10-second, supercharged Ecotec V6-powered VS Commodore

Paul Rappo strapped an L67 top end to the Ecotec in his VS and created a 10-second sleeper

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

Update, 24 April 2023:

Paul Rappo’s supercharged V6-powered VS Commodore is one of our favourite budget builds going around. As you’ll read below, the basic combination is a mix of cammed Ecotec V6, with L67 heads, a factory L67 blower and the humble 4L60 four-speed slush box.

The VS run on E85, uses a standard ECU and uses a shot of nitrous to run its best. The only change from the build story below was the recent addition of new torque convertor, which Paul reckons is the biggest single investment he has made in the car so far!

And Paul’s PB in the car jumped up mightily in October last year during a meeting at Sydney Dragway, to the tune of 10.56-seconds at 126mph.

And over the weekend at Holden Drag Nats, Paul has reset the bar again with a best of 11.5-seconds at 116mph sans nitrous and a whopping 10.30-seconds at 130mph with a 150hp shot of giggle gas.

It did come at the cost of a broken ringland, but Paul is planning to pull the engine down, throw in another piston and chase that nine-second pass.

Incredible stuff from a build that uses parts most six-fiends throw away.

The story to here:

When Paul Rappo told us that his VS Commodore is a 10-second machine while we were chatting to him at the Holden Nationals at Heathcote Park Raceway on the weekend, we were gobsmacked.

To date, the VS has run a best of 10.7@125mph at Sydney Dragway, and the wildest bit is that there really isn’t anything overly special about the recipe Paul has used to get that number.

Granted, there is a 100-shot of nitrous in play here, but even without that, the car has run a 12.1 – a fact that will seem even more amazing when we dive into the engine specs.

The bottom end is the original Ecotec the 1995 Executive came with, rather than the lower-comp factory supercharged L67s that most people swap in. The only modifications Paul made to the Ecotec were opening up the ring gaps and adding some ARP main studs and a Stage 2 Mace camshaft. The top end is just as basic, with Paul using MLS head gaskets and head studs when he bolted the L67 heads, intake manifold and blower onto to the Ecomang. A smaller Mace pulley has been fitted to the supercharger, which Paul said makes around 11-12psi with the lower balancer changed for an eight-rib item.

“I’ve been playing around with 5.0-litres for most of my life, and this car did have a Vortech-blown 355 stroker in it that I’ve now put in my VS GTSR replica race car,” Paul said. “So with those engines getting more expensive, I decided to have a play around with the super sixes instead.”

The rest of the driveline is just the original 4L60 ’box and converter, with some 3.7:1 gears fitted to the original live-axle diff. Engine management is old-school too, with a Delco ECU that Paul tunes on the fly with some basic hacking software – which means there are no dyno figures to report.

“The original MAF is just there for show now; it actually uses a 2bar sensor instead,” he said. “We drove it down here on E85, but I think for the trip back to Sydney we’ll tune it on 98 and just take it easy.”

Oh, yeah, did we mention that yet? Paul drove the VS all the way down from Sydney, raced it at Heathcote and drove it home. So cool!

Other notable modifications include a 70mm throttlebody and intake, dual 2.5-inch exhaust and the 28×9 rear slicks for use at the track.

Viewers of our Carnage YouTube show will know that we’ve been messing around with 3.8-litre supercharged V6s in our L67-swapped VN Berlina, which was also at the Holden Nationals this weekend and clocked a fresh PB of 12.74@107mph.

“I actually took some inspiration from Scotty’s build,” Paul revealed. “I watched what he did and that’s what led me to Mace, who had just about everything I needed for this build.”

The 2022 Holden Nationals was Paul’s second run at the event, having contested last year’s go-’round in his blown 355ci plastic-powered VS GTSR replica, which runs deep into the nines.

We’ll be watching keenly to see if he can improve the PBs for both of his VS Commodores, and we’ll have full coverage from the Holden Nationals in the April issue of Street Machine when it hits shelves on 24 March.