Readers’ project cars in the build

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


Jamie Barba
HZ Holden

“I picked up this old 1977 HZ sedan with a friend late one Saturday night. We were at a party, and around 11pm we decided to hire a trailer from the local servo and make the drive from Sydney to Melbourne to go grab the car.

The trip in itself was eventful; everyone was definitely getting on each other’s nerves after no sleep and about 16 hours in the car, but we picked up the HZ and got it home.

I decided to test my mechanical ability and started pulling the car apart, but when I realised the money and the skills needed to get what I wanted, it was all packed away in boxes.

Then, after seven years of nothing happening, my dad and I got underway with the build, and the progress we’ve made so far gives me an amazing feeling.”

Brett Wood
Ford Mustang

“I purchased my 1966 Mustang fastback way back in 2010. I stripped it down to a bare shell and then let it sit for over a decade.

Last year I was finally in a position to start the build, with the work now being carried out by Luke and Jessie from Luke’s Fabrications.

All the rusted sections have been removed, and the body and chassis have been strengthened with laser-cut chassis rail connectors and torque boxes welded on both sides. There’s a fabricated steel bonnet scoop, and it’s been mini-tubbed as well.

For power, I’ll be using a third-gen Coyote 5.0-litre V8 from Herrod Performance with a 10R80 10-speed auto and a four-link nine-inch rear end.

Stop and steer will come from RRS coil-overs with six-pot Wilwood brakes and rack-and-pinion steering. It’s obviously still a work in progress, but it’s nice to finally get this thing on the right track.”

Brayden Phipps
Holden VL Commodore

“I’ve been building my 1986 VL Commodore Executive for the past 12 months. The car was first owned by an Olympian who won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

I’m now the third owner, and when I first bought the car I just wanted to do the minimum to get it back on the road. That changed when we took the front and rear windscreens out and found a fair bit of rust that needed attention.

I got to work replacing all the rusted metal, and then gave the paint a bit of a touch-up. I have plans to turbo the car and add a few more upgrades along the way, but for now it’ll just be a neat and tidy cruiser that I can take out any day of the week and enjoy.”

Nick Webber
1960 International Metro

“Here’s my 1960 International Metro van that I imported from Bogata, Texas. I’m planning on building it as a mobile drinks bar to hire out to weddings and other functions like that, while also making it one of the best Metros in the world.

I have a 2011 VE SS sedan that’s a stat write-off due to hail damage, so I’ll be using the engine, gearbox, and front and rear independent suspension from that, along with a custom chassis under the van body.

All the progress is being documented on my YouTube channel, Animal Engineering.”

Tim Johnston
Pontiac Firebird

“I’ve been working on my 1968 Pontiac Firebird for way too long. It’s been a budget build, so it’s running a mild 308, Super T10 four-speed and BorgWarner disc-brake diff.

I’ve converted it to right-hook with a Nissan Infiniti power steering rack and column. It’s got retractable seatbelts, and I plan on fitting it with air con, power windows, central locking and all the modern bits and bobs. The brake and clutch booster and masters are under the dash.

I’ve made the engine bay round, just for something different, and the air cleaner mimics the spear on the bonnet. I’ve also mini-tubbed it and fitted 1968 Camaro rear quarters to get rid of the Pontiac fake vents.

At the moment it’s sitting on 15×7 and 15×10 Convo wheels, but I’m not sure if they’ll stay or not.”

Moseley Connor
Ford EL Falcon

“This EL Falcon project is something my dad instigated, as he wanted to have a more race-oriented car rather than using his show car. After we got the car, we decided a turbo Barra swap was the cheapest and easiest way to build something to meet his needs.

The project is getting everyone involved, with me doing the mechanical side, my brother on the welder and Dad on the fabrication side. We’ve also had a few mates help us along the way. The motor has been built, and we’re strapping a G42 turbo to the side of it, with management from a Haltech ECU.

Behind the motor will be a Turbo 400. We’re planning to make 1000hp with it and can’t wait to see what she runs down the quarter-mile!”

Anthony Bolic
BMW E3 2500

“I got my 1972 BMW E3 2500 right before the start of the pandemic and ‘COVID tax’ becoming a thing. It was originally going to be a restoration, but now it’s evolved into a restomod that I’m tackling at home.

I’ve been doing it all, from rust repair and suspension fabrication to the garage paintjob. It’ll be getting a 347-cube Windsor that is at the machine shop right now, and I’ll be running a C4 transmission behind it and a Holley Sniper EFI set-up to ensure it’s a fun cruiser.

It’s already upset a fair few BMW purists, but it should make for a really fun weekend toy and something different to take to car meets.”

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.