The car in question is Maurice Robertson’s 1957 Hawke (more on that name later), but our story starts with Palmerston North hot-rodder, John Mellelieu, who found a bare fibreglass body shell in a Wanganui shed in 1985 and trailered it home to Palmerston North.

Although it would have originally sat on a Ford Ten or Triumph Herald chassis, John had more ambitious plans. With plenty of advice from well-known rodder Steve Fisk, he built a new 75x50mm box section ladder chassis with a high ‘kick-up’ over what would be the rear axle location.

283ci Chevrolet V8 packs a mighty punch.

This was needed to mount the hot-rodders’ favourite tweak – a fully independent Jaguar rear-end with inboard disc brakes. Triumph TR6 front suspension and steering were grafted into the chassis and mated to a Triumph Herald steering column. For two experienced hot-rodders, this part of…

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