We’ve been focusing on the vehicle itself for the past six weeks but what about the restorer behind the wheel of this project? We got together with Mike Hill of Survivor Customs for a quick chat.
CVI: Tell us a bit about yourself. How and when did you start?
Mike: I’ve been making, taking apart and restoring vehicles for years now. After my apprenticeship (as a metal fabricator/welder), I worked in the steel industry pipe welding and fabricating heavy steel work. I got bored so after about six/seven years of it I just decided to start working for myself – after an inspirational trip to California. I’ve always had a passion for building motorcycles; my dad got me in to that at a young age, making things at home. I built three motorcycles in my dad’s garage – well more like a smallish shed!
But it was the trip to California – to do some exploring and travelling – that inspired my love for the whole custom car culture. It was the next natural step for me; I had to build myself a 1950′s inspired Hot-Rod/Bonneville Salt Flats-style race car made from a 1930′s car.
CVI: What sort of cars are you into?
Mike: I’m into a lot of different cars and motorcycles – anything old with a bit of character. Military vehicles really interest me too and anything with big engines. For me, cars are there to be driven and looked at so anything well-engineered and thought out. I also have a soft spot for 1930′s to 1950′s cars for their looks. It’s true what they say, they really don’t make them like they used to.
One of Mike’s past projects (1935 Model Y Custom) featured in Custom Car Mag
CVI: Why a pick-up truck and what inspired it?
Mike: The pick-up idea came about after building a hot-rod model y. I have always loved the commercial side of vintage vehicles. Pre-war automobiles really interest me but I found out that after the war, when people went back to work, a lot of family cars were converted into trucks to carry goods. This inspired the decision, I just wanted to see if it could be done. I’m happy with how it’s turning out, the model y makes a great little truck and the curved lines really suit it.
CVI: What would you say to the purists about the conversion of a Y into a pick-up?
Mike: The world would be a boring place if everyone had to follow rules, if everyone’s cars, trucks, bikes were the same. I like changing things, I like to make them more interesting and so I do it!
22 September 2017
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