David Ryan’s FX Holden Build

In this week’s Rare Spares Blog we will be taking a look at a project car close to the heart of Rare Spares Director David Ryan. It would be fair to say that David has an affinity with old Holdens, more specifically 1950’s FX’s and FJ’s, having owned numerous of the early Aussie classics and having raced them across the country and overseas!

David has recently been able to purchase back one of his old Variety Club Bash cars, and has an ambitious plan laid out for it to be completely restored by Christmas 2018 for a special occasion – his granddaughter Chloe’s wedding! The 1953 FX in question has had anything but an easy life, let’s take a look!

In 1953, David’s father, uncle and a mate decided to take part in the REDeX  Around Australia Reliability Trial using a black 1953 FX Holden taken from the fleet of the family taxi service and used for the event.

Upon its return it was reinstated to the rank to serve out its days once again as a cab.


 

In 1986, David, and some mates decided to take part in the famed Variety Club Bash event using an EH Holden setup specifically for offroad racing. Officials deemed the car was too fast and not suitable for this sort of event, hence a more suitable replica of the original FX was decided to be built for their next foray into the Bash the following year.

The work undertaken to build the replica FX was completed by David and his mates utilising the converted bus depot that was at that stage the premises of the fledgling Rare Spares organization.  David’s father was kept in the dark on the build until the time of unveiling, when one day he drew back the garage doors to unveil the pristine replica of his beloved REDEx machine.


 

 

In 1990, the FX was sold and David was left to focus on his many other ongoing projects. These included competing in the 1993 London to Sydney Marathon in a HK Monaro, taking an Aussie 1946 Chev ute street rod to the US and a trip to Mexico to compete in the 2013 La Carrera Panamericana, a 3200km open road event, racing a 1954 FJ! You can read about this incredible restoration and event here

Over the past decade David was in regular if not frequent contact with the owner asking if the FX would ever be available to buy back. The once loved car was languishing in a suburban backyard, dying a slow and rusty death, with the new owner unwilling at that time to part with it..

Fast forward to early 2018, David was searching through some online early Holden forums where low and behold, his FX was listed as possibly coming up for sale! A quick phone call was made to the owner to re-express his interest.

 

 

After a week or two of negotiating back and forth, the car is now back in David’s hands and plans are well underway for a complete restoration to be finished by December for Chloe’s wedding. With an abundance of options for her wedding car, one would think Chloe would go for something a little more luxurious. However, with the FX once again back in the hands of her grandfather, there was only one car Chloe had in mind!

The car is now in Adelaide where it is being paint stripped and rust treated, this is due to be completed by mid next week. From there extensive rust repair will be undertaken before being baked, primed and painted by a good friend. The seats will be re-trimmed in their original colour (red) all while a full mechanical refurbishment will be undertaken. The 132ci grey motor, 3 speed transmission, differential and suspension will all be rebuilt to stock specifications.

We will be paying close attention to the FX Holden build, so stay tuned for further updates as 2018 progresses!

What are your memories of the early 1950s Holden’s? Did you or someone you know own one? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know about it in the comment section below!

Wooden Wonders – The world of wood panelled cars

As automotive enthusiasts, there are a million and one things we love about cars. From exhilarating performance to their racing pedigree and history, there is a broad spectrum of things that appeal to us, but all of this is nothing without style. There have been a number of body styles over the years, some quirky and some more practical, but one of the most unique to appear in the automotive spectrum would be those with wood panels or “Woodies”. These vehicles were the example of outstanding craftsmanship and design flair and here we will take a brief look at the origins of the style and some of the cars that defined the movement.

In the early days of engineless transport, wood was used in the construction of many horse drawn carts and carriages. These sound design elements naturally transferred across too many early motor vehicles, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that cars with wood become the desirable choice. It was Ford in 1929 with the Model A that claimed the title of the first mass produced Woodie, with more than half of the vehicles exterior being crafted with timber. Although the use of this material was a relatively common place at the time, advancements in steel stamping slowly pushed wood to be used more for styling than structure.

The 1946-48 Chrysler Town and Country was one of the vehicles that adopted wooden styling and hit the nail on the head in terms of design. The station wagon was the first Woodie with an all-steel roof and featured wooden double doors (also called “Barrel Back” doors) and came in a four door sedan layout. The popular Chrysler Town and Country two door convertible was also offered and at the time was the most luxurious car on the market!

