1977 Holden LX Torana – Reader’s Car

From bare shell to stunner in just five weeks

Photographers: Ben Hosking

Noel Carpenter bought back the old family Torana and with the help of some mates turned it from an empty shell to stunner in just five weeks

This article on Noel’s Torana was originally published in the January 2018 issue of Street Machine

“MY FATHER bought this 1977 Torana brand new and it was our family car when I was a kid. He sold the car 17 years ago but I kept an eye on where it was and managed to get the bare shell from Cowra in October 2016.

With only five weeks to go until my father turned 80, we decided it would be a great idea to pick him up on his birthday in his old pride and joy. We stripped the body down to bare metal, repaired all dents and got the body primed and sent to Frank Myers at Custom Colours panel shop. By the time he had the body painted we had the panels primed and ready. We swapped them with him for the body, and while he started on the panels we began fitting all the interior, drivetrain, windows, etc.

Matt Turnbull had an old injected 5.0-litre laying in his shed so we slotted that in up front. We finished at 12.30 on the Saturday morning before my father’s surprise party. I turned up to his house and he asked if it was the same car, and when I told him it was he told me I’d ruined it (typical old man)! But you could see the excitement in his eyes as he went over every little mark and said: “Gee, you even fixed that!”

Big thanks to the guys who helped: Danny Board, Matt Turnbull, Ben Azmi, Jon Smoother, Darren Williams, Frank Myers, Dave Dolbel, James Dean, Ji Rissler, Jeff Patterson, Jack Smoother, Peter Butcher and many others that came and went. It was a massive effort by all, especially Frank, who got the paint sorted in miraculous time. Words can’t describe how good this was to get done for the old man on his 80th.”

Photographers: Ben Hosking