What we really dig about Shane Harvey’s GRUNTA HZ ute, which graced the cover of the March 2015 issue of SM, is how successfully he stuck to a theme.
Even if you don’t particularly dig his ‘80s on steroids’ vibe, the way in which Shane took his passion for the stylistic touchstones of a long-gone era and presented them in a modern way has to be applauded. They’re all there – the super-fat American Racing Indys, old-school rubber, drop tank, flared guards, tunnel ram, dual-length grille and more. Consistency is a trick many builders miss, but not Shane.
So who is this bloke and what else has he built? The answer may surprise you: a 4×4 CL Valiant ute! Good enough to win Top Exhibition at Summernats 9 and 11, no less, and it also scored a feature in SM, Oct/Nov ’96. With its colour-coded pink graphics, shockers, trim and ignition leads, it is clearly a car of its era, but again, the theme is carried right through.
The ute started life as Shane’s dad’s workhorse, bought brand new. After 15 years it was looking decidedly second-hand, so Jamie Homes at Oz Conversions suggested the 4×4 conversion, using a rolled ’69 Land Cruiser for the chassis and running gear. Power came from an unusual source – a 289 Windsor and matching C4! Yep, it is a Valiant/Ford/Toyota hybrid!
Like GRUNTA, the Valiant was painted by Shane’s stepson, Daniel Slater, with rattle cans used for the fluoro graphics. With the sills 900mm off the deck, the ute rolled on 33×12.5x15in Hankooks matched to 15x12in Oasis rims.
LEFT: Looks like Shane wasn’t scared of getting his ute dirty! RIGHT: Sticking to a plan is the key to successful car-building, and Shane certainly did that, judging by Linda Vesperman’s concept drawing for GRUNTA
The ute was long-ago sold to Western Australia. If anyone knows if she lives, yell out! Shane would love to find her.