Jordan Roche has his own unique style when it comes to transforming cars. A Holden man through and through, he buys standard, modern cars and works his magic over them to give them maximum impact. His latest creation, this 2006 HSV Maloo R8 is the pinnacle of his art.
“I have loved building cars over the years. It has given me so much pleasure. Creating something different and eye-catching is always a challenge and that is the fun part. At the start of the build I sometimes doubt my choices but as the project’s come together, you can really start to see it all working. It is great to get positive feedback from people too. I like to think that I do things a little outside of the box and that makes people appreciate the work and the effort. In all honesty, I have lost count on how many cars I have built over the years,” laughed Jordan.
With so many builds under his belt, Jordan had a distinct plan in mind for his latest ride. “I always knew that I wanted to create a panel van, like a modern-day Sandman. I decided to go looking for a modified ute that already had plenty of work done to it. It was just a matter of waiting for the right example.” With time on his side, Jordan just kept scouring all the right sources until he eventually discovered the right ride in Queensland.
“The ute was perfect for what I wanted. The original owner had thrown a whole heap of time and money at the body modifications. The guards had all been widened with steel to suit the 22-inch Bonspeed ‘Wildthang’ wheels and the Monaro bonnet is completely custom too. The driveline was beefed up from the start as well, thanks to a Walkinshaw Performance outlet over East. I knew it was the right buy so I snapped it up. I then bought another ute that had the panel van canopy on it. I took the canopy off the car and sold that car straight after. It was just a matter of marrying the two together,” explained Jordan.
Jordan has probably undersold just how much work he has done on the car to most people; in reality, the car has been fully rebuilt. Several parts and panels were freshly painted in the Devil Yellow, new parts were purchased for the body and a whole lot of detail work went into it to boot.
“After I had the canopy on, I knew the car needed some sort of graphics. I started with the stripes on the side and on the bonnet and then I kept thinking the car needed something else – a vibe to give it a ‘70s reference which is that true panel van era. My mate Shane at Graphic Addiction suggested the image from the movie Endless Summer. I loved what he showed me but I suggested that he added a hot chick into the blacked out vector. He nailed it. I then added the Sandman decal to the rear to seal the deal. A couple of people suggested that I paint the billet wheels black but I think that would kinda ruin the look I was going for. I think the polished wheels give some more old school flavour to the car. I ended chroming some other parts during the build to tie it all in.”
To incorporate the surfing theme in with the car a little more, Jordan sourced a black surfboard and made custom mounts for it on the roof. Wanting to expand on the custom touches, Jordan decided to go a little wild with the ‘Lambo’ door conversion. “Some people love it, others hate it but it just adds another element to the car. You have to do some things to stand out and personally, I like the look.”
Inside the car, the Sandman theme continues. “I delivered the car to Jason at World Custom Trimming and went through some ideas with him. The leather used it top quality stuff. To add some colour we decided on the yellow stitching and of course the yellow inserts.” It was Jordan’s handy work that transformed the gauge fascia. “I painted the insert with the devil yellow and satin black. I had to pull it apart to get the perfect finish but I think it looks much better than the standard silver version.” In the back of the van, Jason and his team cleaned up the audio install and added the suede, the yellow lights and some other neat, custom touches like mirrored glass on the ceiling and the yellow speaker surrounds. The extensive audio system features 3 sets of splits, 4 12-inch subs and a whole heap of amplification too. John Farnham has never sounded better!
As mentioned before, the car came with some decent performance mods. “I had Mitch at WA Performance re-tune the car and it made a heap more power. The car is putting out an easy 500hp thanks to the top mount blower, a bigger cam and the 3-inch exhaust. The manual ‘box has a Rip Shifter and a heavy duty clutch too.” Jordan fitted the Level Ride airbag system himself and sensibly retained those awesome looking 6-piston HSV brakes.
With the car debuting at the WA Hot Rod & Street Machine Spectacular a few years ago, Jordan was a little nervous to see how the crowds would judge his car. “I was flawed by how many older people liked the car. They really got the theme I was going for and there were plenty of positive comments about the van. I think the bright colour and the big wheels were the attention getters but then the rest of the build kept the punters interested. This car has been by far, my favourite build.” Since I had photographed the car, Jordan sold the yellow beast to build another dream car of his – a high-powered, late model Camaro.