Rod’s uncle worked for the Holden and Chevrolet agent in Stratford and he bought a brand new colonial cream and black 1957 Chevrolet to show Rod’s father. It made a huge impression on the 8-year-old boy who told his sceptical father that one day he would own one.

The Chevrolet drag racer in action (Allen Family Collection).

Fast-forward to 1973 and Rod acquired his first 1957 Chevrolet for $600 with the intention of drag-racing it. Four years later the car was finished and ready for the drag strip and it was also street-legal. Rod had already built a few engines by that time, but the 327ci (5358cc) V8 was his first competition engine.

Kaye tips water on to the drag strip to help with traction before a run (Allen Family Collection).

The car was complete with a roll cage, Ford Toploader four-speed gearbox, Ford nine-inch differential, a four-link rear suspension assembly and a vivid white coat of paint that quickly earned it the nickname ‘Flying Fridge’.

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