Porsche.TurboClub.com Member Article
About the Author - Glenn 'Turbine'
I'll start from when I began forming an interest in cars. This is going back a long way considering I could go back as far as I remember you realize. But to make it sound more realistic and worth any merit, I guess it would be fair to go back to when I actually owned my first car and had something to do with its functionality.
I was a big AMC & Mopar fan, and in many ways I still am. Owning my first 1970 VG Valiant Hardtop at 15yo was something I thought very proud of. With the old 245ci Hemi six, I ended up turning it into a turbocharged beast by the time I was 16. Having completely reworked the cylinder head ports myself and sorting out all the plumbing for the turbo setup that was intended to be fitted to a Mazda 323 1.5L engine. It worked and ran down the driveway, but that's as far as I got with it. You'll understand why later.
In the meantime I was fresh out of High School and into an Apprenticeship with a major Australian Airline, inducted as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Engines) for Ansett Airlines of Australia. Wow now I've got all this money to get more cars, so I did. I went out to buy up 2 more Valiant hardtops, 3 '69 model Valiant VIP sedans, 1 1973 Dodge Challenger and a 1969 Rambler (Australian Built) Javelin. The favorite and the 1 car I wish I still kept was my 1969 VF 770 coupe with the Fireball 318ci engine and auto. I turned this car turned into a 12.80sec @ 104MPH 1/4 miler. With no power brakes and a nitrous bottle in the boot, it's a wonder I even drove it all. But a great car, fast, a bit of a standout and was my everyday transport through my early years of learning my trade. During this time I spent countless weekends out on the drag strip with the big Val tuning this tweaking that, all with the end in mind of getting the car down the quarter as fast as I could. Lots of breakages and disappointments along the way too I might add. It's a great learning tool, the real dyno I call it.
Finishing up at the Airline after 6 years and moving into a Marine Engineering/Fitter & Turner position was my next adventure. Talk about chalk and cheese between the two professions geeez! Two and a half years at this was enough to keep your fitness up for quite some time. It mainly involved Main Engine Repair/overhaul and manufacture/overhaul of Boiler systems. Sounds easy enough, but when 1 piston and rod assembly weighs in at 7 ton it's quite an achievement.
No for the past 11 years I have been back in the aviation industry for Honeywell as their 2IC to the Mechanical Repair/Overhaul and Test Division in Melbourne. Most of the work I get involved with is Military Aircraft enviromental systems, Engines (APU's), cabin pressure control systems and engine starting systems. The job gets me around quite a bit having traveled out to numerous Military Bases around the country and a trip out to the USA for some training at the then Allied Signal manufacturing plant in Torrance CA. They actually have a space division there and I got to get up close to one of the Apollo Lunar modules while I was there. Things have changed quite a bit since 911, so I was lucky enough to get a look before that day.
While I always lived close to an Airport and had worked on lots of different Aircraft types over the years from Boeing 727's to Sesna 172's, I thought it was time to go out and get myself a license to fly. Essendon Airport which used to be Melbournes major airport up until 1972, was a close 5k's from where I lived. I'd head out there most days and weekends for a while to get trained and learn up on the theory. Galaxy Flying School was located on the Airfield and had been there for 50 years or more. Elizabeth (CFI) would call me up out of the blue to be a passenger whenever a student was close to completing there license. I flew with her husband John who was an ex Super Saber fighter pilot during the Korean War, a British RAF pilot in US uniform...strange but true. I formed a great connection with them both over that time, unfortunately Elizabeth passed away during this time and John just wished to be with her. Sad time, so I left flying with him for a little while and decided it was time to buy my first home. I was 7 hours from having that ticket (restricted single engine), maybe I'll take it up again in the future when I get sick of driving the Porsche. All my toys & cars were put aside at this stage.
Well it wasn't long before I met Melanie and began having our own family. My first house was quite small but had a great back yard with in ground pool and spa. I'd built the garage that housed the Javelin so I could do all the restoration work to it finally. I got as far as preparing the engine compartment, door jams and boot area for painting and completed that part. Engine was next so I got all the hypo parts ordered from the states and assembled it there. It's now 408ci V8 with a standalone multipoint fuel injection system on it. You can check out the progress on the Javelin here. We have 2 kids now, boy and girl and it was time to move to a bigger place.... with a bigger garage.
Front Engine, Rear Gearbox, Water Cooled 8 Cylinder,
50/50 Weight split