WE FIRST spotted Ellisha Staples wearing a dress that matched her glistening 1969 HT Brougham at the HK-HT-HG Nationals in Adelaide. The sweet build drew us in, so we had to find out more.
This article on Elisha's HT Brougham was first published in the March 2018 issue of Street Machine
We wanted a colour to match the original interior, but also something unique. Our first pick had too much purple in it, and after several attempts my husband Anthony and I still couldn’t agree. We had a big argument over it before finally creating this custom colour, which was named Divorce Blue,
Cool number plates! I hear this is only half of your Brougham pack.
Anthony’s building an HK Brougham with a big-block Chev, and eventually both Broughams will be wedding cars. We wanted LILBRO and BIGBRO, but we couldn’t secure the plates, so I suggested HERBRO and HISBRO.
Had the Brougham long?
Anthony bought it when he was 19 years old; he met me two years later. A few years after that I became pregnant with our eldest son; he was conceived in the back seat! After Jamie was born, he’d be strapped in the front with us, as there’s no rear seatbelts. But it wasn’t going to work long-term, so after 18 months we sold the car to Anthony’s brother, who had it for six years and managed to dent every panel before parking it under a tree to rust away. I was devvo when it was sold; I’d loved the car since day dot. So, I was very happy when Anthony bought the car back again in 1999!
When did you build it?
For years we’d planned to restore it, before being given the push we needed on Australia Day 2016, when our youngest son Bradley asked if the car could be used at his wedding. So, Anthony and I – along with our sons, who are both engineers – started stripping the car the next day. It was a 21-month build, with most of the work done in our shed. We brought it back to bare metal and then put it on a rotisserie, rebuilt the front end, added a 350ci Chev crate motor, Powerglide, and nine-inch with an LSD, 3.00:1 gears and Currie axles. The HT only left us for paint, at Warehouse 27 nearby.
Straight into wedding duties, then?
No, we didn’t make Bradley’s deadline, so planned we to have the HT ready for Jamie’s November 2017 wedding. It was finished a month out, so I entered it into the HK-HT-HG Car Club of SA’s show ’n’ shine. People were amazed when we just rocked up with it, as the whole build was kept quiet, with nothing on social media. HERBRO won Entrants’ Choice Brougham, Pin-ups’ Choice, Toughest HT, and Iron Maiden. Then at the Nationals I won Top Iron Maiden again, as well as Top Modified Brougham. And we never did have seatbelts put into the back, so even now our grandkids can’t ride in the car. In fact, they need to be clean before they even sit in it!
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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