Unique Cars’ 1971 Holden HQ GTS – ‘Project GTS’

Rebuilding an Australian muscle icon from a class championship winning Touring Car Masters entry to a pristine road car. A joint project with major partners Unique Cars magazine, Rare Spares and Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars, this build sees the original Lettuce Alone SS progress from her GTS race spec conversion, back through the processes of bare metal body work, replacement panels, custom PPG paint, Rare Spares parts and accessories, new engine and running gear, performance brakes, and new period-inspired interior fit-out, before a lucky Unique Cars magazine subscriber wins this stunning machine. See all the updates in Unique Cars magazine, with behind the scenes and resto tip videos available on demand at http://www.tradeuniquecars.com.au/project-cars/1405/project-hq-gts-homepage/

Phil’s 1972 Capri Perana (Targa spec)

After an unfortunate tarmac competition incident, this golden classic came to Bendigo Retro in need of a complete front end replacement. She was a sight that many would have farewelled without a moment to consider, but our specialist team knew there was more life in the Perana. Removing the damaged front end, plenum, sills, doors and dash, the crew set to work on fixing the chassis rails, straightening the body, working with the customer to source donor bodies for original replacement parts, then repairing/replacing the firewall, scuttle panels, radiator supports, guards, doors, pillars, sills, bonnet, stone trays, front bumper, grille, headlight assemblys and glass to name a few. As the Capri came back to life, the body received a PPG paint job, the rally stripes reapplied, and the fit-out completed. A proud moment for the crew the day this vehicle left the workshop to return to Targa competition.

Gary’s 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000 (Touring Car Masters spec)

Having raced for nine seasons in Group NC racing, Bendigo Retro Director, Gary O’Brien had the motor sport bug for more. This took him on a journey to build and race his first Touring Car Masters Australian muscle entry, a 1971 Holden HQ GTS (converted from a road SS) that brought him a 2011 TCM Class Championship, before racing on until the #8 was retired at the end of season 2013, this chassis going on to become ‘Project GTS’. After racing with the Masters since their inaugural season, it was decided to take motor sport competition to the next level as Gary O’Brien Racing became Bendigo Retro Racing and the build began on a custom 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000. With more than 1300 hours of body work and system design, research and development, custom fabrication and panel work, engine development and testing, and custom lightweight fit-out, the Bendigo Retro Racing Torana continues her build process, covering all the one percent margins to ensure it will hit the track in season 2015 as an outright race winning machine.

Nathan’s 1966 Ford Mustang

A purchase for the passion of motoring, this Ford classic arrived at Bendigo Retro in need of rust repair and a floor pan replacement. As with classic muscle, secrets loomed under the fit-out and paint work seeing not only the floor pan in need of attention, but extensive rust repair and strengthening work to be completed to the floor pan, chassis rails, cross member and beams, exhaust brackets, wheel arches (customised from Rare Spares parts as not available for a ’66 convertible), seat riser, quarters and sill panels. With more than 250 specialist hours in this enthusiast project, the Mustang has been saved to go on for decades of motoring enjoyment, soon to return to its happy owner and cruise the open roads once again.

Paul’s 1964 Buick Riviera (low rider)

First visiting the Retro workshop back in 2012 after an unfortunate incident on the streets, this rare Riviera underwent extensive repairs to the bonnet, front guards, plenum, quarter panels, drivers side door and sills to help get the body back to her show specification and back on the show scene. The owner having seen the quality of work provided in the repair, returned to the workshop in early 2014 for a complete rub down and recut of the jet black paintwork, adding that final dimension of perfection.

Terry’s Ford 28A Roadster

A local to the area, it was a sad sight returning home from a rock ‘n’ roll rod show to find the pride and joy dumped on a local street, the front end busted and broken. Word got around and the custom purple 28A made its way to the Retro workshop. Strip down revealed repair work needed to the front rail extensions, cross member to chassis rails, steering shaft and front guards. With custom rod parts on their way from the original builder and engineer, the crew grafted suited components, and gave the Roadster her shape back. On arrival of the new radiator, the rad supports underwent modification to suit, while new engine mounts went in and the re-fit soon had this beauty back on the road, her departure capturing the attention of local workshops as the V8 happily roared back to life.