AUTOMOTIVE EXCELLENCE: Gary Shepherd with his partially-built barbecue constructed from the front end of an XY Ford Falcon.
AUTOMOTIVE EXCELLENCE: Gary Shepherd with his partially-built barbecue constructed from the front end of an XY Ford Falcon. Doug Eaton

Chuck a snag on the Torana, mate

WHEN it comes to Aussie ingenuity the Automotive Barbeque is up there with the stubbie holder.

The barbeques, forged from wrecked car bodies, are the brainchild of second generation Casino spray painter and panel beater Gary Shepherd.

Mr Shepherd built his first barbecue about 12 years ago; since then sales have been steady.

“I’ve sold 14 so far,” he said.

Mr Shepherd said the fully functioning barbecues were a real talking point and tended to be bought by car enthusiasts.

The idea for the unique barbeque came to him after he was asked to build a shop counter with the boot and bonnet of a car on each end.

While Mr Shepherd is a big fan of the Ford, his favourite barbecue was made from a blue LH Torana SLR 5000.

The barbecues have been shipped out to locations around the country and sell for about $2700.

He also crafts matching garden seats from the boot end of cars; they sell for $1600.

Mr Shepherd can also build the barbecues inside wrecks supplied by the customer.

However, the barbecues are just a side line.

His real love is restoring old cars like the 1962 Cadillac convertible which last month featured in a story in The Northern Star.

The car’s owners, Ty and Trish Heaven, were told when they bought the car they would not find the expertise required to restore it in Casino, but would instead have to look to Sydney or Brisbane.

But the couple had faith in their local tradies and took the car to Mr Shepherd who oversaw the project which was worked on by local tradesmen.

Last month the gleaming red Caddy won Best Cadillac of its series (1959-1972) at the Cadillac Club of Australia’s 40th anniversary meet at Bathurst.



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