Chris Varney – 1971 LJ Torana MOD ROD
Chris was inspired by Jeff Haggarty’s Expression Session concept that appeared in the April/May 1997 issue of Street Machine magazine – from which Jeff would go on to work as a senior designer for Holden. The MOD ROD project was originally undertaken shortly after the Street Machine feature appeared; making this an 18-year build. Initially Chris had hoped to have it finished for his daughter’s high school graduation, then for her wedding – he missed both deadlines by a considerable margin.
This extended build time created a nightmare during final assembly. “Nothing fits!” says Chris. “After MotorEx, I’ll have a bit of a holiday, then I’ll get in and tear it back down to fix a host of little issues I’m not happy with.” Considering Chris is a sprightly 68, a holiday after finishing such a big build is quite deserved. “I can’t stop, I’ve got to always keep going,” says Chris, “the wife loves it as she always knows where I am!”
Although MOD ROD features extensive body modifications, Chris wanted to retain as much LJ front as possible, with the back looking pure Torana. Other custom elements include hand fabricated front suspension system. The original intention was to paint the car black, however the more he looks at this colour, the better it looks. Out in the sun the HOK Brandywine really jumps out at you. Despite the insane level of modification, Chris insists this will be fully, legal driver – albeit minus the blower currently mounted atop the 350 small-block Chev. Tentative plans include adding EFI to the V8 once the blower comes off.