CL Valiant muscle car restoration for Quiksilver

Muscle car restoration brief

Undertake a 1970s’ muscle car restoration to create a car that looks tough, goes hard and will draw attention. It was envisaged that the car would only be used for that season. Dave worked with ANZ marketing manager Jake Mannix to understand what exactly Quiksilver wanted to achieve and what the finished product would be. Jake had sent through images of what he was looking for but Dave knew he could do better than the example vehicles he had been sent and knew exactly what would hit the mark for the surfing giant

The restoration job

We were tasked with finding an appropriate car to do up, pull apart and put back together again with a whole new persona – in 12 days and within budget! The car was needed for promotional duties on the Gold Coast for the Quiky Pro. The company had been looking for a while but Dave only became aware of the project after he was recommended to the company and they contacted him.

The hunt was on. Dave located a CL Valiant from a deceased estate and after some quick negotiating the CL was purchased. Being an ex-SA police car it was already registered with a Fireball 318 engine – a definite bonus and great starting point for any muscle car restoration project!

We picked the car up from Melbourne and brought her back to the workshop. The project was off the ground!

Work gets underway

She was stripped, the engine pulled out, the body damage repaired and prepped for painting. We had two people working on the car and Sam, the beautiful assistant, ran around picking up and delivering parts, sourcing necessary items and providing light humour – and lunch – when needed.

Whilst the body was being prepped for painting Dave started on the engine. The engine was pulled down and totally rebuilt.

Upping the ante

Dave upped the ante with the engine by adding roller rockers and a modified cam. Next came the Edelbrock manifold with a 650 Holley carby, followed by a rebuild of the gearbox with a Stage 2 kit through a 2800 stally. The addition of electronic ignition finished the picture. Extractors – block huggers of course! – went out to a custom exhaust. Oh sweet sound!

Meanwhile, the paint job was getting underway. Not content to stop there, Dave organised for the windows to be tinted whilst they were all out of the car. Timing was crucial. Working with the relevant suppliers we begged, pleaded and implored for parts and services! Dave had a vision and was not prepared to let go of it.

The engine was put back together again along with the gearbox and put back into the freshly painted machine. All connected up she was taken to have the new exhaust made and fitted.

Wheels and tyres

The wheels and tyres were last to go on. Dave’s vision for the car was completed with a set of US Indy mags – 8s on the front and 10s on the rear.

When she returned from the tyre shop Dave began tweaking the final elements – which included altering the ride height to adjust the rake of the car and hand-painting the emblem to give it a tougher look – crucial to Dave’s vision.

Transport to the Gold Coast

We wish we could give you a day-by-day description but it all seems like a blur now as we worked 15 and 16-hour days to get the car ready to be transported up to the Gold Coast, which we also did! Transporting precious cargo is also something we take pride in.

On arriving in Coolangatta the car was greeted with shouts and exclamations that cannot be repeated here! We watched as the Quiksilver crew approached her with enthusiasm but with reverence. They stood back and looked at her taking in every millimetre of their new toy. They eventually walked over to her and opened every door, looked in the boot and finally lifted the bonnet…the shrieks of delight were pure gold!

Quiksilver video featuring restored CL Valiant