Street Machine - - Gallant Effort -

THE build of the HD was re­spon­si­ble for the start of Nick’s busi­ness, Ariel Cus­toms, which op­er­ated out of the Ade­laide sub­urbs of Bev­er­ley, West Croy­don and fi­nally Lons­dale for many years. “I’d pur­chased a fair amount of tools and ma­chin­ery to fab­ri­cate and man­u­fac­ture parts for the car, so it seemed like the next log­i­cal step,” Nick says.

Ariel Cus­toms had a hand in some of Aus­tralia’s most recog­nised cus­tom builds and restora­tions, with Nick’s di­verse skillset mak­ing him able to com­plete the ma­jor­ity of his cus­tomer work in-house. This in­cluded Danny Wood­ham’s Bed­ford van The Judge (be­low), which came to Nick for its call­ing-card gull­wing door con­ver­sion. A To­rana-fronted Es­cort van was one of many panel vans to re­ceive the Ariel treat­ment through the 80s, while the pure-horn cus­tom trike (left) that starred in Mad Max was re­built and painted by Nick in 1992.

“Our busi­ness changed with the times and when cus­tom work be­gan to fade, I ul­ti­mately re­branded the shop as Mar­ion Weld­ing Ser­vices,” Nick says. “These days I’m a high school de­sign and tech­nol­ogy teacher, where I pass on the skills ba­ton to the next gen­er­a­tion.

“I do miss the cus­tom fab­ri­ca­tion side of build­ing cars though; it was my call­ing from the very start and I re­ally didn’t want that era to end.”

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