ADMITTEDLY the FJ Holden my 14-year-old brother and I inherited was not in great condition when it was handed over.
It had been a taxi and clocked up a couple of hundred thousand miles before my grandparents handed it to my parents to replace their aging Chrysler.
Dad ran a Senior Scout group and decided that to keep his young charges out of mischief, he would work with them to get the old Holden running again as a paddock basher.
The old thing was tucked behind the dairy and a couple of afternoons a week some of the troupe members would turn up to tinker.
They eventually got the motor running, but soon after, with members getting older and showing more interest in chasing the fairer sex, the group folded.
The FJ sat for a year or more under an old willow tree before my brother and I (then aged 10) thought we should have a crack at getting it going.
We'd had some experience with failing tractors and it wasn't long before we got the old girl started. She had no brakes, no lights and was perhaps the most dangerous toy imaginable, but she was ours.
For months we would tear around the paddocks, head into the swamps and get bogged.
But, as young blokes are wont to do, we decided she needed some modifications.
And that's when the fun started.
Next week: why it is unwise to fool with the superstructure of a motor vehicle.