Green Machine

Australian Street Rodding|June 2020

Green Machine
Craig Mirtschin's mental coupe...
AL O'TOOLE
The purchase of a 1956 Chev four-door hardtop about 25 years ago and the need to surround himself with like-minded car enthusiasts enticed Craig Mirtschin to join the South West Street Rodders while he was living in the Warrnambool area. He later moved to Melbourne and left the club, but still had the Chevy (still does) and once he was made redundant from his telecommunications job, decided it was as good a time as any to plunge into a street rod project.

“I started on this car as a bribe of sorts if you want to call it that, to go and find another job rather than try to start another little business of my own. Part of the redundancy payout gave me the funds to make the initial purchase of the body from Ken Brownlee and the full rolling chassis that was built by Kevin Lewis. My old man was a mechanic and from the age of about six or seven, I grew up going around to his garage to help out during school holidays. One of the first cars I had was an XA GT and after buying and tinkering with a few others, in 1992 I found myself with a 600 horsepower LJ Torana with a small block Chev. That car got to the point where I really had to start spending some serious money on it to get it to the next level. It was either go silly and start drag racing the car or move on. With a young family to look after, I decided to go the other way and sold the Torana to buy the Chev. It was the first big project I took on and only finished it after a marriage break up.”

Craig moved to Melbourne in 2000 and finished his Chevy but then lost his job in 2007. The coupe project arrived in 2008.

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June 2020