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hemi4bbl - Nothin' but a wise old school...

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Reader's Rides Webpage Details

Webpage Created 26/12/05
Webpage Updated 28/12/06
Views 36601
Username hemi4bbl (0)User has feedback score under 5
Name Simo
Location Brisbane (QLD)
Website URL
Contact Details See my user details...
Hi all,
I've been a Mopar fan since childhood; I mean I pretty much had no choice because both my father and grandfather worked for Chrysler in South Australia and I grew up in them.

I've been lucky enough to own quite a few over the years myself and like many of you have made plenty of sacrifices in other areas to allow that to happen. When I think of the time and money that has gone into the projects I think 'imagine if I'd gone overseas' or 'what if I'd bought another house...'. But it comes back to what you're passionate about.
Hey, I'd rather be out Mopar-ing than shoving death up my arms or sitting in a pub anyday, so I'm happy where this hobby has taken me and the awesome people I've met and great friends I've made over the years.

So take it easy and I hope you like the cars.

have fun


Ride Articles

hemi4bbl - the namesake
I am going to be buried in this car I reckon. I bought it in '93 as a one owner Hardtop from an old guy who'd had to hand his licence in. I paid $2300 for it unregistered and although the interior was a little ratty and the vinyl roof splitting, the body was mint and rust-free and a perfect car to start with.

It had a later model 245 fitted with the BW35 auto and being a Regal had ventilated disc's and a bit more chrome here and there.

There has been a few different looks to it over the years and I had it resprayed in '94 after being side-swiped by a drink driver. I had the roof re-vinyled at the same time and fitted a black VG 770 interior (but kept the front bench). I added the stripes in '98 to make it stand out a bit. I like my cars to be a bit individual althought I have looked back at a few things and thought ewwwww....

The photos below show it when I first bought it as a stocker, after it was resprayed and I fitted a 265 in '94, the horrendous black with blue scallops and purple engine bay (what was i thinking!), the Hemi orange revamp in '97 and the gradual cosmetic changes up to about 1999.

I fitted the stripes in 1998 and thought it gave it more of a USA look; being a fan of '68 Chargers I thought it would look great with a full black front. I remember a big block VG convertible in the 80's that used to do the Summernats etc. with a full front so knew it could be done. So out with the drop saw and a few bits and pieces and it was done. It was about 2000 I also got hold of some '68 Charger Hubcaps during a U.S trip so that and the whitewall tyres pretty much gave me the look I was after.

After the 2004 Mopar Sunday and Nostalgia Drags I figured it was time to do an engine freshen as she'd clocked heaps of passes and about 150000 k's of street use since the 265 went in. I pulled the motor in Easter 2005 and after a few sidetracks along the way (damn house buying) got it back on the road December 2005. What a relief and I'm happy with its current guise. The engine feels pretty strong and the red/black detailing was to try and give the car an overall 'factory muscle' feel.

I still get a buzz out of driving it and will continue to fine-tune the performance side. I have absolutely no plans to do anything else to it.... touch wood..

The best part about this car is the positive response I get with it. I feel very honoured and humbled when people compliment it and at Mopar Sunday 2004 had a guy about 24yo tell me that he saw my car racing when he was 16 and it was the reason he bought a Valiant Hardtop. That left me speechless and I thank everybody who has taken an interest in it over the years!

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Claim to Flame..
This car entered my life as a smoky old goat; a slant powered VF that we dubbed "The Brown Hornet". I've always loved Safari Wagons and after always using 4-poppers for everyday cars thought it was about time to use a Valiant again as hey, you've got to enjoy what you drive.

First step was a lowering job and a bit of artwork and I cruised around in it for about 6 months before I just had to take it off the road and yank the slant - mate the smoke was that bad it was like a bushfire out of the back!!

In christmas 2000 it was reborn as a Hemi 265 powered VG-ised matt black ratter and I was on the road again. In early Jan 2001 it received a mega flame job that I did at home although when I look at the photos of it in plain matt black with the felix cats on the doors I think it actually looked better than it did with the flames; just a bit crisper or something. I don't know...

By the end of 2001 I was getting a little tired of its look and I decided to turn it into a nostalgic drag car (the original 'Old Daze'). I had painted it in Bondi Bleach white and was about to start all of the stripe work when fate intervened in the form of a VF V8 770 Hardtop. The wagon was sold off in 2002 to finance the new Coupe and I always regretted it.

