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The Maric family's hot rod collection - flashback

By Boris Viskovic | Photos: Chris Cooper, 17 Apr 2020 Features

The Maric family's hot rod collection - flashback

The Maric boys and their drool-worthy collection of hot rods

THE Maric family hail from Wodonga and their story is a mix of brotherly love with a fair whack of tragedy thrown in. The patriarch of this hot rod family is the late Alex Maric, who lost his life in a motorcycle accident just on 10 years ago, but he had already left an indelible mark, both on the Aussie hot rodding scene and on his children Harley and Tennille. But that’s not where Alex first spread his love for hot rods and modified cars. This is really a story of two families, Alex’s and his brother Gunter’s — everyone calls him Grunt — and his son’s Kade and Sam.

This article was first published in Street Machine's Hot Rod magazine #13, 2014

Maric hot rods

Even as a teenager, Alex was playing with cars, at first Cussos and Zephyrs and then before long the earlier Fords started to draw his attention, especially the models built in 1934: “The story with the ’34 coupe is; when Alex was a teenager he bought a ’34 roadster, pulled it off the road and hot rodded the chassis. In the mid-80s he heard that Pete Osbourne over in New Zealand was making fibreglass bodies, so he got the first body in the country.

He was always going to build that car as a turn-key car and sell it, but then he went to the States with a good mate, Pete Ingram, and that’s where he got all the wheels and tyres. That’s when he got the idea to build a 50s Fuel-style coupe. It’s been on the road now about 13 years,” Sam says.

Read next: Blown Hemi-powered 1934 Ford five-window

Maric hot rods

The '34 had some great hot rod history before it even turned a tyre. The magnesium spindle-mount front wheels are off Graeme Williams’ T Bucket which was on the cover of the very first issue of Australian Street Rodding — although they were a lot shinier back then — and the rear wheels are off Ash Marshall’s 60s Top Fueler ‘Vandal’, a car that now resides in Don Garlits’ Museum in Florida.

Read next: Victorian Hot Rod & Cool Rides show 2020

Maric hot rods

These days it’s Harley who is making his own history with the car, and at just 21 years of age, he’s got plenty of time for many more adventures. If the coupe’s rawness ever starts to grate on Harley — unlikely, but you never know — he can always jump in the Vicky. There’s also a ’36 Ford sedan delivery stashed in the back shed that Alex picked up quite a few years ago and he plans to start the build on that in the next 12 months. And that roadster body?

You guessed it, that’s in the shed too and it will be Tennille’s hot rod one day.

Read next: Chrysler Poly-powered 1932 Ford Victoria

Maric hot rods

While Alex had a real thing for ’34 Fords, Grunt seems to have cornered the market on ‘35s. He’s got a super nice Tourer and a pickup in the build and the sedan he owned for many years was recently purchased by Sam. There’s also a ’35 Pickup in the build and it will eventually become the daily driver, and because you can never have enough things to do, there’s a ’51 Ford Club Coupe getting the Maric treatment as well.

Maric hot rods

With so many cars to choose from, it can be a bit difficult to choose which one to take out, but there’s never a shortage of family members to drive the car, and they do get driven. “We drive them all as much as we can, we went up to Queensland to the 2013 Street Rod Nationals at Easter — drove them up there — we took my sedan and Dad took his Tourer. Harley will usually drive the coupe and because Tennille and her partner have a two-year-old, they take the Vicky,” Sam says.

Maric hot rods

When you’re growing up, your cousins are usually your first friends — it’s that whole; blood is thicker than water thing, although it appears there’s a fair bit of high-octane coursing through their veins as well.

“Usually when we’re playing in the shed it’s me, Harley, Kade and Dad, just the four of us and we all hook in. Kade is building a ’32 3-window coupe, pretty much along the same lines that the ’34 coupe is; big-block, big wheels. Kade’s a mechanic, so he does the mechanical work and I do the engineering side of it. Harley and Dad are supervisors and there’s always beers involved, that’s for sure!”

Maric hot rods

1934 FORD COUPE
Harley

1934 Ford coupe

THE coupe now belongs to Harley and he has kept it exactly as his dad built it, and why would you change it? Apart from the obvious sentimental connection, it’s pretty much perfect as it is. The coupe doesn’t just look the business either. Under the hood is a Mk IV 454 big-block Chevy sporting a Victor Jr. hi-rise manifold and 850 Holley double-pumper. The Turbo 400 has a 3200 stall and the 9-inch is filled with 3.70 gears, LSD of course.

