sydney relates. “I didn’t mention it was in Tasmania! We flew down there the next morning and started haggling.”

Once Chad had settled on a price, it was time to get the ute home and instead of throwing it onto a transporter and taking the easy route home, Chad and friend jumped in and headed north. “I asked the seller about fuel economy,” Chad says. “He said it was good for 10km/L and it was supposed to have a 100L tank, so I filled it up in Victoria and we set off for home. Somewhere between Yass and Goulburn the car started to splutter… out of fuel in the middle of nowhere!”

“Here I am waving my Jerry can around furiously trying to hitch a ride when a guy that resembled Ivan Milat picks me up. He took me to the nearest town and after a tense trip I got some fuel and found my way back to the car safe and sound.”Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

With that fateful trip home behind him, Chad could breathe a sigh of relief and get stuck into the build up. Over the course of the next five years, the old EH would be transformed into a sleek, modern interpretation of the classic Holden, but not without the odd headache.

“Dealing with panel beaters and relying on other people’s conversion kits that didn’t fit were probably some of the hardest parts of the build,” Chad explains. “I ended up finding a good panel guy though.”

He’s not lying either – the finish on Chad’s EH is pristine and includes some choice body mods that really smooth the old girl out. For starters, the door handles and locks were shaved off. Given that Australian rules require a mechanical method of opening front doors, Chad replaced the handles with short metal rods poking up out of the top of each door. However, whereas most similar conversions work by being pushed down or lifted up, the mechanism on Chad’s doors works by gently pulling the rods toward you. We gave them a go and they worked effortlessly.

Chad Darke's EH Holden UteAnother huge visual improvement came via the deletion of the front quarter windows. With full one-piece glass inserted into the doors, it looks far more modern and further simplifies the exterior aesthetic. With an aviation-style fuel filler replacing the factory door, the modern iteration of the EH is almost complete – perhaps finished off most notably by the venerable Simmons FR18s.

Having a nice-looking ute is one thing, but without the proper mechanical motivation it’s little more than BBQ rice: all show and no go. Surely the old six-banger was never going to cut the mustard and Chad swapped it out for a Holden 5L.

Based around a Kingswood pre-EFI block, Alan Bruni built up a nice offset-ground 336ci stroker motor that is updated with a pair of VN EFI cast heads. It’s a relatively mild affair with an HSV hydraulic cam’, unported heads and a 650cfm Holley on top. While power is untested, the combo has pushed the ute to a 13.8sec ET in full street trim; and as they say, a 14sec street car is nothing to sneeze at.Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

Chad shifts gears through a T5 5-speed and there are more Commodore parts to be found out back, with a VN Borg Warner running 3.45:1 gears and an LSD centre. Check each corner and you’ll find VT-spec’ discs on the nose and VN discs in the rear.

The sweet combination of old and new continues inside where the cabin has been decked out with timeless black leather and suede. Premier buckets provide an iota of more lateral support than a bench, but it’s the Autometer dash, Sony stereo and Momo wheel that helps bring the old girl into the present day.

With a ute as cool and contemporary as this in the shed, many would be happy to rest on their laurels and take a break, but Chad has more plans under way. “I’ll probably end up putting a bigger stroker kit into it,” Chad starts. “It’ll also cop a bigger stainless fuel tank,”

Bring it on!

Owner: Chad Darke
Model: 1963 EH Holden
Colour: PPG Midnight blue
Bodykit: Aviation-style fuel filler, deleted door handles and locks, deleted quarter windows
Engine Type: Holden V8
Engine Mods: Offset-ground 336ci stroker conversion, 5.7in small-journal Chevrolet rods, ACL Larry Perkins pistons and rings (10:1-comp’), ACL bearings, VN cast heads, polished rocker covers, HSV hydraulic cam’, Yella Terra roller rockers, double-row timing chain, high-volume oil pump, High Energy sump, Davies Craig thermo fan, 80A alternator, PWR alloy radiator, 650cfm Holley DP carb’, ceramic coated Torque Power intake manifold, adjustable FPR, K&N air filter, Bosch HEI distributor, Bosch EA Falcon coil, wiring hidden, Carter fuel pump, braided lines, custom bonnet hinges
Power: Untested, 13.8sec @ 98mph
Exhaust: Custom stainless headers, twin 2.5in into single system, single stainless muffler
Gearbox: T5, heavy-duty 10in single-plate clutch
Diff: Narrowed VN Commodore Borg Warner, 3.45:1 final drive, LSD, Cortina tail shaft
Brakes: 300mm VT-spec’ rotors and calipers, 278mm rear discs, VN calipers, front braided brake lines, VN master cylinder, VN V8 booster
Wheels and tyres: 18in Simmons FR rims (7in front, 8in rear)
Suspension: HR front end, King front springs, Pedders shocks, reset rear leaf springs, custom sway bars, LH Torana rack and pinion conversion, modified EH column
Interior: Momo steering wheel, EH Premier buckets, black leather retrim, custom Autometer instrument cluster, custom door skins, black carpets, black suede roof lining
Other Mods: Battery relocated
Stereo: Sony head unit and speakers
Build Period: 5 years
Cost: $44,000
Thanks: Pioneer Plating, M&S Johnson, “Tony Wellington for the timber tray; Jeffrey Smith for the machine work; Terry Edwards for engine balancing; Ray and Warren for the great panel and paint and my wife for putting up with us.”

