COMING from the wide open farmlands around Mandurah in south-west WA, Natasha McMahon really had a thing for a tough steel-bumper ute from the Blue Oval stable. Now she has a sterling example to call her own.
This article was first published in the October 2019 issue of Street Machine
Ripper ute you’ve got there, Natasha! What first got your attention about it?
It was the colour; it just pops. I like the carbonfibre black-outs it came with too, as it’s different. I wanted the ute because my husband Tony already has an XC coupe and an XC GXL sedan, and I like XYs. We actually started looking at sedans, but the one we took for a test-drive broke down and we had to tow it back to the guy’s house!
Sounds like a ute was meant to be. What happened next?
We drove it for six months before the 351 blew. Whoever had it before us had mucked around with it and the internals were a bit of a mismatch. So we pulled it down and decided to keep the virgin block, but do a 393 stroker. It all then sort of snowballed from there.
How much of the original ute has survived?
The only thing we haven’t touched is the paint. We redid all the driveline, the wheels, brakes, suspension and the chrome-work.
What are you most proud of?
We haven’t put it into a shop and left them with a list of things to do; we did most of it in the top shed here at home. I get a bit embarrassed with all the attention it gets, but I like it when older people come up and tell me they had one from new. Also when young kids give it the thumbs-up, because I think it’s a good hobby for them to get into.
What’s the go for the ute’s future?
I’d like to do lots more driving and keep doing shows. So far it’s come home with a trophy at almost every event we’ve entered. I’d like to reshape the dash and console, and mini-tub the back. Maybe in five years it might need a respray, and I’ll re-do the carbon stripes and have the 393 put on the sides. We’ve got Tony’s coupe to finish, so the more I drive my ute the more time he gets to work on his own car.
Who would you like to thank?
My hubby Tony for his endless hours in the shed at home, and long-time family friend Neil Okamoto for his constant help. Also Derek Paulik for the great job he did on building the new engine too.