Matt Smoors’s Magnuson-blown, LS3-powered VK runs low nines at Calder Park


MELBOURNE is home to some crazy street machines, and Matt Smoors’s VK Commodore (SM LSX Tuner #1) is right up there in terms of insanity.

Matty has had this VK since he was a lowly P-plater, and he’s spent the past 15 years or so building it up into the rocket you see here. The latest incarnation includes a built 6.2-litre (376ci) LS3 motor with a Magnuson Heartbeat 2300 supercharger producing around 11psi. It’s an impressive-looking package that has seen 955hp on the dyno at Powerhouse Engines, and almost 700 horses at the tyres at Casey Automotive. Not bad for an engine that still runs a hydraulic cam and pump E85 fuel. The driveline consists of a Pro-Matic-built Powerglide with a TCE converter and a stout nine-inch with big axles and a full spool.

Most of the time Matt loves to tear up the tyres at events like Performance Car Mania, and watching the bright red VK cranked sideways on the main straight at Winton while scorching a set of treads on the limiter is a singular aural and visual sensation. Matt reeled it all in for Calder Park though, using every ounce of self-control to lay down a couple of half passes before unleashing the beast.

Because the car didn’t have a rollcage until recently, Matt has been creeping up on the tune and balancing how much throttle to use at the drags to stay on the right side of the officials. But recently at Calder Park he opened the taps all the way and the Commodore sprinted down the quarter in just 9.1 seconds and at over 153mph. We don’t care who you are, that’s some serious speed in a street-driven car.

“I’ve got to knock some time off the 60-foot,” Matt says. “We’re at 1.42 at the moment but if we can get it down to 1.40 or 1.39 seconds we might be able to run an 8.99 next time out. I don’t think anyone has done that yet with a 2300 blower.”