THE motto of the Junkers car club is: ‘Somefink is better than nofink’. It’s a nod to Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s loveable larrikin Rat Fink, but it also goes some way towards explaining how most of the Junkers guys build their cars – the old-fashioned way, out of whatever they happen to have kicking around the shed at the time.
Spread throughout regional NSW, from Oberon in the north to Wagga in the south, the Junkers car club is stacked with wild patina-clad beasts that showcase the members’ creativity and flair for fabrication, with a couple of shiny cars thrown in the mix, too.
Founded by Coolamon-based fella Ricky Hard and his mates circa 2010, the club has no formal structure, no meetings, no bank account and no typical car club BS. It’s just a bunch of good mates who catch up, cruise, do events, wrench on each other’s cars, and – we get the feeling – drink a fair bit of liquor in the process.
“We decided for the longevity of the club that it was best not to go down the road of structure and membership fees, because money ruins everything,” Ricky says.
“We try and keep all that crap out of it.
“I think at heart the club is street machine-oriented,” he continues, “but a lot of the guys are from a nostalgic hot rod background, especially with Casey [Johnson] being into his nostalgia drags and going to Chopped and those types of events.
There’s not much we’re not into; if it’s cool, someone’s put the time and effort into it and it’s well done, it’s for us.”
Chatting to the members, it’s apparent that there’s a real sense of brotherhood in the ranks of the Junkers. “The best part about being a Junker for me is the inspiration I get from the other lads,” Ricky says. “Whether it be car-related or in general life, these guys will do anything to help each other out. Obviously cars and bikes are the common link, but mates helping mates is what it’s all about. I think of these guys like family and can’t thank them enough for the things they have done for me.”
It’s refreshing to see a bunch of car guys living the dream and not losing sight of what this lifestyle of ours is all about. Let’s check out what they’ve got in the shed.
Owner: Casey Johnson Car: XR Falcon 500 Engine: 351ci Cleveland Trans: C10 Diff: Nine-inch Rolling stock: Rocket Racing (f), Cragar mags with Radir cheater slicks (r) O
Owner: Casey Johnson Car: XC panel van Engine: 250 crossflow Trans: Three-speed column-shift Diff: Standard Rolling stock: ET mags, 15x7 (f) and 15x8.5 (r); BF Goodrich/Hankook tyres with hoon writing
Owner: Casey Johnson Car: XR Falcon wagon Engine: 302ci Windsor Trans: C4 Diff: Standard Rolling stock: Standard wheels with GT hubcaps (f & r); one-inch whitewall tyres LIKE many of the Junkers, Casey Johnson has an arsenal of toys at his disposal, and all are period-styled and cool as shit. His X-Rated XR Falcon is built as a straight-liner, but still sees plenty of street use. The pano is a deadset time-warp back to the heyday of the vanning movement, complete with 70s rake, Cobra scoop, and a bobtail wing that Casey tells us has been handed down through generations of vanners. Then there’s the family cruiser – an XR wagon. It’s V8-powered, slammed over a set of steelies with whitewalls, and painted in true Junkers style – with no fewer than 18 coats of house paint!
Owner: Matt Kelleher Car: Chev Stylemaster ute Engine: Holden 5.0L V8 Trans: Turbo 700 Diff: Commodore Rolling stock: Commodore, 15x6 (f) and 15x10 (r); Mastercraft tyres FOR all the Chev V8s being jammed into Holdens all over Australia, Ol’ Filthy is reversing the trend, with a trusty Holden 5.0L riding up front, breathing in through a quartet of Holley two-barrels. It also happens to run an HT Holden front end, with a four-linked rear and airbags and Commodore anchors all ’round. Rocking some killer patina, it’s a perfect fit for the Junkers. “It’s just a great bunch of blokes who have a common interest,” owner Matt says. “The diversity of cars and bikes in the club is great.”
Owner: Matthew Kilby Car: LH Torana Engine: LS1 Trans: Turbo 400 Diff: Nine-inch Rolling stock: BMW 16x9 (f & r) MATT Kilby’s ‘The Rug’ Torana is slowly transitioning into a dedicated burnout car.
Running a cammed LS1 topped with an Edelbrock inlet manifold and E85 carby, it turns the tyres with the best of them.
Driveline-wise, there’s a manualised Turbo 400 and spooled nine-inch rear to cop the punishment Matt dishes out. The car also boasts a smoothed engine bay with a custom flame job by fellow Junker Mark Taylor, and is in the process of copping a blower as we speak.
Owner: Eden Flack Car: FC Holden Engine: 308ci Holden Trans: Trimatic Diff: HiLux Rolling stock: Standard TEMORA-based tinkerer Eden Flack runs his own engineering shop and is constantly mucking around with cool projects. His FC is a prime example, with a hefty roof chop, dropped rear quarters, and headers poking out the front guards complete with flame throwers! A tunnel-rammed 308 rides up front, there’s airbags out back, and the whole car is draped in perfect patina.
Owner: John Causer Car: ’52 Dodge Kingsway Engine: Flat-top six Trans: Four-speed Diff: Standard Rolling stock: Sandstorm and chrome; Antique whitewalls JOHN tells us that Tina’s paintjob was done by Mother Nature herself in Fe2O3 iron oxide – aka rust! “Being a Junker means helping your mates wrench on their cars in the shed, or tipping a few tins in. It’s a great bunch of blokes,” he says. Tina still gets by with her OEM engine, driveline and six-volt electrical system, and she has character in spades.
