Chad Silvey’s crazy shed

Looking back on Chad Silvey perfect shed to hang out in with his mates - bar, TV, heating, library and even somewhere to park!

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

This article on Chad’s shed was originally published in the April 2009 issue of Street Machine magazine

CHAD Silvey owns a shit-hot HQ one-tonner that’s known all around the Victorian show scene. Nothing too unusual about that; car magazines the world over feature more horn cars than you can poke a stick at.

But most of those cars are kept in storage cubicles or hidden by enclosed trailers, rarely venturing out except to be towed to an indoor show.

What sets Chad apart is the fact that he gets behind the wheel of his HQ regularly, travelling to shows all over Victoria as well as interstate. He’s been doing it for half a dozen years but when he arrived back home he didn’t have anywhere safe to keep the ’tonner.

Chad’s HQ runs a mild-to-warm 350 and a stout driveline. The wild Bruce Terry airbrushing on the tray extends to the engine bay

“The carport only covered three-quarters of my ute so I needed to get a shed built,” he says. “Originally I had two garden sheds in the back yard. We demolished one and kept the other to use as the bar area. I measured up the available space and ended up with a 6mx7.5m Colorbond shed. I made sure it was built as close to the small garden shed as possible.”

Not satisfied with simply having somewhere to keep his car out of the weather, Chad decided to add a sizeable dose of entertainment factor. After all, if you’re going to invite your mates over for a few cold ones, there’s nothing worse than seeing the looks on their faces as they slip on spilled oil or try to avoid looking at the cobwebs gathering in each corner.

“When the shed was built, I got Dad to come over and do some cutting. We cut out an area two metres square out the back of the big shed, then pulled the front off the small shed. A bit of boxing to the edges and hey presto, we had a bar room with framed pictures of my ute from magazine and calendar appearances adorning the walls. Dad and I made the bar together and added the old-style fridge that’d been sitting in Dad’s shed. Craig Geddes is going to airbrush it for me.”

For most blokes, that’d just about do it. Not Chad. He buys a handful of car magazines a week, as well as subscribing to another four from the States. He’s got a collection of near enough 4000 mags, which are kept — neatly ordered — on shelves in the garage. Talk about hoarding! Chad claims to own complete sets of almost every car magazine on the market.

“It all started 18 years ago, when my sister bought me four Ford magazines for my birthday,” he recalls. “I’ve picked up back issues from swap-meets and eBay to complete most of the sets I now have. I’ve got every issue of Street Machine right back to the Van Wheels days.”

Chad says the shed has been the scene of some great parties over the past year and continues to be a gathering place for his mates and fellow car enthusiasts.

Craig’s ‘tonner sharing the shed with Craig Riddiford’s HG ute, Brad Murname’s LJ and Bruce Terry’s Harley

“Mates who’ve come around over the past year often leave their thoughts of the shed on cardboard stickers, which I attach to the roof,” he says. “It’s great to look back on them a few days later — especially as the guys are often too drunk to remember what was written!

“On special occasions, like the AFL Grand Final, we bring the big plasma TV out into the shed but other times the small wall-mounted unit does the trick. I’ve got an imitation wood-fired heater which is crap but looks good. One Friday it got so cold — this is Ballarat after all — that we rolled the BBQ in. The fumes weren’t the best but it did keep us warm while watching the footy.”

Despite the party duties, the ute still gets parked in the shed every day and looks great surrounded by all the memorabilia. But Chad says none of it would be sitting there without the help of his father, Ken, girlfriend, Julie, and a long line of mates and acquaintances.

“I owe Dad so much — he’s always there to work on my ’tonner,” he says. “He’s a Ford man and whinges about working on a Holden but he’s there for me and has also done so much in the shed. He says it looks like Luna Park but deep down I reckon he thinks it’s awesome too.”

Photographers: Chris Thorogood