Readers’ Rockets: FJ Holden, Nissan Silvia, VG Valiant, F100, LX Torana + more

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


Michael Scullin
FJ Holden

“This is my 1956 FJ Holden. I bought the car about 12 years ago, and back then it had a 186 engine with a Supra five-speed gearbox.

After a few years, I decided to see if I could put a V8 in it. I got a 283 small-block Chev from a workmate, as well as a TH350 transmission. The job was a lot harder than I expected because of the new laws regarding power-to-weight ratios.

After a lot of work and endlessly talking to people about it, I finally finished the car about two-and-a-half years later. The diff is a BorgWarner running 3.08:1 gears, and the car has also had a new interior fitted with power windows.

The door handles have been shaved. The best part about the whole rebuild was the fact that most of the work was done by myself in my shed at home. I hope you like my car; I certainly do!”

Tim Wagstaff
Nissan Silvia

“This is my 2001 Nissan Silvia S15 from Perth, WA. I have owned it for about 10 years with the goal of building it for street, show and track. The car still retains its SR20DET four-cylinder engine but with all the fruit to make it one nasty little rocket, including a custom HKS turbo backed up with a shot of nitrous to get it cranking from 2200rpm through to 7500rpm.

It runs E85 fuel and Haltech gear to make a reliable 435hp. Behind the little SR20DET is a fully built driveline featuring a TTI sequential gearbox, making it super fun to drive with the custom flat-shift (clutchless) upshifting.

It also has custom bodywork, interior, boot installation and colour scheme. We plan to take it to more events and showcase what this machine was built for.

I would like to say a massive thank you to CB Performance & Mechanical, Alpha Omega Racing, Garage 101, Autoglym and Prestige Refinishing.” Photos: On The Limit Photography

Nick McCarthy
Ford F100

“I bought my 1979 F100 about five years ago. With help from a heap of people, we’ve since installed a stroker 408 Clevo, and added a stage two shift kit to the C6 and a Truetrac to the nine-inch.

The diff has been shortened to take the 20in, 295-wide rears. United Speed Shop did the rear notch, four-link, Watt’s link, IFS, adjustable coil-overs, fabricated tubs front and rear, and a stack of other work.

It’s all fully engineered. I just got back from Summernats, where I was stoked to have been on the City Cruise for the third time.”

Michael Michie
HG Holden

“Here’s my 1971 HG Holden. It’s powered by a 307 Chev, paired to a Ford Top Loader manual and 10-bolt LSD out back.”

Steven Collins
Chrysler VG Valiant

“This is my 1970 VG Valiant. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Valiants; we moved to Australia from Scotland in 1980, and the first three cars my family owned were all Vals, one after the other.

The VG hardtop is a factory 318 Fireball V8 car; it also has factory air conditioning and power steering. I’ve rebuilt the entire driveline myself.

The engine is now a 390ci with a 4in stroke and 0.030in overbore, along with Edelbrock aluminium heads and a hydraulic-roller cam.

Behind that is a 904 transmission with a 3700rpm stall, and a VL Turbo diff with 3.91 gears.”

Craig Dowler
Holden VH Commodore

“This 1983 VH was built by me and my mate Matt in six months. It had a bit of rust, and someone had roughly tried to tub it.

The aim was to build it into a dedicated burnout car ready to unveil at Springnats 29. The engine is a cammed LS1 with a high-rise manifold. I had Matt from Cavill Performance tune the car and Adam at ATS build a TH400 gearbox.

I shaved the engine bay, tubbed and half-railed the car, and built a shortened BorgWarner diff with 31-spline axles. The VH has also had an engine conversion kit and a Wilwood brake kit installed, both from The Rod Shop.

Matt at Kustom Worx Automotive painted it in DNA Spilt Blood. Thanks to Matt, Jason, Maddix, Tom and Chris for all their help.”

Dave Smith
Ford XW Falcon

“I’ve just finished my XW GT replica, the product of a 12-month build. It’s got a JH VIN, making it a Queensland-built car.”

Joe Saban
Holden LX Torana

“I began my LX Torana hatch build in December 2020 and completed it in September last year; it was mostly built in my home garage. I have owned a few cars before this, but the hatchback Torana was my dream car, and thankfully I had the chance to build one my way.

It runs a 427 LS3 Blueprint crate engine, Tremec TKX manual and nine-inch diff. The front runs a United Speed Shop tubular-arm kit with QA1 coil-overs and a K-Mac Bathurst sway-bar.

The brakes are from Hoppers Stoppers, and it rolls on three-piece 18in Simmons B45s.”

Nathan Attard
Ford EL Falcon

“Here’s my manual 1998 EL XR6. For quite some time, I had been looking for a car to do up, and I stumbled upon this one. I bought it in early 2022; it’s my first project car. It had been sitting for the previous 10 years, so I’ve been doing things to make it a nice, clean cruiser overall.

Future plans for the car include putting the Tickford bodykit on, along with a nice set of wheels, and do a bit of engine work to make it a fun streeter. It sits nicely in the shed next to Dad’s XR8. Working on the car has taught me numerous things, and it’s been a very fun time.

I have no intentions of selling it anytime soon, and I hope I can build it into the vision I have.”