Readers’ Rockets: VL Commodore, XW Fairmont, VW Type 3, HSV VR Senator

We check out some of our readers' cars from the April 2020 issue of Street Machine



“I BOUGHT this car as a stock-standard VL when I was 16 years old and have owned it for 22 years now. With a huge Holden influence among my family with Commodores, Toranas and Statesmens, I was destined to follow the footsteps of my father and build my own Holden ride.

When my dad passed away 10 years ago, I decided it was time to go all out and build the car in memory of him. A decade later, the VL was finally ready, with a killer RB26/30 combo from Maatouks Racing up front capable of over 1000hp at the wheels. With custom bodywork, paint, driveline, wheels, brakes, suspension, custom interior, wiring and new glass, my first car has been transformed into the ultimate streeter, fully engineered to roam the streets.

I decided to enter it at Summernats 32 in the Street class, and to my surprise, it won the Top Super-Tech award. It had always been a dream of mine for the car to win a trophy at Summernats, and I couldn’t be more honoured and happy that it came true!

I would like to thank Street Machine for the opportunity for my car to appear in the magazine; Anthony and Rob from Maatouks Racing for helping me build the VL into the animal it is; Mark and Steve from Coastal Smash for their endless hours of fixing and painting and all the pieces along the way; Ben from It’s Covered Trimming for the awesome trim job; and all my friends and family for their help and support over the years.” Photos: Ben Hosking


“VEE-DUBS have always been a big part of my family life growing up, so it was on the cards that my first car would be a Volkswagen. Dad had Kombis everywhere at home, but I preferred the Type 3 Squareback.

In 1992, at 15 years old, I scored myself a 1964 Squareback project car. A year was spent gathering parts and planning the project, so by the time we started it, I had just started my trade as an auto electrician. I was financing the build so I knew it would be slow going, as it was to be a full tear-down, body-off-the-floor, no-holds-barred project.

By 1995 it was registered fully rebuilt, with an air-cooled 1916cc with electronic fuel injection I made myself, brand new trim and a turquoise paintjob – and we did the lot at home. To my enjoyment, it made every local VW magazine back then and I drove the wheels off it. Fast-forward to around 2010 and I started to pull the Squareback down to sort out the bits I was never happy with, adding Porsche 911 rear suspension, a 911 five-speed transaxle and a quad-cam, twin-turbo, two-litre Subaru motor.

Of course the suspension, gearbox and motor didn’t fit, so I figured 911 front brakes would be the go as they wouldn’t fit either! But if it doesn’t fit, make it fit, so the body had to be changed to allow for it all. Well, persistence pays off; in 2016 it was fully engineered on full rego. On the test drive, it was fun scaring the daylights out of my old man, who thought he had fast Vee-Dubs!” Photos: Ben Hosking


“THIS XW is my first car; my old lady bought it for me in Year 11. I was only 15 at the time, and I’ve now owned it for over 17 years. It started life as a white six-cylinder Fairmont, and stayed like that for a bit over a year after I took ownership of it. Just for a laugh, I ran the car over the quarter and pulled a blistering 17.2 with the 250 2V donk and a BorgWarner 35 ’box! After that, I wanted to give the car a complete rebuild.

I sent it off for a lick of paint to freshen it up, and as I worked at an engine shop, it made sense to give the old six-banger the flick in favour of a warm 351 Cleveland and a C4. That combo was good for 13s, and the next package I toyed with saw the car dip into the mid-12-second zone, which was bloody fast for a street car back then.

After having two kids and a break from the car for 10 years, I thought it was time for a bit of a change again, so that is when I dropped in to see Rob at Monsta Torque to talk about doing a Barra conversion, as it was something I had been considering for a long time. Rob and the team supplied a low-kilometre Series II FG XR6 Turbo engine and kitted it out with ARP head studs, race valve springs and billet oil pump gears. Monsta Torque also supplied the Plazmaman intake and the CRG exhaust manifold with the Precision turbo bolted to it. The car now makes more than 500hp on 98, and I can still drive the kids into Freo with the air con on and my wife can drive us home. It starts first time, every time, and on the weekend I can go to the track and run 10s in it. I even got to keep my C4 in the car! Thanks to Monsta Torque, I now have the best of both worlds.” Photos: Jordan Leist


“THIS is my genuine HSV VR Senator 215i six-speed. I bought the car in 2000 with 49,000km on it. I was a young 22-year-old and thought I was king of the mountain.

She was my daily driver for the first few years, but then she spun a bearing and underwent a full rebuild. The engine was upgraded with ACL Race Series pistons, slight head work, a big hydraulic-roller cam and everything balanced.

In 2007 a Harrop intake and 1000cfm Holley throttlebody were installed. She’s had a closed-door respray in Genesis Blue with deleted grey highlights and colour-coded mirrors and door handles. She’s lowered on SSL and SSSL King Springs and Sensa-trac shocks, and rolls on 20×8.5 Walkies with 245×30 tyres.

Future mods include fitting 9.5-inch rears for more dish and completely rebuilding the rear end. After 20 years of ownership, she is part of the family. She’s loud and proud, handles very well and goes pretty hard, and I have everything there to put the car back to original if need be. I’m proud to own one of the last Aussie V8s.”

SEND photos of your car and a few details of what went into the build to Readers’ Rockets, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh,
Vic 3166 or email [email protected]. Please note: Send us copies of prints as we are unable to return your photos.