2004 Holden CV8 Monaro
IS FRIED a skid car, or show car – you decide? “I wanted to build a coupe, maybe a HK or LJ,” says Owen, “but I didn’t want to chop up a good car – so I found this shell at a wreckers.”
Supporting the skid machine aspect of FRIED, is a methional burning, dry sumped, 1188hp Dart Little-M Chev, topped with a Blower Shop 8:71 and magnesium barn door hat.
“I didn’t want a shitty LS,” says Owen, “I also didn’t want a Big Ugly, because they all look the same, they’re like belly buttons. Because of the magnesium every Barn door has ‘birthmarks’, each one is unique.”
The two other unmissable features are the 20×8 and 20×12 Into Vistas and the retina-searing Orange Zest, PPG Vibrance paint. The car almost made Summernats last year, but the guys pulled the pin at the last minute because the previous paint job wasn’t up to scratch. FRIED was completely disassembled and this time ’round, Ronnie from Winners Circle wielded the spray gun – and did a stellar job.
Matt Sims (Hi-Tech Modifications) built the engine and much of the car. Travis Lawer (Killer Fabrications) also did a host of fab work including the cage. In fact, Owen says the whole car was pretty much built by his mates. Which includes the TH400 and shortened nine-inch with 35-spline MW axles.
The inside of FRIED is also mighty nice, with Artistic Trim loading it with plenty of trick, leather-like vinyl and suede. The CV8 seats have been completely reshaped – there’s even a back seat so that Owen’s two, young (9 and 5) rev-head sons can clamber in for the ride of their life.
Last time Owen skidded a car was at Summernats 16 in a 500hp VK Commodore. Having crewed for Phil Kerjean and rode shot gun in his wagon, Owen understands things are very different now.
“While its looking pretty we’ll do a few shows,” says Owen. “After that, Phil Kerjean from Fuel Worx (who plumbed the the car) will fit up the fire suppression system and we’ll smash a mountain of tyres.”
Actually, FRIED has two owners; Mr & Mrs Rice. However, Owen is confident she’ll never actually get the nerve to skid it – watch this space!
1931 Ford Coupe
EIGHT OF SPADES
DAVID Townsend’s ’31 coupe was built around its incredibly-rare, eight-carb, inlet manifold.
“It’s a Man-a-Fre,” says Dave. “Made in the 60s, it’s an eight-carb version of the manifold used on the Milner coupe from American Graffiti. It uses very particular 1955 Chevrolet Rochester carburetors, which were a nightmare to track down. I found this one on the web 11 years ago, an American Graffiti freak from New York had it. 72 year old, Tim Bowman not only helped rebuild the manifold, he told me what jets to fit, plus set up the mixtures and afterburner – which pumps raw fuel into the inlet ports at full throttle. Back in the day, this set-up used to blow the Hilborn-equipped cars off the track!”
Under that very unique manifold is a tough 468ci BB Chev by Andrew Dunn, followed by a Ford Top Loader fitted with a Jeep shifter – which comes up through the factory shifter hole. Suspension is a mix of Super Bell axle with hairpins up front, ladder bar and Aldan coil-over equipped nine-inch out back. EIGHT OF SPADES rolls on 15×4 and 15×8 ‘Trick Eight’ American Rebel Sprints, while Johns 11-inch, 52-fin Buick-style drums take care of stopping duties.
The 4.5-year build kicked after David found an all-steel ’31 body in the US. It was a roller riding on a ’32 chassis, the roof was filled and it was chopped four-inches.
“It wasn’t too bad,” says David, “they do funny things over there, I had to fix a few things and redo some filer panels. I also added the ’32 cowl.”
Dean Hamilton (Deeno) finished the now flawless body in black so deep it you could almost dive into it. That Pine Winters grille insert cost Dave a hefty $3600 just on its own.
“I’m glad I spent the money,” says Dave, “as it makes the car.”
Inside, SJ Trimming handled all the stitch work, as well as import leather out of Scotland to get the right, Burnt Orange colour. As for that four-gauge cluster, David thinks it’s out of a forklift.
David sure has a thing for multi-carb set-ups. His ’34 Roadster has six, so too does his big-block powered ’36 Tudor.
