Readers’ rockets: Buick Invicta, HX Holden ute, 1968 Camaro plus more

We check out some of our readers' cars from the July 2021 issue of Street Machine


Dylan Welsh
1959 Buick Invicta

“HERE is my Buick Invicta coupe. I’ve airbagged the car with Slam Specialities ’bags and AccuAir e-Level, using hardline air lines. It has the Buick 401ci Nailhead V8 and Dynaflow trans. I love this car and it gets comments everywhere I go.”

Matt Garner
HX Holden ute

“I BOUGHT this 1977 HX Kingswood project at the start of the first COVID quarantine in May last year. I gave it a full bare-metal respray including the chassis, and it was completed and registered at the end of January this year. It runs a high-comp 253 thongslapper with a lumpy cam and head work. The donk uses an Edelbrock manifold with a Holley 600 carb, running back through a three-speed Trimatic gearbox. My future plans are to get rid of the 253 and three-speed and put in a 355 stroker and Aussie four-speed, or at least just a manual swap with the 253 for now – that should get it moving a bit better.”

Jesse Dunlop
1990 Toyota Celica

“I AM the lucky owner of this Celica GT-R! It’s equipped with a four-wheel steering system from the factory, and it’s a Japanese import that arrived in Australia in 2002. Since then, it has been engine-swapped with a Gen 4 3S-GTE four-cylinder. I have repaired the paint and panel, and when I resprayed it I added in a little bit of a colour-shift pearl in the clearcoat. Right now I’m waiting for the paint to harden before facing it off and polishing. The idea is for it to be an unexpected little sleeper and handle like a weapon on the track. If drag racing was to come back to Tasmania, I would love to work towards getting the car into the 11-second zone; I currently don’t know what it is capable of over the quarter.”

Shane McDonald
1963 Chevrolet Impala

“I’VE owned my wagon almost six years now since I purchased it out of Melbourne. I have airbagged it with the best from Air Zenith, Slam Specialties, AccuAir and Air Ride. I have also swapped in a crate 350 Chev, using FiTech EFI, and a TH700R4 tranny behind it from a Commodore for doing plenty of long drives. The outside was custom-painted back around 2000 in LA, and has held up pretty well since then. I’ve clocked up thousands of kilometres in this thing and plan on doing many more.”

Richard Pudney
1968 Chevrolet Camaro

“I FOUND this on eBay and imported it from northern California about 10 years ago. The ’68 ran a stock 350/350 combo – it needed to be stock with the left-hand-drive rules at the time. It now has a slight cam, 600 Holley and Hotchkis suspension. The only other modifications were removing the chin and tail spoilers, replacing a sports steering wheel with a factory one, and adding a RetroSound audio system that feeds some hidden speakers for a factory look. I used Corvette eight-inch rims on the back with lowering blocks for a better stance, and fitted seatbelts in the back for the kids. It has been a tidy, reliable cruiser ever since, with factory air con. One of the best investments I have ever made.”

Photo: Darren Shaw Photography

Heath Bowes
1999 AU Falcon XR6

“HERE is my AU XR6, to which I’ve given a Barra turbo conversion. At the moment it’s making 323rwkW (433rwhp), and I have tried to keep it looking as stock as possible while getting the power and keeping it tidy. The list of things I have done is never-ending! I have owned this car for 11 years now; it was my first car.”

Blake Freeden
Ford XB Falcon coupe

“THIS is my XB coupe, which is currently running a 427ci Cleveland and manualised C4 gearbox. It was running a 393ci V8 until the bottom end let go. I drive this car regularly; it’s no show car, but it’s good fun.”

Joe Dimasi
Holden HQ GTS Monaro

“I BUILT my HQ over 10 years. It’s a genuine GTS, and underwent a full nut-and-bolt restoration, including engine, trans, diff and suspension. It’s fully engineered and street-legal. It has a 500hp, 427ci BBC that all sits under the bonnet, connected to a TH400, custom nine-inch diff and custom three-inch exhaust. Colour is the original Phantom Grey Metallic MkII with a custom mix. The interior has been semi-customised, and the seats are trimmed in black leather. She is a real nice and smooth street cruiser. I haven’t entered her in any shows yet or raced her, but that’s because I’m thoroughly enjoying driving her – but I’m sure she would hold her own!”