COMING off a dairy farm, Shane Alberni either drove or rode most things growing up.
His first car was an XE Ford Falcon which is still on the farm.
Since then he has owned a HZ ute with a 253 motor in it and a variety of family cars.
After returning from a stint in Western Australia, Shane bought an XY Falcon Ute 351 auto about 12 years ago.
He also has a six-cylinder TC Cortina in his shed.
The plumber enjoys tinkering with cars and that is never more evident than with the multi-dimensional vehicle he has built from the ground up.
‘‘It’s a 1972 Holden HQ one-tonner with a 1948 Bedford cabin front end grafted on to the chassis,’’ Shane said so smoothly it makes you wonder why no one ever thought of combining the two before.
‘‘It took about 18 months to build and it’s been on the road for two-and-a-half years.
‘‘I cut two-and-half inches off the roof so that’s lowered, I grafted an aluminium radiator in the front and made my own tray on the back.’’
It’s amazing what a mechanically-minded person can do in their own shed when inspiration takes hold.
‘‘I did all the floor and the exhaust for it and put power windows in.
‘‘The sun visors have been ripped off an XY or an XW and welded them straight on to it.’’
The seats are out of a Vanguard spacemaster. ‘‘I’ve just extended the size a little bit,’’ Shane said.
‘‘It has 1940s Ford gauges which fit in to the original holes and a HQ steering column and brake pedal set-up.’’
The indicator is a yellow metal hand on a lever bolted to the driver’s door, a little something he picked up at a Lockington swap meet three years ago.
The vehicle has a V8 253 motor in it with three-speed auto transmission.
With so many modifications, Shane was mindful the vehicle met certain conditions.
‘‘I had it all engineered,’’ he said.
‘‘But the engineer didn’t pick up much, only little things.
‘‘Because it’s a HQ one-tonner chassis it had to have stuff like two-speed wipers, two-speed demister and seatbelts needed to comply (with regulations).’’
WHERE DID YOUR CAR
Shane bought the Bedford cabin from a scrap dealer in Temora, NSW and bought the one-tonner off a bloke in Echuca.
‘‘I’d never built a hot rod as such and thought I’d give it all a go,’’ he said.
‘‘This one seemed easy and cheap and that was the idea, to build it as cheap as possible.’’
WHAT DO YOU LIKE
MOST ABOUT THE CAR?
‘‘It’s good for carting stuff,’’ Shane said.
‘‘It’s got a good size tray on it.
‘‘I drive it around town and on most weekends and take it show ‘n’ shines and swap meets.’’
Shane is uncertain as to the vehicle’s top speed but as far as he’s concerned it ‘‘goes all right’’.
‘‘It’s good, reliable, you can jump in it and off you go,’’ he said.
‘‘You don’t have to baby-sit it too much.
‘‘It’s old and rusty. You don’t have to worry about washing it or cleaning it.’’
Shane admits to getting some funny looks whenever he’s out for a drive.
‘‘People say ‘How can you drive that thing on the road?’,’’ Shane said.
‘‘It looks pretty mean on the road. The kids like going for a ride in it.’’
SO WHAT’S YOUR
‘‘I’d have to say one of those American muscle cars,’’ Shane said.
‘‘Like a Camaro with a big block engine in it.
‘‘The Camaro and Chargers, I always liked that sort of style.
‘‘There’s too many Mustangs in Australia which has made me gone off them a bit.’’
Shane is also partial to the old Ford A-Model and T-Models.
‘‘I’d like to have a bigger shed,’’ he said.
AND WHAT’S NEXT?
For Shane, not much beats mucking around in the shed with a mate and a few beers on the weekend.
He has another Bedford which he hopes to get up and running with a 350 Chev in it.
‘‘I hope to get it on the road in a year-and-a-half,’’ he said.
‘‘I just like playing with cars.’’