Readers’ rockets: Blown LS-swapped Mitsubishi L200 + VH Vacationer wagon + Ecotech V6-swapped KE55 Corolla + more

We check out some of our readers' rides from the April 2024 issue of Street Machine


Jesse Lee-Mason
Mitsubishi L200

“This is my partner Jesse’s 1986 Mitsubishi L200 ute that she built herself, from the ground up. It started life with us as a farm ute; she found it in a paddock. First, she stripped it bare and built it with a Holden 304 and ‘Glide.

“Then came the decision that it needed more power. Out came the 304 and in went the 5.7-litre LS combo. Shortly after that, it needed more power again, so on went the Littlefield Teflon-stripped 6/71 blower and custom hat.

“It was all purchased off Gary Myers, from AGROXA. Since then, it’s seen a few competitions including Summernats 35, and it’s now waiting for its next show.” Words: Luke Mason; photos Michelle Porobic & Ash Wilson

Nobby Smith
Holden VH Commodore wagon

“This is my 1983 VH Vacationer wagon. It was stock as rock when I bought it five years ago. The interior is in mint condition, complete with a push-button AM radio in the dash.

“With the help of my best mates, it has transformed over the years into a cool cruiser which I take out every weekend on the north side of Brisbane.

“We replaced the 202/four-speed combo with a cammed 253/Trimatic and a custom exhaust, built by my best mate. It sounds awesome for a little 253 – no thongslapper noise here! The latest addition is the Boyd Coddington wheels, which involved shortening the diff.

“A VR LSD with 28-spline axles and was installed as future-proofing, for when the 253 gets replaced at some stage.”

Thomas Bradford
Holden VZ Calais

“Here is my VZ Calais. When I first got it, it was pretty well stock apart from the manual conversion. Over the last four years of ownership, I’ve airbagged it front and rear with an AccuAir e-Level system supplied by Air Ride and got a head-and-cam package to bring the car to life.

“It’s now making 430hp and 590lb-ft of torque at the wheels. It’s also got a full exhaust system, custom two-piece tailshaft and a 3.9-ratio diff with Truetrac centre. I smoothed the engine bay with some mates at home, which included relocating the ABS module and fuse box and fitting an Astra electric power steering pump, which is hidden away for a nice and clean engine bay.

“It has a custom purple interior and a full audio system with a custom boot set-up, including two Rockford Fosgate 12-inch subs in custom boxes, plus speakers and amps throughout. The air tank, compressors and AccuAir ECU are all on display.

“I have many more plans for this car; hopefully I can get the body cleaned up and painted, and then whack some boost into it!”

Jordan Hill
Nissan S15 Silvia

“I thought I’d share my longtime build – my stroker RB26 (2.8l)-powered Nissan S15 Silvia known on the interwebs as @godsilr_. I was an apprentice tiler when I started the build.

“After nine years, hundreds of hours and too much money to count, it now makes 625hp at 22psi on E85. It runs a CNC-ported head, HKS 272 cams and Supertech +1mm oversize valves. The bottom end is a Spool 2.8 billet crank, I-beam rods and CP pistons with ARP 2000 fasteners throughout.

“On top is a 6boost manifold, Turbosmart 50mm ProGate, and old-school Gen 1 GTX3582R turbo. It sits on custom-spec SSR SP1 18-inch wheels, BC coil-overs and Stanceparts air cups.

“It’s mainly used for street cruising and car shows all around Australia, and recently took out Best of Show at the LZ World Tour in Melbourne. Most of the work was done in-house at Driftking Performance Geebung, by me, Clinton Johnson and Michael Cavallaro.”

Dylan Galbraith
Holden VB Commodore

“Here’s my 1979 VB Commodore streeter! She was one rough car when I bought her, but with the help of Pro Flo Paint & Panel she’s had a lot of time put in.

“This street-driven machine was fully stripped and colour-changed, with all rust and imperfections fixed. She runs a cammed LS1 and built TH400, a built and shortened BorgWarner diff and 255 semi-slicks to stick the power to the ground.

“Pro Flo Paint & Panel went above and beyond, also putting the running gear back in the car after it was rebuilt. Upcoming plans include a shot of gas to liven things up, but I’ll keep it as a daily driven streeter.”

Amdrew Violi
Ford XE Falcon

“My XE S-Pack started life as a 250ci six-cylinder auto, but is now a 408 Cleveland stroker with a built C4 and nine-inch!

“When I picked it up it had been manual swapped; my brother, father and I drove it four hours home. The original plan was to do a 351, T5 and EL LSD for Summernats, but the “rebuilt’’ 351 spun a big-end bearing after 30 minutes of runtime.

“That’s when all the plans went out the window and it ended up with the 520hp 408! We finished it two days before Summernats, and sent it on its five-hour maiden voyage to Canberra with no issues! Although it smashed an axle at the ’Nats and got trailered home, it’s a memory that will live with me forever. After a few broken gearboxes, a diff and a motor, I now have an awesome cruiser.

Joe Cardoso
Toyota KE55 Corolla

“This is my 1978 KE55 Toyota Corolla, known as Kimmy the Purple People Eater. I built this thing in a year for Summernats 36, using a shell and spare parts from two other Corollas. It was supposed to be a budget build for my YouTube channel, Joe Mechanic, but the budget went out the window.

“It’s got a 3.8-litre Ecotec V6 and four-speed auto from a VX Commodore, a locked BorgWarner diff and custom front coil-overs, and it rolls on 13-inch mags. Kimmy decided to play games, which saw Rodney come a-knocking 20-ish days out from Summernats, so she got an engine swap to reach Canberra.

“It’s good from far and far from good, but it’s a start. The plan is to get into some burnout comps, but mostly just to enjoy her and have fun!”

Adam Kerrins
HSV VFII Clubsport Tourer

“I bought my 2015 ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA back in 2019, after developing a love for longroof cars. The first mod happened very quickly, with a full Air Ride airbag suspension kit installed within months.

“A couple of years later I decided it needed more go; now it packs 1011rwhp from the fully built Dart SHP Pro 427, Kong TVS2650 supercharger, 112mm throttle body, interchiller, 12-rib pulley, and more.

“I couldn’t be happier with how it looks, and how it goes. I took Australia’s fastest factory-built wagon and made it even faster!”