An Austin A50 turned from garden ornament to V8-powered burnout beast


WE DIDN’T know what the hell Tim Barby had built to do skids at Summernats, so we had to ask the Portland, Victoria resident.

“MOJO is an Austin A50, which we think is a 1953 model, which was being used as a garden ornament before I bought it for $100. I’ve got a shed full of cars and was sick of skidding nice cars so, once the beer started flowing, a plan was hatched.”

A scarcity of parts meant Tim had to roll the sleeves up higher that most. “There are no parts for these things and I could only found one parts car, which I couldn’t get any useful parts off anyway. I built the whole thing in the shed, fabricated, trimmed, painted it, the lot, except I had a mate help with the motor and I paid for the transmission to be built.”

Austin A50 V8 Burnout 2Apart from the outer shell, there isn’t much Austin A50 left, with a tube front-end, new floor and firewall and tubbed rear-end replacing the stock Pomgolian tin. Impressively, Tim is the man who performed all that metalwork in his home garage with limited tools.

“I made the chassis on the floor of the shed, but I didn’t have a rotisserie so I just rolled the body onto its side each time, then rolled it back. It was pretty rough but we got it done. The engine is just a $500 second-hand LS1 that I had a mate help me bash a cam, valve springs and those basic mods. We got it out of the shed, took it to the dyno to check over and then skidded it.”

The name MOJO comes from Tim’s wife’s boss. “He heard we had an Austin so, like Austin Powers, he suggested MOJO. I was going to call it Dizzy.”