Workshop profile: Bayside Customs

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Bayside Customs Bayside Customs Bayside Customs
Bayside Customs Bayside Customs Bayside Customs
Bayside Customs Bayside Customs Bayside Customs

Wander into the workshop of Bayside Customs and it’s pretty hard to know what to focus on first.

Workshop profile: Bayside Customs
Bayside Customs



In one corner of the Bayside Customs workshop, the crew is working on a 1961 Cadillac Coupe De Ville, which is now riding low on airbags, has a big-block Chev shoe-horned into the nose, but retains a host of the original features as well.

One of the visual highlights is the roof, which has a mix of paint and machined bare metal finish to create a spectacular effect. Why? "We’re going for something different," explains proprietor Michael ‘Rusty’ Rust. "It’s a high-end build and the roof is a feature, given it’s an airbag car. If you just go black on the roof to match the rest of the car it will wash out."

Turn the other way and there’s a 1941 Willys coupe project underway, with a blown 572 big-block providing the power. "That one will have all the mod cons," says Rusty. "Power steering, air conditioning, central locking – all jammed into something the size of a matchbox. It’s a show car and a driver."

On the other side of the build scene, there’s a split window Kombi in for a restoration, along with a rare and even more valuable Torana XU-1 GTR Bathurst car. With the latter, the team is taking the trouble to make it look dead original, right down to period-correct acrylic paint and overspray!

Helping to make it possible is the fact the workshop is both big and well-equipped with dedicated wet and assembly areas, along with a big paint and current paint booth.
Rusty says they do everything except engine and transmission builds. So the range of tasks they’ll tackle includes fabrication, modifications, trim and paint. "It’s good for the customer because the car doesn’t have to leave the premises," he says. His father and brother own a mechanical service and transmission shop, so help on that side of things isn’t far away.

With 25 years of experience and a panel beater qualification behind him, Rusty says the restoration and build scene is healthy at the moment, with a lot of American cars coming through. They were bought when the Australian dollar was performing well against the greenback and now owners want to get them going.

Given the willingness to tackle pretty much anything from the mild to a comprehensive resto, it seems like they’ll be busy for a long time to come.


Phone: 03-5979 8755


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