Readers’ project cars in the build

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


Jamie Hage
Volkswagen Bus

“Meet The Hooligan Drag Bus. This is a custom build that I began by building a chassis jig and then the rest of the body from there.

The engine is a stock LS1, the only goodie being the PAC valve springs.

Bolted to it is a second-hand Chinese GT42 turbo using a water-to-air intercooler.

The gearbox is a Turbo 400 with a billet valvebody, reverse-pattern shift and a transbrake with a high-stall converter.

There’s a nine-inch out back with a full spool, 35-spline moly axles with floating hubs and 3.89:1 gearing.

The 35-inch tyres and steel rims are for transport and dyno only; the actual wheels it’ll have are 15×14 Weld Draglites with 32.5×14.5 Goodyear slicks for racing. I recently had the LS1 ECU flash-tuned, and the result was 392whp on 9psi, so it’s a great, safe tune to get it moving.

This way I can get the rest of the suspension and chassis tuning done and also have time to get used to the bus before throwing more power at it later. I built 99 per cent of the car myself, and it’s been a fun ride.

The next job is to get the bodywork sorted so I can get a tech inspection and have some fun. You can find the build on social media; just search for The Hooligan Drag Bus.”

Damien Lowe
Holden VB Commodore

“Here is my VB SL/E restoration that I’m in the middle of doing for my dad. It isn’t going to be a full nut-and-bolt resto to original specs, but it’ll look like it.

The engine will be a hot 5.0-litre, but the gearbox will be a T56. The diff is from a Crewman, and it’ll have VT brakes on all four corners.

The interior will look mostly like a standard SL/E but with a few mod cons. So far I’ve sourced NOS quarter panels, front guards, bonnet, nosecone and one rear door.

The roof skin and floors were all unpicked and repaired. Arthur at Parallel Automotive is doing the bodywork; once he is done, I’ll get it back to my shop and start the assembly process.

Jesse Scott
1956 International AS162

“My dad and I purchased this AS162 International truck around June this year. We sold off our XF ute to buy something with a bit more grunt, and this seemed to fit the bill.

The body is sitting on an HQ One Tonner chassis, and for power it has a Holden 304 from a VS Maloo, along with a Turbo 700 ’box. We ended up swapping the cab for one that was a lot less rusty.

We’ve also converted the 304 to carby and added a baby cam and some extractors.

The rear end is a 10-bolt diff, and she rolls on some SS Cragars, which are definitely the shiniest bit of the whole truck!”

Jarrod Howell
Holden HQ Kingswood

“This is my HQ Kingswood that I’m currently converting to turbo-LS with the help of some good mates. Before we started the engine conversion, the car was mini-tubbed and a nine-inch diff with 3.9:1 gears and 31-spline axles was added.

The engine is a 6.0-litre L98, and my good mate Scott and I have given it a tickle with a VCM 16 cam, Manley pushrods, double valve springs, ARP head studs, Melling oil pump and 102mm throttlebody.

My good mate James Mackie has donated a space in his shed to do the build, and right now we’ve just finished dropping the engine into the bay with the Turbo 400 ’box. It’s got a 3500rpm converter, and we just got our hands on the GJ Drivelines tailshaft.

We’re in the middle of test-fitting turbo manifolds, and that’ll help us figure out the intercooler and radiator positioning. You’ll be able to see the whole build on James’s YouTube channel, XYYNOT DRIFTING.”

James Mackie
Ford AU Falcon

“This amazing piece of Australian history is about to become my basic and cheap drift car, named AUKIDDING. I kicked off with a CAMS-approved, bolt-in rollcage and harness bar built by Ben at Driftcat, with harnesses from the legend Nathan Ranson.

In the past few weeks, I’ve installed a mini-spool that I had lying around, cut two mufflers out of the exhaust system and made a blast pipe.

I picked up a $50 race seat and made it fit the AU rails – big thanks to Jase (more commonly known as Dr1ft8) for helping with that. Raceworks has also supplied a lot of goodies to go into the car like tow points, exhaust wrap, steering wheel and so on. I’ve gotta give big love to SM photographer Shawn McCann for designing and applying the 13DRIFT and Silver Fox taxi stickers.

Nathan from Hackshop Garage also donated a J-pipe manifold for when I eventually go turbo, and the car isn’t far off its first outing. Be sure to tune into XYYNOT DRIFTING on all the socials and YouTube to see the antics.”

Mick Noukaris
Ford XP Falcon ute

“This is my XP Falcon ute project, which has had all the fab work done by Psidup Fabrications in Melbourne. It has a Southern Chassis Works IFS front end, Wilwood brakes all ’round, and a custom rear end with one-off, 20×12 Intro Twisted Vista II Exposed 5 billet rims.

It’ll also feature Kindig It door handles and will be powered by a stroked Windsor built by Con at Pro Race Engines.

The paint will be handled by Polo Body Works.”

Luke Eastham
Holden HG Kingswood

“I’ve been building my HG Kingswood from my shed at home. It has undergone a full resto with full rust repair, as well as a custom IFS installation. It also has a rear clip to fit the 29x15s rear meats.

For grunt, there’s a 427ci small-block Chev with a Pro Fogger nitrous kit, backed by a ’Glide. It’s due to be painted in the original two-tone blue-over-white combo later this year, and it’s set up to be a street car.”

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.