Readers’ project cars in the build

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


Steve Velickovic
VW Mambo Sandman tribute

“I’M IN the final stages of building this replica of the Holden Mambo Sandman. The original concept car was built by Holden 20 years ago, and my paint and artwork was done by John Evans, who also did the car for Holden back then.

It’s running a stroked LS1 out to 383 cubes, topped with a Harrop TVS2300 supercharger. The transmission is a TH400, and we’ve appropriately (being a Sandman) customised the inside with a leather interior and a new fit-out in the rear.”

David Vea
Blown 1965 Chevy Impala

“I’M FROM Hamilton, New Zealand, and this is my Chevy Impala that’s currently under construction. The engine is a 532ci Dart big-block Chev, topped with a 16/71 Littlefield blower and a pair of Mark Sullens 1150 Dominator E85 carbies.

I’m using a Haltech Elite VMS with coil-on-plug, and we’ve set up a lot of sensors to maximise its capabilities, as well as for datalogging. The rest of the driveline is a manualised ATI Turbo 400 with an AllFast billet converter, and a Ford nine-inch using a Mark Williams centre and 35-spline axles.

Suspension comprises Global West control arms all ’round and double-adjustable QA1 shocks. The brakes are Wilwood front and rear discs, and it rolls on Billet Specialties 15×10 double-beadlock rims on the rear and 17×4 spinners up the front. We fired it up on the dyno not long ago, which was a really special moment, and it produced 1200hp at only 10psi. There’s still more in it, as it didn’t even roll over when they pulled the pin.”

Cameron Munn
Holden HZ One-Tonner cab chassis cruiser

“I’M CURRENTLY working on the build of my HZ Tonner. It’s just going to be a fairly standard cruiser with a 253 that’ll be cool for beach days and hauling dirt bikes!

So far I’ve replaced all the bushes in the car, as well as the ball joints, tie-rods and so on. I’ve also rebuilt the brakes, and stripped the whole car back to bare metal ready for paint and panel. Next, the motor will come out for a quick freshen-up.”

Antonio Ranieri
HQ Holden GTS tribute

“I’M 22 years of age and I’ve been building a 1974 HQ sedan as a GTS replica since I was 18. The car has had a full rotisserie restoration. I wanted to create an old-school GTS with new-school GTS running gear, so it has an LSA engine, T56 Magnum manual gearbox, and a VF HSV ECU with a custom wiring harness.

The rear end is a nine-inch diff with 35-spline Dutchman axles and a Strange centre, and brakes are Baer front and rear with Bilstein shocks all ’round. I’m hoping to have it complete and driving by the start of next year, so fingers crossed!”

Craig Gill
1967 Pontiac Parisienne

“THIS is my 1967 Australian-delivered Pontiac Parisienne four-door hardtop. I got it in November 2020 with a seized 307 V8 and a ’Glide, and clad in a rough coat of primer.

So far I’ve done a full strip-down, along with months of sanding and straightening the huge body these things have. Right now I’m detailing the undercarriage, installing new bushes and so on.

All the work has been done by me, and the plan is to repaint it in 2K white, with a factory-style interior. It’ll be running a 350 small-block, as well as some 17×8 and 17×9 wheels.”

Michael Goldstraw
VK Commodore sleeper

“I’VE been building this VK Commodore since November last year, and the plan is to keep it as a sleeper. The motor combo is a turbo LS1 that I built myself, featuring a standard crank, Molnar rods, Callies pistons, a Kelford cam, Rollmaster timing chain, Melling oil pump, Higgins CNC-ported heads, LS7 lifters and buckets, Manton pushrods, LSX springs, upgraded rockers and the whole works.

The turbo system uses handmade turbo manifolds feeding a Garrett GT4202 snail, with a four-inch dump pipe and exhaust, and a Turbosmart wastegate, BOV and eBoost2 controller. The trans is a TH400 built by Brinks Performance with a Dominator converter, while the diff it still yet to be built.

I’ve tried to keep the engine bay clean by moving the fuse box into the glovebox and relocating the coils under the wiper cowl, and the interior will be customised by Tyler at Isa Auto Glass & Upholstery.”

Mark King
Big-block 1970 Dodge Challenger

“MY PROJECT car is a 1970 Dodge Challenger, ‘Elvira’. She was a base-model SE 318 car when I got her 26 years ago. In 2006 I decided to treat her to a mild rebuild, and I taught myself how to do everything, including the bodywork.

A good mate of mine, Graham Schild, did all the welding to repair the rust, and we welded the 68 holes in the engine bay, with around 12 patch panels over the whole car. It’s got new front guards and lower rear-quarter sections, and we also smoothed the firewall and hid the electronic stuff in the glovebox.

The engine now is a ’69 440 Magnum running twin 600 Holley carbs on an Offenhauser intake manifold, 906 big-port heads, 10.5:1 flat-top pistons, and a windage tray in a larger sump. The trans is a big-block 727 with a Cheetah reverse manual valvebody and a pistol-grip trigger shifter fitted with an R-gate for lock-out.

The diff is the original item rebuilt with 3.23:1 ratio and rear disc brakes. I’ve redone the sound system with an amp in the boot and 600W Sony Xplod speakers mounted under the parcel shelf so they’re hidden from view.

The parcel shelf has ‘Mopar’ in it with 200 holes to allow sound to penetrate into the cabin, and the retro-look, 70s-style head unit has all the good modern tech like MP3 and Bluetooth. She is close to a first start-up; there’s only a few more things to button up. It’s been a massive learning curve, but I have loved every day of it.”

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.