Owner: Dwight Sinclair Car: WB Statesman Engine: 308ci Holden Trans: Trimatic Diff: 10-bolt Rolling stock: Cragar (f & r) DWIGHT Sinclair loves life as a Junker. “It’s a good group of blokes who enjoy cars and bikes and helping get more cars on the road,” he says.
Dwight’s own ride is a WB Statesman with all the factory niceties and 308 power. Aside from slamming it with King Springs lowered coils over a set of Cragar mags, he hasn’t seen the need to mess with it.
Owner: Ricky Hard Car: ’75 VJ Valiant Regal wagon Engine: 265 Hemi Trans: Torqueflite Diff: Standard Rolling stock: Charger (f), standard steelies (r) “BIG Sexy has been around since the start,” says owner and founding member of the Junkers, Ricky Hard. “She has soul and she goes everywhere we do. The big girl is part of the family, brought back to life, put back on the road, and kept alive by the Junkers.” Painted in white two-pack primer with a bit of a fleck in the roof, Big Sexy is powered by a 265ci Hemi six.
Owner: Jordan Tait Car: ’70 LC GTR Torana Engine: 192ci red six Trans: Aussie four-speed Diff: Banjo LSD Rolling stock: Sprintmaster 13x6 (f & r) “IT USED to be a NSW cop car in its original years, but now it’s on the other side,” reckons Jordan Tait of his neat little LC GTR Torry. The factory 161ci engine has been replaced with a 192ci red six, fuelled by a set of XU-1-spec 175CD triple Strombergs. It also runs an XU-1 fuel tank, suspension and sway-bars, so it’s quicker and a better handler than it was when the fuzz had it at their disposal back in the early 70s.
Owner: Steven Close Car: ’67 VC Valiant Regal Engine: 225ci slant six Trans: Torqueflite Diff: Standard Rolling stock: Standard steelies with whitewalls (f & r) SOMETIMES all a car needs is a serious reduction in ride height and a set of whitewalls to look cool, and Valerie here is a case in point.
Still powered by her original 225ci slant six and Torqueflite auto, she’s been lowered 2.5 inches by owner Steven Close, and she’s good to go.
“The Junkers are a great group of blokes with the same love for cars as myself,” he says.
Owner: Steven Lewis Car: ’43 Commer truck Engine: Supercharged Holden 253 Trans: Trimatic Diff: Datsun Rolling stock: Steelies (f & r) AT THE risk of stating the bleeding obvious, Brutus has been seriously messed with. It’s a wild-looking bit of kit that stands out more than any shiny thing you’re likely to come across at your local show, and it oozes personality. The humble 253ci Holden V8 has been topped with a homemade manifold and 6v92 blower, while other improvised parts include the custom tub, missile mufflers, flexplate steering wheel, conrod gauge holders and sawblade hubcaps.
It’s an insanely creative custom that’s built – by owner Steven’s own admission – out of junk.
Owner: Xavier Hicks Car: ’58 F100 LWB Engine: 292ci Y-block Trans: Truck box Diff: Nine-inch Rolling stock: Standard 16in wheels and whitewalls (f & r) “SHE’S just something different that you don’t see every day, just like all the other fellas’ vehicles,” Xavier says of the, ahem, Pearl Necklace. “She’s a pretty standard old girl, but I have future mods in the works to make it more my style. The Junkers are a great bunch of blokes. They give the piss and take the piss, and we all have a ball of a time wherever we go. I’m the new addition to the group, but I’ve known the guys for quite a while.”
Owner: Howard ‘Doo Dar’ Brown Car: ’48 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Engine: Chevrolet 216 straight-six Trans: Three-on-the-tree, vacuum shift Diff: Standard Rolling stock: 16in factory steelies, vintage chrome trim rings and bullet caps (f & r) DELILAH is a sweet old girl styled after the Chevy Bomb theme, with a Fulton visor, Thermador air cooler, spats, and a slammed stance. Mechanically she’s pretty stock, but as owner Howard ‘Doo Dar’ Brown attests, she still runs along a treat. “Our club has a unique collection of members, vehicles and ideas, which all align to make a close bunch of the best mates that would give you their last beer,” he enthuses. “Each Junker has something different to offer, and we’re not just mates, but family.”
Owner: Ryan O’Hara Car: Morris J2 Engine: Holden L67 Trans: 4L60e Diff: HiLux 4.3:1 Rolling stock: Invisible
Owner: Ryan O’Hara Car: Minirod Engine: Honda CX500 shaft-drive V-twin Trans: n/a Diff: Original bike rear hub modified to fit a solid rear axle Rolling stock: 50cc scooter (f), Torana 13x6 wheels, 175/50/13 tyres (r)
STREET MACHINE 081 Name: Ryan O’Hara Bike: 1950 AJS 500 single Engine: 500cc single megaphone exhaust, flatslide carby Trans: Stock Diff: n/a Rolling stock: 18-inch alloy rims, Avon tyres (f & r) THIS IS not The Slug’s first appearance in the pages of Street Machine, but for those who haven’t encountered it before, here’s the drum.
It’s a Morris J2 van with the rear half of the roof hacked off, and a wildly modified chassis and powertrain. It runs an L300 front end with a step notch and four-link rear, and airbags at all four corners. It’s powered by a tweaked-up L67 blown Holden V6 and matching 4L60e transmission, and it rips a pretty mean skid. Owner Ryan’s customised AJS 500 single looks a treat riding in the back of The Slug, and his killer Honda CX500- powered Minirod (originally built by another Junker, Bryce Henry, then further modified by Ryan) rounds out the stable.