SNAP SHOTS

COLIN PAYNTER > BATEMANS BAY, NSW

STORY SIMON MAJOR

IT’S FUNNY how a love for certain automotive marques or models can span many years. Owning these rides can create lasting memories and experiences that keep them close to your heart. For Colin Paynter, his choice of cars over the past four decades has gone full-circle, beginning and ending with two different ’39 Hudson 112s, with a bunch of tough Valiants and a 30-year stint with some US Mopar muscle in between. 01: COLIN bought his first car – a 1939 Hudson 112 sedan – from a Warragul wrecker when he was 15. It only had 40,000 miles on it. “I paid $50 for it and clocked up plenty of miles cutting laps of our driveway,” Colin laughs. “At 16, I took it to the driveins using the plates off my dad’s FB ute. This pic of it being towed behind my first Charger was taken a few years later. I sold it to a mate, who still owns it but refuses to sell it back!” 02: COLIN’S first modified car was this 1969 Toyota Crown sedan bought in ’73. The Tojo six-cylinder was hotted up with a lumpy Wade cam based on the specs used for tough Holden red motors. The dual-outlet factory headers were retained, but a mate fabricated a full twin exhaust in his driveway using an arc welder and pieces of old exhaust systems (remember, this was before the days of accessible tube benders). “It was a cool thing and lots of fun, but in one crash I hit the same cow in multiple places around the car so it was written off,” Colin recalls. “I used the money to buy my first Valiant, a VF ute with 18,000 miles on the clock. It was a rare ute, too, as it featured metallic paint, an auto behind the Slant 6, and had Safari wagon trim on the tailgate.” 03: THIS XL-spec VH was Colin’s first Charger, running a 245 and three-speed. “The night after I bought it, a drunk driver in a VJ Regal ploughed into the rear quarter and shortened it by a foot,” he says.

“The panel shop foreman from the local Chrysler dealer fixed it for me after hours, and it wasn’t long before I started customising it.” In 1977, Colin’s mate Bob made up a Firebird-style front using two VH Valiant nose cones and the middle ‘vee’ section of a Gemini bonnet skin. The Jag rear was fitted using a kit made for an EH Holden and Hillman Imp coilovers.

Colin had it resprayed in then-new CL Charger Crystal Turquoise and added later-model tail-lamps.

The 245 was replaced with a 360 and New Process four-speed, and the tough-looking Charger was all but finished when an 80-year-old granny smashed into it. Colin was heartbroken. The Jag rear ended up in an HQ panel van and the running gear was sold to a mate. 04: COLIN bought an XJ6 Jag that he intended to repower with a 440 Chrysler, “but it was such a piece of junk that in 1980 I traded it on a CL Valiant Sportspack panel van”. It was a reliable jigger with a

Hemi 245 and T-bar auto, but a few months into his ownership, the air cleaner bolt came loose and fell down the carby into the engine. “It bent a couple of valves, so it was a great excuse to repower it with a 360 small-block and 727 Torqueflite from a wrecked VK Charger.” 05: THE van was sold in early ’82 to fund a VH E55 Charger. “The brothers selling it had blown up a 360, refitted a 340 but had problems with an engine vibration so were over it,” Colin says.

“360s are externally balanced, so I went home and chiselled the counterweights off the torque converter, which got it sorted. I fitted a nineinch Ford LSD, cheap extractors and shift-kitted the trans.” Colin and the Charger did a heap of passes at the Calder Park street meets and ran a 14.2@102mph best. 06: IN OCTOBER 1982 Colin spotted a ’72 Plymouth Satellite advertised in the Latrobe Valley Express newspaper. “The owner had bought it new in California and driven it around the USA, before importing it back to Victoria and converting it to RHD. I fitted the 340 and 727 out of my E55, which was a big improvement over the original 318, and was the first of many engine combos. A 440 was fitted on the Wednesday before the 1984 Street Machine Nationals in Canberra, and it was a great thrill to score a picture in the following issue of Street Machine. Thirty years later, I still own the car, dubbed the Rogue Runner, which is nearing the end of a rebuild, including a full body resto and a fresh 440.” 07: AS WELL as the Plymouth, Colin is busy with two additional projects. The freshly painted CL Valiant Sportspack was bought in 2014, and is awaiting a straight LPG-fed 318 smallblock and T5 transmission. Colin’s Hudson love never waned either, and his hot-rodded 1939 112 sedan is powered by a Chrysler 360/727 combo, riding on a Jag front end and late-model Falcon ute diff. s