Readers’ project cars in the build

We check out some of our readers' projects in the making


Lacey Sines
HJ Holden ute

“I’m building this HJ ute with the help of my dad. Even though I’m only 12, Dad and Mum have let me design and build it with all my own ideas that I’ve drawn up.

We bought the car as a rusty wreck, and I’ve been learning to weld as we’ve been doing the repairs on it.

We’re doing a ground-up, nut-and-bolt rebuild, with the plan for the driveline being a carby LS2 on methanol, TH350 gearbox and a nine-inch rear end with mini-tubs and coil-overs.

The plan is to do everything at home including painting it, and because I love burnouts and old cars, I’d love to enter burnout competitions when I’m old enough.”

Dan Streat
EH Holden sedan

“This is my late brother’s EH Holden. I originally rebuilt it for my wedding when I was younger so that I had a part of him there, but I was never happy with the final results – I was young and dumb and didn’t take the time to do it properly.

I decided after a couple of years to put a 4/71 blower set-up on a 202 from Ramsay. I built it, took it to Powercruise and tried to break it to make sure it was strong and reliable before I began the nut-and-bolt restoration. It didn’t break, so now we’re into the resto, and so far it’s coming along very nicely.”

Jason Randall
Holden Torana pool table

“Here is my Torana pool table project, which I have been working on for the past two years. It’s all fibreglass panels, with 17-inch Hotwire wheels to keep the old-school look.

The plan is to have a removable drawbar and legs that wind up and down so it can be towed to any location, just like a box trailer. The front wheels will wind up into the front guards in towing mode, and the wind-down legs will be easy to adjust to level the table out.

I have had eight Toranas over my lifetime, but stupidly I sold them; now I have five kids, I can’t afford a real one anymore! So I thought it would be a cool project to do with my six-year-old son Nate to get him on the tools, and he is loving it!”

Kane Damveld
Holden VK Berlina

“This is my VK Berlina that I bought as a complete stocker back in August 2021, and the work hasn’t stopped since.

I have wanted to build one of these for nearly 20 years and I’m finally making it happen.

So far I’ve got the fuel system, a built and manualised Trimatic with 3500 stall, an early-headed 355 stroker (not far off being complete) with ICE ignition, Wilwood brakes with a VT booster, and heaps more.

I’m very keen to get it back on the road in the next few weeks!”

Brock Trimmer
HQ Holden ute

“This is my HQ ute project that I’m doing a complete rebuild on. I’m a panel beater, and I currently have the body and chassis separated on two gantries and four block-and-tackles so I can tilt the car from side to side.

That’s allowed me to clean up the floor properly. I got myself a spare One Tonner cab for a roof swap, as the one on my styleside body is pretty much toast.

I’ll also be stealing the lower rear wall and B-pillars from it as well, so there won’t be much left of it when I’m done! The driveline will be an LS2 that I recently picked up for it, along with a fully built JW gearbox; the latter is a manualised reverse-pattern deal and should handle 900hp.

It’s also got a 3000rpm stall converter, and I just ordered a complete nine-inch package for it with a Positrac LSD. It’ll be getting Hoppers Stoppers brakes so it actually stops, so there’s plenty of other good gear going into it. I can’t wait to get it done!”

Sean Bernhard
Holden VX Commodore

“I’m 14 years old, and I’m building my 2001 VX Commodore wagon that I got through some family friends for $350. I’ve loved it ever since I got it home, and have been out there almost every day after school cleaning it up.

It’d had a really rough life with its previous owners, with cigarette burns and butts, stains and everything else you can name.

But I spent that time cleaning it, and it came up mint! After I did the interior, I started tearing down the Ecotec motor, which took a few days and lots of mild language.

I did that so I could get the heads off and send them to get the valves checked and stem seals replaced. I know it seems like a basic project to most, but being only 14, it’s a great first car for me.”

Ethan Hancock
Ford XA Falcon

“This is my 1972 XA Falcon build. It’s been in the family for nearly 30 years; it was my uncle’s first car. It had been sitting in his shed for a few years in pieces when I asked him if I could have it. At the time it had a 302, C4 and Borgy diff, but I pulled that out in favour of a 351, another C4 and a nine-inch that I rebuilt.

The interior wasn’t too bad, but I put new carpet in, fixed the seats, and added a GS dash and GT steering wheel. I just really wanted it looking okay and running well to get it over the pits, as it hadn’t been licensed in years.

I’m 21, so it’s been an awesome project with my old boy, who is a mechanic by trade. I managed to get it licensed in a year, but have now pulled it apart again for paint. Looking forward to getting it back on the road.”

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.