My Ute came from very humble beginnings. Its previous owner was a concreter living on a farm when a defective vehicle sticker forced it off the road due to lack of maintenance, it then found itself a resting place under a tree with half a garage piled in and on it.
I was actually answering an ad from the trading post next door when I found my Ute. The ad wanted $600 for a rusted piece of crap. I left telling the guy he was dreaming and saw my new project in the next door neighbours paddock. No one was home so I left my number on the front door. A few hours later I received a call and organised to have a look the next day. They couldn’t tell me how long it had been there. But when I opened the door and saw the giant huntsman run for cover and my spine tingled. It turned out that he actually had two utes! I wheeled and dealed and got both for a mere $200. BARGAIN!!! Well sortof!!
When loading them I had to load backwards due to the positioning of them and the lack of help to turn them around, I almost came to grief due to an unstable load. Both lanes and both the emergency lanes were used when the speed wobbles came up on the Monash freeway entry ramp from Cranbourne.
I went to the car wash and pressure washed as much mould off them as possible, unfortunately some panel went too. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the 3 insect bombs I deployed per car to rid them of any unwanted hitchikers.
One car had lots of rust and the other had lots of rust and a major side impact so the car of choice was made. Not one to muck around, a photo shoot was planned for 11 weeks time. So I set to making a tidy streeter. Money and time were against me, not to mention Tams car was becoming very unreliable.
The engine bay only got minor modifications so it was painted within a week, but the rest of the car was in dire straights. Two new inner and outer sills, 2 new lower ¼ sections, 2 new rear wheel arch ¼ sections, new tailgate, custom floor pan pieces, new floor pan supports, all the tomeau holes were welded and then there was the dents!! Bulk hours were spent on the body. Me being particular and all, but it paid off in the end as the results spoke for themselves.
With it coming up as straight as I could ever have hoped it was time for me to paint. Unfortunately I bought inferior paint and on the initial application the paint reacted. A few friends were at the booth and helped me block it back for the 2nd application. Due to the paint problems, I was in no mood to paint anymore so I passed the gun over to Gordz with the new paint while I got drunk and sulked in the corner.
With body done, the interior, driveline, tonneau and wheels were left. A custom flat tonneau was made. The driveline was a 302 and C10 I had from a car I wrecked previously. To go with it were Fairlane doors, XF electric mirrors, XF Ghia interior, ED seats, ESP dash were sourced.
Now the car was ready for Reg. Unfortunately time and more-so money failed me. I missed my deadline by a mere 3 weeks. My car was built ground up in 14 weeks. The wheels were screaming out to be replaced so a set of FTR 16’s were added finishing the package nicely.
The car drove nice, sounded nice and went good… well better than my 6cyl LTD. Two weeks on the road and out on a night cruise, I looped it 4-5 times and ended up in the turning lane of a 3-lane road (effectively the 4th lane) but missed hitting everything. A little power, light rear-end a recipe for disaster. I fixed that problem though now I have bulk power and a light rear end, but more on that later.
Later in the year our annual pilgrimage to Springcar saw me enter my new toy. Some more money was thrown at her in the form of a very toyte new LSD and a line locker. I drove there ready to participate in a big weekend of motorsport instead of just watching. We cruised off early Friday taking our sweet time. As we arrived in town my car started cutting out and stalled 1 km from scrutineering. The rest of our convoy continued on. As I set about searching for a problem. 2 hours later still no answer buy my car miraculously started. This was the scene for the weekend. A new fuel pump was fitted but still no fix. In total I had 30sec of driving for my $80 entry fee and my car went home on a trailer behind a friends father who came up to see them. That’s why I trailer my car to events now.
The bug bit me and I decided more power was required. As everyone knows a snowball effect generally happens and things got out of hand, a small budget doubled. Easternats came up and the motor was almost done, so I entered with the attitude of if the motor lets go, oh well. I gave it absolute hell and it only had 1 minor problem (a heater hose split). A month or so later the transplant happened and I was like a kid in a candy store. The motor had been engine dyno’d at 340hp, more than expected. It was well above all expectations.
Various tuning improvements have seen me go straight from engine dyno to chassis dyno at 169rw KW to its current 213rw KW. Best ET was a 13.4 on each of streeters, semi comps and slicks. A change to a 9inch and a 4.11 mini spool has seen me lower that to 13.1. But a bigger stall is required and I am aiming for a mid 12seconds pass not bad for a daily!!
Many thanks to all those many people who have helped in little ways. A special thanks goes to Alex (Lee) Gray for building my motor, Gordz for the paintwork, Andy at All Power in Bayswater, Eric at Good Guys Performance in Kilsyth for all the advice and tuning. I would also like to thank Heath from Avon Tyres for his advice and support And an EXTREMELY big thank you to Tam who supported me through the whole build and not complained too much!