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Thank­fully, a deal was done that saw that hap­pen, and the wreck was de­liv­ered back to him. On a mis­sion not to let it sit around, he got stuck into the re­build. Not much more than 12 months later, the car was back on the road, look­ing bet­ter than it ever had. The panel work was sorted out, thanks to var­i­ous re­place­ment pan­els from Chucks Restora­tion Sup­plies and the magic touch of Tony McAuley in get­ting the re­main­der straight be­fore Kurt at Gate­way Au­to­body en­sured the gaps were right. The task of colour­ing the whole lot was handed over to lo­cal paint leg­end Reon Mad­den at Supreme Auto Refin­ish­ers. While the car was orig­i­nally gold, this time around, the lat­est Holden colour, called ‘Light My Fire’, was used — a fit­ting name for a colour on a car of this na­ture! Ob­vi­ously, the mo­tor needed re­pairs, too, hav­ing been shunted around in the hit, and items such as the in­ter­cooler and ra­di­a­tor were re­placed with shiny new items, the lat­ter com­ing from Pe­tone Ra­di­a­tors. Although it was not a ne­ces­sity, Brent had Steve at Price Auto Trim redo the in­te­rior of the car, keep­ing the sub­tle look, al­beit in a dif­fer­ent colour from the orig­i­nal. A retro stereo now hides in plain sight in the dash, while a hoard of Auto Me­ter gauges keeps an eye on the en­gine’s vi­tal stats. With Carl Jensen in charge of tun­ing, the car turned the rollers at C&M to the tune of 650hp at the wheels — so, as you can imag­ine, Brent’s not all that pre­cious when it comes to choos­ing rear tyres, as they don’t seem to last all that long. Now that the re­build is com­plete, Brent’s thrown around the idea of putting the Bel Air down the drag strip, but that’s not re­ally what the build was about. Sure, he knows it’d likely run into the 10s, hav­ing run a soft 11.2 pre­vi­ously, but hav­ing fun on the road and ful­fill­ing the dream of own­ing the car he’d long ad­mired was re­ally what the build was about. Let’s just hope that this time around ev­ery­one else takes as much care around it as Brent does!

CAR CLUB: Ram Rod­ders AGE: 55 OC­CU­PA­TION: Self-em­ployed — Wairarapa Diesel Ser­vices Ltd PRE­VI­OUSLY OWNED CARS: 1965 Chev Im­pala SS DREAM CAR: This one WHY THE BEL AIR? I wanted to buy it years ago, but couldn’t af­ford it, but then it came up at a...

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