DUNCAN Lewis won't make the same mistake again.
After spending three years fixing up his 1974 Holden LJ Torana, he does not plan to give it up.
In the past he traded away or sold cars he spent years painstakingly working on.
He almost did not start the journey again.
"I was looking around to do another project and a mate of mine just happened to say he had (a Torana) sitting in his paddock,” Mr Lewis said.
"I didn't know if I'd end up being able to do another one again and then I found this one and I thought I can't leave just leave it sitting in a paddock to rot away.”
Mr Lewis has had Toranas all his life. This is his fifth, and first fell in love with the car after watching Peter Brock drive one at Bathurst when he was just five-years-old.
In June last year, he got to drive his current ride for the first time after putting in so much hard work.
"It was stripped right back to bare shell, back to bare metal and then everything, all the door rubbers, window rubbers, door handles, carpet, everything is new,” he said.
"I've still got a couple of things to do.”
He said he couldn't have done everything on his own, particularly with a bad back, and received a lot of help from his mate Todd.
"I just said go for your life mate and I just helped him when I could,” he said.
"It's been a long, hard mission but (we) got there in the end.”
The restoration was supposed to be a five-year project, but Mr Lewis was able to finish it a couple of years ahead of schedule.
"I just couldn't wait that long,” he laughed.
The car has turned heads already, snatching up a trophy at the second show it was entered into at a Lowood Show for best muscle car.
"Some of the boys that were there had their GT Falcons and big V8s and the little six-cylinder took out the award,” Mr Lewis said.
"When they called my name I was stoked.
"Some of them left early as soon as my name was called... 'how can a six-cylinder beat us?'”
Mr Lewis is looking to enter the Torana into as many shows as possible in the future as it is a real favourite.
"Next weekend there's a Rosewood car show and they're using my car on their flyer actually to advertise the show,” he said.
Unless an offer comes along that is way too good to refuse, and it will take a ridiculous offer, Mr Lewis doesn't plan on ever giving up the car.
"Unless someone comes up with a really good offer then it's staying in the family then it will probably get passed down to my godson,” he said.
"He's seven years old, he came up in October and I took him for a little drive.
"His dad knows, I don't know if he's been told, we don't want him to get to 15 and say 'where's my car?'”
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