HOME-GROWN HERO: Adrian Coulter’s 380rwhp 6/71-blown LJ Holden Torana


18 Jun

Adrian Coulter's LJ Torana

HOME-GROWN HERO

Adrian Coulter’s 6/71-blown LJ Holden Torana is a true home-built masterpiece that almost cost him everything
Story and Pics by Ben Hosking

The stories behind some performance cars almost write themselves and those vehicles are usually home-built. You just can’t create the same texture, depth and interest with a cheque-book build that’s simply spent months in and out of workshops. Sure, put two cars next to one another and they might look the same; but you can be sure the journey the home-built car took to get to the finish line will be a whole lot more interesting than the workshop car.

Adrian Coulter's LJ Holden Torana33-year-old Novocastrian Adrian Coulter has spent the last nine years building this incredible Viper Blue LJ coupe (this is actually its second build) and except for that glowing blue suit, he’s completed everything himself in the shed at home. “The car won awards for Best Paint and Best Interior at the 1998 and 2000 Toranafest events,” says Adrian, a qualified panel beater AND mechanic. “After that I took the car home and stripped it back down to a bare shell. It took nine years to get from there to here.”

It’s hard to believe that a Torana this straight and highly detailed could have once started out as such a wreck – just as it did in 1995 when Adrian first bought it. “It was in primer when I bought it,” says Adrian. “I was told it just needed rubbing back and painting, but when I got it home and went to open the passenger door, it fell off!”

Things went from bad to worse once Adrian started rubbing the panels down, finding all manner of damage. Eventually, the casualty list included two sill panels, the rear beaver panel, two floor pans, the front valance and plenty of other poorly repaired dents and damage. “It took 15 months just in bodywork,” explains Adrian. “It was a never ending story, but worth the effort in the end.”

Fast forward to the second build and Adrian pulled out all the stops, creating an LJ with more attention to detail than most big dollar builds can muster. From tip to stern there isn’t a square millimetre of this car that hasn’t been massaged or tricked out in some way.

Up front, the engine started life as a 1990 304ci injected 5L, no doubt powering a VN Commodore or some description. Adrian rebuilt it himself using the factory crank with A9L rods and simple ACL Race Series pistons, rings and bearings. The rotating assembly does enjoy some additional support in the form of ARP mains studs and a girdle which is a good thing considering he’s forcing eight pounds of boost down its throat.

Unbelievably, Adrian was the first guy to ever lay eyes on that shiny GMC 6/71 supercharger. “Starting the motor with the blower on it was definitely one of my favourite moments in the build,” says Adrian, smiling with the thought. “I was the first person to open the crate with the 1959 blower in it. It still had the metal packing straps around the box and everything.”

It was a doubly exciting moment considering it was Adrian’s first blown engine – one that also features ported cast heads and a sturdy valvetrain using plenty of Crow parts. While the car hasn’t been on a dyno, Adrian reckons the twin-carbed beast is making around 380hp at the treads with plenty of fuel left in the mix to make sure nothing breaks – except tyres.Adrian Coulter's LJ Holden Torana

This is all backed by a worked T400 using a B&M 2800rpm stall and stage-2 kit before twisting torque through a 3in thick-wall tail shaft and on to a 9in that Adrian narrowed and braced; filling it with VL turbo 28-spline axles, 3.5:1 gearings and a mini spool. He also tubbed the rear end to the chassis rails, relocating the shock mounts and boxing the control arms.

In fact, the suspension at both ends is pretty custom, including a Hadfield Chassis kit, strengthened upper and lower front control arms and a full set of Nolathane bushings. With an LJ V8 steering conversion, King springs and Monroe shocks, the car handles like a dream and very unlike a car of its vintage. “Setting the diff’ angles and geometry was probably one of the hardest parts of the build,” says Adrian. “Well that and saving the money to build the car without losing my wife.”

In all, the car took three bank loans, all Adrian’s spare cash and almost his marriage to complete – but he didn’t give up and neither did his missus. “I have to thank my wife for her patience and support,” says Adrian. “She’s been amazing.”

