Reader’s Rockets: LS-swapped HQ SS, Barra-powered VZ, ZB Fairlane, HG Brougham

We check out some of our readers' rides, from the the March 2023 issue of Street Machine


Matthew Storace
Holden HQ

“The build on my HQ SS started in 2013. It was stripped down and bare-metalled for body and paint, and the chassis was removed for a full nut-and-bolt rebuild, including blasting and powdercoating to complete the front end.

Between October 2015 and November 2018, it was basically untouched while life took over, but it did get the Houndstooth trim done, ready to fit once the car was painted. In November 2018, the shell was painted, but then the car sat for another year while I decided what engine to put in this beast.

I ended up going for a turbo LS running Higgins heads and a GTX42 turbo, backed by a Turbo 700 auto and a Truetrac nine-inch.

The mill has been tuned to a safe 586rwhp on 98, with plenty more in it. The car was almost completely shed-built, with an unbelievable number of hours put in.” Photos: Fstyle Photo

Brandon Downes
Holden VZ ute

“This is my 2006 VZ Holden Storm, originally red. I’ve owned the vehicle for two years now; I purchased it as a shell when I was 17, put an original Alloytec in it and daily drove it. After a while I tired of the Alloytec and replaced it with a BA-series Barra running a GTX3582 turbo, 1000cc injectors,

Proflow plenum and a 3.5-inch dump fed into a twin three-inch system, which I built at home. I did the entirety of the conversion and panelwork at home, too. It’s painted in N80 HiLux silver.

The later-model Commodores are rarely Barra-converted, and little to no aftermarket support exists, so I’ve had to fabricate my own engine mounts, transmission mounts and the like.

I also wired it myself; it’s running a standard unlocked Barra PCM for now but hopefully will run Haltech in the future. I finished it in January 2022, having started working on it in April 2021. There are many more years of work to go to make it bigger and better.”

Ford ZB Fairlane

“This is my 1969 ZB Fairlane Custom that I have just completed restoring. It runs its original 302 Windsor with Holley Sniper injection, a mild cam, four-into-one extractors to a 2.5-inch dual system with X-pipe, and ICE ignition, with a B&M shifter on its rebuilt C4 transmission.

It was built to be a nice street car to take the family in. The project took me seven years and the body was mostly completed at my good mate’s place. He’s a professional panel beater and spray painter and did extensive rust repairs before painting it in its original Starlight Blue.

I was hands-on with as much as I could handle, rebuilding all the smaller bits like the heater box and handbrake, blasting and painting all the small bolt-ons and suspension components, laying all the sound deadening, and carrying out pull-down and reassembly.

We put the project on pause for three years when I was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2019; I actually nearly sold the car. Anyway, I pulled through and we restarted last year and got it done.”

Kayde Perry
Ford XE Falcon

“I’ve owned this XE for quite some time, but only since I’ve had my licence has it been on the road. Everything on the car that needed fixing or replacing was done by me and my partner on the shed floor with jack stands.

Trust me, it has made me a lot more resilient as a mechanic. We alternate regularly between the jellybean wheels for the old-school look and the big P-plate-spec Simmons rims for events such as Springnats.

Being a young bloke and owning and wrenching on a car like this makes me very proud. My mum and her partner Glenn (who has built Street Machine cover cars) have had a strong influence on me getting the car driving.

They’ve also listened to me piss and moan constantly when I can’t fix it, so I couldn’t thank them more!”

Gavin Deighton
Holden HG Brougham

“I have owned my HG Brougham for 43 years. It was bought as a stocker in Victoria when I was 18 in 1980. Back then it was Florentine Gold with a bone vinyl roof and interior.

The current colour is BMW Diamantschwarz Metallic. It runs a period-correct, HP-block 308 built to L34 specs with a steel crank and Holley carb. A shift-kitted Powerglide runs to a 3.36 10-bolt LSD, and it rolls on a set of Rebel rims with 265/50R14 rear tyres and 245/50/R14 fronts.

I brought my two children home from the hospital in it after they were born, and years later I took them to their Year 12 graduations in it. The look is in keeping with old-school 80s and 90s street machines.

I did the bodywork and Lindsay Houston of LDI Kustoms applied the paint, including the HG Monaro sidewinder stripes and Brougham decal airbrushed on the back pillars, both ‘ghosted’ with Lindsay’s own pearl paint technique.

He also put this pearl paint on both bumpers. My Brougham was featured in In The Build in Street Machine December ’22; here is the finished product.”