Readers’ Rockets: Rescued VG Valiant, retrotech FE ute, ex-highway patrol XC Falcon + more

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


Tim Barnett
Chrysler VG Valiant

“Back in 2021, I bought this VG sedan and immediately dubbed her ‘Valerie’.

It had been parked up in a shed since 2012 when I bought it; it didn’t have too much rust, but the suspension was flogged out and it was full of dust and spiders.

I’ve done 98 per cent of the work myself, and she’s cleaned up all right over a 12-month build. My mate Dave Greene did the retro stickers that adorn the quarter glass and underside of the bootlid, while wifey made a custom crocheted blanket for the parcel shelf.

The 245 engine was seized, but I got it turning over and freshened it up with a carby kit, rebuilt fuel pump, lifters, timing belt, valve stem seals and more.

If you search #VGValerie on Insta, you’ll see all kinds of build pics.”

Glenn Mors
Holden FE ute

“Here’s my 1957 FE ute. It’s now running a 304 pulled from a VT ClubSport, with a five-speed manual behind it. My mate did the build; I just had to sort the teething issues and get it through engineering.”

Terry Krapkat
Ford XC Falcon

“This is my father Terry Krapkat’s car! It’s an ex-highway patrol 1978 XC Falcon sedan.

It was originally Sno White but was painted a custom purple in the early 2000s; eventually he wants to go back to Sno White. He’s owned the car for more than 30 years. It’s currently running a 351 Cleveland with CHI heads, a C4 transmission and nine-inch diff.

The wheels are Weld Drag Lites with Mickey Thompson radials. The car is set up to reliably be driven to events such as no-prep drag meets, Powercruise, Willowbank drags and charity no-prep days, then race and drive home.” Words: Mika Tatjana

1990 Nissan Skyline

“I picked up this Skyline for $500, half-dismantled and with the usual rust that R31s have. We spent a year cleaning the car up and giving it a coat of paint, along with a Kmak Aero bodykit.

The engine is a rebuilt LS1 with forged pistons and rods and the usual supporting mods, along with a new cam and oil pump, and it runs standard heads with heavy springs.

The turbos are twin GT3076Rs with 52mm Turbosmart wastegates and 12psi springs. Trans is a T56, and the diff is just the standard 28-spline Skyline unit.

In the boot is the fuel surge tank with twin Walbro pumps, along with an Astra electric steering pump. There’s Raceworks fittings throughout the vehicle. Front brakes are R33 calipers and rotors, with lowered suspension all ’round.

We ran it up on the dyno with this set-up, and on wastegate pressure we had to pull it up at 560rwhp due to the centre bearing getting crushed by the dyno pulls.”

Shaun Wilde
Holden LX Torana

“Here is my Torana. It’s running a mild 308, Aussie four-speed and a nine-inchdiff. It will be having a freshen-up in a couple of years, but for now I’ll just keep cruising in it!”

Shaun Canavan
1928 Ford

“I pieced this 1928 Ford coupe together over a couple of years. It’s an original Michigan State car. ‘Joe’s Trailer Sales’ is hand-painted on the doors, so I did some investigating on the car’s history.

Joe’s Trailer Sales was formed in 1941, and this Ford was used as a shop truck.

Before that, Joe used it when he was a local trader, and on the original bonnet it says: ‘Who says we won’t trade for anything?’ It has lots of history and was a pleasure to put together.”

Graham Carter
Jaguar XK8

“I thought I would share my street car with you. The body and interior is original, as Jag got that right! The rest has some improvements, including upgraded brakes and an LS1 backed by a 4L60E trans.

The V8 has been upgraded with new heads and accessories (oil pump, water pump, cam, lifters, rockers, a/c pump) and a wet 200hp NOS system. There’s also a pair of electric exhaust cut-outs for some fun at the lights.

The trans has been fully rebuilt with stronger internals and a Hughes 2000rpm stall converter. The diff is original.

The controls for the NOS system and exhaust cut-outs are hidden in the centre console, along with a trans and oil temp gauge. All the original Jag controls and gauges are still in place, so there is no suggestion of what’s under the bonnet – other than the Chevy-shaped tailpipes.

It has been fully certified for use on NZ roads and is a joy to drive.”