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Drive Life : May 14th 2010
1HERSA1 F019 Please join us at our next Pres ge Auc on in Sydney on Monday 24 May at 7pm. Current and late model pres ge and luxury brands including Audi, BMW, Aston Mar n, Mercedes Benz and more. Featuring ManheimFowles Pty. Ltd. 144 Moorebank Avenue, Moorebank 2170 NSW Contact us now to sell your car along side these luxury models. For further informa on or to view the catalogue visit our website or call Alita on 02 8778 2716. manheimfowles.com.au VICTORIA - LMCT 8588, NSW - MD17890, QLD - 2304867 SA - MVD 183827, WA - MD7641, NZ - M126676 j 2008 Aston Mar n V8 Vantage 4.3L Ei Petrol, 6spd Tiptronic 1,859km 2007 BMW E92 M3 6spd manual 20,000km 2007 BMW E70 X5 4.8 Sport 27,000km The Sydney Morning Herald May 14, 2010 Drive Life 19 Bevisbad to the bone This granny isn't afraid to get her hands dirty for the love of a thumping V8 . . . as long as it's a Holden. Cruising . . . Bev Hills with her beloved 1974 HJ Holden, which has seen plenty of lovin'. Photo: Domino Postiglione WHEEL LIFE STEPHEN LACEY Bev Hills will never forget the time she took her car to a local service station to get a grease and oil change. This was back in the '70s and the mechanic wanted to gouge her for $80. ''It was outrageous,'' says the 56-year-old grandmother of four. ''I thought it couldn't be too bloody hard and it wasn't. I've done my own oil changes ever since.'' Hills grew up on a property in Terrey Hills. As a youngster, she helped her father with mechanical work on his cars and trucks. ''It seemed like every weekend, we were pulling down the motors or resetting the pistons,'' she recalls. At 13, she would drive her father's truck down the long, sandy driveway to the letterbox to get the milk. It wasn't until she married that she got a car of her own: a yellow Mini Clubman. ''It was a great little car. I drove to Queensland in it once with my two daughters in the back.'' After selling the Mini, she bought an LC Holden Torana. ''I used to be able to tune it by ear.'' And so began a lifetime love affair with the red lion. Her next car was an SL Torana, which she later sold to buy her current car, a 1974 HJ, 4.2-litre V8. She paid $5600 for the HJ in 1984. ''I bought it from the Happy Car Company in Five Dock,'' she says. ''I took it for a test drive and the rear wheels were so wide, they were grinding against the guards. I told the dealer I wanted air shocks on it before I'd hand over any money.'' The HJ has been a trusted companion for the past 25 years. Hills says she loves the shape, the clean lines and the handsome broad front. Most of all, she loves the throaty roar from the V8. ''It sends shivers down my spine. I like the twin exhausts. My nephew used to call me Aunty Two-Pipes.'' Hills reckons young blokes are always taking her on at traffic lights but the old Holden leaves most of them in her wake. ''It drives like the powers of piss,'' she says. ''I used to have a limited slip diff in it and could burn plenty of rubber.'' She continues to do as much work on the HJ herself as she can. She does all the oil changes, resets and replaces the spark plugs and even does a spot of bodywork. ''My husband often sees me wandering through the house with an angle grinder and a can of bog,'' she says. The back seat of the HJ has seen its fair share of hot romance, too. Hills has been known to take her husband parking in it along a bush track at the top of the unfortunately named Tumbledown Dick Hill. ''The coppers caught us one night; I can't remember if we'd done the deed or were about to. I told them we were married but I don't think they believed me.'' Would she ever go parking in a Ford? ''No bloody way,'' she laughs. ''I only ever had to drive a Ford once; it was a courtesy car and I really bitched about getting into it. I'm Holden through and through.'' Which might explain why she once waited in line for three hours at a shopping mall to have Mark Skaife sign a photograph of her car. ''He was perfection on legs,'' she swoons. Over the years, Hills has had many offers to sell the Holden and admits she's been tempted. ''My kids would love me to sell it and turn into a proper mother.'' She says she doesn't want to sell it to some young bloke who will wrap it around a tree. ''It'd have to go to a good Holden home.'' If she ever does sell, she says she would consider a Calais or a Statesman . . . V8, of course. Until that time, she's happy to climb behind the big steering wheel, crank up AC/DC and go cruising. ''I love that shit,'' she says. ''I guess I'm bad to the bone.''
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