Restoration of a Classic

tim_8a9b244c0cf9a543b7c09014d162246bAs a teenage boy who has stumbled upon the sheer joy that is the modified car world, I always envisioned being involved in some serious restoration project. To date I had never restored a classic car but that was all about to change.
Whilst I have once done this with a Holden Commodore in the past it was hardly “restoring a classic”. The time I spent in Narrabeen saw the team make some great friends with the towing crew we were subleasing off. Not least of this is the owners youngest offspring, Timothy. Known for his very little drive to do anything and a wicked sense of humour, Tim has always loved cars but loved the V8s of old and in particular the vehicle icons of this nation such as the HQ Holden, the Torana and even the early model Holden Commodores. These vehicles were all made famous over the years on the great race tracks used in the V8 Supercar series so naturally when Tim stumbled upon a car that was in fact twenty years older than himself he knew exactly what he had found.
toranaThe two door version of this vehicle is the true collectors item for those in the know but when something like this turns up you don’t turn it back.
The towing company had been contracted to dispose of the vehicle, a four door LJ Torana from a deceased estate and after negotiating with the inheritor of the property Tim was allowed to keep the vehicle rather than scrap it. It came back to the yard, which at the time was also used for our workshop, and the work began almost instantly.
Most of the towing employees were avid car enthusiasts of one sort or another so help was not hard to find. Within a few weeks and many evenings with beer, pizza and toilet humour the car was stripped down to a bare shell. The shell then went for prep before rust and paint work can happen.
Whilst all of this was going on the question of engine and transmission set up was hotly disputed amongst those involved in the build.
A V8 was the obvious choice but in Australia young drivers are restricted on what they are allowed to drive and a V8 is in the same category as an F1-11 fighter jet in the eyes of our governing bodies. This made a hard call for young Tim as putting a V8 in it would mean he would not be allowed to drive it for a few years.
torana2torana3Six cylinder options were looked at and one was even purchased secondhand from an online selling platform. Once that engine arrived close inspection found it was badly damaged and no good for the job.
At the same time as all of this was going on, a wrecked newish Holden V6 Commodore had landed in the yard destined for scrap metal. Some negotiating was done amongst ourselves and Tim’s father made a call to the owners of the vehicle. The owners agreed to sell us the wreck for the scrap metal value and the following weekend the transmission and engine was removed from that car.
Months on and more research, it was found that this engine fitment would cost a fortune due to modern emission laws surrounding the newer engine along with lots of red tape issues when it came to registering the car. The decision was then made not to use the newer V6. It is at this point in the project that we moved workshops and have not had much to do with the project since.
helpersI heard a faint rumour of plans to sell the unfinished project. We need to pop in and convince them otherwise. But at the end of the day its not our money.
(Image top left is Tim himself, Right hand bottom is Mark(father/owner), Toby, Mark and Bobby)

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