Adrian has no other plans for the LJ other than to drive and get some enjoyment out of his hard work. Indeed, in order to fly under the radar as much as possible and not end up defected off the road; Adrian is contemplating a life without the blower – something he planned for when building the engine. If you look closely you’ll see a custom plate between the carbs and the blower which allows Adrian to remove the pump and simply refit the carbs to the blower manifold for quick and easy swaps. Although he has considered selling it all.

“I’d consider selling it for the right price,” says Adrian. “I don’t really want to, but it’s time to start thinking about the family.”

What a legend.

Owner: Adrian Coulter
Colour: Dodge Viper blue
Bodywork: GTR flutes, rear wheel arches stretched, rolled guards
Engine Type: 1990 304ci V8
Engine Mods: Modified oil galleries, ARP head and mains studs, stud girdle, A9L rods, ACL Race Series pistons (8.5:1-comp’), ACL rings and bearings, ported cast heads (flow around 550hp), stainless valves, K-Line valve guides, Chev’ LT1 valve springs, Crow retainers, alloy catch can, Crow hydraulic cam’ (112˚ LSA), Crow lifters and pushrods, Yella Terra 1.65:1 roller rockers, double-row timing chain, JP high-pressure low-volume oil pump, High Energy sump, alloy oil cooler, 2x 10in thermo fans, 4-core Statesman radiator, 65A alternator, billet engine pulleys, 2x 600cfm vac-sec Holley carbs, GMC 6/71 supercharger (8psi), K&N air filters, Mallory distributor, Bosch coil, Holley fuel pump and adjustable regulator, 60L RCI fuel cell, custom alternator bracket, custom carb’ mounting plate
Power: Approx. 380rwhp (283rwkW)
Exhaust: Heat wrapped custom tri-Y headers (1-3/4in primaries), twin 2.5in mild steel system
Gearbox: T400, custom oil coolers, B&M 2800rpm stall, stage-2 shift kit
Diff: Smoothed and detailed 9in, VL turbo axles, 3.5:1 final drive, mini-spool, 3in thick-wall tail shaft
Brakes: HQ front discs, HQ rear drums, Falcon master cylinder, VH44 booster (mounted under dash), new custom brake lines
Suspension: Strengthened upper and lower front control arms, new ball joints, King front springs, Monroe shocks, boxed and shortened rear control arms, custom rear shock mounts, custom diff’ bracing, LJ V8 steering conversion, Nolathane bushings, Rod Hadfield chassis kit, Commodore trans’ tunnel, custom rear top shock mounts
Wheels/Tyres: 15in Weld Draglite rims (6in front, 10in rear)
Other mods: Mini tubs to rails, battery relocated, custom boot enclosure
Interior: Custom black velour trim, Monza front buckets, Monza harnesses, 12in silver Momo tiller, custom roof lining, black carpets, B&M Quicksilver shifter, aircraft switches, restored factory gauges, rebuilt column, HR blinker arm, stamped alloy glove box insert, modified hand brake, ancillary gauges, 4-point alloy cage
Stereo: JVC CD player, Kicker power amps, Sony 6x9in speakers, MTX rear 6in splits, 2x 12in Sony subs
Build Period: (2nd build) 9 years
Cost: $55,000
Thanks: Bow’s Mufflers – Broadmeadow, “My wife for her patience and support throughout the build; my parents for all their help. Also my mates Ben, Big Dan and Dave for all their help. Without them the car would still be in the shed unfinished and gathering dust.”

SO COOL: Leon Julien’s DIY Kustom FC Holden Wagon


12 Jun

Leon Julien's 1959 FC Holden Wagon

SO COOL

There are FC Holdens and then there is Leon Julien’s FC wagon. Built under a 3x6m marquee, this blown six retro rocket is a total winner
Words & Pics by: www.hoskingindustries.com.au

Leon Julien's 1959 FC Holden WagonWe’ve featured the gamut of custom cars in our time: from high dollar workshop builds with no interesting back story attached, right through to some of the most bare-bones, DIY, budget builds with stories of heroic feats of self-taught snapper twirling the world has ever known and everything in between. Then there’s 37-year-old Leon Julien and his FC wagon known as FCCOOL.

“I’ve had an interest in FC Holdens since I was about six years old,” Leon says. “My uncle had a van that he ended up rebuilding. But it wasn’t until year seven in high school that I travelled over night from Sydney to Grafton in that van that I made it a life goal to build my own FC and do the same trip.”

By rights, we should not be drooling over Leon’s retro-chic FC, but instead looking on lovingly at an FE sedan. “I only bought the FC wagon as a parts car for the FE I was building,” Leon says. “But when I got it, I realised it still had nine months rego on it, so I drove it for those nine months and became attached to it.”

