Brian McLinden (aka The Taxman) has owned this 1934 Chevrolet sedan for the past 32 years. This was his first hot rod, although he has had a number of American or otherwise interesting cars over the years: a couple of ’39 Chevy Slopers, ’62 and ’64 Chev Impalas, a ’63 Oldsmobile Cutlass coupe, a ’67 RS Camaro, a ’68 Falcon GT, a series of modified early Holdens and an ’89 'Vette. He is currently building a ’32 Ford pick up. His three sons are also into American cars, and the list includes a ’37 Chev sloper, ’60 and ‘65 Chev Belairs, ’62 and ’68 Chevy Impalas and a ’67 SS Camaro (which currently runs 10.70 @ 128mph at WSID) as well as numerous other modified cars of lesser heritage (ie Japanese buzz boxes).

Brian bought the ’34 Chev in Canberra in 1973 from a local rodder for $400. The car had come from Sydney in the late ‘60s and had never really been off the road (except for rebuilds). It had been built up as a rod with Customline running gear but was in a torn down state when Brian bought it. It took him three years to re-build the Chevy using a ’64 Chevy as the donor for the new running gear. Total net cost to get the car back on the road was $2,500 after selling off the remains of the donor vehicle and other parts he did not need.

Brian never has to worry about his wife wanting to sell the car as it has some significant sentimental value for the McLinden family - his youngest son was born in the front seat.

Brian, at speed. The car was at the '77 Nats in Narrandera, and has been to a good many of the National events since.

Some rodders feel they have to build or buy a new rod every year - not the McLinden's. Having driven this Hot Rod for 32 years Brian is in no hurry to part with it, though a new project is under construction.

Brian was employed by the Australian Tax Office in Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane until recently, but the 'Taxman' nickname stuck, hence the plate.

This is what a Hot Rod looks like after 32 years of regular driving - still quite presentable.

Brian's boys have some outrageously powerful cars, and their influence shows in the rumpety rump SBC in the family sedan.

A family car in the truest sense of the word; one of the family members was born right on the front seat!

Brian collects speed equipment, some of which adorns his garage walls, alongside the '32 pickup project.

The 'glass '32 was someone else's project, and Brian is bringing it closer to completion every week, in spotless surroundings that double as this personal trainer's gymnasium.

The car has had a couple of rebuilds since the first build. The colour of the car has gone from burnished bronze to red pepper to cherry red to its current colour, Crimson - it has proved handy having one son, Joel, a spray painter and another son, Paul, a panel beater. Brian's friend Peter Claydon from Canberra also assisted with panel beating chores. The running gear has also had some changes over the years. The motor has gone from Chev 283ci to 327ci to 350ci. Just recently another 350 ci motor was installed. The trans has gone from Powerglide to Muncie to Turbo 350. In addition, both front and rear suspensions have been changed over that period.

The body of the car is stock, with 4 rows of louvers punched into the bonnet being the only modification. External mirrors are billet items supplied by Avgas Autos in Canberra. The chassis is basically stock ’34 Chev but a commercial vehicle example has been used because it has an inbuilt X member. All external chrome work has been retained and has been replated. Hella tractor headlights show the way ahead and a set of accessory type tail-lights and small bullet shaped indicators round out the lighting department.

The front suspension is HR Holden with Selby springs, gas shocks and stabilizer bar. The chassis rails are channelled into the cross member 2” to get the car low without sacrificing the ride. The steering consists of a narrowed Morris Minor rack and pinion attached to a ’68 Holden Monaro column via LH Torana steering universals. The steering wheel is a leather bound Boyd's billet item. The rear end is a ’53 Customline with 3.70:1 ratio. The rear suspension consists of reversed eye ’34 Chev semi-elliptic springs with gas/air shocks.

Front brakes are ’68 Falcon GT rotors with Girlock calipers. The rears are’53 Customline drums. An HT Holden dual master cylinder is used and the front brakes are boosted by a remote VH44.

The wheels are Centerline Racing Auto Drags measuring 5½” x 15” on the front and 8½” x 15” on the rear. Fake knock-offs were supplied by AJ's Wheels. Tyres are 165/60 x 15 Hancook steel radials on the front and 235/75 x 15 BF Goodrich T/A radials on the rear.

The interior uses black naugahyde on the stock bench seats and doors and black carpet on the floor. Headlining is black vinyl. The upholstery was done in 1972 and has held up pretty well over the years although a couple of black sheepskin covers hide a few tears in the front seat. Instrumentation consists of a full complement of stock ’34 Chevy items housed in a timber dash insert supplemented with a set of Smiths gauges (tacho, oil, temperature and vacuum). The shifter is a Hurst dual gate from a mid ‘60s Pontiac GTO. Brian has added a set of billet door handles and rear vision mirror to the interior, also from Avgas Autos.

The new motor is the original motor from Brian's son’s ’67 Camaro and is a 4 bolt main hi-po 350 ci. The build sheet that came with this motor indicated that it is built to LT1 specs. Those motors in the late ‘60s were good for 350 - 360hp and this motor feels very strong. It runs a Weiand Team G intake manifold and a Barry Grant Demon 650 DP carburettor. The headers are chrome block huggers and feed into dual 2.5” pipes. The ignition is Chev HEI.

Brian has added a number of polished alloy and chrome accessories to improve the appearance of the motor - water pump, Edelbrock Elite valve covers, K&N air cleaner and sump. The radiator is a Desert Cooler 4 row item and the cooling is aided by a 15” thermo fan.

The turbo 350 transmission was rebuilt by Bob Grant in Brisbane a couple of years ago and is built to stage III specs. It has a Dominator 2500 rpm stall torque converter.

Brian estimates that, aside from registration and insurance costs, he has only spent around $30-35k on this car. He claims that it is still possible to build a car relatively cheaply if you are willing to do a lot of the work yourself and source used parts from swap meets. Having a good support base with help from fellow rodders and family is also a great asset. Brian is currently testing this theory with the build of his ’32 Ford pick up.

Accreditation: The Editor
Advertisements Bayside Toowoomba Lilow