1934 Ford coupe dash

1934 Ford coupe
Paint: FLAT GREEN

DONK
Type: Mk IV 454 Chevrolet
Inlet: Victor Jr
Carb: 850DP Holley
Heads: Ported
Cam: Comp Cams Thumpr
Pistons: Lunati
Crank: Standard
Conrods: Standard
Exhaust: Loud

SHIFT
Box: Turbo 400
Converter: 3200 stall
Diff: 9-inch, 3.70 LDS gears

BENEATH
Front end: 4-inch dropped I-beam with 4-bars
Shocks: Chrome tube shocks
Brakes: Harley discs (f), Ford drums (r), parachute

ROLLING STOCK
Rims: 15x4 spindle-mount 12-spokes (f), 16x11 Magnesium small-window Halibrands (r)
Rubber: Skinny radials (f), fat dirt trackers (r)

 


1934 FORD VICTORIA
Harley

1934 Ford Victoria

THIS was originally built by Ray Quon about 30 years ago and is an all-original body and chassis with some good old hot rod thrown at it. A 4-inch dropped Super Bell gets it down at the front and a 289 Windsor four-barrel gets it going forward. Inside is all blue leather, until you look up, where you’ll see a whole lot of artwork instead of a hoodlining. Ray Alldrick did the body and paint while Geoff ‘Whodaky’ Rea did the striping on the rear.

1934 Ford Victoria

1934 Vicky
Paint: BLACK ONYX ACRYLIC

DONK
Type: 289 Windsor
Inlet: Aluminium 4-barrel
Carb: 600 vac sec
Exhaust: Twin 2-inch

SHIFT
Box: C4
Diff: 8-3/4in, 3.25:1 gears

BENEATH
Front end: 4-inch dropped Super Bell
Shocks: Tube
Brakes: Disc (f), drums (r)

ROLLING STOCK
Rims: American Racing Torq Thrust 15x4.5 (f), 15x8.5 (r)
Rubber: 165/75 Nankang (f), 235/75 Toyo (r)

 

 

1935 FORD SEDAN
Sam

1935 Ford sedan

ORIGINALLY built in the early-80s by Malcolm Church from Shepparton, the car was purchased by Grunt. The stock chassis has been fitted with an HK front-end, a Lincoln 9-inch and it rolls on polished Real Wheels which look perfect against the Spies Hecker Super Deep Black paint. Keeping it all Ford, power comes from an XT GT 302 Windsor with ported heads and a 600 vac sec Holley. It now belongs to Sam who purchased it around a year ago. Gotta keep it in the family!

1935 ford sedan

1935 Sedan
Paint: SUPER DEEP BLACK

DONK
Type: 302 Windsor
Inlet: Aluminium 4-barrel
Carb: 600 vac sec Holley
Heads: Ported
Valves: 351
Cam: Crow hydraulic
Crank: Standard
Conrods: Standard
Exhaust: Twin 2-inch

SHIFT
Box: C4 with shift kit
Diff: 9-inch Lincoln housing, 3.55 LSD gears

BENEATH
Front end: HK Holden
Brakes: Discs (f), Drums (r)

ROLLING STOCK
Rims: 15x6 Real Wheels (f), 15x8 Real Wheels (r) with home made spinners
Rubber: 185/65 Bridgestone, 255/70 Hankook (r)

 

1935 FORD TOURER
Sam

1935 Ford tourer

THE Tourer might look like a sedate resto-rod, but under the hood is a 350 4-bolt with forged internals and a B&M low blower. It’s probably the nicest out of all the cars. “Dad and Alex built the Tourer together, so he’ll never sell that. It was just built as a driver, it’s never been trailered anywhere, and still to this day it’s winning trophies everywhere it goes. You go from one extreme to the other when you look at the coupe,” Sam says.

1935 Ford Tourer interior

1935 Tourer
Paint: BLACK ONYX ACRYLIC

DONK
Type: 350 Chev 4-bolt
Carb: 750DP Holley
Blower: B&M low blow
Heads: Match ported
Cam: Crane blower
Pistons: Forged
Crank: Steel
Exhaust: Twin

SHIFT
Box: Turbo 400
Converter: Dominator 2500 stall
Diff: Tank Fairlane 9-inch with 3.25 gears

BENEATH
Front end: 4-inch dropped Vintage Chassis Works I-beam
Shocks: Tube
Brakes: Discs (f), Drums (r)

ROLLING STOCK
Rims: 15x6 solid steel (f), 15x8 solid steel (r)
Rubber: 185/65 (f), 255/70 (r) Defender wide whitewall

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