This was way back in 1995, when grunge was still going about its business of killing hair metal and the country was emerging from the ‘recession we had to have’. With the decision made to swap trajectories and rebuild the wagon, the dash and the engine block from the FE sedan were swapped over to the FC, but it can’t have been much to look at at the time.Leon Julien's 1959 FC Holden Wagon

“It had house paint covering any repairs when I got it,” Leon says. “There were undressed welds, dents whacked out with a hammer and mould on the roof and bonnet, but it had a good running grey motor and three-on-the-tree.”

This is where the story starts becoming truly remarkable. Without the aid of even the most rudimentary single-car garage to work in, Leon resorted to performing the bulk of the work on the car under the meagre shelter of a 6x3m marquee!

Over time, Leon restored the existing metal work and significantly altered it along the way. Look closely, past the more obvious custom grille (featuring door knobs as depicted in a ‘how-to’ article from 1963) and slanted 1953 Edsel head light mods, to the shaved handles and side chrome, frenched tail lights and aerial holes, front indicators, EK tail gate, radiused door openings and bonnet treatment. Leon’s FC is a smorgasbord of tasty metal mods that’ll have you gawking for hours – all performed in the front yard!

“One of my favourite moments during the build would have been the morning after I put the final coats of paint on,” Leon says. “I was pulling all-nighters in the driveway, watching the sun rise as I put parts back on the car while neighbours peered through their blinds, thinking I was nuts.”

Leon Julien's 1959 FC Holden WagonLeon’s retro-rific rig isn’t all about the bodywork, though – as impressive it is that he could pull off such a good job in the front yard. The FC also boasts a tough little Holden six.

Built around the 179ci that Leon originally had in his FE, Westend Performance built him up a nice 208ci stroker using 3.3L rotating parts, held together with ARP studs and fasteners. The cast head was ported and treated to a meaty solid valvetrain, helping the breathing even further. If that weren’t enough, Leon went about fabricating a trick blower setup using a Commodore-spec’ Eaton M90 supercharger that he’s got rigged up to run 8psi.

This combo is backed by a Trimatic and an old Banjo rear end that’s holding up to the punishment so far. “I’ve been running this engine block since 1994 and have given it a good workout in that time,” he says. “I don’t really understand why people always say these things are weak.”

“I built this car for the odd trip down the drag strip, carting the family on long distance trips to car shows and cruising around town,” he says. “It goes like the clappers, drives quite smoothly, doesn’t use a lot of fuel and has pretty good throttle response. I love that it also seems to get more attention than a lot of other high-dollar builds.”

With a slew of trophies under its belt already and with the Julien clan attending plenty of shows up and down the east coast, the FC is sure to continue winning fans the more it’s seen. However, it’s unlikely to look the same each time you see it, with Leon continually working to improve the package.

All hail the DIY king!

VEHICLE: 1959 FC Holden
OWNER: Leon Julien
BODY: White/blue two tone (high opacity white, tinted with green/blue tinter under white pearl), custom grille, frenched tail lights, all seams welded, EK tail gate, door corners radiused, guards welded to body, shaved handles, side trim shaved, twin frenched aerial holes, hood corners radiused, frenched indicators, canted 1958 Edsel headlights
ENGINE: 1964 179ci Holden six (stroked to 208ci), block decked and O-ringed, Holden black 3.3L crank, 3.3L rods, ACL Race Series pistons, ARP mains stud kit, ACL bearings, ported cast head, copper head gasket, Camtech solid cam’, Yella Terra 1.5:1 rockers, Manley pushrods, straight-cut gear drive, JP high-volume oil pump, EH sump, 2x 14in thermo fans, HQ V8 radiator, 85A alternator, Ross balancer, custom blower pulley, modified HS8 SU carb’, Eaton M90 supercharger (8psi), regraphed Bosch VK Commodore electronic distributor, Crane Cams LX92 coil, Crane Hi6 TRC-2 w/map sensor, custom wiring harness, Mallory Comp 140 fuel pump, Mallory billet FPR, 6-2-1 headers, 2.75in mild steel exhaust, H&M muffler
TRANS: Trimatic, 2800rpm stall, modified valve body
DIFF: Banjo, 2.78:1 final drive, LX Torana tail shaft
INTERIOR: Repainted EH Holden steering wheel, custom plush pile carpets, white vinyl roof lining, chromed instrument cluster fascia and glove box, NOS 1960’s Stewart Warner gauges, JVC head unit, Rockford Fosgate power amp’, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Diamond Audio rear speakers, Sony 6x9in behind factory dash grille, Dynamat Extreme sound deadener
SUSPENSION: HR Holden front, Pedders front springs, Gabriel shocks, reset rear leaf springs, adjustable Gabriel rear shocks, on-board compressor and control solenoids for rear, HR Holden steering arms, EH Holden steering column, 50x50mm box from sub frame to leaf spring hangers
BRAKES: HR Holden front discs, HR rear drums, Bendix pads and shoes, VH40 booster, braided lines
WHEELS: Stock 13in steel rims
THANKS TO: West End Performance, Active Transmissions, Motorsport Connections, Better Brakes – Blacktown, American Autos, FC/FC Holden forum, GMH Torana forum, OzRodders forum

