ENTHUSIASTS: Dudley and Cavil Monement with that ute.
ENTHUSIASTS: Dudley and Cavil Monement with that ute. Cathy Adams

$300,000 spent on custom FJ ute

SOME people dream about houses or overseas holidays, but for the past 24 years former Murwillumbah man Dudley Monement has been dreaming about cars.

Over this time he has amassed an impressive collection of 24 restored classic cars, which last month culminated in his crowning glory, registering his four-door custom Holden FJ ute, a build which cost almost $300,000 and took six years.

Mr Monement's ute, 'a humpy', the first of its kind ever registered in Australia, was one of 228 classic cars and street machines on show yesterday at North Coast Street Machines' 23rd annual Show and Shine at Kingsford Smith Park in Ballina.

By late morning North Coast Street Machines president Rob Grill said more than 1000 eager car enthusiasts had passed through the gate and braved the searing heat to catch a glimpse of tens-of-millions of dollars in motoring muscle.

Flanked by his two immaculate Holden Sandman panel vans, Mr Monement's custom FJ ute drew hundreds of eager onlookers, admiring its six-litre, 600 rear-wheel horsepower supercharged V8 Chevrolet engine and its custom leather interior made from seven cow hides.

"In 2005 I had a dream I wanted to build this ute. It's taken me six years and we've only just registered it," he said.

"My wife thinks it's my superannuation fund but I said I have spent that." To build the custom piece of motoring machinery, panel beaters used two FJ Holden cars and one FJ Holden ute, first building the two back doors from half a car and half a ute door, then the rest of the car around the design of the back doors.

"The underneath is every bit as good as the top. Three panel beaters spent three weeks working on the underneath of the car on a rotisserie."

Mr Monement's wife Cavil, who grew up at Mullumbimby, is also a regular on the show scene.

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