Daniel Cooper’s ex-Police VC Commodore

We chat to Daniel Cooper about his award-winning mullet and his factory manual VC Commodore ex-cop car

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

Daniel Cooper’s luscious locks earned him two trophies in the mullet competition at Street Machine Summernats 36 back in January, so we caught up with him for a chat about his enchanting tresses, as well as his ex-copper VC Commodore.

That’s a splendid mane, mate! How long have you had it for?

I started growing it in 2017, originally for one of my old footy coaches when they got ill. I had surgery before it due to a bad spine, and long story short, growing it gave me a lot more confidence that I lost during the recovery being on WorkCover. It’s a great conversation starter, and people love it, which makes me happier.

Have you entered other mullet comps before?

I’ve been doing the one at Summernats for a few years, and I’ve done a few others with the Mulletfest guys. I love the charity side of it and that it’s for a great cause, even though it was a bit daunting getting up on stage the first few times!

What awards did you win this time around?

I won the Everyday and Senior categories, and I’m not even that old! I was a bit sad when they said I qualified for Senior, to be honest, but them’s the breaks.

Tell us a bit about your VC.

It’s a 1982 ex-cop car that was a factory manual 253. I got it from an old bloke as an all-original deal, and my old man and Sam Fenech actually built the 5.0-litre it has in it now, with a 284 cam and some goodies. It’ll rev to 8000rpm all day, and because Sam has now passed, that engine is really special to me.

The dish on those rear Simmons rims looks pretty aggressive – is it tubbed as well?

Certainly is! They’re 20×10.5, and it’s tubbed to the rails. I had Chris from CS Engineering set up the nine-inch diff, which’ll handle 1200hp no worries, so we’re all set when it gets its new engine.

What’s the new donk going to be?

It’s a 355, because I’ve always wanted a 355. My mates with their LS cars were hanging shit on me for being slow, but I have to keep this one Holden, as it’s an original V8/manual car. Brett from B&T Automotive is building it, and we’re setting it up for boost, because it’ll get either a Yella Terra or Harrop blower on it. He wants to go with the Yella Terra, but I like the look of the Harrop, so we’re still debating which one to go with.

Have you always been into your Holdens?

I’ve been around hot cars my whole life thanks to my dad. He’s restored – no joke – around 80 cars, and we’ve owned plenty of Holdens. He’d always have a VL Calais Turbo; we had Toranas, Monaros – bloody everything. He has Parkinson’s disease now, so I make sure to take him cruising in the cars as often as we can, making memories in our machines just like anyone should.

And lastly, what does it take to grow a killer mullet?

A good barber. Seriously, I’ve had so many bad experiences with people not knowing what they’re doing, so now I see Beyond the Fade, who look after it. My wife also braids it to help look after it.