PURE PLATINUM: Scott Briggs’ 350ci 1932 Ford Coupe


06 Jun

Scott Briggs' 1932 Ford Coupe

PURE PLATINUM

Trik Trim’s Scott Briggs built this awesome and totally classic 1932 coupe in his spare time. With a potent SBC and tonnes of style, we reckon it’s a winner
Words & Pics by: www.hoskingindustries.com.au

Scott Briggs' 1932 Ford CoupeIt’s easy to feel like ‘you’ve seen one ’32, you’ve seen ’em all’, but then sometimes you stumble across one that seems to offer something just a little different. Mid-north Coast resident Scott Briggs might have built his ’32 3-window using an almost perfectly classic combination of parts, yet thanks to his use of colour, intense attention to detail and skills with the needle and thread this silver high boy stands out from the crowd.

A trimmer by trade, it goes without saying that Scott’s 3-window boasts a well executed interior. But this Ford is much more than that. No matter where you look, you’ll find attention to detail that would leave a number of dedicated show rods in the dust, yet this car has been built with cruising in mind.

“Since my last build took five years to complete due to my wife having two beautiful daughters, I thought this build would go much faster,” Scott says. “As it turned out, it still took four years.”

“Once I’d finished the ’34 roadster I built last time, I thought ‘no more for a while’, but as usual, within a few months I was champing at the bit to start something new. I think it’s the challenge involved when you’re a fussy bastard like me and insist on doing most things yourself.”Scott Briggs' 1932 Ford Coupe

Sourcing a body and chassis from Elvis at Rod Bods, Scott had the basic ingredients for his new ride. In the interests of reliability and ease, a 350ci SBC crate engine was chosen to power the rod, with an equally classic T350 backing this up. Just to ensure the recipe was as classic as possible, a 9in lives at the end of the power package, using highway-friendly 3.25:1 gears.

“The car was always going to be black,” Scott says. “But at the eleventh hour I changed my mind and went for a silver colour from the Honda catalogue. I’m now thankful I did, because it’s just that little bit different.”

Sprays by his neighbours over at Colour Worx, the paint is still straight off the gun as you see it here in the pictures. Not that you’d know it, with the glowing silver laid down smoother than the proverbial baby’s bum. It covers everything up top and under the car, too.

Scott Briggs' 1932 Ford Coupe“I had a hectic few months leading up to October last year to get it finished for rego,” Scott says. “We made it, but it was three months of running my business by day and using all available weekends and nights after work on the car. After that effort I was glad to see the rego sticker applied.”

With the rego successfully obtained, Scott decided to take a breather and parked the car in the shed for a few months, finishing things off properly when he had the time. While it looks complete to the casual observer, the ever-picky Scott says it’s never finished, with the boot being the biggest of the little things left to complete.

You can get a good idea for how that will look by having a good hard squizz in the cabin. It’s in here that Scott’s expertise really came into play.

Dressed in a striking red leather sourced from Ford Performance Vehicles, the contract between the exterior silver and the interior red is more than appealing to both one’s sense of sight and smell. Thankfully, despite this being the personal vehicle of a trimmer, the car doesn’t feature some gaudy, overblown visual extravaganza inside. Instead, it’s a tasteful trim following classic lines that suit the rest of the car. But don’t let that make you think it’s some simple, throwaway piece. There are plenty of details in there for you to find. For example, flip the Glide bench over and find the 6x9in speakers hiding back there. Better, see how the lines created in the door skins flow around the cabin into the other panels. Nice.Scott Briggs' 1932 Ford Coupe

“One of my first drives in the car with my brother (once we’d spent an hour getting the speedo calibrated) was a cruise to the beach,” Scott says. “We pulled up in the car park to find a large puddle of trans’ fluid pooling under the car. Thinking the worst, we got under there to find that the trans’ sump plug had actually gotten hooked on a speed hump, spinning it loose. A call to my wife and three litres of fluid later and we were all good to go.”

If Scott’s ’32 isn’t one of the most tasteful rolling business cards around, we don’t know what is. If the crowds circling the car at the recent Autumnfest event in Taree are anything to go by, it’s bound to get Trik Trim some new business!