The Packard Super Eight was produced pre-WWII and was one of the most luxurious of the time. The vehicle featured a 160HP straight eight engine, not to mention wooden doors and rear quarter panels. However, the Woodie movement was not without its ugly ducklings and this generally came in the form of “faux” wood made with vinyl trim which began plaguing cars from the 1970’s all the way to the 1990’s. Thankfully this trend never really caught on in Australia.

When it comes to cars of a bygone era, its clear to see how outstanding design and creativity can stand the test of time. Although beautiful, we are pretty happy that manufactures steered away from termite-bait on wheels to more practical and durable materials.

What do you think of these wooden wonders? Timeless beauties, or better left to rot? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know in the comments!

The Rarest Part – How Rare Spares Select Which Parts To Produce

25. March 2014 14:05 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

Rare Spares produce anywhere from 30 to more than 100 parts each month, with each part undergoing a rigorous checking and approval process at the Rare Spares Research and Development Facility in Victoria.

Requests for new parts are sourced from research, online forums, requests in-store and online ‘wishlist’ requests which come through directly to Rare Spares.

A wishlist of requested parts is compiled in a spreadsheet by Rare Spares staff and directors, so that they can easily identify parts which are in the highest demand.

 

“I decide there’s a need in the market and then I work out some way for the part to be made,” said Rare Spares Director, Les McVeigh.

 

The majority of parts are produced through reverse engineering and the production process can be anywhere from two or three months to two or three years.

 

After sourcing an original part, it is sent to one of hundreds of suppliers who can reverse engineer the part and they then come back to Rare Spares with the cost of tooling, quantity and unit price. If the option seems viable they are engaged to produce a sample, which is then submitted for testing.

 

“Parts are thoroughly tested,” said McVeigh.

“Once we get a first sample, we test for fitment, quality of production and whether or not they look the way they should.”

“Last month and this month we released 120 new parts. The number we are working on at any one time can range from about 50 – 300 parts, all in various stages of development.”

Product Sourcing Manager at Rare Spares, Greg Barker said, “Just before Christmas, we released the complete range of door handles and window winders for the 1948 Holden. So we’re still making parts for the first models and for reasonably current models.”

McVeigh added, “We are working on parts from 1948 models up to about 1990. We made more parts last year for the 1948 – 56’ range than we did in the previous two years, where as we probably only made a couple for 90’s models. You have to catch up from behind.”

 

“The problem that we’ve got is trying to keep up with how many parts we can make because the car companies are deleting parts faster than we can make them,” said Barker.

 

If you can’t find a part and would like to add it to the Rare Spares wish list, you can do so in-store or online at http://www.rarespares.net.au/Wishlist/Wishlist.aspx

 

Rare Spares Launch New Television Commercials

Rare Spares have launched two new television commercials which will be aired on 7Mate throughout the remainder of the year, so keep an eye out!

The commercials are designed to relate to car enthusiasts and feature old, rusty vehicles being restored back to new from tail to bonnet, with a voice over communicating Rare Spares key messages around their new slogan ‘more than just a part in your project’.

Officially endorsed by Holden and Ford, Rare Spares have two partner programs, ‘Holden Restoration Parts’ and ‘Ford Restoration Parts’. These logos feature prominently in the advertisements, which use a classic Holden and Ford as restoration projects.

The first features an old Holden Monaro being restored to new – Click below To View

http://rarespares.net.au/news/tvcholden.aspx

The second features an old XA Ford Coupe being restored to its former glory – Click below to View 

http://rarespares.net.au/news/tvcford.aspx

 

RARE SPARES….. More than just a part in you project.

A New Marquee For The FE-FC Car Club Of Victoria

24. September 2013 17:00 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

The FE-FC Car Club of Victoria recently redeemed their Rare Spares Car Club Loyalty Program points for a branded marquee.

Accumulating more than 50,000 points, the club were able to receive this fantastic prize which will come in handy at car club events.

The Rare Spares Loyalty Club rewards loyal customers! Registered car clubs receive exclusive discounts, points which can be redeemed for great prizes like the marquee, as well as product information specific to the vehicle being represented.

The FE-FC Car Club is dedicated to keeping these once forgotten Holden models on the road for all to see, and remember motoring as it was in the mid to late 1950s. After their first meeting in August 1987, they have expanded greatly, having a membership ranging in age from 16 to 80 years old. They are part of the national body of FE Holdens and FC Holdens which includes New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and the Mid North Coast.

Check out what’s available for car clubs at http://www.rarespares.net.au/loyalty