Holden versus Ford $2K Challenge – Carnage episode 25

It is Holden V8 versus AU XR6, nitrous versus turbo in our brand-new Carnage series


WE KNOW you guys dig on budget projects and we love a bit of competition, so we’ve mixed the two for our first new Carnage series of 2019.

 A Holden versus Ford challenge was the idea, so Scott Taylor kept an eagle-eye on the GraysOnline auctions for some suitable candidates. Early on, we got very excited by a really tidy VP V8 Commodore ute and an ugly-but-promising VY SS ute. The VP looked almost too nice to cut up, and while the VY was festy, LS power would provide plenty of scope for modifications.

 Both cars sold for more than we could afford at auction, so Scott kept looking until he found a VT Calais V8 and an AU XR6. Both were cheap as chips and we reckoned they’d make a fair match-up. The cars are roughly from the same era, and back then, the single-cam XR6 had the wood on the heavier Holden V8. However, the Calais is an auto, while the Falcon has a T5 five-speed. Neither gearbox is particularly strong, but we reckoned that a high-stall converter and shift kit would help even things out in the Holden’s favour.

 We settled on a $2000 budget for each car. This doesn’t include the purchase price, the cost of getting the cars roadworthy or tuning. But even so, it is a tough budget to work with to come up with cars that make some grunt, but can also put the power to the ground reliably.

 The final piece of the puzzle was to assemble our teams. With Aiden working the cameras, that left our new recruit Kian Heagney to partner Scotty in the AU. And for Team Commodore, 2016 Drag Challenge champ Brenden ‘Bubba’ Medlyn and his mate Kane Goodliffe stuck their hands up for some fun.

 In this episode, we meet the teams, chuck the cars on the dyno and take them to the Calder Park quarter-mile to establish a baseline. Then we start talking mods. While a turbo set-up is a no-brainer for the AU, you’ll have to watch the video to see which way Bubba and Kane go with their Calais.

Carnage Plus: our new workshop equipment!

The new workshop is the same place we borrowed to build Mr Dodgey, but now it’s all ours! When we filmed the first episode, we’d only just got the keys and had time to paint the floor, but shortly after we had the place decked out with good gear thanks to Hare & Forbes Machineryhouse, Ryobi and Tecalemit. And with Valvoline supplying the vital fluids, we now have our dream workshop. You’ll be able to check it out in episode 26 and in upcoming episodes of Carnage Plus.