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Peter Carpenter - Carps - The Hilman on the right was Carps first car, which he got from his brother after he obtained a '48 Holden. At the age of 12 Carps turned this car into a dirt-track car that he ran on his neighbors paddock. He learned a lot about handling and vehicle dynamics from this car.
The skinny kid next to the '59 Holden Special is actually the one and only Carps at age seventeen. Again this was before legal driving age and Carps folks were none too impressed when he bought this nice mildly modded FC Holden. By the time Carps was able to drive legally the Holden was well and truly on the way to being a trend setting street machine with the widest rear tyres in town and the then trendy nose high stance.
Carps Story on these cars:
The black car with blotchy paint was the first car I could call my own. It's the one I learned to drive in. It started out as my older brothers driver but it wasn't one to impress the girls so he got a '48 Holden and I took over ownership of the Hilman since nobody else wanted it. I was twelve years old at the time. A friends dad had a tractor and so he made us a sort of half mile oval track in one of his paddocks. Well he really made it for himself to practice with his speedway motorcycle. A few of us had been given old cars to uses as paddock bombs and this is where we cut our teeth and learned some good driving skills. The reason it's on a tilt is because we drove the track clockwise and it leaned over really hard in the turns. Being an avid reader of Hot Rod since the age of five I figured if we pulled some leafs from the right side springs and put them in the left it should make the car handle better. It worked OK and the difference made by reversing the wheels was also noticeable. For the dual rears we simply replaced the rear wheel studs with long bolts and jammed the wheels on. No spacers between em so I don't think it was the safest set-up in the world but it did stop it sliding the tail so much. The blotches are different colours from cheap spray bombs. It looked pretty wild with all the clour plus my pinstriping and signwriting.
The '48 Hilman was a bunch of fun but I yearned for something cool for when I got my license. I was one of the lucky ones who had a couple of after school jobs and therefore managed to get a few bux saved. However I was also younger than most of my pals and they were licensed to drive long before me. But they only had late forties and early fifties cars. By the time I was seventeen )still a year to go for drivers license) I owned a way cool late model which was the envy of many of the older guys. It was a 1958 FC Holden special. Dark maroon with black and red upholstery. My folks were livid when I bought it home because I had no license and they didn't think I should own a registered car. Howver I had a few mates who couldn't afford a car on their apprentices salaries and since I was living in the city and the folks were in the bush I neglected to tell them what happened to it. At first I left it prety well stock looking in order to keep the cops off my back on those rare occasions I took it for a spin round the block. OK, I drove it a lot before I got my license. However I did massage the motor with dual carbs, extractors, hot cam and head, plus some chrome dress up stuff. It was also one of the first cars around to have widened rims. By the time I got my license it had been dechromed and painted deep purple enamel. However by this time I was working on my first hot rod so it was pureley a daily driver although pretty quick and still newer than most kids my age were driving.
It wasn't lowered because the big US trend at that time was straight front axles etc. In fact I ended up removing the front bumper to make it look higher in front than it actually was.
Got to admit I've come a long way and owned a whole bunch of different cars along the way.
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