Readers’ rockets: VL Walky replica, XE Fairmont, Shelby Cobra replica + more

We check out some readers' cool rides from the December 2021 issue of Street Machine


Rodney Magro
HSV VL Walkinshaw replica

“I BUILT my VL Walkinshaw replica in my shed at home, taking just under two years from start to finish. The car was originally a red VL Berlina with an RB30, which was replaced with a cammed LS2. Ultimate Conversion Wiring did the engine harness and I rewired the rest of the car. The engine conversion meant I had to do some modification work such as swapping in a VN Commodore diff that was shortened to suit the VL.

Additionally, the tunnel for the TR-6060 gearbox was modified for close fitment. The clutch is a Mal Wood set-up. I painted the car myself in the shed in the original Walkinshaw Panorama Silver. The car has 20-inch Walky rims with Harrop brakes and has been fully engineered so that it can be street-legal in South Australia.

The three-inch stainless-steel exhaust system was fitted by D&T Performance and the motor was tuned by Boostworx. Aaron O’Hara Motor Trimmer fitted out the interior to match the original VL Walkinshaw, while Sot Kavuki at Speed Garage engineered the car. It drives like a brand new car.” Photos: Troy Barker

Joel Oliver
Ford XE Fairmont

“HERE’S my XE Fairmont. I paid $300 for it when I was 15; it was my first car. I’m 21 now, so I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably keep it for a while. It needed a bit of putting back together and some paintwork from sitting in the sun. It’s basically stock as can be in terms of mechanicals and interior; the only thing different is the wheels. It’s running a fuel-injected six. I’ve had the head off and put back together to standard specs. All the fancy stuff is on it, including power windows, a/c and power steering.

I rebuilt it with my dad and uncle in a dodgy old shed in the backyard of Dad’s place at Andamooka, about 600km north of Adelaide. I’ve driven the car from Roxby Downs to Red CentreNATS in Alice Springs and back without an issue. The biggest problem was trying to afford the fuel while I worked at Woolworths stacking shelves! I originally planned to sell the car once it was done as a bit of a flip, but I’ve ended up loving it too much and can’t part ways with it.”

Rodney Anderson
Holden HQ Statesman

“I HAVE owned this 1971 HQ Statesman for three years now, and have done a few mods such as a 350ci small-block Chev, four-speed auto and Convo Pro wheels. The motor is basically standard but with a cam upgrade and Holley carb.

The paint is Estoril Blue (a BMW colour) and the custom interior, which was done by my brother at Spectrim Auto Interiors, features four VE Commodore buckets and a centre console from front to back. My other expensive hobby is photography, so I hope you enjoy my pics!”

Jordan Davis
Ford ZH Fairlane

“THIS is my 1978 ZH Fairlane. It’s on historic rego, but when I go to car shows it has the plates OLSKOOL. I bought it back in December 2012. I was looking for a Ford V8 and it just so happened my uncle had one too many cars, so he sold it cheap to me for $2000. It was a daily driver for the first couple of years, but then I wanted more out of the car, as it was a stock-standard 302 Cleveland. It has now been stroked to 351 with an Air-Gap manifold, AU twin thermo fans and a Gilmer belt drive, and the car is lowered all around on Pedders.

Behind the engine is a rebuilt C4 trans with a 2800rpm stall converter, and it runs a dual 2.5-inch exhaust dumped behind the wheels. It rides on 12-slotters, the rear being deep-dish with 265 tyres. I have kept the interior original except for a CD player, but the exhaust drowns out the music anyway. A special thanks to Hal Sims and Darryl Merrick for all the help they’ve given me in the rebuild of this Fairlane.”

Matt Appleyard
Holden VK Commodore

“THIS is a VK I built. It runs a VN-headed 355 with a Crane 288 solid cam. The transmission is a manualised auto with a 4200rpm TCE converter and VL Turbo diff with 3.45 gears. It’s also mini-tubbed, with a coil-over rear end.”

Andrew Micos
Shelby Cobra replica

“THIS is my dad Andrew’s car, a replica of a 1965 Shelby Cobra. It is a Backdraft RT3 Roadster imported by Backdraft Racing in Queensland. The body was built in South Africa then sent to the USA for engine assembly and test fitting.

Hi-Torque Performance fitted the engine and transmission, with final engineering done by Tim Bartrop to meet Queensland regulations. The fibreglass body is finished in Ford Ruby Red. It runs knock-off wheels, with 245/40/18 front and 335/35/18 rear tyres. Detailing, paint correction and ceramic coating were done by Bacha & Co. Inside are leather diamond-stitched seats, standard seatbelts as well as multi-point Sabelt harnesses, plus Smiths gauges colour-matched to the car.

The engine is a 5.0-litre Coyote V8 from the current-generation Mustang, topped by an Edelbrock TVS2650 supercharger for 785hp at the flywheel. Suspension features Bilstein coil-overs with Eibach springs.” Words & photos: Nick Micos

Dave Troisi
Holden VY SS wagon

“THIS is my 2004 VY S2 SS wagon. It started life as my daily work car back in 2007 and is now a 688kW animal. It’s been repainted in Jaguar Black Cherry and rolls on a set of custom 19-inch Showwheels rims. It has the full Harrop Ultimate brake upgrade as well as a custom interior with Coulson front seats, red leather throughout and a custom AiM dash.

The powerplant is an LSX cast-iron block stroked to 402 cubes with billet and forged internals, LS7 heads and a high-rise manifold, and fed a heap of boost from a Vortech V-7 supercharger. It’s all managed by a Wolf Tuner Series ECU.

Although the car still retains the standard T56 (just), it’s got a custom chrome-moly tailshaft, Driveshaft Shop billet driveshafts and a Harrop Truetrac with sports cover. Being manual, it’s a nice cruiser, but when you put your foot down, it shifts!” Photos: Shaun Tanner