He finished the project in time for the Kandos show on Australia Day weekend and even got it out on the burnout pad for a skid. We thought we’d better answer the question that was on everyone’s lips and ask Ryan that the heck it is!
“It is a 1960 (I think!) Morris J2 bus/van cut down into a ute,” he says. “A mate in my car club, Junkers, found it on a farm at West Wyalong. The original plan was to get it registered but everything was a bit too far gone, so I just decided to make something I could trailer around for burnouts, shows and possibly drags down the track.”
Ryan ditched the factory I-beam front end for a Mitsubishi L300 IFS unit and used some fancy wrecking yard engineering to make it work; including adapting Subaru and Nissan Pathfinder power steering bits and an XD Falcon brake master cylinder. He also notched the chassis in the rear, raised the floor and fitted a four-link rear suspension with airbags.
“The back of the van was already cut off with a nine-inch grinder when I got it, apparently to cart around hay bales on the farm, so I just finished it all off to make it look a bit like a factory option,” Ryan says of The Slug’s body mods.
For a driveline, Ryan went for a factory-blown Holden V6 and an auto transmission, with a HiLux diff out back. The motor is basically stock with some extra boost and a 2.5in exhaust.
“The signwriting on the doors was done by my mate, Hardy. The image is taken from a picture of my dad racing at Bathurst in the 70s and ‘Tas Tuned’ is a reference to his old business. Kandos was its first outing, the only time I had driven it was a few hundred metres on the dirt at a mates farm to check if everything worked, so I’m pretty happy. My wife and I have a new baby due soon, so I’ve probably used up my shed passes for a while [laughs].”