Readers’ Rockets: LX Torana, XR Falcon, Volvo 262C, EK Holden, XY Fairmont

We check out some cool readers' rides from our 2020 Yearbook


Rob Flint
1977 Holden LX Torana

“I FOUND my LX Torana at the back of an old car yard in Toowoomba in 2008, and I spent the next five years rebuilding it.

I’d always wanted a Torana ever since I saw Peter Brock win the 1979 Bathurst 1000. The car started life as a Royal Plum/white-roofed 173ci six-banger with a Trimatic. Changing the colour was an easy decision; as an eight-year-old lad, I saw an HG Monaro in Indy Orange, and from that moment on I knew I was going to paint a car that colour one day. I then spent many late nights and holidays to complete all the rust repair and bodywork, before passing the final sand-down to a panel shop. For the drivetrain, I sought the help of my good mate Scott McNaught to graft a BorgWarner diff into place, and up the front we rebuilt a Holden injected 5.0-litre in the shed – special thanks to another mate, Griffo at All Torque Engineering, for the machine work. I had Windscreen Works fit all the glass, and the interior is finished in A9X black with a custom dash by Lea McCarroll of Toowoomba. The full custom exhaust consists of 1¾-inch primaries into a 2½-inch stainless-steel system.

She stops on HQ front discs and VN Commodore rear discs and rolls on Weld RTS rims, which give the car a great stance. She’s definitely a driven-not-hidden car, as I and my partner Janeen take the kids cruising most weekends to local car shows, downtown trips and coffee shop runs. I’m also building a 355 stroker at the moment and should be ready to fit it early next year.” Photos: Rick Welch

Deni Najdovski
1967 Ford XR Falcon

“I’VE had my XR since I was 17 back in 2004. It originally had a 302 and column-shift auto, but for the past 11 years it’s run a stout 347 Windsor that’s got it to a 10.8. I’ve just sold the running gear and am in the process of a Gen 3 Coyote build with two 67mm turbos and a Powerglide.”

James Gresham
Volvo 262C

“WHEN I went to look at this Volvo 262C, I found it in outstanding structural and cosmetic condition, but not running. The then-owner and I were looking forlornly at the bloody awful French V6 when he said: ‘What it really needs is an LS.’ I nodded sagely, bought the car, trailered it home and hit up Mr Google to find out what an LS was. Suffice it to say, the learning curve has been steep.

A WH Statesman had a nasty experience and donated some vital organs to bring the car very much back to life. I decided that a farmer with an angle grinder and a hammer would be unlikely to improve on the combined engineering excellence of Volvo and GM, so I simply tried to make the two play nicely together without any significant mods.

Aside from Pedders springs and shocks, IPD sway-bars and some flash wheels, it’s all still pretty much bog-standard. Even so, through drought, fire, flood, viruses and alien invasions, it has put a smile on my face. Google ‘262C with LS1’ and you can find my blog.”

Lee Kennedy
Ford XY Fairmont

“HAVING owned many Holdens and a few Chryslers, this is my first Ford. I bought it 15 years ago as a registered, running car. It’s the first car I’ve built from start to finish on my own, including rust repair, panel, paint and interior. The motor was originally a 250, backed by a column-shift auto. My old man had a spare 302 Clevo with a C10 auto, so I planned to freshen those up and drop them in, but after talking to various people and reading heaps on engine configuration and specs, I decided to take a bit more time and turn the 302 into a 351 using a crank-and-rods donor I found on Gumtree. I used the 302 closed-chamber heads and spent three weekends porting and cleaning them up. I had a local machine shop do the guides, seats and a light machine to square them up and fully balance the rotating assembly. Once this was done I started reassembly with new bearings, pistons, rings, valves, seals etc. I then changed the Crow cam from a 302-spec cruiser to a profile better suited to a 351, and added Yella Terra roller rockers, an Edelbrock Air Gap manifold and Edelbrock 600 vac-sec carb.

I also opted for a Pertronix Flame-Thrower ignition system. On the dyno, the engine topped out at 380hp. After that I added a high-stall converter and Stage 2 shift kit for the C10. She sat dormant for another 12 months while I attacked the boot, bonnet, doors and interior. I then repainted the car True Blue with an Ultra White roof, with a GS stripe to break it up.

Thanks to Sally and Gary at Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars, Linden Little, Adrian at Motion Exhaust, and my wife and kids for their patience and giving me an occasional hand to fit a door or a bonnet.”

Barry Simmons
1961 EK Holden

“MY EK was bought in 2006 as a barn find with rusted floors and surface rust all over. The two-door conversion started by moving the door pillars back eight inches and extending the doors. It has wind-down rear side glass and Ford Meteor bucket seats joined at the bottom to look like a bench. Power comes from a balanced 202 red with a Crow cam, Yella Terra head and 350 Holley.

The 2¼-inch exhaust is fully ceramic coated. Rounding out the drivetrain is an HZ Trimatic with T-bar, and an HR rear end with drum brakes. The front end is also from an HR, along with HT low stubs, HT Monaro discs and an HT collapsible steering column. She rolls on 15×7 rear and 15×6 front American Racing rims.”