JOE COOPER, the owner of Luxury Finishes, a business in Yatala, Qld, where he and his highly skilled crew specialise in motor vehicle custom restorations. When someone approaches Joe to get work done to their cars, be it a fresh coat of paint or a full-on ground-up restoration, Joe says it doesn’t take long before they become friends.
In order to ensure complete customer satisfaction, Joe is more than happy to let them come in at any time to check on the progress of their vehicle and maybe nut out a few ideas to better the end result.
The cars in the shop range from rare classics to big ground-stomping muscle machines (like the ’68 Dodge Charger pictured in a few of the shots). Apart from motor rebuilds and upholstery, all the work is carried out in-house. Every vehicle has a story behind it and every customer has high expectations as to what they want when it comes to the finished product. This suits Joe just fine as he is a perfectionist himself when it comes to the presentation of motor vehicles.
Which brings us to Joe’s bike. What started out as a mild mannered Street Bob has been tastefully converted into a hard-running street fighter.
The front-end has been kicked out five degrees at the head and extended six inches via a stretched-out American Suspension front-end.
Burleigh Bars handle the steering duties and a Le Pera seat got the nod in the saddle department.
The front brake is a Black Mamba and the rear is a Harley unit.
Rear suspension is a set of Progressive billet adjustable shocks and all this rolls nicely on a pair of South Beach Renegade wheels with matching rotors and pulley.
Joe’s experience with customers and the demand for excellence in the work he has to turn out, time and time again, has transformed him into what he describes as a ‘high maintenance’ customer. This has now flowed on when it comes to the standard of workmanship he expects from other people he entrusts to carry out work for him. Dave from the Grunt Factory found this out when it came time to build the motor for this beast. The list of mods to the donk are as long as your arm and Joe describes it as an addiction that has to stop somewhere!
“It wasn’t easy, and at times the bike really seemed to fight us, but like all great things, it takes time. This is not a fantasy bike! It’s built tough to be ridden hard, and believe me, I’ve broken a few things finding out just how tough it really is!”
The motor now revs to 7500 rpm and a Release Form had to be signed from Power Commander accepting no responsibility once they gave Joe and Dave the software to upgrade the supplied unit to rev that high.
“Some bullshit about it not being normal,” says Joe laughingly.
Dave did an excellent job and Joe can’t speak highly enough of his hard work and commitment when it came time to add the extra ponies to his power plant.
At the time of the shoot, the nitrous had not been fully sorted out, but once it’s all hooked up and ready to rock and roll, the expected horsepower should be somewhere between 160 — 170 hp at the back wheel. Not bad for a bike that is ridden daily, wet or dry.
“The best way to describe riding this thing is to imagine riding a shotgun.”
Not one to rest on his laurels. Joe’s next project is going to be an all-out purpose-built drag bike where he and Dave can really cut loose and pull out all the stops. Stay tuned for that one!
Pics by Jo; words by Chuck U Farley