VEHICLE: 1932 Ford Coupe
OWNER: Scott Briggs
BODY: Honda silver, frenched aerial hole
ENGINE: 350ci crate SBC, cast heads, 600cfm Holley, Edelbrock intake manifold, MSD distributor and coil, finned rocker covers and breathers, alloy engine pulleys, chromed alternator, solid engine mounts, thermo fan,  spark leads, 4-into-1 block huggers, twin 2in stainless exhaust
TRANS: T350, shift kit, shortened Fairlane tail shaft
DIFF: 9in, 3.23:1 final drive, LSD
INTERIOR: Ford FPV red leather trim, cut-pile carpets, red roof lining, Dolphin gauges, Grant steering wheel, retractable seat belts, Glide front bench, JVC head unit, Earthquake power amp, JVC front speakers, Pioneer 6x9in rear speakers
SUSPENSION: Dropped I-beam front, rear coil-overs, stainless 4-link, raised rear rails
BRAKES: XF Falcon front rotors, VS Commodore front calipers, Ford V8 rear drums, stainless braided lines
WHEELS: 15in Cragar alloy rims (6in front, 7in rear)
THANKS TO: Trik Trim, Rod Bods, Colour Worx, Phoenix Restos, my wife Sarah and daughters Kodi and Abbey for their understanding during the build

RARE BIRD: ‘Jockoliner’ – Jocko Streamlined Dragster


30 May
Jocko Streamlined Dragster

RARE BIRD

One of only six or seven ever built, Norm Longfield’s ‘Jockoliner’ boasts more history and horsepower than your average vintage dragster
Story and pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

The 1950s and ’60s were the golden decades for hot rodding here and overseas. Having really taken off after the end of WWII when the servicemen returned home and begun tinkering with their old jalopies, by the end of the ’50s, it had become a sizeable phenomenon, supported by a burgeoning parts industry, magazines and shows. One enthusiastic rodder was Southern Californian Robert ‘Jocko’ Johnson.

Jocko Streamlined DragsterJocko (a nickname given him by an early employer by the name of George Barris) got involved with rods in his teens before learning to port cylinder heads and ultimately opening his own business, Jocko’s Porting Service. Possessing a very creative mind, he dabbled in various art forms and didn’t limit his experimentation with cars to custom head work. At just 19 he had his first mental images of what would later become the streamlined dragster.

While Jocko wasn’t the first to toy with the idea of an aerodynamically-improved drag car, for the most part no one was giving it too much thought – probably worried that any improvements would come at the cost of extra weight. Looking unlike anything else anywhere near a drag strip in the 1950s, Jocko’s streamliner wore a full aerodynamic body over the top of a more traditional dragster undercarriage, powered by a stroker Hemi capable of an 8.35sec ET at 178mph. Crazy stuff for the 1959 and the fifth quickest time completed in that year.

Only six or seven streamlined dragsters are known to have been built, almost entirely by Jocko himself, from two caravans filled with the necessary machinery and from whatever parts were available at the time from other vehicles typical of the period. As a result of the comparatively makeshift nature of the builds and Jocko’s admission that he was “not an aeronautical engineer”, the cars had their quirks – most of which aren’t obvious with a casual glance.

While the chrome moly chassis were never perfectly square or level and the bodywork never quite symmetrical, the biggest issue was front end lift. The design was gorgeous and quite sound in principle – but in reality, once the mph increased, so too did the problems up front. Measuring a little over 10in under the nose, the ground clearance meant plenty of air was still getting under the car. This was highlighted in the 1970s when Don Garlits bought a streamliner from Jocko and, citing instability at speed but against Jocko’s advice, altered the rear of the body to create more down force on the rear end. Doing little more than compound the problem, Garlits’ car – known as the Wynns Liner – was mothballed.Jocko Streamlined Dragster

Of these six or seven streamlined dragsters – or Jockoliners – only four are known to still exist, with the iconic yellow, aluminium-bodied, Allison V12-powered Moonliner being one of them. Another ended up here in Australia.

Back in the 1980s, Norm Longfield was alerted to the sale of an odd-looking race car in Michigan, USA by a friend. After seeing a stack of photos of it, he made a deal and had the car shipped to Australia, sight unseen. What he got wasn’t too bad, according to Longfield, but it was far from race ready.

Longfield modified the existing chassis to conform to ANDRA specs of the day and put in an all-new driveline to replace the missing parts. This included an alcohol-sucking Hemi that eventually propelled the car to seven-second ETs at the old Eastern Creek drag strip, hitting more than 170mph in the process.

Jocko Streamlined DragsterWith other toys to play with and an unfinished front-engined dragster project on the boil, Longfield’s Jockoliner sat idle for years. It wasn’t until he had an attractive offer to race on an airstrip that Longfield pulled the car out of hiding – he was to race a vintage WWII air plane.

