From the moment Jay Duca unveiled his plans to dump a VL Commodore on the ground with an angry four-rotor Mazda swap, the internet lost its mind.
“I had the engine already and I wanted to put it in something, so I asked my mate Tow King to find me a VL,” says Jay. “He ended up dropping off two of the things for free!”
With just five weeks until Street Machine Summernats 36, a mad thrash began. As if stuffing the rotary into the crusty VL wasn’t enough, Jay also converted the rear suspension to full-independent using Nissan S13 gear. “I did the front S13 as well,” he said. “Commodore suspension is garbage, and I’m going to drift this thing, so I wanted it to stop and steer.”
He also cut and raised the majority of the chassis rails to allow the car to sit lower, and added a custom trans tunnel to fit the Holinger RD6 sequential gearbox. “My style is low Japanese cars and old-school wheels, so I wanted to bring that styling to this build,” he said.
The exhaust is a work of wonder, fully fabricated by Jay. “It’s only for aesthetics; I wanted something different, and everyone said it wouldn’t work, so of course that made me want to do it more!”
The BT1 Canary Yellow paintwork was a big undertaking, with Jay enlisting the help of a bunch of mates to the get bodywork solid enough for colour. “We had guys there doing 12 to 15-hour days the week before to get this thing ready, and I can’t thank ’em enough for that,” he said. His good mate Nick laid down the paint just days before the event.
Engine management is by a Haltech, abetted by an iC-7 digital dash, using a very basic tune that was done last-minute before the ’Nats. As the billet PPRE 26B engine isn’t exactly cheap to replace, Jay is taking it easy for its first outing. “It’ll do 500hp and 11,000rpm once it’s all tuned right, so I can’t wait to do that and drift it!”
You can watch the full build series on Jay’s Low Standards YouTube channel.