Brody Walters is a 25-year-old panel beater and MTA Institute graduate working at Maryborough Smash repairs. Passionate about all aspects of his craft, and a self-confessed classic car restoration addict, Brody recently completed the restoration of a stunning 1975 XB Falcon 500 – a project that took five years to finish and which he completed alongside his father Greg.

Brody has always been passionate about cars and like many of his peers studying and working in the automotive industry, he started putting the skills he had learned both from his dad and through his apprenticeship to good use, working with his father to revive the old classic.

“We just love cars, and in 2010 we bought the XB Falcon off eBay and brought it back to Maryborough by trailer,” said Brody. “We started by stripping the whole car back to its bare shell and got rid of all the rust until it was literally just bare metal.

“After that we moved onto panel alignment, added a custom exhaust, and re-built the entire car from the ground up. It’s completely restored now, with a new interior, electrics and motor. It drives like its brand new.”

Brody started his apprenticeship at TAFE before switching to the MTA Institute to finish his studies and he credits his vocational training, working with his father, and the guidance of his employer Ray Wood, with giving him the skills and confidence necessary to tackle complex projects.

“I learnt a lot of skills through TAFE, MTA Institute and, of course, my employer. I couldn’t see myself running my own business, but I’d really like to make something out of doing custom re-build projects. I’m already doing a lot of jobs for mates and their friends and that keeps me pretty busy. I am just going to take it slow and see what happens.

“I’ve still got a lot to learn about fabricating panels, and have just started working on a HG Kingswood as my next project,” he said.

Asked whether he sees commercial opportunity in buying and re-selling his own lovingly-restored cars, Brody is so passionate about his projects that he said it’s often hard for him to consider selling them.

“The first XB will stay in the family,” he said. “It was a family build, so I can’t see dad and I selling it. A lot of effort went into over the past five years. Even the Kingswood I’m building at the moment, well, I could never sell that either because of the time I have put into it. However, most cars I have worked on I have sold.

“Getting a dormant classic car and bringing it back to life is a complete challenge, but once you get the job done and you stand back and have a look at the car you think ‘We’ve done pretty well here’, and I get a huge amount of enjoyment out of that. More enjoyment than just money, anyway.”