In the build: SL/R 6000 VE Commodore and more

More masterpieces in the making from our readers


Holden VE Commodore SL/R 6000
Chris McFarlane

“I THOUGHT I’d send some photos of my current build. It started its life as a 2006 Commodore VE SS-V, but I’m building it as a LX SL/R 5000 tribute.

“The body has an S1 HSV Senator rear bar and lights, while the bonnet, spoiler and flares are custom. It’s coated in PPG Holden Absinth Yellow, the same code as the LX SL/R 5000.

“It runs a 6.0-litre L98 with a Holley tunnel ram, throttlebodies and EFI. Pistons are SRP flat-tops, with Scat rods and all new bearings. The top end features a Crow cam, Higgins heads, LS springs and LS7 lifters, ARP bolts and a 25 per cent-underdrive balancer. Transmission is a TH400 with a 2900rpm stall and B&M Stealth Pro Ratchet shifter.

“All bodywork has been completed by Status Customs in Albury, while all the mechanical work was handled by Jason and his team at Cartech Australia in Albury.”

The VE is now nearing completion and was recently treated to a paint correction job at Maccas OC Detalling, check it out here.

Matt Nagle

“MY EF Fairmont started out as a plain white car. My spray-painter mate and I spent about 150 hours on body prep before applying the three-layer Ford Fantasy paint. Engine is a SOHC 4.0-litre with a Jim Mock Motorsport head, DEV 6 cam and supporting mods. It has a 6boost twin-scroll T4 turbo manifold, GT42 turbo with billet core, four-inch dump and exhaust, and a 50mm Pro Gate with screamer pipe.

Fuel comes from 2000cc E85 injectors, a Turbosmart FPR2000 regulator and a surge tank with twin 525 Walbro pumps. It makes 580rwhp at 20psi on E85. We’ve now started to build a bottom end: three-quarter grout-filled block, shot-peened and nitrided crank, Spool rods, custom CP pistons with valve reliefs, moly rings, ARP studs throughout, and a mains girdle.

The JMM head will go on with new stainless Ferrea valves, double springs and titanium retainers. There’s also a custom-made forward-facing plenum, with a billet fuel rail and 2000cc injectors. I’ll use a Wolf ECU running sequentially with LS coils. Transmission is a Powerglide with transbrake and a 5000rpm stall built to handle 1300hp by Welshpool Transmissions.

The stock EF Falcon diff will get a Truetrac centre, billet axles and a strengthened housing. Underneath, it runs AFCO coil-overs all ’round with strengthened arms. Other features include a CAMS-approved half-rollcage and Race Brakes 330mm kit. The plan is to run it up to 35psi to start with, aiming for around 900rwhp. I will be chasing a high nine-second quarter in street-driven trim.”

Custom Trike
Ben Sykes

“THIS is my third trike; my first two ran V6 Ecotecs. The engineer for the second trike pushed me into building a V8. I thought this odd, as I’d assumed the engineer was the grown-up in this equation and shouldn’t be encouraging idiots in high-vis – me – to build such ridiculous things. So I got a flogged-out ’91 Fairlane and used the 5.0-litre EFI V8, four-speed auto and live-axle diff with rear disc brakes, and repurposed the front guards for the engine cover.

The frame is 32NB seamless pipe. There’s a leading-link front end and a triangulated rear swing-arm bolted to the live-axle diff.

The computer and electrickery live under the front of the seat, with the fuel tank placed behind that. The battery and VH44 booster are at the back behind a small tailgate. Everything is one-off, except the guards. The V8 is ready to go, but COVID lockdowns have so far stopped me from getting it engineered. I, along with a select few, have had a crack at riding it around the countryside. It’s smooth, handles great and is surprisingly quick, but most of all, it sounds spot-on.

The Ecotec trikes scare the bejesus outta me, but if you shut your eyes, you can imagine the VT Commodore with a bowling hat on the parcel shelf. Not with the 302 Windsor in this one!”

Holden VN Commodore wagon
Steve Turk

“HERE’S my progressing ride. It’s a 1989 VN SV LE wagon, purchased 10 years ago for a daily. Back then I built a stout, standard-stroke 304 and sold the set-up with intentions of building something else, and that’s where it sat in the garage until last year when I decided to make a start.

I sent the car off to the Showtime Customs guys in Heathcote with a goal of making it sit low on big rims, which they did without an issue.

I’m currently building a pretty aggressive 355 stroker with a grout-filled block, Scat crank, H-beams and forged pistons. It’s got Edelbrock alloy heads, 12.8:1 compression, solid cam and a Group A twin-throttle manifold. Fuel will be E85. Gearbox is a Trimatic three-speed, spinning a shortened BorgWarner diff and 31-spline axles.

Next on the list are big Harrop brakes to fill in the 22s, and then it’ll be off to paint in the New Year. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan.”

Holden VL Commodore
Josh Bennis

“I’M REBUILDING my 5.0-litre V8-powered 1987 Commodore VL Executive after 15 years of it being off the road. I bought the car 10 years ago as an unfinished restoration and decided only recently it was time to fix it up.

So far the car has been totally stripped out and blasted back to bare metal by Friendz Auto Restorations, before the team there did the panelwork to get it looking new again. Steve from Cruz Restorations then slapped a few luscious coats of the factory Morning Blue over every last inch.

Everything in the car will either be freshened-up, rebuilt or zinc-coated to make it a super-tidy streeter. All the factory badges will be retained, the car will have MX Grey bumpers, venetians and a few more things typical of a Wollongong VL – gotta keep the ’Gong style alive!

Oh, and there’s something special planned for the interior. Wheels are undecided at this stage. The 308 is being rebuilt and will be stroked to 355ci. It’ll have late-model heads and a high-rise manifold, and will make that mad Holden noise we all know too well – this is an LS-free zone! People can follow the build on my Instagram @jbensmaad.”

1937 Ford Coupe
Gary Vale

“I HAVE a project ’37 Ford three-window coupe with a Downs Industries body from America. I purchased the body from Victoria a couple of years ago; I was told it had been sitting in storage for 15 years there.

I had it trucked to Perth and then it all began. My goal is to make it look mean, like it wants to kill you, so I’m pushing every millimetre of WA’s custom build rules to build a pro street-style car. I’m tubbing the rear to run a nine-inch diff, four-link set-up and 15×10 wheels, with 15×6 rims for the fronts.

It’ll run a blown, injected LS seated back into the body. Seats are out of a Mercedes-Benz. There’s an Ididit steering column, Rod-Tech front end and a handmade custom grille to give it a slightly different shape. That’s about where I am with it. If you want to see more, I have build pictures on my Instagram @flo37build.”

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.