We met Trevor Lynch alongside his 1956 Ford F100 at the Harrigan’s Rod & Custom Show (SM Yearbook ’22) in South East Queensland back in October. Upon hearing of the XT wagon he built that went on to feature in Street Machine nearly three decades ago, we knew the former panel beater had plenty of stories to tell.
First published in the January 2023 issue of Street Machine
Did you grow up around cars?
My dad was always buying and selling cars. He got me a 40s-model Ford Prefect ute before I ever had a licence. I put fat wheels on it, lowered it and drove it around our farm. After the ute,
I built an EK with a 202 in it, and had a couple of Minis. I was probably just going against my dad, because he was Ford and I liked my Holdens.
His influence must have rubbed off on you, though!
I’ve owned about 10 Falcons over the years – a few XRs and an XY GT. I had an XT sedan at one point, but I wanted something to tow my boat, so I bought a Fairmont wagon and put a Clevo in it, a nine-inch disc rear end and power steering.
We brought it up to Queensland when we moved, and it ran as a feature car in Street Machine about 28 years ago.
Have you always been handy on the tools?
I’m an ex-panel beater and painter by trade, and so were my two brothers. I did that for 30-odd years. In my 20s, I moved to Canberra and opened my own panel shop. I did a lot of smash repairs on Toranas and hot rods.
I built show trucks and semis for myself and tricked up some pretty flash lorries for clients.
What was the car scene like in Canberra back then?
There were a few wild men with hot cars that we used to drag with. We raced my hotted-up EK and an HR wagon with a 350 Chev.
A lot of the cars I built were for the early years of Summernats, back when Chic Henry started the event and blokes would come from the bush with their cars on trailers.
It sounds like you got up to some mischief.
I was mates with Peter O’Brien, whose dad Bill raced at Bathurst. We used to get his dad’s XD race car out and drive around the streets of Fyshwick.
The cops would come in and we’d say it wasn’t us, even though the smoke and black tyre marks led straight to us! You couldn’t even touch the car’s bonnet it was so hot, but there were no security cameras back in those days.
Tell us about your pick-up.
It’s a 1956 F100 running a 460 big-block After Hours Racing engine. It was built as a race truck in the US, and has a 13-inch extended cab and tilt front. It makes 700hp.
I’ve spent the past seven months calming it down. We took the nitrous bottle out of the back, changed out the manual rack-and-pinion steering, and put in a column shift and Vintage Air air con so my wife Michelle can drive it.
We rewired the whole car and put a set of 16-inch slicks on the back. It’s still pretty wild, but it’s manageable.
Is there anything else in your garage?
Yes, we’ve also got a rare ’67 Mustang that was built in Mexico. Michelle (pictured with Trevor, main photo above) will often drive the truck and I’ll drive the Mustang out to a show like Harrigan’s, and then we swap for the drive home.