Readers’ Rockets: XK Falcon, VG Valiant hardtop, FJ Holden + more

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


Maria Schulz
XK Falcon Deluxe

“MY 1960 XK Deluxe, ‘Rebel Rouser’, has been 32 years in the making. I bought it when I was 18 years old – I was so excited! I had big plans for it, but life got in the way for a while. About 12 years ago I decided to get back into it. I’d promised my ex-husband Andrew (who I was still good friends with and helped me a lot with the car early on) that I would take him for a cruise when I finished building the car, but unfortunately he passed away 10 years ago. This made me more determined than ever to get the car finished. It’s now been given a full nut-and-bolt rotisserie restoration. The paint is now Candy Apple Red with a pearl-white (with gold micro-flake) roof.

Power comes from a 250ci pre-crossflow six-cylinder that has had a full rebuild with a mild cam. Trans is a BorgWarner 35 auto. The car has been lowered two inches and has Viking adjustable coil-overs on the front. Wheels are powdercoated genuine Ford four-studs wrapped in BF Goodrich whitewalls. The interior has been reupholstered and painted the same pearl white as the roof, complemented by a pearled steering wheel.

I’ve sourced a lot of new-old-stock over the years for the XK, from fender ornaments to the embellisher kit and everything in between. I tried to keep the
build to the era of the car, but with a few modern twists.”

Matt Davies
HX Kingswood

“HERE is the ‘Rusty Trombone’, a ’78 Kingswood wagon that sat unloved in a paddock for nearly 30 years. It was dragged into the shed and had its dead 202 replaced by a little 253 and Trimatic with a 2500rpm converter. The paint, which had been sunburnt to a crisp, was scuffed back and covered in two-pack satin clear. Tony from Hardwood Rod & Custom at Landsborough did the majority of the work. It’s just a cool old reliable everyday driver.”

Andrew Pocklington
HK Holden ute

“THIS IS my 1968 HK Kingswood ute, painted as a GTS Monaro mock-up. The driveline is made up of a 355 Holden V8, TH350 transmission and a BorgWarner diff. It has a smoothed engine bay and mini-tubbed rear end.” Photos: Jordan Leist

Travis Page
VG Valiant hardtop

“HERE is my 1970 VG Valiant hardtop that I finished last year. It’s been to a few meets, but not many, as COVID shut everything down a week after I finished it. It took me four years to build, and I did as much as I could myself in my own and others’ sheds, but had to hand it over to professionals for the finish I wanted. Not bad for my first build though, I reckon!

Yes, it runs a small-block and no, it doesn’t have a blower sticking out of the bonnet, but it’s an awesome cruiser, sounds fantastic and is a great street car. The custom Glasurit paint contains a purple pearl, which looks awesome when you catch it in the right light. It’s been accepted into Street Elite at MotorEx in November.”

Rod Leech
EK Holden

HERE are some photos of an EK wagon I’ve just built for my boss, Rod Leech. It was a complete nut-and-bolt build on the rotisserie. It now runs a 202 and Trimatic, HR disc-brake front end with power rack-and-pinion, Astra electric power steering pump (mounted under the driver’s-side front guard with the brake booster), and air con using an electric compressor (mounted under the passenger-side front guard).

The interior is all-new and includes Dakota Digital gauges, central locking and a hidden Bluetooth stereo system. The theme of the build was to look all original but have all the mod cons hidden from view. Build time was 12 months from start to finish.” Words: Paul Little

Luke Bajjada
FJ Holden

“I FINISHED my FJ Holden (In The Build, SM, Jun ’20) during COVID lockdown. It’s got a 283 Chev, TH400 and nine-inch. It was a full bare-metal resto – all done at home! I built the car myself, from the chassis and paint to the exhaust. It’s got a V-joint windscreen, louvred bonnet and shaved fuel filler.

It’s only been regoed since January, and I’ve already clocked up over 7000km and done my first eighth-mile drags at Bairnsdale. I built it to take the kids cruising and get it out and enjoy it – a true old-school street machine. Absolutely loving it!”

