Many hot rodders try it and many fail

Many hot rodders try it and many fail – creating lists of dream parts to build their ultimate hot rod without actually looking at the bigger picture at the end. Separately, each piece is fantastic but as a complete package, the completed combination is less than harmonious. Jason Lowry’s ’34 Chev has gone together like peaches and cream, it sounds as good as Lennon and McCartney and it flows as nicely as a 21-year old, single malt scotch over ice. Yep, he has nailed the build on his seriously tough Chevy.

Jason makes it no secret that he loves street machines and he loves hot rods. “There is no way you could have a motor like this in a street machine though so I decided that I wanted a blown and injected street rod. It had to be tough and it had to pack a heap of attitude. I am not really a traditional type of guy, I like cars that punch you in the face with their style and power” explained Jason. Back in the day he rolled with a tough 400-cube Torana and being a Holden man he decided he just couldn’t build a Ford, it had to be a Chev. “The average punter can’t tell the difference between the ’34 Chev and the ’34 Ford but in my opinion, the Chev just flows smoother in a few places.”

When it came to creating his list for his ultimate hot rod, Jason had a fair bit of spare time on his hands, you see, Jason is a Navy man. Whilst he was perusing websites and downloading photos of cars that would influence his build, he was out at sea working on the radars and other electronic components on the boats that protect our country.

“Of course, the first thing I had to find was the very best Chev body I could. After a heap of research and some emailing back and forth I came across Fibre Chev. I decided to go visit them when I was in port. I was really impressed when I met Craig and I was more than happy to go with the Fibre Chev body that has a three-inch chop.” Jason asked to have the door and boot handles shaved, hidden hinges and electric windows fitted and flushed-in ’39 taillights. Fibre Chev also extended the body to smooth off the area normally covered by the hood sides. “Extending the body right up to the firewall creates a nice square opening to view the engine. It was something I was very particular about.”

Jason made the decision to go with a Victorian chassis builder to make things simpler but sadly, that idea slightly backfired. Unfortunately, the chassis shop ran way over time, and ended up shutting-shop before fully completing the job – as well owing parts that had been paid for. Jason was less than impressed as you can imagine, but the team at Fibre Chev took up
the slack.

The chassis balls-up wasn’t the only issue poor Jason had to deal with. The small block Shafiroff motor that he had ordered arrived with a heap of extra cubes attached – the motor was in fact a big block! “It was only a few extra bucks so I thought what the hell, I would just keep it and make the car fit it,” laughed Jason. The motor was packing some serious power too – try 1000hp and 900ft/lbs on their dyno with twin-fours on top, which they removed before shipping. It was going to be quite the handful on the road!

To make that mountain of metal fit, Fibre Chev had to get creative – stage one saw the crossmember being relocated for the double A-arm front end and then the radiator and grille was pushed a further two inches forward which also meant extending the steel bonnet. Step two saw the engine lowered two inches, to provide a clear sight line. At a later stage, Dave from Fiddy Customs had to rework the steering geometry to fit a drop-box to connect column to rack. The block-hugger headers even required cut-outs to help clear. It was a heap of work but that motor fitted, was it worth it?
You bet!

That said motor is a piece of art itself, the big block Chev wears Dart Pro 1 heads, a polished TBS 8-71 huffer and internally, forged internals make the set up unbreakable. Kinsler were not only responsible for the Enderle Bug Catcher (converted to EFI now) but they also supplied the entire injection system; lines, pumps, filters, fittings, Accel ECU, Accel ignition and wiring – the whole kit and caboodle! 

Kinsler supplied a basic start-up tune to work with and Sasha from Kwinana Performance was given the job of getting it sorted for the street. With a few little dramas here and there, it was decided to drop the pulley size down on the blower and wind things back to a more streetable 550hp. When the time arises for Jason to hit the strip, the motor will get more boost and go back to that figure of 1,000hp! 

Slotted in behind the big-buck donk is a super-efficient, 4L80E ‘box that TCI internally modified to create a six speed. To aid driveability, the 6X is fitted with a Breakaway converter which features a 2,400 to 2,600rpm flash stall – so it will get up and boogie hard off the line on full noise but still be efficient whilst cruising and being driven on half throttle. There was only one option for the rear end, which was of course a 9-inch.

When it came to making the Fibre Chev body look the part, it didn’t take much for Dave at RD Motorcycle and Custom Paint to get it all spot-on. The Nightshade Green hue was the second option for Jason but has turned out to be a godsend as people are always commenting on how unique the colour is. “The original plan called for Ford Ego but my mate used that first so I was on the lookout for another option when up popped a 1968 Pontiac GTO being auctioned on TV. I decided that was the go right there and then,” said Jason. 

With the paint sorted, it was a matter of getting the interior to match the sweet hue. “I had a few ideas kicking around in my head and it was Andy and Danni from Mandurah Canvas that made them come to life for me.” The custom seat and door cards were treated to a tasteful colour of leather. Plenty of shiny bits, Dakota Digital VHX universal dual round gauges,  a TCI shifter and a push start system make the cabin the place to be! 

With the car complete and already photographed for the magazine I invited Jason to be a part of the Forged stand at the recent WA Hot Rod and Street Machine Spectacular. The car scooped the pools  picking up; Top Standard Paint, Top Interior Hot Rod, Top Hot Rod Coupe, Top Hot Rod Overall, a Meguiar’s Superstars Finalist pick and the Dexter Taylor ‘Tuff Tin’ award. It almost all too much for a jubilant Jason to take. ‘I was just happy to be at the show with the magazine so to win all of the awards just floored me. I guess it sort of makes the six and a bit year build all worth it.”