http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,18762903%5E2862,00.html Shoddy death traps Shelley Hodgson 10apr06 Cops stunned by backyard patch-up DODGY backyard repairs and bizarre modifications are rendering thousands of Victorian cars unroadworthy and unsafe. Police said they are amazed at the dangerous patch-up jobs and lack of maintenance on some cars on Victorian roads. They issue about 10,000 unroadworthy notices every year. In the past two years, the Victoria Police vehicle safety testing school has uncovered dozens of dodgy repair jobs and come across vehicles in such disrepair that they have become time bombs on wheels. In the process they have discovered some vehicles so badly overloaded they were bursting at the seams. Among some of the worst cases captured on camera are: A MOTORIST who rigged up a makeshift heating system, running copper pipes around the floor inside his XF Falcon when the heater stopped working. The heating could not be turned off. A STEERING wheel put on back-to-front because, the motorist said, it was more comfortable. A MAN who had second-hand tyres piled in the back of his ute to sell. When pulled over, police found the tyres on his ute were bald. A MOTORIST who had tied his engine into his Camira after the engine mounts broke. "It was not sitting in the right position any more. It had fallen over but was still working," Sen-Constable John Camm said. A VAN that had rusted out on the driver's side floor so badly the driver could see the road. A SECURITY-conscious motorist whose car was fitted with a chain and padlock securing the front and rear doors. A BULLDOG clip fitted on a seatbelt to stop it retracting. A ROPE rigged inside a car anchoring the door to the passenger seat. PANTYHOSE placed over tail lights to make them look darker. A CAR quickly bolted together after a respray and put back on the road with no door handles, no door locks, no number plates, no bumper bars, no grill and no indicators. The headlights were not bolted on and the battery was ready to fall out at any moment. AN EXPENSIVE Mustang with its motor sitting just 50mm from the ground, half the regulation 100mm ground clearance. A HOTTED-UP Skyline that had its bumper bar taken off because it kept scraping on the asphalt. ALLOY wheels that had new holes drilled through them to fit a different stud pattern. A HOUSE demolisher who had filled his ute to overflowing with a load bound for the tip. Among the load was an asbestos flue and old gas bottle. "He had the whole thing loaded on like the Beverly Hillbillies," Sen-Constable Camm said. A VAN that was so overloaded with fruit and vegetables the driver could not see out the back or passenger side. Sen-Constable Camm said an insecure load could attract a fine of $141, while an unsafe vehicle could cost the owner $173, on top of any roadworthy tests and VicRoads check police might order. "A lot of people don't want to spend money, a Band-Aid will fix it," he said. Sen-Constable Camm warned motorists to check first before modifying to their vehicle. VicRoads has a list of allowable modifications, such as tinted windows, roof racks and tow bars. But anything not on the list requires permission.