Taneille Gray’s Holden HK Brougham convertible

We spotted Taneille ‘Sharee’ Gray at the tiller of her custom HK Brougham during the 2010 Gazzanats

Photographers: Guy Bowden

An eye-catcher among the dark-hued roofed crowd, Sharee and her smooth two-door competed in most of the automotive playtime events. But the true calling for this sweet ride was cruising the track, crammed full of mates.

This article was first published in the May 2011 issue of Street Machine

Why a roofless ride, Sharee?

Before the HK, my husband Brett had chopped the roof off a VH SLE Commodore. After selling it, I said to him: “Don’t you want to build another one?” He agreed and we went about removing the roof of an HQ but with the short boot it didn’t look right. So we trashed that idea and bought an HK Brougham shell. We chopped that, then stood back and said: “Yeah, now that does look right.”

What’s the story behind the HK’s nickname, Carnage?

Well it has a double meaning — we were told: ‘You can’t chop the roof off an HK, that’s carnage!’ a few times. Also, during the chop Brett caught his wrist with the nine-inch angle-grinder. It almost cut off his hand and he finished up in surgery. He’s okay now but the project did go on hold after that.

How long did the build take?

About three years, though it was a six-month solid lead-up to Gazzanats. Apart from the trim, we built it all ourselves and at home. Brett and I worked the body, including welding up all the side window openings and back doors. Brett and Paul Evans then sprayed on the custom colour, which we’ve named Bad Ass Silver. The engine bay and dash are both black with a gold pearl overlay.

What’s in it?

It’s running a 5.7-litre Gen III with a T700. We’ve just put in a VL Borgy rear to ensure the 19in VY Signature Series rims won’t scrape.

How did you like Gazzanats?

I loved it! A friend said she saw me out there, showing off. I said: “Of course I was — I was there to have fun!’ I didn’t expect to win anything, so I was surprised with my Top Cruiser and Promoter’s Choice awards, as well as second place in Iron Maiden.

Will we see you on the streets of Adelaide?

Yeah, it’s built to be a cruiser. My lad’s having a graduation soon and he’s cancelled the Hummer — he and his mates want to arrive in the HK. We’ll take it to shows and cruises — just not in the rain!

Anyone to thank?

My husband, Brett. While I did do quite a lot of the work, Brett did most of it. Also Rags to Riches Upholstery for the interior, and our mates — they know who they are.