1000hp Vortech-blown VK Blue Meanie tribute

Anthony Safar wanted to push the Blue Meanie envelope with his latest VK, resulting in 1000hp of gold-plated glory

Photographers: Ben Hosking

The VK Blue Meanie must be one of the most-repeated Commodore tributes out there, so how do you make yours stand out from the crowd? It’s safe to say Anthony Safar has pulled it off with this VK; it looks good and makes a hell of a splash in the process.

First published in the May 2024 issue of Street Machine

“I wanted it to be better than my last VK, CUH8N: a gunmetal-grey car with an LSA that was a big deal at the time,” Anthony explains. To go one step further with this VK was no mean feat, considering CUH8N made the cover of Street Commodores back in 2017.

If that wasn’t enough, Anthony had just nine weeks to get it ready for an unveiling at Street Machine Summernats 35. “We didn’t have much time, and then to make it worse the first paint job was stuffed by another mob,” Anthony says. “We had to get 2SUS Custom Resprays to fix it, and it got repainted only a week before Summernats.”

Rewinding to before the chaos started, the VK was first shipped to Brad Grech and his team at Ultimate Metalworks. They sorted out all the big fabrication jobs like smoothing the engine bay, mounting the engine and setting up the four-link on the nine-inch diff, and the rear got a big set of tubs and new metal to accept the gargantuan 22×12 Simmons.

“We also sorted out the front end for those big wheels, which involved shortening the control arms and modifying the radius arms,” Brad says. “We did the under-dash brake set-up, mounted the air shifter, made the fuel cell and a few other bits.

PSI Fab did the intercooler piping and exhaust for us and made the radiator.” Brad also neatly carved out the bonnet to accomodate the intake for the reverse-mounted Vortech V7 supercharger. “It uses a Corvette mount kit, so it just bolts straight on,” he says. “A lot of people were claiming we’d mounted it wrong because they’ve never seen it done like that before, but that’s exactly what Anthony wanted.”

The engine side of things was taken care of by LS-whisperer Troy Worsley of Warspeed Industries, who’s built plenty of engines for Anthony before. “Anthony just came to me and said he wanted 1000rwhp with the Vortech blower, and he left the rest to me,” Troy says.

He started with an LY6 iron block from a truck, stroking it to 403 cubes with a Callies crank and rods. Pistons are from CP, with Higgins LS3-spec heads and a Warspeed custom-grind camshaft completing the block. A Shaun’s Custom Alloy inlet manifold takes boost from the Vortech, with E85 metered by Haltech management. “It’s built to take 25psi no worries, and rev to around 7800rpm,” Troy says. “Even on the 10-12psi run-in it’d be good for 800hp.” A Turbo 400 and SDE converter connect it all together.

The interior was filled out by Trims by Darren, using four Scheel bucket seats. “They’re my go-to for all my [Commodore] builds,” Anthony says. New flooring was added throughout, and any Commodore trainspotter will note how different the door cards are to a stock VK’s.

Mick Mansor and his crew from Motorsports Mechanical were tasked with the final plumbing and putting the finishing touches on the VK, all on the super-tight deadline of Summernats. “[Anthony] has some of the most unrealistic expectations with timelines ever!” Mick laughs. “Nine weeks is never enough time; the paint was being buffed while we were assembling the thing, just a week out from Summernats. It was chaos.”

The mad thrash was undoubtedly worth the effort, as the VK made a huge impression when its covers were pulled off during the Meguiar’s Great Uncover at Summernats, earning Anthony the High Impact award in the elite judging. A few months later, the VK took third place in the Street Elite judging at Meguiar’s MotorEx for interior trim.

With the dust from the big-ticket shows now settled, the VK has been tuned to 950rwhp on 16psi, and Anthony won’t be afraid to use all of it. “It’s a street car; we built it to be one,” he grins. “I drive my cars hard, so I’m looking forward to giving it a real hiding soon!”


Paint:Candy Apple Blue
Brand:403ci Warspeed LY6
Induction:Shaun’s Custom Alloy manifold
ECU:Haltech Elite 2500
Supercharger:Vortech V7
Heads:Higgins LS3
Oil pump:Melling
Fuel system:2600cc injectors
Cooling:PWR radiator
Exhaust:Twin 3in stainless system
Ignition:Haltech IGN-1A
Gearbox:Turbo 400
Converter:SDE 4500rpm
Diff:9in, 35-spline axles, 3.9 gears
Front:BC Racing coil-overs
Rear:Four-link, Strange coil-overs
Brakes:Stolz; 6-piston (f), 4-piston (r)
Master cylinder:Under-dash
Rims:Simmons; 22×8 (f), 22×12 (r)
Rubber:Pirelli P Zero; 235/30R22 (f), 335/25R22 (r)

Brad and the team at Ultimate Metalworks; 2SUS Custom Resprays; Trims by Darren; Troy at Warspeed Industries; Mick and Ray at Motorsport Mechanical; Jack at Finer Details; Pete at Custom Wheels; PSI Fab; Rob Ward.