Readers’ project cars in the build

We check out what projects our readers are working on, from the September issue of Street Machine


Joshua Ainsworth
HG Holden Premier

“I am at the reassembly stage of my build on this 1971 HG Premier. The 253 is safely stored away, and inbound is a 355 stroker with top-name internals, VN heads and a Torque-Power intake manifold. A built Trimatic is linked to a VL Turbo diff to complete the driveline. I went with BCI wheels – 17in up front and 14in on the bum – for the squatted look I prefer.

“The front end was fully stripped and everything was refurbed or replaced. The engine bay got a birthday, and the full underside was coated in satin black. A combo of King springs and Koni shocks have replaced the old worn-out suspension.

“The interior was looking tired, so I recoloured all the seats, door trims, handles, dash pads and so on, and added a Grant Camaro SS steering wheel. It will soon be rewired with LED quad headlights and a few gauges to keep me in the know. I cannot wait to fire it up again!”

Luke Arena
1968 Dodge Charger

“I’ve been lucky enough to own and build around 10 1968-’70 B-body Mopars since I was 17, and my latest one is this 1968 Dodge Charger, which I’m doing a Daytona re-creation build on. I purchased it as a bare shell from Queensland in 2018, and through word of mouth, I got onto a Daytona conversion from Adelaide that had the fibreglass nosecone, wing, fender scoops and all the other stuff needed for the conversion.

“I also purchased all-new sheet metal for the body from Auto Metal Direct, and as you can see, the work has been really extensive so far. As for the engine, it’s a 572ci Hemi iron block, with Edelbrock heads, TTi headers and all the good stuff. The gearbox is a Tremec TKX five-speed manual, and the rear end is a Dana 60.

“The suspension has copped a big overhaul as well, with a QA1 double-adjustable four-link and sway-bar in the back, and QA1 shocks in the front. Brakes are Wilwood four-piston discs, and I also installed some AMD mini-tubs. The engine is in the mock-up stage now, with plenty more work still to do!”

Glenn Pope
Ford XC Fairmont GXL

“I found my 1978 XC GXL in 2006; it was a country car from Coonabarabran. It was 99 per cent original, and after sitting around for 10 years, it’s undergone a full nut-and-bolt restoration, with everything brand new both inside and out.

“I’m just waiting on the engine and gearbox to come back and get installed, and then she’ll be ready to rock!”

Nikita Henry
VT Holden Calais

“I am currently in the build of my 1999 Holden VT Calais, a factory LS1 model. My plan is to restore it back to original condition. I purchased the car for $700 in 2021, unregistered and with no motor or gearbox.

“Fortunately, my partner had a spare LS1 and various parts in our storage shed, and I was also given a gearbox to help get it back on the road. I was seven months pregnant when I bought the car, so for a few months I had it sitting in my garage until after I had my baby. While I was waiting for that, I sent the engine away to be rebuilt and cammed.

“The interior is still all factory, including the original head unit. As the car had been sitting for a couple of years when I bought it, the interior was pretty rough and needed TLC, so I spent hours detailing it all myself. The motor and gearbox are now in the car, and it starts and runs. In the next few weeks, it will be put on the dyno and tuned.”

Joshua Handke
Subaru Impreza GC8 WRX

“This is my widebody two-door Subaru GC8 project, running a Toyota 2JZ turbo inline six and an 8HP70 eight-speed auto. I purchased the car around two years ago as a project, and have now got it to this point. It was originally a four-door sedan, but I’ve converted it to a two-door widebody shape, while keeping the body all steel.

“The complicated gearbox is managed by a TurboLamik trans controller with an electronic clutch pedal to give it similar shifts to a manual car. Progress is good so far, and I’m hoping to have it done soon.”

Harry Tott
1988 Toyota Cressida

“This is my current build on the go, a Barra-swapped and T5-converted 1988 Toyota Cressida drift car. Almost everything on it I’ve made myself in-house, including the hydraulic slave conversion for the old-style cable-clutch T5.

“I also sorted out all the complex electronics needed to accommodate the Barra motor in the late-80s chassis. I can’t wait to get it out on track; it should go a damn-sight better than the old Toyota 7M.”

Will McCarthy
Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution

“Here is my 1997 Pajero Evolution. With only 2500 ever made and just over 600 of those being manuals, mine is a rare beast. The car is currently undergoing a full restomod. Sponsored by Raceworks, and headed by Jamal at Evolution Racing Spares at Yennora, we are aiming to build the best Pajero Evolution in the world.

“There’s a full Raceworks fit-out for the car, an Emtron engine management set-up, and a fully built and forged motor capable of comfortably running 60psi of boost, built by Azhar at Peter’s Head Shed in Seven Hills. It’ll run a big single turbo and nitrous, and has had a full body-off-frame repaint and rebuild by the very talented Kass at Kass Bodyworks in Guildford.

“Anthony from A Badz Concept has done an awesome job replicating some parts in carbonfibre. This car is a one-off, and I’m very eager to share it with everyone at car meets and shows in the future. Special thanks to my mate Scott for keeping the roller at his place over Christmas. I owe you one!”

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.