Readers’ Rockets: HJ Holden ute + VK Commodore + XE V8 ute + LH Torana + HT Monaro

We check out some of our readers' cars from the February 2021 issue of Street Machine


Jason Jablonski
HJ Holden ute

“MY OLD 90s show ute, Dazed & Confused, has been back on the road for 18 months now.

It was originally built by Wayne Fleming, with paint and airbrushing by Wayne Harrison of Advanced Airbrush. It was in Readers’ Rockets back in December 2017, but it wasn’t completed back then.

The old 308 I had in it died, so it now has a standard-bore 304 with a Harrop high-rise manifold, mild cam, chromed 600 Holley, Gilmer drive and twin thermo fans.

The entire brake system has been redone, with a new dual eight-inch chromed brake booster fitted, dimpled rotors up front and overhauled rear drums. The original nine-inch diff housing has been retained from when it was raced on the strip, with all new internals fitted. One day I’ll chrome the diff, rear springs and tailshaft.

The interior has been redone in GTS style, with Dynamat insulation, new carpet and door trims fitted. The dash is from its original show days back in the 90s. Thankfully, Stuart Marshall, who owns the panel van Stormbringer, had the original airbrushed glovebox lid from Dazed and gave it to me. I’m still chasing a chromed ‘Custom’ badge, which was originally fitted to the passenger side above the glovebox; I believe the badge is off a 60s F100.

I’ve redone the rear tray in a similar way to how it was back in its 90s show days. I still have some paint touch-ups to complete, but for now I’m just enjoying cruising in it every chance I get. I plan on keeping it for a very long time, as it’s a piece of Australia’s custom car history.”

Emma Blacka
Holden VK Commodore

“I’VE OWNED my VK for over three years, and in that time I’ve had the original 202 motor rebuilt and worked thanks to Powerdriven Performance (bored 40thou, cammed, roller rockers, 350 Holley, Cain manifold, extractors), had all the rust cut out and the panels straightened, and added a new Lukey exhaust system. The driveline is rounded out by a Trimatic gearbox with a high-stall converter, and a 28-spline VL Turbo diff. King Super Low springs sort the suspension, while the wheels are original 16-inch VL Walkinshaws. She also has a custom paintjob thanks to RSC Performance in Townsville, using DNA Mad Magenta as the base colour we built from.

This car’s a real head-turner, not only because of the colour and the chick behind the wheel, but because people don’t expect from the rumble of her to see a 202 hiding under the bonnet.”

Stu Campbell
1983 Ford XE V8 ute

“MY XE ute is a tribute to the Dick Johnson Big Banger era. It runs a 351 Cleveland with 2V ported heads and a FiTech injection system. Trans is a V8 Mustang T5 manual that runs back to a late-model XH four-pinion limited-slip diff with 3.23:1 gears. Wheels are Simmons B45s – 15×10 up front and 15×12 out back.

The car is clad in an HO Phase Autos Phase VI bodykit (with compliance plate). Inside, there’s an XH roof lining, Speedhut dash and Autotecnica seats.”

Mark Ryan
Holden LH Torana

“AFTER reading Street Machine as a kid, I decided I would buy my own Torana when I could afford one, which I finally did at age 20 (2011). When I bought it, it ran a 173, bench seat, column-shift auto and four-wheel drum brakes, and only had 120,000km on the clock. The paint is all original except for a small touch-up on the roof. It now runs a warm 308, but retains the column shift through a reco Trimatic.

Other mods are exhaust and Volvo 15-inch stockies. I’m hoping to get it registered soon and start cruising. I also restored an old metal Esky to match!”

Matt Ockenden
Holden HT Monaro

“I’M 41 years old now, and have owned my HT Monaro since I was 15. It runs an LS1 backed by a T56 and nine-inch diff. The front end is from The Rod Shop, and it has Wilwood brakes front and rear. The radiator is a PWR item, and there’s also a heap of Bliss Custom Engineering billet parts.”