Readers’ project cars in the build

Part 14: Let's head into some sheds to see the streeters, cruisers, customs and burnout cars you're currently building


1950 Mercury
Dylan Welsh

“HERE’S my 1950 Mercury I imported from America. It’s got a 383ci small-block Chev and Turbo 350 auto. A mate and I chopped the roof off, taking four inches off the front and rear. I also fitted a 1953 DeSoto 11-tooth grille and frenched the headlights with ’52 Merc items.

1950 Mercury

I’ve notched the rear chassis and I’m currently fitting a nine-inch diff with a triangulated four-link. Once it’s off my hoist, the chassis will touch the ground. I’ve also shaved the door handles and locks, and just fitted some Winfield custom tail-lights. It’ll be getting a motor freshen-up along with new trim, AccuAir air suspension and much more.”

Holden ute
Nelson Granger

“THIS is my ute project, which will be a burnout and drag racing machine. The engine will be a 565ci big-block Chev, with a 14/71 Littlefield blower, dry sump, alcohol mechanical injection and a coil-on-plug set-up. The gearbox will be a Coan XST Powerglide with a bolt-together converter, while the rear end will be a Tin Soldier Racecars four-link with some AFCO 6in-travel shocks and an Enemies Everywhere anti-roll bar. The rear wheels are 15x14in Weld Alpha 1 double-beadlocks wearing 31×16.5in ET Street R tyres. It’ll still be an all-steel body, painted gloss black with chrome bumpers. I don’t want an overly hacked ute if I can help it, but the tunnel and firewall will need to be modified to fit the big mill, and I have stretched the rear guards for the taller tyres. I want to keep the factory dash in there and hopefully just mount a digital dash on the steering wheel to datalog and show vitals. I’m doing the entire build in the shed, including all the fabwork, paint and panel. It’s the only way I can help justify the cost of the parts going into the ute. I’m trying my best to get this done by the end of the year without taking any shortcuts.”

1971 Holden HQ Monaro
Peter Fazackerley

“MY HQ Monaro has had a full bare-metal respray in Meguiar’s HOK Jet Black, with a full chrome-moly tubular front suspension clip. It uses a Tremaniac-built Dart Big M 593ci big-block Chev, which has a Callies crank, Wiseco Boostline rods, Diamond pistons, Dart 20-degree heads and a Plazmaman intake manifold with FuelTech FT600 ECU and dash. Feeding it is a pair of Precision mirror-image 76 turbos. It has a TH400 trans and a full-floater nine-inch rear end, and soon it’ll have a full ’cage done by ET Chassis & Race Cars. I’m hoping to have the car done by October, so fingers crossed!”

1981 Ford XD Fairmont
Brendan Der

“I AM currently building an XD Fairmont from the ground up. It’s going to have an LTD bonnet, as well as a smoothed-out engine bay and a tunnel-rammed 351 stroked to 408 cubes. Base coat on it is canary yellow, I’m hoping to have it ready by Street Machine Summernats 34.”

Holden HR ute
Bruce Haines

“THIS is my HR ute, which has been in the build for a number of years. It has RHS chassis rails up to the firewall with flat floors, with custom sheet metal from the back all the way to the firewall. It’ll have a 383ci small-block Chev, which should be ready in around two weeks, making approximately 530hp. Behind it will be a Tremec six-speed manual and nine-inch diff. Hopefully it will finally be on the road in another five months or so.”

1948 Morris truck

“THIS is my 1948 Morris commercial truck project. So far I’ve completed a three-inch seamless roof chop, with the floor channeled 6.5 inches and the body now sitting on a custom boxed 1927 Dodge chassis. It has a four-link rear end with a braced nine-inch diff, 3.5:1 gears on a Posi-track locker and 31-spline axles. Up front, it has a rebuilt HK Holden front end with rack-and-pinion steering, and it has four-wheel disc brakes by Hoppers Stoppers. The engine is a cammed LS2 (L98) with a tunnel-ram intake and twin ECUs with a custom LS1 harness. Inside, it’ll have a custom dash with Auto Meter gauges. It’ll use an Aussie Desert Cooler radiator with thermo fan and trans cooler made to fit inside the 1948 Morris front grille. The fuel tank is a 50-litre beer keg with a custom-fabricated cradle. It’ll be fully engineered, street registered, and finished in satin black.”

Holden HJ ute
Jason McCarthy

“THIS HJ ute was my old man’s before he passed away from cancer when I was 15. I’m 24 now, and I’m giving the ute a makeover to make it more of my own car, with the help of one of my best mates, Brendan Cherry, and all of his contacts. It had a 355 stroker in it with a tunnel ram and so on. The original plan was to freshen it up and start driving it, but next thing you know, the engine and gearbox was out and Brendan had all these ideas. It’s come such a long way in the past six months, including a full rollcage, rear tubs, a built 6.0-litre LS with a BorgWarner S475 turbo, two-speed Powerglide by Preston Automatics and Weld V-Series wheels. It still isn’t quite finished yet, but I’m hoping to have it back on the road this year.”