Readers’ project cars in the build

We check out some more works in progress from our readers


Justen Honey
Holden LC Torana

“I purchased my little four-cylinder LC Torana a couple of years ago, with plans to build a stout little V6-powered street and burnout car. After consulting with Geoff from Southern Chassis Works, the plans grew a little. It’s now running an L98, Turbo 700 and four-linked nine-inch. You just can’t beat the sound of a V8!

The brakes are now Wilwoods all ’round, with Viking coil-overs and a flat floor. The Simmons wheels were supplied by my mate Blake from JB Tyres. The plan for the colour is grey metallic to match the carbonfibre bonnet with a two-inch cowl, which is currently being made at The Fibreglass Factory.

I’ve added a little air dam above where the front splitter will be, which is a modified one meant for a Datsun 1200, and I’ve also built a pro street-style drag wing out of stainless steel. After calling it my ‘little toy’ for a while, the love of my life Melinda purchased me some TOYRNA plates! I can’t wait to get it on the road, track and the pad soon!”

Jacob Vella
Ford XF Falcon ute

“When I was 13 years old, I bought this 1985 XF S-Pack ute from Canberra for $2000. It was pretty original; it still had the 250 crossflow and the paint was faded pretty badly, but it had no rust.

When I got it home, I gave her a good buff and got her ready for historic rego so that my dad and I could cruise around in it. It stayed like that for about a year before I started to get bored of it and thought, why not do a Barra swap? So I pulled the crossflow out, repainted the engine bay and bought a BF green-top Barra for the conversion.

Before it went in, I decided to give the engine some goodies like Stage 3 cams, oil pump gears, valve springs and so on. The idea was to make it future-proof for when I throw a turbo on it and want some decent power, but also to give it a bit more spice while it’s still aspirated on my P-plates.

The conversion took us around two years to finish, and I’m now running a Barra T5 manual ’box and an XD V8 Borgy diff with 4.11:1 gears and a Truetrac. Now I just need some time to get it ready for rego, and then I can start cruising it around on my Ps – I can’t wait!”

Justin Clarke
Holden VS Commodore ute

“This is my 1999 VS ute, which is not far from being finished. I’ve built it primarily for burnouts, and it’s powered by a stock-bottom-end LS1 with all the usual stuff and a Blower Shop billet 6/71 supercharger, topped with a Big & Ugly hat and injected using Holley EFI.

The rest of the driveline consists of a TH400 ’box and a narrowed BorgWarner diff. Being a burnout car, it’s been mini-tubbed with 3mm wheel tubs and slapper plates. It’s all been built in my home shed, with the full build documented on my YouTube channel, Built by Juz.”

Zake Anderson
HJ Holden ute

“Here is my ’74 HJ ute that I’m in the middle of building. It started out as an ex-council worker’s mowing car, and my old man did the hard yards with the paint and panel to get it to where it is now.

The colour is Devil Yellow from VZ HSVs, and it now has a whole new driveline. Up front is a 383-cube stroker small-block Chev, paired with a TH400 ’box and 3500rpm converter.

The diff is a shortened 10-bolt Salisbury with 3.9:1 gears. Progress is good so far, and we’re hoping to have it on the road soon.”

Lewis Rogan
Ford XA Fairmont wagon

“I found this rusted-out XA Fairmont in Ipswich, UK, of all places. It’s a locally sold UK car, originally ordered with a 302 Cleveland, which was unfortunately missing by the time I found it. It has had the full rust repair treatment done, along with new sills, rear arches, lower quarter panels, doors, plenum and more – we used the full Rare Spares and Resto Country catalogues on this thing.

Once that was all done, the new Jewel Green paint was applied by AutoCrunch UK. This wasn’t a standard resto, largely because I’m currently having a 520 stroker being built for it. It’s got Wilwood brakes all ’round, and a 9in diff is also being built by Robinson Race Cars. I’m hoping that one day it’ll move under its own power again.”

Hamish McKenzie
Mark 1 Ford Capri

“This is my 10-year-old son Hamish’s 1971 Mk1 Ford Capri project, which we are working on together. We’ve got a heap of GT parts to go on it, and a custom colour has already been planned as well.

Before we get to that stage, though, we’ve got a bunch of welding, sanding and mechanical work to do, and Hamish is going to be learning how to do all of it along the way.

We’ll keep chipping away at it, and I can’t wait to eventually have both our Capris out there cruising together.” Words: Scott McKenzie

Nick Kozak
Mazda 1300 wagon

“This is my in-the-build Mazda 1300 wagon. It’s now a full tube-chassis car from front to rear, with sheet-metal rooflining, floors, doors and rear tubs to fit the massive 20×12 Weld race wheels.

It’s also been fully ’caged while we were in there doing all that work. The engine is a 26BPP rotary that’s already sitting in the car, which’ll be backed by a C4 gearbox. The idea is for it to be a tough, street-driven, aspirated rotary car.”