Then out of the blue in 2004 I received a phone call from the guy I sold it to. he'd bought a minto EH and was wanting to sell it off (photo from back with mags on it). Sentimentality got the better of me and yet again it found a spot in my yard. The plan was to again build a draggin wagon as a partner car to Old Daze but the purchase of a house in 2005 meant something had to give so it was cleaned up back to a stocker and regrettably sold off for the second time. It went to a good home though and I recently saw it all resprayed and looking sweet and to be honest I just think owning that car is not meant to be!!

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Old Daze...
What a ride this thing has been! I bought it off a Army bloke in 2002 who'd been posted interstate. It'd spent most of its earlier years in country QLD until he bought it to do up and never got around to it. It is actually a factory VF 770 V8 Hardtop and when purchased had a primered roof, jellybean mags, scary interior and the 318 was running on 6 pots.

The plan was always to do it up as a nostalgia drag car and after seeing both a signwritten Monaro on the streets of Adelaide as a kid and a photo of a Willys Gasser driving on LA streets knew that it was the feel I was wanting to recreate.

My Claim to Flame wagon was sold off (for the first time) and work begun in earnest. First step was to strip the really dodgy Magna and bathroom carpet interior out and I sourced a complete black 770 bucket seat interior off a friend in Bris.

The front guards were removed and VG headlight buckets fitted to the VF front guards and I rebuilt the 318 and 727 (fitted instead of a 904 at sometime over the years). It was given a healthy cut and polish and used by my better half as her daily driver for about a year in totally stocko looking condition with whitewalls, hubcaps and a painted black roof.

Then during 2003 it was time to get the Drag look happening. We painted the roof silver and layed on all of the signwriting and striping and fitted up the Hustler front rims and wide chrome rear stockos. The front was wound up a few inches and the windows tinted blue for that 'perspex' look.

It is a total fake in every way and is all show, no go. To be honest it goes pretty good for a stocko 318 with a tow cam and 350 2bbl. It ran a best of 15.5 at the 2004 Nostalgia Drags which I'm pretty stoked about as it even still has stocko exhaust manifolds and everything.

All up build cost was $3000 and it has been the most fun car I have ever had. It won the peoples choice trophy at the Nostalgia Drags and was even part of the Nostalgia Drag display at the 2005 QLD Hot Rod show.

The only real changes planned are changing the front rims to a set of early pattern 60's 'Amos' 5 spokes that are an Aussie made dead-ringer for Cragar S/S's and maybe in the long term a colour change to Candy Apple Red or something but I doubt it!!!

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VE Safari Battering Ram
Well it started all over again. I bought this wag off Byron (Git) after swearing I wouldn't build anymore cars... Next thing you know the Slant is replaced with a Hemi 215 and it has flames, an XC Fairmont front bar, custom grille, orange shagpile carpet and a ghetto blaster in the rear... For the full build-up you can have a look here:

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Snuff the Tragic Wagon
Oh this story still gets me all emotional... Some of you may remember a thread I ran on this in the old version of MoparMarket. As a kid slash teenager growing up at The Gap in Brisbane there was a nice but blind old duck who ran the local horseriding school/stables who used a number of Valiant wagons over the years as her work trucks. They all started off as good tidy cars but within a few weeks were showing signs of a worst fate to come. In my time I remember 2 AP6's and 1 VC and lastly the VF Safari pictured here.

I'd forgotten all about this car until 2004 when I was back at The Gap and was told by a mate that it still existed hidden in a paddock. I went and checked it out and spoke to the property owner who said I could have it for a carton of XXXX, as he was clearing out and was going to bury it anyway.

I went back a couple of days later with my towie and it was gone... I thought he must have changed his mind or got a better offer so I rang the owner and when I told him it was gone he just lost the plot!! He was genuinely cut and said he saw it there the afternoon before and ended up ringing the Police and we had to make statements etc. Obviously it wasn't worth anything but I think it was more the principle that got to him: he;d been the victim of a lot of thefted materials recently and had had enough.

So all that was left was a pair of duallie tyre tracks in the long grass...

