Readers’ Rockets: 454-cube ’65 Bel Air, Boss 290-powered LTD, 350-cube EH Holden + more

We check out some of our readers' rides from the October 2023 issue of Street Machine


Craig Quelch
1965 Chevrolet Bel Air

“My Chev was in Readers’ Rockets about eight years ago, and since then I have been able to cross some items off my improvements wishlist, including adding a tunnel ram, aluminium heads and a twin three-inch exhaust system to the 454. Other new touches include the Truetrac 12-bolt diff and 10-inch rear rims with 285/70R15 tyres. It’s time to finish the interior next – it never ends!”

Vince Forster
2005 Ford LTD

“My ’05 LTD is one of only 120 made by Ford in that year. It came from the factory with the 220kW three-valve motor and the ‘DVD Satellite Navigation System’. I purchased the car in December 2019, as I wanted another V8 Falcon and this was the cheapest B-series I could find. It now runs a 290kW (389hp) motor purchased from Dan’s FPV in Queensland, along with a 70mm turbo kit from Spoolinboost in SA.

“The vast majority of the wrench time was done at XFT here in Perth. Simon and Doug also tuned it; it makes a healthy 317kW (425hp) at 5300rpm, and a stump-pulling 815Nm (601lb-ft) of torque at 1600rpm on just 4psi.

“All that power runs through a BTR auto that’s only been rebuilt once. In an attempt to keep it straight, it rolls on F6X Territory rims shod with Federal RS-RR semi-slicks. For a car with almost 280,000km, it’s held together surprisingly well, despite its new life.”

Chris Beale
EH Holden

“This is my EH Holden Special, which I’ve owned for 30 years as my first car. It’s now running a 350 small-block and Turbo 350 auto, and it’s painted in Barwon Blue with a Fowlers Ivory roof. The EH is not a show car, but I would love to see it hit a page of Street Machine.”

Simon Williamson
WK Holden Statesman

“This is my 2004 WK Statesman. It’s just a clean daily driver, recently resprayed in the original Berry Red Mk2. Power comes from a good old Ecotec V6 for now!”

Chris Naughton
Ford Escort

“This is my 1980 Ford Escort RS2000 in factory Monza Red. It has a 2.0 Pinto engine, bored 2.25mm oversize for 2.1-litre capacity, and runs twin 45 DCOE Weber carbs, a Piper camshaft, and a Sierra Type 9 five-speed gearbox.”

Paul Felis
EK Holden

“Here’s one of my EK Holdens; this one’s a 1961. It’s running a 186S with a Yella Terra head, roller rockers, Crow cam and triple SUs, backed with a Celica five-speed and Cube short shifter. Not the fastest by any means, but a true old-school build!”

Michael Buckland
HZ Holden Kingswood

“My HZ Kingswood has had a ground-up rebuild, which I carried out myself in my garage. It started life with a clapped-out 253, which was quickly replaced with a stroker 355, powered by a Haltech GM Platinum.

“It was originally painted at home with a one-off custom blue, but as additions were added like the reverse cowl, GTS mirrors and spoiler. I decided it was time to repaint it a factory colour, as the blue couldn’t be matched. I decided on Brooklands Blue, and also stuffed 20-inch American Racing mags under the car to give it some bling.

“LED headlights and a full aftermarket-gauge dash also went in, with future improvements in the pipeline. Of course, I had to cap it off with the personalised plates and the old-school venetian blinds. This HZ will become my son’s first car, so it will stay in the family for a long time to come.”