BRODEE Espie was just 12 when her grandfather, Linton, passed away from cancer. But before he did, he sparked a flame that today runs through the whole family, and the conduit is this old FC Holden.
This article was first published in the August 2020 issue of Street Machine
What got you into old Holdens, Brodee?
My dad Mark is a mechanic and he’s always been into cars, so I was constantly surrounded by them. Dad decided we should do a restoration project with my grandfather, Linton. We began in 2013 when I was 12 years old, but Pop passed away that same year. So that’s why this car in particular is so special to me.
How far did you get into it with your pop?
We stripped it all back to bare metal before he went. From there, Dad and I built it up and finished it off in 2017, in memory of Pop. Actually, everyone helped out; I’ve got three siblings and they all played a part. My sister says she’s going to attack me for it.
Yikes! Be on your guard! So, it’s a special thing to cruise?
It is! The week after we finished it, we used it for my Year 10 formal, then after the 2019 Red CentreNATS parade I drove my sister to her Year 10 formal. We used it again to take me to my Year 12 formal; it was like Pop was driving me there.
“There’s a bit of work in the boot. There’s a sub behind the trim, for a start,” Brodee says. The overall presentation of the car, including that beautifully trimmed trunk, saw the Red CentreNATS judges froth over the FC. “They wanted to put me in the shed, in the Elite section,” she laughs. “Maybe at RCN #6!”
So is Alice Springs’ main drag now well-acquainted with Brodee Espie and her FC?
The thing is, although I got my Ls at 16 years old and my P-plates 18 months ago, I wasn’t allowed to drive it until the lead-up to Red CentreNATS #5! I had to build a bit of trust with Dad, plus now I’m technically an adult, so he had to give in eventually.
What’s the FC running?
It’s got a stroked Holden red motor with XU-1 Stromberg triples, all rebuilt and tuned by Dad. He also rebuilt the Trimatic and strengthened it up a bit.
And who chose the colour scheme?
I did! Then I bought the dress to match it! Thankfully, we only had to fix a few things before painting it; the bodywork is mostly as-is. We didn’t worry about touching the chrome as it was good enough, and the windows are all-original glass. We’re not about over-restoring it; for me, it’s more about the story of the car.
Tell us about the interior.
It’s been re-trimmed with some mild custom touches to match the outside. Because it’s a memorial piece to Pop, it has a pinstriped inscription inside the glovebox lid and a little flask of whisky in the door pocket. Not that I would drink it while driving! In fact, it’s the same whisky that was in there when we finished the car. It’s ageing!
School’s out, so what’s next for you?
I won’t miss school too much, but I will miss the wedge-tailed eagles that sit on the oval; we even had names for them. This year I’ve lined up a job in accounts at the casino; then I plan to do a biomedical engineering degree at UTS in Sydney.
When you go to Sydney, is the FC going with you?
Not straight away, but I’ll definitely get it there eventually.
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