LANE PAR­SONS

Street Machine - - Snap Shots -

WHEN your deep-seated pas­sions are Aus­traliana and cars, it’s likely you’ll com­bine the two to in­clude some rip­per Aussie rides in your col­lec­tion. Lane Par­sons grew up knee-deep in cars thanks to the guid­ance of his fa­ther, Neville (Snap Shots, SM, Jul and Sep ’18), and has been tin­ker­ing with all things au­to­mo­tive now for more than 40 years.

01: START ’em young: That’s Lane as a young tacker stand­ing next to his fa­ther, Neville, with broth­ers Derin (com­ing through the wind­screen) and Kim (at the kerb) help­ing to pull the donk out of this wrecked Mor­rie van. “That’s how you raise three car-mad boys!” Lane laughs. “Dad used the mo­tor for his con­vert­ible af­ter buy­ing the van from an im­pound lot that was lo­cated di­rectly un­der the Story Bridge in Bris­bane. It was in there be­cause of the front end dam­age, but the roof was stoved in from peo­ple drop­ping bricks onto it from the bridge above.” 02: LANE started his ap­pren­tice­ship as a greenskeeper at 14 and im­me­di­ately be­gan sav­ing for his first car. “In 1980, as a 16-yearold, I bought this HT ute off my brother’s mate and built it at home with my dad,” he says. “We dropped in a 186 with a three-on-the-tree and I bought the GTS guards from Kelly’s Wreck­ing on Bris­bane’s north side – wreck­ers were full of Monaros in those days. I learnt to drive in this ute and kept it for a cou­ple of years be­fore sell­ing it for $2000.”

03: IF THIS isn’t the per­fect ex­am­ple of a cool 80s streeter then I don’t know what is: brown satin metal­lic paint, a bone vinyl roof with a lou­vre, let­ter­box scoop, tramps rods and Glo­belines! “My neigh­bour had re­cently bought a big-block Corvette with side­pipes and the works – it was tough-as – so he sold me his HK GTS as a painted but unassem­bled project. I pieced it back to­gether with a 307 Chev run­ning fu­el­lie heads and ex­trac­tors, backed by a Sag­i­naw four-speed. It was a great car and I loved the thing, but it got stolen and was found a cou­ple of weeks later at the Gold Coast, par­tially stripped but to­tally trashed. I brought it home and cleaned it up, but was pretty dis­heart­ened by the whole sit­u­a­tion and sold it for $2800.”

04: AF­TER the Monaro was re­cov­ered and sold, Lane de­cided to dab­ble in the van scene, and bought this HR van as a roller in 1983. A warm 192 and four-speed were fit­ted and he re­placed the twin side win­dows with long sin­gle ver­sions. “This van was a re­ally mint car with a great bodyshell, and I drove it ev­ery­where over the next few years,” he says. “It was ac­tu­ally a five-seater that had a fold-down wagon rear bench and Pre­mier front buck­ets, so it did ev­ery­thing you could want. I ended up sell­ing it in 1985 once I got my FC on the road.”

05: PER­SIS­TENCE paid off for Lane with the pur­chase off this FC sedan, a car that he has now owned for 33 years! “My dad, broth­ers and I were al­ways snoop­ing around the streets and peo­ple’s yards look­ing for old cars, and I would reg­u­larly pass this FC to and from work. I struck up a friend­ship with the orig­i­nal owner, Lau­rie, who was 95 years old and had cov­ered

all of the miles on the clock. I asked him to keep me in mind should he ever want to sell it, and 12 months later he told me to bring $200 and take it home; his son-in-law was has­sling him for the car, purely to flip it and make some money. I promised Lau­rie I would keep the FC and im­me­di­ately got to work re­build­ing it. I took it back a year later, re­painted and look­ing schmick, and took old Lau­rie for a drive; he lit­er­ally burst into tears and was just so happy his beloved FC had gone to a good home. I love my grey mo­tors, and this car has a mild 138 with twin carbs and a de­cent cam. It still has the old three-on-the-tree and is onto its third re­spray. I usu­ally paint it ev­ery decade!”

06: Long-term own­er­ship is in Lane’s DNA nowa­days, and this beaut HR sedan has been a part of his fleet since 2006. Bought out of the old pa­per Trad­ing Post for $4000, the HR was a hot­tie with a tough 202 run­ning triple SUS and plenty of pe­riod cool­ness. “It went like stink but was al­ways break­ing rocker posts; the val­ve­train was con­stantly on edge,” Lane says. “I fit­ted a mild 179 just to re­turn some re­li­a­bil­ity, but I still have the old hot­tie mo­tor here, which I’ll re­build and fix its is­sues while I’m at it.” And how tough do 13-inch US Rac­ers still look on early Hold­ens – Lane’s HR uses a To­rana diff to squeeze them un­der the low arse.

07: LANE’S dad Neville bought this Mor­ris Mi­nor con­vert­ible back in 1971 for $20 – the re­ceipt is still in the glove­box – and it sat in his garage on the back-burner for 30 years be­fore he com­pletely re­built it. “It still runs the orig­i­nal side­valve four-cylin­der, and he drove it reg­u­larly be­fore pass­ing away in 2008,” Lane says. “I get it out now and then and am amazed how he could even drive it. He was a tall guy, so it must have been a tight squeeze!”

08: WHEN it comes to Aussie mo­tor­ing, Lane is a diehard Holden fan, but he couldn’t pass up this neat AP5 Valiant Sa­fari wagon he spot­ted as a road­side sale a decade ago. “I was work­ing at Beach­mere, north of Bris­bane, and made the boss swing around so I could go back and check it out,” he laughs. “The body, paint and in­te­rior is pretty much as-is, but the slant donk had a nasty miss so I man­aged to get it a lit­tle cheaper. I brought the car home, sorted the head – it had bent a valve – and have been cruis­ing it ever since. This wagon runs and drives beau­ti­fully and smooth and is so com­fort­able; there re­ally is no com­par­i­son to the Hold­ens and Fal­cons of that time.”

09: WITH a tidy grey-pow­ered FC streeter un­der his belt, Lane was keen to hit his lo­cal War­wick eighth-mile strip with some­thing tougher, so he built this sec­ond two-tone sedan. “I ac­tu­ally bought this car many years ago as a stripped project that was left be­hind at a rental prop­erty,” he says. “It was an eight-year build and runs a hot grey mo­tor with a solid Tighe cam, 12:1 pis­tons and a 500 Hol­ley, backed by an HQ three-speed and an early Hilux diff – it bolted per­fectly to the FC leaf springs! The best I’ve run is a 10.4 at War­wick, but I’d re­ally love to get it down the quar­ter. It’d be nice to ac­tu­ally wind it out in third gear!” The in­scrip­tion on the glove­box is in mem­ory of his dad Neville; Snips was Neville’s nick­name for many decades, born from the sim­i­lar­ity of ‘Par­sons’ to ‘parsnips’.

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