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.”