Jamie Freeman
HQ Kingswood

“I ALWAYS wanted to build a tough streeter, so I bought a rusted-out Kingswood with a plan for a two-to-three-year restomod build to turn it into a four-door GTS tribute. Seven years later, having adopted the motto ‘if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing’, I’ve ended up with an HQ with ‘the works’ that’s fully engineered and regoed. It has an aspirated 415ci Dart Little M block, 15-degree heads, shaft-mounted rockers and a solid-roller cam.

The mill is good for 660hp at the treads on pump 98 through a transbraked TH400 and Strange sheet-metal rear end with 35-spline floating axles. The a/c, electric power steering, twin 3.5-inch exhaust, full Auto Meter cluster, Alpine sound system and VE Clubby seats all help to make it a pleasure to both race and cruise with the family.” Photos: Mitch Hemming

Dale Fowler
Chevrolet Corvette

“HERE is my 1974 Corvette that I have owned for 16 years. It’s running a rebuilt 350 Chevrolet and Saginaw four-speed gearbox, all fully rebuilt. The car was white with a full red interior when I purchased it, but the paint wasn’t the best, so after a year we went to get it resprayed. Originally it was going to be Candy Apple Red, but then I found this colour on a black VL Walkinshaw at MotorEx – I think Anthony Fabris owned it. I tracked him down and he was happy to tell me about the colour and the sparkle.

Then it was up to my spray painters to do the job – they had the car in the shop for three months, and it now has nine layers of paint. I had the Dragway DB100 18×9 rims custom-measured for offset and size through my local tyre shop, and they fit perfectly. The car has been on many great trips throughout the years and many lunches with my wife.”

Dane & Bekk Hagstrom
Matching VP Calais

“THESE two belong to my wife and me. CA1415 was bought as a 400,000km P-plate-spec V6 (complete with stockies on the rear). I’ve owned it for 10 years now and have completed a 5.0-litre transplant with a three-inch exhaust, and added VR Calais Series II trim, 17-inch Calais International rims, smoothed-out front end (no badge, washer jets or aerial), full FBSS airbag suspension and a massive car audio system. A respray is definitely on the cards in the near future. KA1415 was purchased sight-unseen from WA as a one-owner, low-kilometre V6. The only mods done are SSL springs in the rear, the same wheels as CA1415 and a window tint. We do have a boot spoiler to match CA1415. The idea was to have two matching cars to tell something of a story, while looking externally the same.”

Ashley Bell
XA Fairmont

“EARLIER this year I purchased this all-original, unrestored 1972 XA Fairmont out of Tasmania. An XA has always been my dream car, and I got very lucky with this one. I am the third owner and it is an excellent survivor – there would not be many XAs left in this condition. So far we have just given her a good detail and put on some Convo Pros, a GT front lip spoiler and GT steering wheel. Although we’re being told by everyone to leave it alone, my partner Michael Stivala (SM, Apr ’15) and I have big plans for it.

We plan to enjoy the car as it is for the remainder of 2021, before pulling it down to resurrect it as my dream car. Michael and I own a restoration shop, Hoon Customs, and will be sharing the majority of the build on our socials. We don’t want to give too much away right now, but the car will be fully restored, have a new colour scheme, and the old 250 will be replaced with a 351 Cleveland.”

Karl Vanzuyden
HQ Holden Panel Van

“HERE is my 1973 HQ panel van. It features a warm 308 running 30thou-over flat-top pistons; a decked block; shaved, ported and polished L34 heads; 286 Crane cam; and a 600 Holley. It’s backed by a Tremec T5 gearbox and 3.08:1 Salisbury diff. Ultra Low King Springs sit up front, with 2½-inch lowering blocks in the rear, along with Bilstein shocks all ’round and front and rear heavy-duty sway-bars. Wheels are US Mags Ramblers – 17×8 front and 18×9.5 rear.

The Burgundy Wine Pearl paint is a ’95 Nissan colour. There’s a full GTS interior and decked-out rear featuring an archway, diamond-tufted side panels, carpet, mattress and a fibre-optic ‘star ceiling’. Retro Ozi Bubble Windows supplied the bubble windows. The aftermarket stereo is in the glovebox, plus two amps running splits in the front, 6x9s and two 10-inch subs.”