Readers Rockets: Ford Model T, ’67 Camaro SS, ’63 Thunderbird, HQ ute

We check out some readers' cool rides from the February 2022 issue of Street Machine


Noel St John Wood
Ford Model T

“I RECENTLY completed my 1926 Ford Model T hot rod. Its patina-clad tudor body has managed to survive rust-free for almost a century and has never been repainted. Authenticity is a big thing for me; to see stuff that old still with its original coatings is really something. I got hold of original Model T chassis dimensions and body mounts to help bespoke-build my own steel ladder frame.

For power I’ve used a worked 289 Ford Windsor V8 due to its compact size, and fitted a 351 Windsor Stage 1 camshaft to change the firing order and improve performance and response. The mill is topped with Edelbrock alloy heads and manifold, Holley Super Sniper EFI and an electric water pump. A lighter harmonic balancer and flywheel went well with the four-speed Top Loader manual, while a Toyota HiLux has donated its rear axle assembly.

The rear end is four-bar coil-over suspension, while the front is a traditional-style I-beam axle with leaf springs. Ford XF brake rotors all ’round do the anchoring work. Wheels are Sunraysia steelies in 15-inch and 16-inch sizes, sprayed satin-black with gold airbrush highlights around the holes.

The headlights are original but have halogen globes and integrated indicators. Out the back you’ll spot genuine kerosene-type rear lights – as fitted to earlier Model Ts – now illuminated with less flammable LEDs. Inside,

I’ve gone the plush boudoir look, with Honey Gold synthetic velvet covering later-model seats. There’s a Bakelite instrument cluster from a 1949 Ford Prefect, and the tudor’s original interior-blind mechanism has survived, to which I’ve added new material, gold braiding and tassels.

The car is now fully registered and often spotted around Noosa’s favourite beachside haunts. It’s a rolling slice of history with Windsor thump!” Photos: Iain Curry

Dean Bonthorne
1967 Camaro SS

“AFTER a lifetime of lusting after muscle cars, I stumbled across this 1967 Camaro SS. It was abandoned under cover with no drivetrain. I cut a deal and have spent the past 15 years performing an ‘on-the-road/bit-at-a-time’ build, aiming for a tough, old-school street bruiser that gets driven hard.

I believe it used to be a show car back in the 80s in Perth, with RHD and BBC conversions undertaken with local GM parts and features like a unique integrated rear spoiler, original 80s Auto Drags and a custom interior – anyone recognise it or know more?

I’ve upgraded the 454 big-block multiple times, and it now contains forged pistons, alloy heads and a beefy cam, running through a built TH400 to a Taverna 31-spline nine-inch with a Truetrac LSD centre. An alloy Race Radiator and triple fans keep the 454 cool, while brakes got upgraded to discs and the suspension was refreshed with modern gear to keep control but retain that super-tough stance.

The interior got a full makeover as well, with big audio power, a full custom retrim, one-off gauge console and a selection of billet touches. Almost every inch of the car has been upgraded or modified in some way.

Now I’m just loving being able to drive it anywhere and everywhere that I can, at least weekly. The reaction to the thunderous big-block and tough stance is universal, with the RAW454 plates saying it all.” Photos:

Shane Lamb
1963 Ford Thunderbird

“HERE’S my 1963 Thunderbird, which I purchased 12 months ago from a mate in Cairns. I fell in love with this car back in 2004 at a car show called Jailhouse Rock. It was built by Richard Dabbs in Melbourne and appeared in Cruzin mag in February 2003.

My mate’s dad Brian Foster bought the car in 2004 and kept it in absolute mint condition. He actually flew to the Gold Coast and drove the car all the way back to Cairns.

For a car built in 2003 and with flame-work done by Mat Egan the same year, it has held up really well – a credit to the builder and the previous owner. It’s still running the original 390, Cruise-O-Matic and nine-inch. I recently had a good offer on the car, but it’ll take a lot more for someone else to drive it away.”

Tim Andrews
HQ Holden ute

“I’M SHARING my HQ ute that one of my best mates and I rebuilt. It’s had a body-off rebuild, with new rust repair sections from Rare Spares painstakingly welded in.

The whole car has been resprayed in my mate Richard’s shed. It runs a 308 that’s been balanced and blueprinted, along with a four-core alloy radiator with a single 16-inch, 1600cfm Spal fan. It also has a set of headers and a 21⁄2-inch twin exhaust system.

The rest of the driveline comprises a Supra five-speed (Rod Shop conversion) and a 10-bolt Salisbury LSD. The brakes have been upgraded with VT front and VS rear discs. Paint is Alpine White with satin-black SS stripes and blacked-out GTS flutes. It took us a little over 18 months to finish, after work and on weekends where possible.”