Driver turns his passion into his profession
BRAD Finigan's first Torana gave him his initial taste of freedom more than 20 years ago, and the feeling has stuck with him since.
For the past decade, the Laidley Heights car enthusiast has been reliving those glory days on every drive he takes with his passion project, a 1971 LC SL Holden Torana.
"I've always had a thing for LC LJ Toranas,” Mr Finigan said.
"When I was just off my P plates I had an LJ four door and that was in the mid '90s.
"It's probably the old story of your first car that became iconic and worth something.”
The car has history and was meaningful to the passionate vehicle owner, he followed in the footsteps of his parents and brother who also owned a Torana.
His yellow Holden gave him the opportunity to share his passion and memories of yesteryear with his two young boys.
"It's nice to get out and go for a drive- it's got a lot of character,” he said.
While Mr Finigan admitted the car brought him happiness he ensured he was "not a slave to it”.
"I give it a wash before events but that's about it,” he said.
"It cost more in petrol.”
Apart from a new engine and interior, the car had undergone few modifications in the past ten years thanks to the previous owner who brought the 47-year-old car back to its former glory.
"It's pretty much as it was when I bought it. It was painted 14 years ago- it was factory white,” Mr Finigan said.
"It's only just had a new motor put in it- its only just been broken in.”
Purchased off an old neighbour in New South Wales, Mr Finigan gave the old car a new home when he recognised it on an online advertisement.
"I gave him a call and said I'd fly down and drive it back home,” he said.
The car had also united Mr Finigan with other like-minded motor fanatics from across Queensland.
He is a member of the Toowoomba Old School Chrome club, Sunshine Coast Torana Appreciation Club, and the Ipswich Classic and Muscle Car Club.
"Its more of a social gathering than anything else because it's a whole lot of like minded people” Mr Finigan said.
"There's variety they have every type of car.”
Despite being garaged "most of the time” the Torana consistently served as a conversation starter.
Mr Finigan said he generally got approached when he stopped for fuel.
Car shows are generally few are far between for the 1971 model, but Mr Finigan said he supported local displays including the Chrome and Clutter.
"I like the little pop up shows,” he said.
While there were no upcoming upgrades scheduled for the Torana, Mr Finigan gets his modification fix in his professional life as the owner of Shed Threadz, a motor trimming business.
The business had been operating for the past 18 months out of the Laidley Heights residence with Mr Finigan giving the interior of cars and seats on motorbikes a new lease on life.
His own car is just one of the many vehicles Mr Finigan had restored.
"Inside is nothing like it was when it left the factory,” he said.
The small business owner planned to keep the car and share his passion with his sons "if they have an interest” when they are older.