Readers’ COVID-19 isolation builds – part five

Another stellar assortment of on-the-go projects, straight from our readers' sheds to you


FJ Holden
Nathan Sonneveld

“MY FJ is being built into an old-school cruiser, and so far I’ve done all the work myself. I’m going for full Queensland rego, so I’ve been working closely with Dr Tim who has been giving me plenty of advice.

I can only go up to a 4.0L engine due to the rules here in Queensland, so I was initially thinking about a Toyota V8 to power it, but it’s too new-school technology for me, so it will run a 202 red motor with twin carbs. Other plans include a full custom chassis, two-door conversion with 150mm-lengthened front doors, welded and widened rear guards, a roof chop, rear tubs and a shortened Commodore diff.

The rear suspension is a parallel four-link with a Panhard bar and Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags, while the HR front end will be running VT hubs, drop spindles and Slam Specialties RE-6 ’bags. I’ve actually just got a VB steering rack last weekend that I’ll shorten up, and a Rod Shop chrome steering column.

I’m hoping for Wilwood brakes all ’round and possibly an under-dash booster. Paint will be Root Beer Kandy, with a nice tan interior. It’ll be a sweet little six when I’m done.”

HR Holden ute, Nissan Silvia 200SX & Nissan D22 Navara
Craig McKenzie

“DURING iso we’ve been working on three cars. We have an S14 Silvia from back in the early 2000s known as GGHO5T, which we are in the process of rebuilding, fixing up imperfections and building a new motor. We are also working on our D22 Nissan Navara mini-truck, which will run a Holden 308 and have suicide doors and a full-custom tubbed rear end.

Lastly, we have been working alongside Custom Body & Automotive on our HR Holden ute, which is the ex-Ditch Jones ute that has been on the cover of Street Machine (Apr ’07) and won multiple awards around Australia. We are making drastic changes to the look and style, refining the entire car from top to bottom to be ready for unveiling at Summernats 34.

With major changes comes a new name: 1FATHR. It’ll have a full colour change with a stripe down the sides, new trim and other bits and pieces to be revealed at Summernats.”

Honda Dax
Paul Felis

“MY 10-YEAR-OLD SON Memphis and I got this Honda Dax build finished off during iso. When we bought it we had to strip most of it down and put it back to stock, before tearing it all down again to put all the custom goodies on.

Although we didn’t build the bike from scratch (that credit goes to Alan), Memphis learned the names of the tools needed and the skills required to disassemble and reassemble everything, as well as how it all works. I supervised and guided him while he did the work. Now it’s finally on the road and ready to cruise!”

1968 VE Valiant ute
Zachary Todd

“MY VE ute belonged to my great uncle and was given to me by my great aunty; it’s known as ‘Uncle Tony’. It was originally sold to the Sydney municipal council as a pov-pack, base-model ute. It still has the slant-six, but with a mild cam, an old Cain twin-carb manifold and a bit of compression, and retains the three-on-the-tree. I’ve driven it to Chryslers On The Murray the last three years, but this year it ended up on the trailer with ‘Uncle Rodney’ knocking. So I’m now in the process of rebuilding it; we will paint the bay, give it some more go-fast stuff and get it back down there next year.”

1967 XR Falcon
Travis Mohr

“MY ISO build is this XR wagon. I bought it once I knew I was having a baby boy on the way; I sold my ’73 F100 to fund it. I’ve pulled the old 200ci in favour of a 351ci, a C4 trans and a 28-spline, disc-brake Borgy in the back.

It has fresh trim, but I’m still waiting on the back seats, dash and door cards. I’ve laced and flaked the roof but am leaving the patina on the rest.

I’ve included all new suspension and bushes throughout for a fresher ride, along with XF power steering. I hope to have it back on the road by the time you read this.”

1968 Holden HK GTS Monaro
Perry Ormsby

“I’VE modified cars for years, but this is my first full rebuild. I’ve owned the Monaro since 1995 and pulled it off the road in 1998, but I only got around to starting the rebuild in October last year. In January I was lucky enough to be in the USA to visit the Littlefield workshop and order a 6/71 blower.

That will go over a Dart SHP block with a forged crank and AFR 210 heads, and suck in fuel via an EFI set-up hidden inside an Enderle Bug Catcher hat. I’m looking for about 750hp. We are making a little more room in the rear for 295/50/15 tyres on Street Pro rims, widening the tubs and moving the suspension inwards. It’s now got a Castlemaine Rod Shop front end and Motor Fab mono-leaf rear springs, with Strange shocks and WiIwood brakes all ’round.

The surge tank, electric power steering, breather and washer bottle are all hidden inside the front guards, while the electric air con is hidden in the rear quarters. The interior will be original-spec, bar a B&M shifter modified to look the part. After some chassis strengthening, the rear quarters will go back on; then it’s just the paint and assembly to go! You can follow the build at (though I still need to do the last few updates).”

1975 Ford F100
Chris Stones

“THIS is Fat Nancy. I’ve been building her for several years now. She used to be my daily work truck – long wheelbase, two-wheel drive, auto trans and a 250 crossflow up front. But now she’s been transformed into a 4×4 shorty packing a 351 Cleveland. Only the rear differential and some of the interior are left from the original truck. My inspiration for the looks of Fat Nancy came from the Mad Max: Fury Road and Death Race movies.

Once I have her back on the road and driving around, I’ll fabricate a big crossbow to go on the back just for the shows and car meets. During iso I’ve been busy adding sound deadening to the interior after changing the cab over, and fitting the KC Daylighters to the fold-down bar.”

1932 Ford coupe
Troy Rolls

“I’VE been busy building my 1932 Ford three-window coupe during lockdown. It has a Deuce Customs fibreglass body, So-Cal four-bar front end and a four-bar nine-inch rear end with a 3.89:1-geared LSD.

It runs a small-block Chev backed by a fully manualised Turbo 400 with a 3500rpm stall, and rolls on billet Street Lite rims – 15×6 up front and 15×10 on the rear. I’m currently finishing the wiring, and then it just needs trim and glass to finish it off.”

More readers’ project cars:

Part four

Part three

Part two

Part one