We here at Rare Spares eat, sleep and breathe classic cars. It’s not just a job, it’s a passion. So, what do we do when we leave the office after helping Rare Spares customers restore their cars? We restore our own of course.
Our Graphic Designer, Rob Mackey, is a case in point. His beloved 1971 LC Holden Torana two-door that still presents in its factory Rally Red hue and Sandalwood trim, is not just a car to him; it is part of the family.
Originally sold in 1971 from Reg Hunt Rhodes in South-East Melbourne, Rob stumbled upon “Cherry” on eBay some 34 years later during the Easter weekend of 2005. With $2000 in hand (and $2000 in his shoes!) he eventually purchased the car from a well-known drag racer in Thomastown for $3800 and jumped straight on the boat back to Tasmania.
Still running its original 161 motor and trimatic gearbox, Rob quickly swapped this out for a 186 that would eventually make way for the worked 202 red motor that still powers the old girl to this day. Not content with a standard 202, many of the original parts have been replaced. Rob rebuilt the motor himself into a classic Hot Street Combo including all the usual upgrades, such as; Stage 3 Yella Terra head, Roller Rockers, aftermarket cam shaft, Starfire rods, extractors, electronic ignition and a 38DGMS Webber carburettor off a V6 Ford Capri.
Next on the “to do” list was the transmission, which was changed from the original column shift Trimatic transmission to a floor shift Celica five speed gearbox. At the same time the original 2.78 Banjo was replaced with a lower ratio 3.55 limited slip version.
The suspension has all been upgraded with improved springs and shocks, coupled with front and rear sway bars to firm up the ride, while the brake booster, callipers, rotors and 13X6 Sprintmaster wheels were upgraded to LJ GTR XU-1 spec.
Inside, there’s a Bond half alloy roll cage. Rare Spares came to the rescue for the next addition, supplying the reproduction steering wheel and centre console from a LC GTR Torana.
Cherry sat then for several years while Rob worked and travelled overseas. Rob, who does all the mechanical work himself, recently cut some rust out of it and welded in new bits which came from RSP and is getting painted as I type this blog.
Due to the odometer, which is off a 1973 LJ Torana, only going to 99,000km, its mileage is a bit of an unknown, but Rob thinks he’s done about 30,000km in it in the past 10 years. Cherry is Rob’s third Torana, and is bringing it back over from Tassie to its spiritual home of Victoria in January. His first car was a 1970 LC S four door, followed by a 1973 LJ SL four door. (Guess where his current speedo came from?)
Rob says he’ll never sell this one, even though he estimates it is worth in excess of $20,000. He would like another one… but also always had a bit of a soft spot for early Monaros.
Rob is also an long-time member of the www.gmh-torana.com.au internet forum which is proudly supported by Rare Spares.