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John Caldwell's 1932 Ford Four-Door Sedan of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Being an early member of the Road Knights of Sydney car club, Caldwell bought the 32 late in 1964. Shortly after buying it, he gave it a Metalflake pain job. One of the first Metalflake paint jobs in the area.
Rod Foote's 1932 Ford roadster of Australia.
Darrol Finger's 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe of Wantirna in Victoria, Australia.
Darryl Harvey's 1934 Ford Roadster of Melbourne, Australia.
Ray Ellis' 1934 Ford 5-window coupe of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The build was started in 1966, and completed in 1972.
Justin Hocking's 1951 Ford Coupe of Melbourne, Australia. Originally owned by California customizer Johnny Miranda in 1980s, the car was sold to Australia in 2015. Rumored to be an old Barris Kustom, it came with a Certificate of Authenticy signed by George Barris.
The second annual Gold Coast Reliability Run was held September 14, 2019 in Queensland, Australia.

Australia has a long and rich hot rod history. Many people tend to compare old Australian hot rods with East Coast American built hot rods of the 1950s and the 1960s. The first Australian hot rods were often unchopped and channeled. They were also powered by Flathead Ford V-8 engines as that was what they had available at the time.[1]According to John Caldwell the Aussie hot rod and custom scene started in the Southern state of Victoria in the 1950s.[2]

Customs were rare in the 1950s

John Caldwell remembers a lot of people still driving 1930s cars in Australia in the late 1950s. "And a lot of European cars," he told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2020. "We didn't have the population, like the US, and new cars were expensive. Customs were rare," he recalled. "We liked them, but they were kind of "out there" to us rodders."[2]

V-8 OHV's

As Ford Customlines, Mainlines, and trucks powered by the Y Block Ford were sold in considerable numbers through the 1950s, the move to overhead engines gained pace in Australia in the 1960s. Chevrolet cars and trucks sold in Australia in the 1950s were almost all powered by inline six-cylinder engines. When Y block powered cars became available in the second-hand market, they became the hot rodders number one choice. The first Chevrolet V-8's weren't sold until 1961, so they didn't become available until the late 1960s and the early 1970s.[1] John Caldwell recalled Chevrolet 265 engines being rare and expensive in wrecking yards. The Ford Y-block on the other hand were plentiful and reasonable cheap. "That's why you see most Aussie hot rods with Y-block 272 motors when going from Flatheads to OHV." In 1965 Caldwell bought a 1935 Ford Coupe for US $80. "It was a bit rough." He came across it in the local wrecking yard. "They had a 283 Chevy motor," he recalled. It came fresh out of a wreck, and they were asking US $200 for it. Caldwell was making US $40 a week back then, so he had to pass on the deal and the engine ended up in a jalopy track racer.[2]

Fancy paint jobs

In the 1960s several cars with fancy paint jobs started appearing on the Australian scene. John Caldwell recalls many customized Holden's, Aussie Chevies, and various hot rods gracing them. "Many car guys were from Malta, Italy and Greece, and once these guys learned how to do these fancy paint jobs they went wild with paint." According to John, body shops started popping up everywhere. "You could do a 6-week course of spray painting at our local tech school, at night, for free if you applied early." John attended one of those in 1983. Candy and Metalflake paint jobs were popular in the 1960s, then in the 1970s lace jobs came in.[2]

Hot Rods of Australia

The Milthorpe Special
Roger Griss' 1928 Chrysler Coupe
Jack O'Neill's Ford Model A Tudor
Jack O'Neill's Ford Model A Sports Coupe
Phil Williams' Ford Model A Sports Coupe
Barry Kennedy's 1930 Ford Model A Sports Coupe
Gary Wright's 1932 Ford Roadster
Glenn Tronc's 1932 Ford Tourer
Jack O'Neill's 1932 Ford Roadster
John Caldwell's 1932 Ford Four-Door Sedan
Robert Lane's 1932 Ford Roadster
Rod Foote's 1932 Ford Roadster
Darrol Finger's 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Darryl Harvey's 1934 Ford Roadster
Jack O'Neill's 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Jack O'Neill's 1934 Ford Sedan
Jack O'Neill's 1934 Ford Roadster
Ray Ellis' 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Colin Jacka's 1935 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Jack O'Neill's 1936 Ford Phaeton

Custom Cars of Australia

Justin Hills' 1949 Buick
Justin Hocking's 1951 Ford Coupe
Shane Monopoli's 1955 Buick
Mario Colalillo's 1959 Cadillac - WildCad
Justin Hills' 1960 Dodge

Hot Rod and Custom Car Clubs of Australia

Bent Eights of Sydney
Drag-ons of Sydney
Northern Beaches of Sydney
Rickshaws of Sydney
Road Knights of Sydney
Romans Hot Rod Association
Saints of Sydney
Shifters of Sydney
Spades of Melbourne
Twin Towns of Sydney

Custom Body Shops of Australia

Hills & Co Customs

Speed Equipment Manufacturers of Australia


Traditional Hot Rod and Custom Car Shows of Australia

Gold Coast Reliability Run

People of Australia

Barry Kennedy
Colin Jacka
Danny Canal
Darrol Finger
David Witty
Gary Wright
Glenn Tronc
John Anderson
John Caldwell
John Morgan
John Parker
Justin Hills
Justin Hockings
Leo De Paulo
Leo Spessot
Mario Colalillo
Paul Zahara
Phil Williams
Ray Ellis
Robert Harris
Robert Lane
Rod Foote
Roger Griss
Shane Monopoli



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