Car found under hedge

Fun Ford ... Wayne Nicol and his son Levi (11) and 1936 Ford five-window coupe. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

In the final instalment of a two-part series, motoring reporter Shawn McAvinue asks Wayne Nicol, of Wingatui, questions about his classic cars. This week, the spotlight is on his 1936 Ford five-window coupe.

Q: When did you buy it?

I built it. I bought it as a wreck.

Q: Was it a rolling shell?

Just. It was an old speedway car in the 1950s. My dad’s mate Stu Tikey found it under a hedge in Southland and had it in his shed for about 40 years. When I first saw it I was about 8 years old. Stu never got around to it restoring it and he was about 70 when he sold it to me on the condition I put a Ford motor in it – so I did. Unfortunately Stu passed away before I got it finished so he never got the chance to go for a drive in it.

Q: How long did it take you to restore it?

It took me about 18 months to build it and it’s been on the road for about three years.

Q: How does it drive?

Good. It has a late-model 302 engine out of an EB Ford Falcon. I took the injection off it and dressed it up to look old so it matches the car.

Q: How quick does it go?

It’s not built for speed _ it’s more of a cruiser. A late model Falcon would blow it away but I like something with a wee bit of personality.

Q: Do you drive it much?

She goes anywhere.

Q: To do a weekly supermarket shop?

Yeah, we go anywhere. I treat it like a normal car. I didn’t build it for shows, I built it to drive – that’s why it’s got stone chips. I didn’t build it to look at – it’s about having some fun.

Q: It’s pretty low to the ground!

We’ve done some major modifications to the chassis to get it to sit like that.

Q: Did you buy the KRZNLO number plate for it especially?

No. It’s off a 1960s Chevrolet Impala I once owned but I thought it suited this car. I normally build a car about every two years, drive it for a year and then sell it and build something different.

Q: So how long before you sell this one?

My kids tell me I’m not allowed to sell it.