Readers’ project cars in the build

More automotive awesomeness brewing in the garages of australia


Damien Freeman
1948 Plymouth Business Coupe

ALSO out of the Cahill Speed Shop camp is Damien Freeman’s Barra-powered ’48 Plymouth. “Damien brought it in from the US. It was already chopped and primer,” says Mason Cahill. “He painted it white and ’striped it. He brought it to us to get suspension and exhaust work done, and we ended up fitting Air Ride suspension to it and doing an aspirated FG Barra swap with a ZF auto.

We recessed the firewall so we could get the motor far enough back to fit the thermo fan and radiator. We had a chopped Model A radiator in the shop and it dropped right in. The Barra otherwise fits pretty well, in terms of clearing the steering. He’ll go turbo later, but it should light up those cheese-cutter tyres pretty well as it is!”

Aaron Schubert
1967 Ford XR Falcon

“MY FABRICATOR and I have been toiling away on my XR Falcon wagon, affectionately named The Dirty Mule. We are currently having the car rewired again after already having it rewired.

It’s got a new fabricated rear floor and frame, custom alloy battery mount, remounted AFCO shocks, new PPP shifter, custom alloy tank under the rear, new Speedflow fuel fittings and lines, and one of the first pairs of Kirkey V-Series low-back alloy seats. I also picked up a set of Weld AlumaStars and have some new drag radials.

The engine is a Pavtek 393 Cleveland making a bit over 600hp, with a custom RayJE 950 carb. It also runs a 5200rpm TCE-stalled C4 by Tricky’s Transmissions, and a sheet-metal nine-inch with 35-spline axles and a Strange Pro nodular 4.3:1 diff centre by Chris Loumanis. Rear suspension is by Gazzard Brothers Racing.

The plan is to run a 10, having run a previous best of 11.07@122mph at Willowbank. Hopefully after all my wiring dramas we will be back on track later this year. Thanks to the above that have helped on the build, as well as my fabricator mate Dave Teschner, Scott Cortina for the new floor, Jai Schluter for his ongoing help and my friends and family for their support. “

Keith Lill
1983 WB Holden ute

“THIS WB was left to my sons and I in my uncle’s will. He had the ute forever as a workhorse in the goldfields of WA, and he always said he would leave the old rust-bucket to me and my sons.

He had been on the way out for a few years with illness, and unbeknownst to me he had been secretly hoarding parts before his passing. My son and I flew from Geelong to a small town a few hours north of Perth to pick the old girl up; she hadn’t been started for eight years.

Thanks to a close mate in Perth, we got her running and safe and a couple of days later we headed off across the Nullarbor back home to Geelong – a once-in-a-lifetime road trip with my boy. We had a few hiccups along the way, but we got home in one piece. In the parts pile was a rebuilt 350 small-block Chev and TH400.

A good mate donated us a nine-inch, so we had a couple of dollars to spend at McDonald Brothers and CRS, where we got a decent front-end set-up. As soon as the humidity drops and the sun comes out, we will start on the bodywork.”

Thomas Costanzo
1975 XB Falcon GT replica

“OVER the past few months we have been working on our XB GT replica. Prior to the lockdown, the car was largely coated in primer as a result of the rust repairs that had taken place a few years ago. However, with my younger sister’s formal scheduled for early September, we decided to give the car a light makeover in order to be able to drop her off in style. Over the next two months, my dad and I, along with our mates Giovanni, Lou and Durim, all worked together to get the XB finished in time. The car was wet-rubbed entirely by hand before receiving a coat of Yellow Blaze, along with the correct semi-gloss black GT accents. The majority of the work took place at home under our carport. We were thrilled to not only finally finish the car but also make the deadline of the formal.”

Darren Parker
Holden VF Commodore

“MY ISO project is this VF Commodore drag car, using the COPO Camaro out of the USA as inspiration. I am building this as if Holden built a factory drag car for Super Stock competition in Australia.

It will run a 412ci LS-based engine: LSR alloy block, Mast LS7 heads and topped with a Magnuson Mag Drag 2650 supercharger. It’s backed by a TH400 transmission. The chassis was built by Street Car Fabrications in Sydney, with a nine-inch live axle conversion, radial four-link suspension and Funny Car ’cage.

With Factory Stock Showdown 30×9 radial tyres as the limiting factor, it is going to be a fun ride when complete!”

John Cortesi
Ford Escort MK1

“MY Mk1 was originally a four-pot 1600, but is soon to be EcoBoost turbo-powered. It now has ROTA Minilite wheels, Recaro trim, coil-overs, Vintage Air air conditioning and hours of metal fab to graft coupe ‘Mexico’ wheelarches onto a sedan.”

Julian Culverhouse
1979 Holden UC Sunbird

“THIS is my UC ‘Sunturd’. I purchased the car for $800 as a poo-green, half-parted-out eyesore, and for some reason I fell in love with it and had to make it pretty.

After I hunted down all the missing parts and panels, I stripped it bare and started from scratch. It currently has a cranky 355 being put together with a TH350 trans and a Dana 30 diff with 3.73 gears.

It’s Glacier White and black, and rolls on 8.5-inch and six-inch Convo Pros.”

Scott Newell
Ford EF Falcon XR6

“HERE’S one of our iso projects. I picked up a well-used EF XR6, stripped and repaired a few car park dents and scratches, and then my wife blasted on a new coat of the factory Gunmetal Metallic. We also tidied up the engine bay back to the factory look.

The gearbox and diff were overhauled, and we also added a new exhaust system and gave the suspension a once-over, including an altitude adjustment. It’ll hopefully give plenty more years of daily service – and it will certainly be a much cooler daily than some new shitbox from the dealership.”

More project cars:

Readers’ builds – part one

Readers’ builds – part two

Readers’ builds – part three

Readers’ builds – part four

Readers’ builds – part five

Readers’ builds – part six

Readers’ builds – part seven