Now of course the car was absolutely knackered, but it had some stuff I needed off it for my own wagon project so was worth salvaging, but I obviously wasn't the only one who thought so. I just can't believe that it can sit there undisturbed for 2 years and it disappears the night before I pick it up...

Oh well, rest in peace my friend, wherever you are...

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Various Mopars
I've had a lot of Mopars that have come and gone pretty quick or been used for cheap parts cars when there was such a thing, so here's a few that I remember distinctly for some reason or another..

1. Brown Centura - This car was my first ever Chrysler and was bought at an abandoned vehicle auction for $10 (thats right, 10 bucks) when I was 16. I was in to Mini's at the time due to a small family garage and was there to buy an Austin Mini traveller wagon (that blew the budget at $17...). It was a 245 Hemi and auto and was tidied up and sold offf for a few hundred dollars profit. It was the first car I ever line-locked too... hehehehe...

2. VK Ranger sedan - This was bought for $100 and was an ex Avis rental car (how cool would that be!). It was bought for the 265 engine and box for the soon to be purchased cream VG Hardtop (same block I used up until earlier this year). Although it looked ok, it had been Dukes of Hazzarded over the old Queens Rd. Roundabout at Everton Hills in Brisbane and was bent like a banana underneath.

3. Red VF V8 Hardtop. This was dragged out of a creek at The Gap (bogged down to the sills in sand) and was rusted out so was bought to use as a V8 conversion for my cream Hardtop. The engine had thrown a rod and the conversion never happened as I decided to stick with a hot Hemi instead. The body was sold to a panelbeater who had a 4 door he wanted to use as a donor, and about 5 years later he came back to show us the car all done so it was good to see it not totally gone.

4. Dirty Harry (it looked like something he would have driven) was a VG Hardtop bought to be put on as a daily hack and then about 2 weeks later I found the original Claim to Flame wagon so it was sold off. I saw it about 6 months later on fire on Webster Road at Chermside in Brisbane and last I heard it was being turned into a drag car.

5. AP6 sedan. I don't know why I bought this car, but it had some good gear on it so it was pieced back together from boxes in the boot and sold off.

6. This factory VG V8 Regal Safari Wagon was bought minus engine and box and most of the firewall (cut out for all the factory air) to be used as a spares car when I had the Claim to Flame wagon. It had green glass and one piece glass front doors, electric tailgate etc. and back in 2001 I couldn't give the stuff away! If only I had it now that ebay and Moparmarket have become so popular. It was really a shame that this car with so many options was so totally savaged by rust. You could put your fists through the inside of the 'D' pillars which of course is common for VE-VG wags.

7. I had this green VF at about the same time and it was given to me in exchange for a TF727 auto rebuild. It had been converted to Hemi 245 power and was a honest old girl. I ended up selling it to a mate who still uses it as a daily hacker today.

8. Now this $100 VJ was bought as an excellent runner (as was obvious in the photos) to repower the VG sedan in photos 9 & 10. The front calipers are on my VG Hardtop still and the rest scrapped as it was pretty knackered.

9. & 10. This VG sedan was bought from the original owner and was in VGC except for a tired engine. I dropped in the engine from the VJ and it went great and was used for weekday cruising. I'd only had it on the road for a few weeks when a guy at work who loved it made me an offer I couldn't refuse.. Here we go again, it was back to find another one.

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Hellman Grunters!
Look I know these things aren't really Mopars in the true sense of the word but they are a Chrysler product at the core and I have a real soft spot for them.

I owned the 3 pictured at various stages during the 90's and were bought when I needed a cheap run around car as an Apprentice mechanic and then as a Uni student. The blue car was bought for $200 and I think I spent about another $200 on it in the 5 years I owned it (most of that was on 15 spray cans to paint it blue and flame it).

They just seem to go forever and the only real maintenance I did to any of them was replace the stupid graphite throw out bearing thingo they have.

The red Hunter was a driver for about a year in between selling and buying back the blue one, and the black one bought in the early 90's for $100 to drive whilst my Cream Hardtop was getting panelwork and rebuilt after being swiped by a drink driver.

Great cars, nice and reliable, cheap to run and the engines are very strong. I lent one to my sister years ago for a few months and she drove it to work and back for two days with 'the funny little orange light' staying on... ie. no oil pressure. I topped it up and off it went and was still running perfect 3 years later when it was sold!

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