Readers’ project cars in the build

Summernats-bound HQ Monaro, patina HT wagon, Barra-swapped Datsun 620 ute and XF Falcon, LS-swapped HT Kingswood plus more


Adam Kohler
Holden HQ Monaro

“Currently in the build is my 1971 HQ Monaro coupe. After its last outing at Street Machine Summernats 30, it got put aside in the garage while I was focusing on my young family. Then COVID lockdown number two kicked in and the car turned 50 years old, so it was time to get started on the makeover.

“Over the past two years, I have progressively worked through the process of bare metal-stripping the chassis and body in preparation for a straighten-up, colour change, and a small facelift. It is entered in Summernats 36, so I’m pushing for all the hard work to come together over the next few months. Wish me luck!”

Adam Barnes
Holden HT wagon

“My current project is this HT wagon I’m calling The Aussie Battler. She’s a fairly original girl from Mount Isa that wears all the scars with her original paint. The plan is to keep the exterior the way it is while throwing in a neat interior and a tough motor.

“The powerplant in question is an aspo Holden 304, with a COME Racing 396 stroker kit, VN heads, and a Holley 1050 carby to keep it old school. Behind it is a Turbo 400 with a TCE 4500rpm converter, and a nine-inch with peppy 3.9:1 gearing.

“It’s going to be lowered, and to keep the factory exterior look, we’ll just be widening the original wheels to 15×8. It’ll be a nice cruiser when it’s done, so we can hit up cars-and-coffee events and take it out rain or shine!”

Scott Goon
Ford XF Falcon

“This is my turbo Barra XF Ford Falcon project. It has been a couple of years in the build now, using an FG Series II aspirated engine as the base.

“The goal is for around 1000-1200rwhp on E85. I’ve been using some of the best Aussie performance parts available, and it’s slowly coming together, but with plenty of work left to do.”

Timothy Cooke
1976 Datsun 620 ute

“Here is my Datsun 620 ute, which was originally a J15-powered, column-shifted rusty pile. Over the past few years, its path has changed, and now its new life is set in concrete. The Datsun body has been mated to a 1987 YN58 HiLux chassis, with a Ford Barra to get it moving!

“The car is currently undergoing a plethora of upgrades, including a rack-and-pinion conversion using a BMW E36 320i rack. It’s also getting a front coil-over conversion and a shortened GQ Patrol rear end.

“Because the Barra is a big engine for such a small engine bay, I’ve had to rebuild the whole front end from the windscreen forward, recessing the wiper cowl and firewall. There’s still a long way to go, doing everything in my shed at home and learning along the way, but progress is progress!”

Dylan Horn
Holden HT Kingswood

“Here’s my HT Kingswood with a turbo 6.0-litre LS engine in it (yeah, I’m another one of those fellas). It’s not a big-dollar car, but it’s been built to have some fun in.

“She’s had a full bare-metal resto, and 95 per cent of the work on the car has been done by my brother Adz. I’m hoping to give it a run down the strip one day and have some fun at Powercruise.”

Owen Micallef
Ford ZJ Fairlane

“I’m 14 years old, and this is my 1981 ZJ Fairlane. The car was a one-owner machine and has spent most its life parked in a shed, with only 70,000 original kilometres on it. It has had a full respray in the original blue, while the factory interior is still like new – radio and all.

“The factory 250 got ripped out, and we’re currently respraying the engine bay to make way for the Windsor V8. It’s lowered with some bead-locked Convo Pros, which will go perfectly with its new V8 soundtrack!”

Joey Littleales
Holden HZ Kingswood

“I’m currently rebuilding my HZ Kingswood from the ground up. The build is aimed around competing at Drag Challenge, so I’ve been making sure it’s going to be comfortable; four seatbelts are a must, and custom trim will also be on the cards. I bought the car from Ipswich, Queensland, in December 2019, right before COVID kicked off.

“Since then, I have stripped it back to bare bones: no wiring, trim, brake lines – nothing left! I only get a chance to work on the car now and then, but so far I have been able to strip it back, shave the firewall, and mini-tub the rear end to easily fit some 15×10 rear wheels wrapped in 275/60 tyres.

“It also now has a six-point IHRA-approved rollcage and towbar ready for the trailer. The rear end is a nine-inch that has been converted to coil-overs and fitted out with McDonald Brothers adjustable arms and an Enemies Racing Australia anti-roll bar, all fabricated and installed by me. Being a boilermaker, it only seemed fitting that I tackle the fab work myself.

“I’m looking forward to getting it down to Drag Challenge and giving it a crack once I’m done.”

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.