A 1954 Humber Super Snipe has been saved from the scrapheap and is set to make its stage debut as the leading lady of a production at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre from Friday.
The classic car was discovered in derelict condition at a hobby farm near Tahmoor by Amy Copeland - of the family-run So Popera Productions - and was perfect for their next show Grease.
"I saw this 'free to a good home' wrecking project which was going to go to scrap metal if no-one came and rescued it," she said.
"The paint job had faded to nothing, there were age spots all over her ... her windscreen and everything was still intact but all of the rubbers were all hard and cracked."
The car - which now looks incredibly close to the original from the 1978 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - has gone from rusty to ravishing thanks to a complete transformation by family and friends.
There's LED strips everywhere in this thing so it can look like Kitt from Knight Rider.Amy Copeland
Brother Peter had previously restored an old Volkswagen Beetle so amped for the task of bogging up the rear doors to make it a two-door, once the engine and transmission were taken out.
A neighbour to So Popera's workshop is a steel fabricator so took on the task of cutting the top off to make it a convertible, while another family friend gave the beast a complete respray.
"Then a good friend Mark has assisted with completely rewiring the car, which is now wirelessly controlled," Ms Copeland said.
"There's LED strips everywhere in this thing so it can look like Kitt from Knight Rider. It has so much life now it's just so beautiful."
The only thing the team couldn't do was make it fly, like the ending to the film, but theatre-goers will still get the full theatrical experience with the steel beauty (in a COVID-safe manner, of course).
The outcome has been beautiful, but Ms Copeland is not in a hurry to restore a car again.
"I don't think I'm cut out for it, I worked out I'm really good at upholstering carpet inside of cars," she said. "We'll be sticking with doing stage props only."
Grease runs at IPAC from Friday January 15 - 23. Tickets through www.merrigong.com.au
- Patrons are reminded masks are mandatory for this production.