Firstly, by request the idea has been welcomed for individuals to join and support Bronze Aussie. We have now set-up opportunity for individuals’ names to go on the roof of BRONZE AUSSIE, oh and you get a Bronze Aussie T-shirt. BRONZE AUSSIE together towards 300mph - support this Aussie legend by clicking on the "Shop Now" button !
Leaving off from the last post in late 2018 as the family/team decision was made for the Bronze Aussie’s to continue the quest to completely rebuild another faster Bronze Aussie after the high-speed ride off in 2018…
At Lionel’s shed in central country Vic rests Bronze Aussie World’s Fastest 4 Door Car high speed salt racer. record holder that has flown on land @437kms but now sit up on the hoist twisted and wreaked at one end of Lionel’s shed, then at the other end of this shed waits another VR Commodore donor ready...
Lionel is offered a hand by old mate Peter Clopton (Clappo) owner of Sherwood Restorations) and together with Lionel’s son in-law who is never far away start planning the rebuild starting in early 2019 in the blazing heat at Lionel’s shed in squelching mid-summer.
Peter Clappo is introduced to me as a panel and paint man, but I learn he is a lot more and as conversation warms up, he casually shows me some pictures of the work he does at his factory in Castlemaine off the iPad, totally gob smacked his work is full on ! Clappo mainly restores old full-size trucks and his work is amazing and he works by himself stripping huge old school trucks down to their bare rails then totally rebuilds restores them way better than new for his customers !… Getting back to the job at hand I realize I’m watching these full-on tradesmen who are top-end builders and they can build mostly anything and it’s all happening in front me on this build, we’re all on holidays so the casual 3-day salt racer roof chop begins !
These fellas working around each other are building a new high-speed salt racer machine keeping with the Aussie theme VR Commodore with the aim to stay in the 4-door car category and keep their record “fastest 4 door car in the world” but they want a bit more from this build… While working I’m getting them to commentate the new Bronze Aussie’s build so I can tell you guys. I can say there is a lot going on !
Lionel has his unsettled grand-daughter on his hip and the 4” grinder in the other hand and quickly realises he better swap the grinder for the iPad to show his grand-daughter some funny cartoons and settle her onto a loose car bucket seat parked deeper in the shed under cool shade. Lionel and Peter Clappo then open-up describing actions aiming the roof chop to be 150mm lower than current VR GMH OME spec…
It’s much harder than I expected; with this a roof chop (roof lowering) all 6 box section pillars get sectioned down engineered and sort of puzzled back together with no straight through pillar cuts, all pillar cuts are stepped like stair and welded back to maintain strength and of course with less height to form a lower and smaller roof area.
But when you lower the front “A Pillars” or windscreen Pillars it’s near impossible to measure and repeat those same height cut through to the “B” & “C” pillars (middle & rear window pillars). This all needs to be done by eye and there must be a vision backed by a formula that sets the match for this high-speed salt racer to cut through air and push high speeds across the 6km salt plain… OK now that’s just the fabrication of the Pillars and the roof skin happens tack welds by tack welds being careful not to create too much heat or the roof will warp…
Lionel tells me by his calculation with a lower and sleeker shaped roof line combined with a future body stretch should work to push this new Bronze Aussie into 300mph bracket…
Sparks fly, welds in process crackle hiss splutter while build commentary continues then mid arvo hits the chopped roof is ¾ done on day 2. I look on the ground at a pile of VR Commodore roof scrap trying to count how many donor VR Commodore roofs are here and I count 3 but Clappo tells me there are 4 roofs and Lionel yells out “we need another donor roof” making 5 roofs to complete this sleeker Bronze Aussie roof chop !
Then before me the all Sleeker Bronze Aussie roof chop is near complete and she has all original VR GMH box section pillars and roof with nothing other than VR Commodore Holden metal used…
I can’t believe how well & quick these guys fabricated this roof chop together and the best part comes when they bolt on the original but lowered Bronze Aussie doors – The Bronze Aussie is reborn, and its spirit is starting to transform from old to new but the new looks somehow faster and modern and I’m starting to imagine/day dream through a mirage coming off the salt plain the Bronze Aussie climbing through its gears with the big block chev echoing angerly pushing 300mph…
The improved and sleeker shaped Bronze Aussie is forming but the build is just beginning with so much work to do. Look forward to keeping you all up to date about Bronze Aussie’s journey build through-out 2019 towards reaching the goal of 300mph in 2020.
We sincerely thank all our family friends, sponsors, supporters and welcome new. look forward to revving you all through 2019-20…
Bronze Aussie proud sponsors are;
Autopro Castlemaine And Kyneton
DNA Custom Paints
Nankervis Performance Boats
Bendigo Truck Centre
Lionel West Fabrications