Can your passion for car restoration really make a difference in other people's lives? Greg Maskell found out in 2020 that it can. Maskell's Customs and Classics is Australia's best group of automotive restoration professionals.
Their passion for restoring classic cars is well known, but they didn't realize what a Holden Sandman restoration would mean for them.
Keep reading to find out how Luke PV restoration impacted their lives and the lives of one special family.
Luke McCue's Story
Luke McCue was an 18yr old who had a lot of dreams and a lot of energy. He was a leader among his friends at school. He was a fanatical rugby player and he had a dream of restoring an old Sandman PV.
Luke loved cars and had just started an apprenticeship in automobile electronics. He was working two jobs, going to school, and playing rugby so his schedule was full.
He talked about being tired but pushed himself and seemed fine. Then one late night fatigue caught up and he fell asleep at the wheel driving home.
On December 20, 2019, Luke passed away in a single-car accident.
Picking up the Pieces
Luke's dad John was trying to figure a way to pick up the pieces after his son's death. He helped Luke some with his car restoration projects and looked at the Sandman PV in the garage.
He had the idea of restoring it in honor of his son. He did an internet search and came across Maskell's Customs and Classics car restoration services and decided to reach out to them.
The Call That Started It All
John got hold of us and was talking to Greg Maskell, the owner. Greg said our schedule was full for the next two years, but in the conversation, he asked John what he would do with the vehicle.
"Sit in it and cry," was the answer John gave. He then told Greg the whole story and how they wanted to honor Luke with the restoration.
Greg thought to himself, "I'm gonna be saying yes to this no matter what happens." After hearing the whole story, Greg invited the family to come to talk to us at the shop.
They came and gave Greg all the details and then he went to his crew. After hearing the story, we all voted yes to taking on the job!
Beginning the Holden Sandman Restoration
The call came in January and the project started on March 23rd, 2020. Our goal was to deliver it to the family by early November so they would have it for the 1st anniversary of Luke's passing.
This was an ambitious plan because we had agreed to try to restore a muscle car in just over six months!
Surprise Support for the Luke PV
Greg knew it would take a lot of work, but he and the team were excited. In fact, Greg posted on social media how honored they were to be doing the job for the McCues.
KBS Coating's owner reached out and told Greg they would give them whatever they needed for no cost. He told Greg that he had two boys about to get their licenses and he couldn't imagine what the family was going through.
This began an outpouring of help from businesses all over Australia. Here is a list of just a few of the many companies that donated to us for the restoration:
- Bendigo Electroplating
- Brilliant Polish
- Hussin Auto Detailing
- Michel Signs
- Mongrel Motors
- Pace's Paint
- Reso Country
- Shepparton Radiator & Windscreens
- Southern Tablelands Windscreen Repairs
- 3M Collision Repair
Realities of Car Restoration
We had done heirlooms before but this one was very raw. Many of the parts would have to be hunted down or custom-made. The companies and people from all over helped out.
The engine came in early and was all set up. The frame took a lot of work. Most of the panels had to be replaced due to rust so the frame spent a lot of time on the rotisserie.
The underside had a lot of gauging so many pieces had to be taken off and hammered straight and sealed. Once the frame was put on the chassis, all the inner workings like electrical, upholstery, etc... had to be finished.
One of the biggest worries during the job had nothing to do with the car. The pandemic was in full swing and we worried about getting all the parts to come in on time.
There was also the fear of people not being able to cross the border to come work on the car. We also worried about the family and if they could travel to see the final product.
This added pressure turned out to help us in some respects. We had a little extra time to finish since the unveiling was moved back a few weeks due to the pandemic.
Car restoration shows are where unveilings often happen, but this event was special. The Luke PV was a feature event on November 20, 2020, the opening night of the Museum of Vehicle Evolution (MOVE) in Shepparton.
The good news is the entire Maskell team, the sponsors and the family were all able to attend. We unveiled the beautiful Sandman PV in a ceremony highlighting Luke and his dream of a car paint restoration.
A Powerful Legacy to Help Others
Luke's legacy lives on as the McCue family now travels across the country showing this beautiful Holden Sandman restoration. They are using the Luke PV to raise awareness of driver fatigue among other young people like Luke.
Maskell's Customs and Classics was honored to take part in this special project. We apply that same passion to every project we take on today. Contact us and find out how we can restore one of your dream projects.