Readers’ project cars in the build

'Valkyrie' custom pro touring Camaro, VK Commodore delivery van conversion, HZ Tonner, LS1-powered VL, Whipple-blown VS Statesman + more


Mark Griffiths
1973 Chevrolet Camaro

“Here’s my dad’s surprise 70th-birthday present – a 1973 Camaro. The only problem is, he’ll be turning 74 this year, and the Camaro is still a long way off being finished. It was purchased interstate sight-unseen in 2015, but although the car presented well, it was riddled with rust.

“Unable to part with it, I decided to undertake a radical custom pro touring build with Maskell’s Customs & Classics and gift it to the old man, and so the ‘Valkyrie’ Camaro was born. It has suicide doors; carbonfibre roof insert, bonnet and boot; 2018 Camaro tail-lights; and a Speedtech subframe and rear torque-arm suspension set-up.

“Wheels are Koya forged items – 20×10 up front and 20×11 out back. Pushing it along will be a Harrop TVS2300- blown LS3, backed by a six-speed manual and 9in diff. With any luck, it’ll be finished while my old man still has his licence so he can drive it.”

Glenn Mors
Holden VK Commodore van

“I’ve been converting my VK wagon into a delivery/van. It will run a 304ci V8, 4L60 auto and a brake upgrade, all sourced from a VT Commodore, and be painted in Citroën Karma purple.

“My mate found the wagon; it had been sitting in a paddock for a lot of years, but it was in surprisingly good condition. The tailgate and bonnet were trashed, but we sought replacements. My mate suggested we build a van out of the wagon as a joint project, as we are usually doing our own cars.

“We’re getting close to having it moving under its own steam; then we’ll hire a booth for painting. To date, we have done all the work – without arguments, too! – ourselves.”

Gus Benecke
HZ Holden One Tonner

“I purchased my 1978 HZ Tonner in 2021 from my uncle as a roller. It has a shortened 9in diff with 31-spline billet axles and came with a VN Group A ZF six-speed ’box, which has a Dellow bellhousing and Exedy brass button clutch.

“I have a four-bolt-main 350 Chev that I’m currently rebuilding to bolt into it. I’m also fitting a HZ twin-headlight front with GTS flutes, and it now sits on Weld ProStar 15×6 and 15×8 wheels. Other items include a hornet bonnet scoop, alloy drop tank, GTS dash and steering wheel.

“The next step will be to remove the cab for rust repairs and to rebuild the chassis.”

Ian Abbott
Holden VL Commodore

“Here’s my LS1-powered 1988 VL. I have fully rebuilt the LS, and the car is also running a Turbo 350 auto and a shortened Strange 9in diff. We are in the process of doing all the wiring, and we’ll repaint it a different colour, too. We have done most of the work in my shed.”

Adam Sweeney
Holden VS Statesman

“I’m in the process of re-assembling my 1998 Series 3 VS Statesman, JUSTA5L. It started life as a standard 5.0-litre, and in 2019 it got a freshen-up with a cam, valve springs and a few other goodies, including a Whipple supercharger and built TH400 gearbox.

“Unfortunately, at Motorvation 2021 the car suffered massive heating and oiling issues that led to the death of the mighty iron lion. I came home with a clear goal in mind: to make the car able to reliably hose tyres with a carload of mates onboard. So, I decided it was time to follow the flock and install an LS-based motor, as the cost and reliability of these engines couldn’t be ignored.

“The mill in question is out of a VY SS and was purchased from Fordhold Wreckers, while the conversion kit was sourced from Castlemaine Rod Shop. Then the teardown began. Once the front end and driveline was removed, I decided to remove the wiring loom and dash while the engine was out and smooth out the bay while I was at it, and the build just snowballed from there. Now it’s all finally going back together, with a tight deadline for the arrival of my fourth child.

“The motor and gearbox have now been bolted back in with a heap of new shiny bits and braided lines, along with a Holley Terminator X ECU and Holley Pro Dash, which we designed and 3D-printed a surround for to fit it nicely in my factory dash cluster. Once it’s it all back together, it will be left alone until after Motorvation 2024; then it will be getting a four-link, tubs and a Harrop supercharger.”

Dave Irving
Holden VY SS ute

“I have a 2002 VY SS ute that I’m currently building with Luke and Jarrod at LS Tuning & Performance Centre in Albury. Some small steel pieces are also being sourced and prepared by Darcy at KillaBoost, but Luke and Jarrod are taking on the bulk of the work.

“The build has been in process for seven months now, and I aim to have it finished by Christmas. It’s currently running a Harrop 2300 blower on the stock LS1, making 515kW to the wheels on pump 98, but we have a built engine by North Vic Engines on the stand, ready to go in. It retains the 5.7L capacity but has Callies Compstar rods, Mahle forged pistons, ARP studs and bolts throughout, and all the rest you’d expect from a quality built LS. I have also ordered a nitrous kit and bottles.

“The plan is to drop the built engine in and push a bit more through the blower, and add some happy gas for when you just need a 200-shot to get through the day! The ute will also undergo a full respray, which will include the tray, where the bottles will be mounted. The interior has been sourced from Incharge Automotive Enhancements and fitted entirely by me, and the T56 has been rebuilt and had a short shifter added.

“With most of the stuff there ready to go, finishing the build is just a matter of finding the time between my busy schedule detailing and looking after my daughter. Once it’s done, the plan is to take it to Summernats, Powercruise and many other outings
in the future.”

Charlie Brown’s Custom Works
Dodge 100 ‘Kew’

“We are building a Dodge ‘Kew’ truck here at Charlie Brown’s Custom Works. So far we’ve stretched the front of the cab by 400mm; made custom guards, firewall and exhaust; and added a bespoke beaver-tail tray and custom-made roof and pillar sections.

“It will run a 6.6L LBZ Duramax backed by a 10-speed Allison gearbox. It’s airbagged all ’round, there’s a custom heavy-duty four-link out back, and it rolls on 22-inch Alcoa wheels. We hope you guys like it and we hope it can get featured when it’s done!” Words: Mitchell Brown

Got a sweet ride that’s currently in the build? Send photos of it along with some details to: In The Build, Street Machine, Unit 9/3-5 Gilda Court, Mulgrave, Vic 3170, or email [email protected]. Please note: Send us copies of your prints as we are unable to return photos.