IRON MAIDEN

KELLY WALLINGTON

STORY CARLY DALE PHOTOS CHRIS THOROGOOD

> MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VICTORIA

EVER since she was a kid, Kelly Wallington has only had eyes for one car: a í59 Chev. ďIíd go to car shows with my dad and brother and Iíd point to í59 Chevs telling them: ĎThatís what I want!íĒ she remembers. Even though her friends would tell her the í59 is the ugly duckling, Kelly stuck to her guns, eventually securing the sterling Impala you see here. ďI love it Ė you just canít beat the shape,Ē she says. Sheís got a point!

Sweet Impala, Kelly! Had it long?

Iíve owned it for four years. Itís left-hand drive, a Tennessee car. The paint looks like it hasnít been touched and itís all original trim. At some shows people see the fins and think itís a Cadillac! I have to tell them itís a Chev.

My fiancť, Jade, added a disc-brake front end a month ago. The trans is a T350 with 2800rpm

Whatís it running?

converter and the original diff. It had a 454ci big-block up until a few months ago, when we replaced it with an LS1. Iíd always wanted the big-block and never thought Iíd take it out, but it used heaps of fuel.

Is the LS1 much less thirsty?

It goes better now and the economy is great.

Jade bought the motor second-hand, then he and our mate Morgan Smith pulled it down and freshened it up with a mild cam and head work. Morgan and the guys from Automotive Performance Specialists in Frankston have really helped us out with it. Now itís like new.

And the carís also had a íbag treatment?

Yeah, about three years ago Jade added the Air Ride suspension. Heís fitted it to other cars before, so it was a fairly straightforward mod.

At the moment itís running the original rims and caps, though I do run lowrider wires at times, too.

And this is your wedding car?

Yes, by the time this mag is out we will have got married! Dad and I will arrive in my car, while the rest of the wedding party will arrive in my dadís and brotherís í63 Impalas. For me itís a big deal to go to my wedding in my own car.

Whatís in store for the í59 after the nuptials?

Well I never, ever want to sell it! At some stage it will get a full re-spray and all new trim, but obviously itís a massive job being such a big car. Especially as when you do the paint you then need to do all the chrome and moulds. But I am really happy with the engine as it goes well and is reliable. We drive it everywhere.

Who do you want to thank?

Jade for the heaps of hours heís put in. Also, Morgan for the LS1 work and my brother Matt for the engine bay. A lot of people have come to help out in the garage; I could write a list a mile long. Thanks! s

PEOPLE SEE THE FINS AND THINK ITíS A CADILLAC. I HAVE TO TELL THEM ITíS A CHEV