Sometimes you just get infected by someone’s sheer enthusiasm.
That’s how it is when you meet David “Even my mother calls me ‘Chub’ “ Townsend.
You may not be interested in cars or know the difference between a carburetor and a carbohydrate – but he draws you in with his sheer exuberant passion and raucous laugh.
In his workshop at the back of his home in Glen Innes, he has all sorts of vehicles in different stages of construction, from hot-rods built out of the body of 1930s vehicles but with added parts from other eras and vehicles to pure vintage beauties like his 1957 Chevy – the classic automobile for a detective movie, with James Dean in the driving seat.
Or there’s a Chevrolet Camaro that could have come straight out of a movie set on the streets of San Francisco.
But his real passion is for hot-rods – bodies of cars from the 30s mostly, souped up with powerful engines and chrome and running boards.
He buys in the United States on websites and then ships the parts back. One of his cars took him eight years and an incalculable amount of money
But they look so good they stand out even in the highest standard car shows.
One of his vehicles – a beautiful black 1931 Ford – has just been featured on the front page of Australian Street Rodding magazine.
Here’s what one of the hot-rod car magazines said about his Black Ford: “Chub Townsend's 1931 Ford coupe is typical of the stunning rods created by the Townsend clan, from Glen Innes, NSW.
“Dripping with cool custom mods, a rare Pines Winterfront grille and a healthy chop, the eight carb-fed big block Chev is the crowning jewel.”
If you meet him, insist on a ride in his 1957 Chevy. It will turn heads – and maybe turn you into a car nut, too.