In the March issue (on sale 23 Feb) we're trialling a new section called Budget Built.The idea is to showcase car builders who have extracted maximum value for their hard-earned. The first cab off the rank is Paul Cronin's Goon, a CM wagon he saved from the tip with less than 2K invested.
Know of something similar? Drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. The actual amount isn't important, it is the value you've managed to extract. For example, $20K would be expensive for a CM wagon cruiser, but it would be pretty good deal for a 10-second street car. You'll have to prove it though, so have some receipts and pics handy.
As the year draws to a close, I thought I'd present my Top Ten Street Machine moments of the year. There's nothing scientific about the list, just ten cars that pushed my buttons. I'll start with my favourite Chrylser. It was a pretty tough field this year, but I can't go past Brad Riepe's 69 Plymouth Road Runner, as featured in the September 2010 issue.
Because we want to bring you the best of the best, most of the builds we cover in Street Machine are epic in nature, with lots of sacrifice, dollars and years of hard yakka. All fantastic, but that doesn't mean that you can't have fun and really achieve something with a quickie build. This makeover job by SM contributor Simon Major is an excellent example, as Simon explained to the troops on www.ozrodders.com:
"You know how you shouldn't buy things on impulse
sometimes? We'll I did it and now I've got no fingerprints left and a
lung full of sanding dust...
Ok, here's the background: My VEG Safari wasn't even finished and I
was out on my wedding anniversary with the better half a couple of
months back; after lunch and a movie we're heading home and she says
"hey I think there's a Valiant down there for sale..." and points to a
side street. Sensing a trap I proceeded with caution and replied with a
wary "ok..".. "Do you want to go back and have a look?" she says. Now,
here I am on my wedding anniversary with my wife asking if I want to
(1) look at a Valiant for sale and (B) potentially spend money. I am
scared and rightly so; so I hit her straight up and say "Is this a
test" and she says "No, I want you to have a look, it might be half
So we went back and I saw it was this red VF sedan. I remember the
car from a few years ago and it used to be owned by a chick on the
Southside. Straight up I'm trying to talk myself out of it as I've
really been half-keenly chasing a VG ute to put away as a future
project, which I'd really rather have if I'm gonna spend the coin:
"It'll be a Slant, I don't want a Slant car" then stick my head under
the front and its had a Hemi conversion. Damn it. "Oh its not an auto,
it'll be a 3 on the tree, I don't want a column manual", I look inside
and its a floor shift 4 speed. Fark. "The 7" jellybean mags look ok but
the tyres will be rooted", Shite, they're nearly brand new. Last
resort: "The paints shagged and it'll be full of rust" It has a small
amount of rust in the lower rear 1/4s from a poor previous repair but
the roof and bootlid paint are totally shagged with crowsfeet, but the
rest of the paint just needs a good cut and polish.
The shell was a corker so I ring the guy who comes back while we're
there, I find its a 245 on LPG/petrol with a new VH44 for the front
discs, extractors, new exhaust, lots of new body rubbers, front and
rear swaybars, neat interior trim and new carpet, mint dashpad and a
350 2bbl Holley. I get it started and it runs great. The bride gives me
the double thumbs up and says "at least its not a boring colour like
the rest of them!".
Next thing you know its home and I'm busy sanding again. The
original plan was to respray the bootlid and roof and leave it at that,
but matching the paint was a nightmare so it was out with the Hoover
again for a full respray. Thankfully there was no real bodywork
required so it was a simple rub back for the rest of it. The gumby boot
and roof paint was that knackered that it came off quite easily.
As you can see by the photos, the McValiant tag comes from obvious
styling cues, the yellow interior metal and engine bay will be replaced
by black and red respectively asafp."
Cassie Rhodes' E55 Charger was on the cover of Street Machine back in May 2007. It was a serious contender for SMOTY that year and also got a Meguiar's Superstars invite, so you know it's a pretty nice car. The plan was always to race the car, and with a blown and injected 408 cube Mopar sucking methanol, expectations were for a 9-second quarter.