Suttar's '70s Survivor
Australian Street Rodding|May 2021
A time warp T bucket...

This well-known T bucket graced the April 1979 cover of ASR and it still looks very much the same 42 years later. Reading on you will come to notice how different this car actually is now compared to that original build, but at the same time the overall look of the car and the components in it have hardly changed since a freshen up was completed in the early eighties. The most noticeable difference would arguably be the wheel change, but that happened in the mid-eighties while Jim still owned the bucket and thus, has been known to look this way for many years.

When the current custodian of this seventies survivor T bucket, Darko Gudelj purchased this wicked hot rod, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. He wasn’t specifically on the hunt for an iconic Aussie hot rod from the golden era of the hobby, but he had been longing for a cool rod for some time and knew the style of car he was after. It had to be a nice-sounding T bucket with big ’n’ little tyres, a vertical steering column, and a blown motor with a bug catcher-style scoop. He found this bucket for sale on the internet while waiting for his wife at the hairdresser's, on Valentine's Day.

Darko has always been into cars and as a youngster, tried to get an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic. That didn’t work out and he ended up in the spray painting trade, which he has been successfully doing since 1994. He’s owned several modified cars over the years, everything from a Datsun 1200 coupe and an FB Holden in his early years to Commodores and Sigmas. Nothing was normal though, everything he owned had to be different. He even had the seventies stretch Cadillac at one stage. This bucket now shares garage space with a 2004 CV8 Monaro and Darko’s wife, Vanesa’s award-winning twin-turbo Nissan 300ZX.

Through spray painting, Darko has worked on HQ Holdens, a Sandman panel van, Jaguars and even applied his craft to a very rare, one of seven, and only one in Australia, Austin. He runs his own spray painting business, Mobile Vehicle & Marine Body Repairs, which keeps him plenty busy without advertising, but also does contract work for a coach company and is in charge of panel beating, painting, and interior work on a fleet of 90 buses.

After finding the bucket for sale on eBay, Darko contacted the owner, Northern Beaches Hot Rod Club member, Warren Lyon, who had bought the T from Jim Suttar more than a decade ago after pestering his club mate for some time. Darko made contact to find out more about it but it wasn’t until a year later that he ended up becoming just the third owner of this historic hot rod.

“Apart from the photos online, I purchased this car without actually seeing it in the flesh. Two weeks later I went over to get the car and my wife asked, what if you don’t like it? I said I’m pretty sure I’ll like it, it’s a hot rod! All I was concerned about was that if it sounded nice and was driveable, I’d be happy. As soon as it started I didn’t even need to take it for a drive, I’d fallen in love with it. I took the car home the day before my 40th birthday.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM AUSTRALIAN STREET RODDINGView All

SLAMBACK '37

SOUTHERN ROD & CUSTOM BUILT ONE SERIOUSLY SMOOTH STREET ROD...

4 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
May 2021

Suttar's '70s Survivor

A time warp T bucket...

8 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
May 2021

DRAG SAFARI

Touring regional NSW and Racing hot rods at Three tracks over four days...

6 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
May 2021

CRAKK RUN

WITH COVID RESTRICTIONS EASED LEADING UP TO THE ANNUAL CRAKK RUN, THE EVENT WAS ABLE TO GO AHEAD, ALBEIT WITH A SLIGHTLY MODIFFIIED PROGRAM...

3 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
May 2021

Hallett's '35 Convertible

Pieced together over a six year period using bits from a sedan and a coupe...

8 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
May 2021

Sainty's Aussie Street Rod

Greg and Karen’s coupe has been on the road for 39 years...

3 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
May 2021

Technical Workshop

The column wherein all your questions relating to the technical aspects of hot rodding can be answered by our technical consultant, Ted Robinette. write to: p.o. box 232, Castlemaine 3450. email: info@graffitipub.com.au

10+ mins read
Australian Street Rodding
May 2021

Lake Mulwala CANCELLED Rod Run

But we went anyway and had a great time with a few other regional Victorian rodders...

2 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
January 2021

rod BUILDING

1931 Model a Ford Coupe, Greg Hardcastle, rod squad rodders, Gaven, QLD

3 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
January 2021

Insani.D

Stan Kaminski’s crazy bucket has survived since the seventies...

5 mins read
Australian Street Rodding
January 2021