By Danny Baggott @DAN_BAGGIE
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Videographer / director: Joshua Maguire
Producer: Danny Baggott, James Thorne
Editor: Ian Phillips
Family man, Brian Reginald, spent two years producing the incredible vehicle with the help of his father and three sons.
Brian, 42, originally bought the Land Rover for just $1,000 (AUD). Destined for the scrap heap, he saw an opportunity to convert the car into a modern Defender that replicated something from the hit toy car brand, Hot Wheels.
Brian and his family, who reside in Brisbane, Australia, have been fans of the Hot Wheels franchise for over 15 years and they couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.
Brian told Barcroft TV: “A project like this, you don’t build it for other people – we built it for ourselves and for the memories.
“Every time I get in the car with my sons and father, to drive it, I turn to them and say, ‘Aren’t you amazed that we were able to take something that was ready for the scrap heap and create something this beautiful’.
“I would never consider selling this vehicle – simply because we had three generations working on it.
“And my dad, being 76 years old, it’s good to have the memories with him.”
Brian’s key inspiration was his father, John Reginald – the man who helped him manufacture his very first car at just 12 years of age.
“I’ve had a passion for vehicles pretty much my whole life,” Brian said.
“My biggest inspiration and my biggest help, was my father.
“I remember being 12, 13 years old and getting my first car and fixing that up with him.
“He has a lot of background in rebuilding cars and without him it wouldn’t have been possible.”
John, added: “It’s a good project. I’d say outstanding.
“I‘ve always liked cars and working on cars as well, so it was something I was interested in from the start.”
In terms of the building process, Brian worked with his three sons to dismantle the Land Rover and rebuild it from the ground up.
He said: “My sons were a big help in the build. Especially my eldest, Darryan.
“The beauty of a Land Rover is that you can pull it apart into bits and pieces. I think we counted that we had like 130 different parts.
“The hardest part was that, it’s such a big vehicle, but you’re so limited for space.
“We wanted to load it up with as many modern features as possible.”
Darryan, 22, helped to manufacture the wooden structures of the Defender.
The youngster admits that he was shocked when his father came to him with the initial conversion idea.
He said: “My dad came to me one day and was like, ‘Check this out, wouldn’t this be an awesome build?’ whilst showing me a picture of the original.
“I was pretty surprised at what he wanted to do, but at the same time it was one of those builds that, if we could pull it off, would set a new benchmark.
“I’ll always be proud of my dad in anything that he does – I really look up to him. I guess that’s why I’m so into cars as well.”
Brian installed a V8, six-litre motor, capable of reaching up to 240kph.
“So with the engine, we decided to go with a V8 motor. My wife wasn’t too happy about that, because it’s pretty loud,” he said.
“The main elements of the Land Rover would be the airbag suspension, the big wheels, the motor definitely sets it apart and the paint job is very unique.
“The total cost was probably around $30,000 (AUD), which is surprisingly good for a car that is modernised as much as it is.
“At night, under fluoro lights, the car glows. And it’s just a beautiful finish as well.
“It’s 100% road legal, the speed hasn’t really been tested – but I can say I’ve had it at 160-180kph for sure.”
The car flaunts a bright-orange exterior and weighs around 2,300kg – making it almost impossible for people to miss.
Brian said: “The reactions are priceless.
“All the children that see it are like, ‘Oh my god, it’s a hot-wheels car’.
“We get people taking pictures and videoing it all the time.
“Yeah, we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved here.”