While at first Longfield and the Jockoliner were actually beating the war plane, once he reached the 170mph mark, things began to get sketchy and in a split second the front lifted, sending Norm and the liner into four flips, hitting the ground hard and skidding to a stop over 200m down the strip on its roof. Thankfully Longfield was OK and quickly discharged from hospital, but the car was ruined: the fibreglass body had been ground into the road surface. Instead of fixing it, the streamliner remained in pieces until well into the 2000s.

When Longfield finally decided to return the liner to its former glory, he found the chassis in pretty good nick considering the spill – no doubt thanks to the additional reinforcing he welded in in the 1980s. The primary disaster was the bodywork and the repairs fell to Greg ‘Ziggy’ Sadler at Ziggy’s Hot Rods in Medowie, NSW – the same guy who’d freshened up the old body when it first arrived in Oz all those years ago. According to Ziggy, there wasn’t much left of the original body to be salvaged, thanks to the accident and the subsequent mothballing.

Using old photos as a primary guide, the team at Ziggy’s formed all the new bodywork, creating something that in many ways is probably far better than it ever was originally. The finish to the ‘glass and the paint over it are flawless from any angle, but the subtle asymmetrical nature remains if you look close enough.

Under that slippery bodywork is the driving force behind the liner. Where once Longfield had an alcohol-sucking alloy Hemi there’s now a nitro-breathing cast iron version, forced bulk air and fuel by a Littlefield blower and mechanical injection setup, with big, free-flowing alloy WRE heads. This is backed by a Lenco and by the shortest possible drive shaft known to man, a braced and impossibly narrow 9in out back between the super-rare and reverse-mounted bear claw magnesium wheels wearing vintage M&H Racemaster slicks.Jocko Streamlined Dragster

While the body is beautiful for obvious, almost-serpentine reasons, the inner workings underneath are beautiful for their own reasons – everything is neatly packaged in and around the chrome moly rails and cage in what is a stunning example of ‘backyard’ engineering (not to discount Jocko’s obvious engineering savvy). It’s easy to lament the passing of the days when such rampant experimentation made the drag scene so vibrant and exciting. Sadly today, you’d be unlikely to ever see a machine like this at a race track again – unless a sanctioning body like ANDRA came up with it first.

Indeed, for Longfield the Jockoliner’s racing days are long since over. However, he does intend to get it out occasionally for a ‘cacklefest’-type scenario with static displays of fire breathing entertainment. He’s also expressed an interest in shipping the car back to the USA for the annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, where photos of the car sent officials into a frenzy. Here’s hoping this piece of rodding history lasts another 60-off years.

Owner: Norm Longfield
Model: ‘Jockoliner’
Bodywork: Fibreglass
Block: Cast iron Hemi
Engine Mods: Velasco crank, Manton rods, forged pistons, Manley valves, Crane valve springs, Crane solid cam’, KB gear drive, Crower pulleys, Waterman oil pump, Littlefield 8/71 blower, Endearle 4-port mechanical injection, Gilmer drive, braided lines and fittings, Mallory magneto, anodised fuel cell, hard fuel lines, Endearle fuel pump, Oberg fuel filter, alloy catch cans, WRE alloy hemi heads, ARP fasteners, solid engine plate
Power: N/A
Exhaust: Open 2.5in headers
Gearbox: 2-spd Lenco, Hays twin-plate clutch, explosion-proof bell housing
Diff: Braced and narrowed 9in, 4.11:1 gears
Brakes: Wilwood rear calipers, 11in solid drilled rear discs, braided lines, Wilwood master cylinder
Suspension: Chrome moly chassis, 6-point cage, Deist fire bomb system, anodised alloy panelling, wishbone front end, solid body mounts, rack and pinion
Wheels/Tyres: 15×3.5in Halibrand spindle-mount front wheels, 16in reversed magnesium bear claws on rear, M&H Racemaster front runners and rear slicks
Interior: Anodised alloy panelling, Autometer gauges, Deist harness, Autometer shift/warning lights, fire bomb switches, single custom race seat, custom switch panel, SAE butterfly steering wheel
Contacts: Ziggy’s Hot Rods, Rod Andrews Race Cars, Airbrush World, Rod Walls, Andy Gabriel, Brad Willard, Richard Bottica, Johnny Williams, Brenton Holmes

HEIRLOOM: Dave Kracht’s Lexus-Powered 1940 Ford Sloper


30 May

Dave Kracht's 1940 Ford Sloper

HEIRLOOM

Dave Kracht’s 1940 Sloper has been in the family since 1964 and it’s never looked better
Words and Pics: www.hoskingindustries.com.au

Dave Kracht's 1940 Ford Sloper“The car was originally bought and built by my dad in 1964,” starts Dave Kracht, the current ‘custodian’ of this immaculate and understated Aussie 1940 Ford Sloper Deluxe. “He was a member of the Romans Hot Rod Club.”

