Readers’ project cars in the build

We check out some more of our readers' works in progress, from the April 2022 issue of Street Machine


James Mackie
Ford XY Falcon

“This is my 1972 XY Falcon GT drift car, named XYYNOT. I built the car with some mates eight years ago in a single-car garage with a stone floor, and once finished, it exploded onto the scene because of the motor it’s running.

It has a built 5.7-litre LS1 with a Harrop 2300 supercharger on top, making 380kW at the treads. It’s been to a number of big car events around Oz, upsetting a lot of purists along the way. The best was taking it to All Ford Day in Geelong, because I had a GoPro sneakily mounted in the engine bay to record people’s reactions to an LS in an XY.

The car has competed in the VicDrift drifting championships for eight years, and it was very competitive considering the other cars (mostly Japanese) I was up against.

Through those eight years the car has had four different looks and liveries, so for 2022 I’ve decided it’s time for phase five. People can follow the progress of the livery change on my socials and YouTube channel; just search up XYYNOT Drifting on any of them to find me.”

Luke Croft
1934 Ford coupe

“This is my latest project, a ’34 Ford three-window coupe that I’m building into a nostalgia 1960s-style gasser.

The body is a reproduction C&W Components composite that has been chopped five-and-a-half inches and channelled once inch. The guys at ET Chassis & Race Cars are doing a large amount of the fab work, including building the rear end, the chrome-moly rollcage, pipes and exhaust.

Fataz Competition Engines is building the 426 Hemi for me, with all the Keith Black Racing parts supplied by Victor Bray. The block is a 426 alloy Hemi with a Callies crank, Carrillo rods and JE pistons. The heads are Stage V alloy, topped with an 8/71 Littlefield blower. Feeding that is a vintage Hilborn four-port injection system with an Arias scoop that’s been converted to EFI by Joe Blo, with a Haltech ECU. We’re hoping for over 1000hp out of the thing.

The transmission is a Reid Powerglide that goes to a chrome-moly triangulated four-link rear end with adjustable coil-overs and a full-floater nine-inch diff. It’s been a slower build, with COVID holding up a large number of the parts coming from the USA, but I’m definitely on the home straight now.”

Ashley Morris
HR Holden

“I’m in the middle of a freshen-up of my HR Holden sedan, which is engineered with a 350 small-block Chev. It’s a bit of an old-school build, and was originally built and engineered in 1989 in Geelong.

For a long time, it was fully registered and cruising around with the plates WILDHR. Unfortunately, it blew up when I got it, so that’s when I decided to build a stronger engine, paint it and give it a beefier drivetrain.

The engine is all new except for the block, with alloy heads, rods, pistons and a new cam. It had a Powerglide in it when I bought, it but I’ve decided to upgrade to a Turbo 350 with a decent-sized stall. Out back, it currently has HR drum brakes with a very tired LSD and 28-spline axles – so that’ll get beefed up with a set of brakes that’ll actually work!

As part of the rebuild, I’ll also change the colour; it’ll likely be one of the original HR blues like Hacienda Blue. It’ll get a new interior as well, and if there’s enough money in the kitty after all that is done, I’ll get some manifolds and an EFI system to go with the pair of Precision turbos I already have sitting around.”

Craig Smith
Nissan Skyline GTS-X

“My 1989 HR31 Skyline GTS-X is one of the Japanese-imported coupes, and it is the second car I ever bought. It was all black when I got it, but because I’d always dreamt of having a fluoro green car, I had it painted in Lamborghini Verde Ithaca green.

The car originally came with the smaller 2.0-litre RB20 turbo, and I blew up a few of those before building the RB26/30 it has now. Inside the larger RB30 block are forged pistons and rods, a Tomei oil pump, GReddy cams with HKS cam gears and a race ported head. It also has a bunch of PRP gear including R35 coils, LS1 alternator and Pro cam/crank trigger kits. The ECU is Haltech’s new Nexus R5 with and iC-7 dash. The turbo system comprises a Garrett T04Z turbo, with the hot side completed by a 6boost ceramic-coated manifold, Turbosmart 50mm external wastegate and RacePort BOV, and a Plazmaman Pro Series intercooler. GS Auto Works fabbed up the amazing intercooler and exhaust piping. The handling stuff includes Angry Industries coil-overs, Cusco strut braces and ARC sway-bars. The rest of the driveline uses an Xtreme custom clutch, an R33 turbo gearbox and a KAAZ two-way diff.

The car is almost home, and then it’ll be off for a tune, so I’m really excited to get it finished.”

Jake Kajewski
WB Holden ute

“I’m an 18-year-old car nut from Queensland. When I was a firstyear apprentice, I saved up my pay and bought myself this ’82 WB ute, because Dad is into old cars and I wanted one for myself.

We started the project in 2019, and Dad and I have been working on it side-byside for three years now. The more we tore into the ute, the more we realised how abused it had been. We have had to replace the rear quarter panels on both sides, as there was more bog than metal and plenty of swiss cheese. The same goes with most of the bodywork; it was all a bit rough, but it just makes the project more rewarding in the end.

We’re planning to have the car done by May or June this year, and I have big plans for the end result. We’re putting a 202 and Trimatic back into it, but we’re going to chuck a decent camshaft into the six-banger to get the sound I’m looking for. Once I’m on my open licence, we’re gonna turbocharge it!”

Kenny Gourley
Toyota HiLux

“I have a 1976 RN27 Toyota HiLux in the build dubbed ‘Rotofry II’. It was a $150 Gumtree find in the early 2000s, running, complete and with not an ounce of rust.

I have transplanted in a Series IV rotary 13B turbo motor with extended ports, GT4502R turbo, twin 50mm gates, 1000hp barrel intercooler and a drive-bywire throttlebody, all controlled by a Haltech ECU. An Al’s Race Glides manualised and transbraked C4 and a 6500rpm converter live behind. I’m shooting for around 450-500rwhp, and in a 1050kg HiLux it will definitely fry tyres like the first rotary HiLux I built a while ago.

The biggest difference between this build and that first ’Lux is that this version will compete in Drag Challenge and Powercruise-type events. I’ve done all the fabrication and design work myself, with the full support of an engineer so I can register it. Because I can’t legally ’cage it here in Queensland for the street, I’ll be limited to running 10s at the track. I am hoping that it will be a consistent enough car to bracket-race it.

Externally, I will return it to the factory Arctic White it was originally painted in and have a steel ladder rack, timber ladder and old toolboxes to make it look like a tradie’s ute from the 70s. I’m even retaining the column-shift, bench seat and original dash. I hope to hit the track in late 2022 and complete my first Drag Challenge event in 2023.”

David Farrugia
Holden LX Torana

“I’ve had this LX Torana since I was on my P-plates; back then it had a warmed-over 202. My older brother had an HQ with a 350 Chev in it, so once I got off my Ps, I built a nice 308 V8 for it and enjoyed that for a while.

The original gold colour was pretty faded, so I used lockdown as the perfect excuse to change it. My (at the time) five-month-old daughter actually chose the Barbados Green colour, because I couldn’t decide! We put a couple of Torana pictures in front of her, and that’s the one she picked.

Just like everything else on the car, the paint has all been done at home in the shed with help from my dad. Pretty much the only time I’ve sent the car out to have something done was to get the exhaust made up. We’re getting close to finishing off the paint and getting this thing back on the street and cruising again.”

Got a sweet ride that’s currently in the build? Send photos of it along with some details to: In The Build, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166 or email [email protected]. Please note: Send us copies of your prints as we are unable to return photos.