WHEN I’m in my 70s, I want to be just like Michael Bittar – showing no signs of slowing down! Michael is just finishing up the build of his 1971 HG Holden ute, which he picked up off a young bloke as an unfinished project a couple of years ago. It came with a 440ci LSX that the original owner had built, but Michael decided to keep that motor for his Pontiac Firebird and build a freshie for the ute.
James Kanaris from Kanaris Engines screwed together a tough tall-deck 427ci LSX with DR heads, solid-roller cam and a monster four-litre Whipple supercharger. Michael also had a Hughes TH400 trans and a full-spool nine-inch diff built for the car.
Unfortunately he got stuffed around by a couple of shops on the wiring and plumbing side of the build, so the guys at Eagle Auto Parts recommended he have a chat with Adam Rogash from MPW in Dandenong. Regular Street Machine readers will know Adam from his seven-second, twin-turbo LS-powered ALLSHOW VK Commodore, and previous to that, NOSHOW, the seven-second VT Commodore. Adam and Luke sorted out the wiring dramas with the car and tuned the whole deal on their dyno, where the ute ended up putting down close to 1000rwhp and over 2200Nm on 18lb boost, while spinning the tyres through to 8000rpm.
With a big converter, it’s making that grunt basically as soon as you get on the throttle too, so it’s going to be pretty wild on the street! Michael is no stranger to quick street cars though; his VE Commodore has a 454ci LS with a 3.5-litre Whipple making over 700rwhp, and his Pontiac Firebird is currently powered by a Vortech-blown Chev.
His next project is to swap the 440 LS into the Pontiac with the Vortech, and after that his VF ute is getting twin turbos!