Young gun P-plater Mason Cahill proves that ‘restrictions’ isn’t always a dirty word with the build of his Hemi six-powered Ford Model T Roadster
NOTHING sours young automotive dreams like restrictions – whether on your wallet, on your skills or from the law. The first two can be overcome with plenty of hard work and a willingness to learn, but the third can be tougher to negotiate, especially when you’re looking to keep your nose clean with the powers that be.
Nineteen-year-old Mason Cahill was at this exact crossroads a couple of years ago when he set out to build a hot rod but knew he had to traverse the three-year ravine that is P-plate licence restrictions.
That said, building a hot rod – as opposed to a post-’48 street machine – offers up many advantages for a budding car builder. You get legally compliant, in-yer-face benefits such as exposed engines, a greater spread of possible wheel and tyre sizes, and a more sensible approach to emission and driveline combinations. Sure, you are still restricted to six engine cylinders and the need to jump through various engineering hoops for registration, but once that’s all done and dusted you’ll be cruising the streets in a personalised ride that offers plenty of grunt and scope for changes down the track.
“I grew up around hot rods so I always wanted one, ” Mason says. “I wasn’t prepared to wait until I had an open licence, so I built a Model T roadster on my terms and to my tastes that could still be driven on my Ps. If I had to go with a six-cylinder, then I figured I’d employ the ways and means act grunt-wise. The best place to start was a six widely regarded as the biggest and most powerful: a 265-cube Chrysler Hemi.”
The Super Bell front axle features a four-inch drop and is dampened by Pete & Jake’s shocks, while the steering gear from a Suzuki Sierra keeps the pointy end heading in the right direction