Readers’ project cars in the build

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


Neil Grayson
Holden LJ Torana

“This is a V8 1972 LJ Torana Peter Brock Bathurst replica that my uncle and I are currently working on.

We are building it to the specification of what would have been the V8 XW-7 Torana, before the 1972 Supercar Scare put an end to it. The car itself started life as an LC, but it’s had the front clip, dash and rear quarters all changed to LJ.

We’ve been tackling the build on a small budget with stuff we had lying around. The 308 we’ve got for it has a baffled sump, mild Crane cam and the original Holden V8 radiator.

The rest of the driveline is the good old Aussie four-speed V8 gearbox and 3.55:1 LSD. At this stage, paint and body will be done by me and my uncle.

Once we’ve finished it, the plan is to take it to the Australian Muscle Car Masters at Sydney Motorsport Park with my uncle and two sons.”

Michael Hudson
Holden HT Kingswood wagon

“My HT Kingswood wagon only just made it to Summernats this year after a mad rush at the end of a two-year build. It was a two-owner car when I got it, and my best mate Damon and I decided to build it into something decent.

We did an LS conversion ourselves in the shed at home, including the mini-tubs, all the wiring, panelwork and so on. It only left the shed to get tuning done and the paint sprayed on.

Right now it has an LS1 that it did Summernats with, but we plan on putting a built Gen IV in it soon. The rest of the driveline is a ’Glide with a shortened VN diff, rolling on 15×11 rear wheels. My dream was to get the car to the ’Nats and do the City Cruise with it, and that’s exactly what we did!

We’re also building my mate Damon’s VL, which will be a really nice burnout car when it’s done.”

Andrew Martins
1969 Dodge Charger General Lee tribute

“Here is my ’69 Dodge Charger that I have been building for 10 years, and I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. It was an all-matching-numbers car when I bought it, with the standard 318 and twobarrel carby.

The car seemed fine when I first looked at it, but I had my suspicions that something wasn’t right. It turns out the boot floor was rusted right out, with massive holes in it, but there was a brand-new vinyl roof, the paint looked okay and the seats had been reupholstered.

I’m not scared of a challenge, so I bit the bullet and bought it. It sat in the shed for about three months, and that’s when I noticed the paint starting to flake off. I pulled the vinyl roof off to reveal some really bad rust and filler that someone had just covered with the new vinyl. So I welded in a new roof skin and boot floor, as well as some other patches I found.

The Charger is now painted in Go Mango orange, and I added the Dukes of Hazzard decals. The 318 got rebuilt and stroked, and Holley Sniper EFI and HyperSpark ignition were added. The trans, diff and suspension have all been redone, so underneath the car is all brand new. After 10 years, I finally registered the car and started driving it. There is so much that I’ve done to it, but still so much more I want to do!”

Colin & Tonacia Marshall
1970 Formula 400 Firebird

“This is our Firebird project. It originally had a 400ci Pontiac V8 with a four-speed manual gearbox and had already been converted to right-hand drive when we got it.

It lived under a tarp for nearly 10 years, but we eventually pulled it out of the yard and starting stripping it down to find a lot of hidden rust and thick fibreglass repairs.

Lucky for us, we were able to buy all the panels off-the-shelf to start the build. The only panels to remain from the original car are the inner roof skin, firewall, rear seat panel, fibreglass bonnet and rear plastic tail-light infill.

The 400-cube engine was stripped down and looked at and we decided it was not worth the effort for what we wanted from the car. So now we have a reconditioned LS1 and 4L60E ’box, which will be much better for cruising.

We’re also adding mod cons like power steering, power windows and air conditioning. Other modifications include a nine-inch diff with a Truetrac centre and Mark Williams 31-spline axles, and Wilwood disc brakes all ’round. Inside, there’s a pair of fully operational electric Mustang seats, Speedhut gauges and a Kenwood sound system.

All the work has been done at home so far, and our end goal is to have the car unveiled at an event one day.”

Jere Skorin
HQ Holden

“I started this HQ project in early 2020 after a sight-unseen purchase. It clearly needed a proper restoration and I was ready for it, so the first week after getting it, two of my mates and I stripped it completely to a shell in one day.

It then went to get sand-blasted and sat in my garage for eight months waiting for paint and panelwork from Muscle Car Restorations in Campbelltown. It has now been in Leo’s shop for seven months and has just finished getting painted.

Powerwise, it will run a supercharged smallblock Chevy built by Nicotra Racing, backed by a TH400 transmission.

It will be painted orange from the R35 Nissan GT-R, with gloss-white pearl stripes through the middle. I have never seen this colour on another HQ, so I’m excited about that.”

Mark Andriske
Holden VH Commodore

“I bought this 1983 VH Vacationer wagon for $3500 about 12 months ago; Todd Foley looked at it and lined up the sale for me.

The plan is to build an engineered street car, and we’re aiming for high eights and Drag Challenge. The combo is an iron-block LS built by Warspeed Industries with all the good gear, using KillaBoost manifolds and a Proboost 88/96 turbo.

The rest of the driveline will be a DTM Automatics 1500hp FTP ’Glide and a Gazzard Brothers sheet-metal, 35-spline nine-inch.

The ECU is a Holley Terminator X, and it’ll be tuned by Ricky Fenwick. We’ll hopefully have the car on the road this year.”

Jessica Cvetkovska
1969 Ford XW Falcon

“I come from a Ford-loving family; my siblings and I grew up with Dad’s 1971 XY Falcon, which he’s had since 1977. So in 2015, I purchased this ’69 XW shell from Gosford as my own Falcon project.

The car was originally Polar White with a six-pot, but I’m putting in a 351 Windsor to give it some nice grunt, and I’ve chosen to paint it Electric Blue with black stripes, along with a black interior.

I’ve also got a set of Bathurst Globes on it, which I love! I can’t wait to hear it come to life in the coming months and enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed Dad’s XY. As they say, like father, like daughter – both petrolheads!”