Incredibly, the Ford has never left the Kracht family in all those years. Thanks to a seven year rebuild completed in 2009 the car has a new lease on life that will see it cruising our nation’s roads for plenty more.

“The car was in many shows in the 1960s and won many awards,” Dave says. “In 1968 dad ‘finished’ it and it won Top Tudor at the Sydney State Titles show at Roselands.”

In around 1971 Kracht senior pulled the car apart to give it a new drive train, but Dave says he lost interest in the ’40 and it sat dormant until the late 1980s when Dave took over. “I had it in various guises over the years,” Dave explains. “The last iteration saw it painted black with flames and a sidevalve V8, Halibrand diff’ and white walls on steelies.”Dave Kracht's 1940 Ford Sloper

Fast forward to 2002 and Dave embarked upon the car’s most extensive and decidedly tasty rebuild. The project would take seven years and see just about every nut, bolt and component replaced or refinished.

“Most of the rebuild took place in Ralph Stapley’s workshop in Bathurst,” Dave says. “Ralph was a good friend of my dad’s and a fellow Romans member.”

Dave says the object of the build was to create a rod that was a good driver “that you could drive interstate with ease and comfort”. I think you’ll agree with Dave when he says that objective was completed.

“It took a lot more work and time that we expected,” Dave admits. “That included a lot of bodywork to get a good fit and finish.”

Dave Kracht's 1940 Ford SloperFellow Bathurst local Ray Tobin took care of the bulk of the body work, with the Lost Green finish applied by The Repair Wizard back in Dave’s home town of Katoomba in NSW’s Blue Mountains. The result is a clean, understated and timeless look complemented by the factory bright work and those sweet Coddington alloys.

Dave’s ’40 isn’t all paint and body though, with the engine and drive train proving just as interesting. When your objective is to create a vehicle capable of easy interstate travel, it’s hard to go past a late-model motor and Dave’s choice of a quad-cam’ Lexus V8 borders on genius.

Not only is the Lexus a refined, robust and downright bullet proof engine, it’s also easy on the juice, comes with air-con and cruise control and makes all the right sounds when coupled with a decent exhaust. The Ford boasts a set of custom 4-into-1 ceramic coated headers and a twin stainless system, making sure this rod sounds like a rod should.Dave Kracht's 1940 Ford Sloper

To keep things simple and reliable, Dave retained the services of the factory 4spd overdrive auto’ gear box, even integrating the original shifter assembly into his incredible interior. Being the proprietor of DNA Motor Trim in Katoomba, Dave was in an excellent position to equip the Ford with a cabin to die for and that’s just what he delivered.

Based around two pairs of AU Falcon bucket seats, Dave created a supremely classy cabin that’s drenched in black leather, with the seats featuring tasteful embossed inserts that are mirrored on the door trims as well. Dave also constructed the full length centre console that includes that factory Dave Kracht's 1940 Ford Slopershifter, the door trims and the entire rear section that includes air vents and hides all the wiring and other ugly stuff.

As nicely as the completed car turned out, it’s the friendships and contact with the scene that proved most rewarding for Dave. “The best part of the build by far was reconnecting with Ralph,” Dave says. “I formed a very strong friendship with him during the project and I have become friends with many people during and after the build.”

Perhaps the sweetest moment of all came during the 2009 Custom Auto Expo state title show when Dave decided to enter the Ford as a kind of ‘completion of the circle’ that his dad started way back in 1968. “It ended up winning the Top Tudor award,” says Dave, still smiling at the memory. “Same car, same show, same award 41 years after it first won. It was a very satisfying moment and I was honoured to win.”

Owner: Dave Kracht
Engine: 1994 Lexus 4L Quad-Cam V8, ceramic-coated 4-into-1 headers, stainless twin exhaust, K&N pod filter, alloy radiator, alloy radiator overflow tank, thermo fan
Power: Untested
Trans: Factory Lexus electronic 4spd auto
Diff: Jaguar IRS, 3.54:1 final drive, LSD
Suspension: Rear coil-overs, fully boxed chassis rails w/tube cross members
Wheels: Coddington Stingray rims (15x6in front, 17x8in rear)
Brakes: XF Falcon front rotors, VS Commodore front calipers, Nissan Skyline rear calipers, in-board rear rotors, booster and master cylinder under-dash
Interior: AU Falcon ute front and rear buckets, black leather trim w/embossed inserts, grey carpets and grey cloth roof lining, Autometer gauges, Lexus shifter, custom centre console, custom roof pod and door trims
Thanks to: DNA Motor Trim, The Repair Wizard – Katoomba, Timic Hot Rod Supplies, Ralph and Annette Stapley, Ray Tobin, my son Kevin and all my friends and family who helped out and continue to do so