DIRTY STUFF

Street Machine - - Dirty Stuff William Porker - WIL­LIAM PORKER

THE Queens­land sun was warm­ing the grass as over 1000 clas­sic cars, rods and re­ally weird stuff rolled up early to be a part of Maleny’s Mus­cle On The Moun­tain show in early July. Most were 50s70s clas­sic sedans, but there were also XU-1 clones; Fords from GTS to late-model Mus­tangs and a sprin­kling of Thun­der­birds; Chevy Bel Airs tak­ing up space; and a lot of birds and blokes rolling up in im­mac­u­late Corvettes.

Hard to miss were a cou­ple of replica pre­war three-wheel­ers – open-cock­pit de­vices with enor­mous air-cooled V-twin en­gines hang­ing off the front, which drove these Mor­gan looka­likes through a sin­gle back wheel. They were fear­some machines, where car­ry­ing a pas­sen­ger was manda­tory to keep the skinny front wheels on the deck through cor­ners by act­ing as move­able bal­last.

Rarely seen Stude­bak­ers were grouped to­gether, SL/R 5000s shared space with left-hooker Gal­ax­ies, a fat-wheeled and low Ply­mouth Sports Sub­ur­ban wagon sat in black and chrome, a good-look­ing blonde turned up in a bright or­ange De To­maso, and some­body brought along what looked like Leo Geoghe­gan’s Bathurst Chrysler Charger coupe.

By 10 o’clock they were run­ning out of grass at the sports grounds, and still the ma­chin­ery rolled in.

I talked to one guy who had driven his blue EK Holden sedan in from Gayn­dah. He’d im­mac­u­lately re­stored it 18 years back and it was hard to tell that this was his daily driver. You could say that he was a bit of a fa­natic, as he had ripped ev­ery part off this car and, not want­ing to risk panel dam­age by a sand blaster, filled a huge tank with sug­ar­cane mo­lasses and then sub­merged the stripped shell un­til he couldn’t even see the roof, leav­ing it there for a full six months. Once the sug­ary soup had dis­solved all the black paint away, he painted the steel elec­tric blue in a pad­dock, and sweated over stitch­ing the im­mac­u­late white up­hol­stery (he reck­oned mak­ing the head­lin­ing was the hard­est job). He con­fessed that this was the sec­ond time he had re­built the car.

A su­per-low un­painted EH flat-tray truck grabbed a lot of look­ers. More sur­face rust than paint, it was pow­ered by a 179 with a V6 Com­modore blower, topped by triple Stromberg down-draught carbs hang­ing above a shark-toothed gap in the bon­net. The tray was loaded with a stainless-steel beer keg and a ni­trous bot­tle, the keg plumbed into the cock­pit, while the ni­trous was only there for show. A tall lever be­tween the seats worked the brake mas­ter cylin­der hooked up to the rear drums, while the foot pedal only ap­plied force to the front brakes. The bloke who owned it reck­oned this weapon only took him three months to build, and to­day was his third car show. Agri­cul­tural? Sure. But what an at­ten­tion-grab­ber!

There were some rods, too, in­clud­ing a ’32 Ford chop-top coupe wear­ing a com­po­nents body from the States with a 6/71-blown 350 Chev driv­ing through a Turbo 400, out­stand­ing in bur­gundy paint and only on the road for a cou­ple of years. The owner had this flaw­less coupe roped off and watched it closely, get­ting ag­i­tated when­ever he saw any kids walk­ing up, tired of yelling at them to get off his run­ning boards.

You could play ping-pong across the boot of a ’57 two-door Chev hard­top coupe in LHD, white paint and chrome. A long two-door Ford Galaxie in eye-catch­ing red and black had been bought off a girl in 1982 for 200 bucks. A white FC Spe­cial sedan had been ripped apart and re­built with all VN Com­modore driv­e­line and sus­pen­sion. A huge al­loy drop tank had been added to make a new boot floor; it swal­lowed 80 bucks in fuel and still wasn’t full. The for­mer me­chanic who owned it said he had re­built the FC twice now, and his next project was a twotone green Bel Air.

This was a top warm day for bring­ing out your 427 replica AC Co­bra, and there was even a soli­tary Grp-bod­ied Manx beach buggy and a hand­ful of rag-top English-built 1950s sports cars.

SYCO83 was Bianca’s pow­der-blue 1983 TF Holden Gemini, show­ing off spot­less white­with-red-stripe in­te­rior up­hol­stery. The four-pot Isuzu mill was topped by twin dou­ble-choke down-draught carbs.

A cou­ple of old blokes yarned as they watched over a ’34 Ford two-door coupe, al­most orig­i­nal with non-stan­dard small wheels and a well­worked, al­loy-headed flat­head V8 that prob­a­bly punched out around 120 horses.

Rare cars in­cluded a bunch of Stude­bak­ers: a Cruiser am­bu­lance in elec­tric blue, a ma­roon Avanti, and more ex­am­ples of this al­most­for­got­ten make, sprout­ing enor­mous rear fins.

There was also a 1974 Bar­ba­dos Green SL/R 5000 To­rana; the guy who owned it was still grin­ning about his luck, hav­ing found this SL/R just three kays from where he lived. It needed a com­plete strip and re­build, re­fur­bish­ing the 308 and its M21 tranny. His luck is ob­vi­ously still with him, as he also garages an­other To­rana – a much-de­sired orig­i­nal XU-1.

A SU­PER-LOW EH FLATTRAY TRUCK WAS MORE SUR­FACE RUST THAN PAINT, POW­ERED BY A 179 WITH A V6 COM­MODORE BLOWER, TOPPED BY TRIPLE STROMBERG DOWN­DRAUGHT CARBS

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