“I just love multi-carb. In EIGHT OF SPADES they all come in together, it’s a quick revving thing that’s pretty impressive.”
1960 Holden FB Holden
MANY have tried to create the perfect early Holden coupe – with WILDFB, Daniel and Peter Beauchamp have nailed it. Their two-door FB looks just right. However, WILDFB is far more than just a slick two-door conversion, it’s been comprehensively re-engineered from front to back. Under its one-piece tilt front end is a twin-turbo 1UZ Lexus V8 sitting in a narrowed HQ chassis upgraded with CRS tubular arms, HQ power steering and the same Strange coil-overs used in the four-link rear.
The floor has been raised to allow the engine, gearbox and exhaust to tuck right up, so that WILDFB can drive oh, so low over its 17×8 and 17×9 Intro billets. The lowest point of the car is the chassis rails.
During the two-door conversion, Camden County Customs not only stretched the front doors eight inches, they also eliminated the front flipper windows.
The 32-valve, quad-cam V8 has been stroked to 4.2-litres, is forced fed by two T04 turbos blowing through a PWR intercooler and is good for around 800-horses thanks to its Autronic SM4 ECU and staple diet of E85.
“It sounds like an F1 car,” says Daniel, “throttle response is really snappy. For the cost of the parts to build this engine, I reckon we could have done about 10 LS conversions!”
Strapped to the back of the all-alloy V8 is a trans-brake’d C4, followed by a nine-inch. Owen Webb is responsible for the custom teal HOK paint, with Leo at Muscle Restorations handling spraying duties. The custom X-Trim interior includes four, highly-modified XR8 buckets covered in imported Jaguar leather, a full-length console, power windows, central locking and a ’57-syle Dakota Digital gauge cluster that has been shrunk down to look right in the FB.
WILDFB has been a father (Peter Beauchamp) and son project.
“Dad’s had the 28 years,” says Daniel, “But having done so much work on it during the 15-year build, it’ll become mine down the track. We never meant to go this far, it came off the road for a few repairs, then the floors were chopped out, then the tilt front end and we decided to just keep going.”
WILDFB is definitely not going to be a trailer queen, this two-door custom is destined to see plenty of highway miles after a few shows.
SASH’S wild 60s style rod would make Ed Roth proud. With its heavy flake, there’s no missing the intensive gold paint, nor can you miss the massively chopped roof (complete with vinyl top) and the massively channeled body – its extreme in every degree. The 60s theme continues over into the interior, where you’ll find acres of gold metal-flake vinyl, red piping, chrome chain steering wheel, turned metal dash, Moon gas pedal, sky-high shift lever along with a smattering of old school gauges and switches.
The all-steel Tudor rolls on a custom chassis with 10-spokes up front and wide chromies out back – wrapped in vintage style drag slicks. Sitting between the massively kicked-up front rails is a triple-carb’d, small-block Ford that’s tough enough to hose those nostalgic, white-wall slicks. Look closely and you’ll note the roof chop is wedge shaped, which gives MICKEY it’s just right proportions – even if that does mean the insanely small side windows are a might hard to see out of. MICKEY is oh so fine.
1972 Holden ute
“TOZZA is a tribute to my best mate, Tony Dwyer,” says Chris Clout. “When Tozza passed away, his parents gave it to me to finish off for him.”
Chris and tight-knit group of mates spent seven-years doing just that, with the build turning into quite a roller coaster. “No bolt was left unturned,” says Chris, “the turret is the only standard panel left.” Starting life as a HQ, TOZZA now wears a WB nose and HJ fluted guards. The whole car, including front sheet metal, tailgate, front chassis – even the all-metal dash has been welded together as one piece – the only bolt on parts are the doors and hood.
“There’s no plastic in this car, it’s all steel” says Chris. “The body took 600 hours – the all-steel bonnet two months on its own!”
The twin-turbo LS3 is a millimeter-perfect fit into the smoothed bay and there’s not a wire to be seen. With its pair of GT35 turbos, billet intake and 105mm throttle body, the Russo Performance mill should be good for over 1000 horses, once the internals are upgraded. Copping all that grunt is a full-manual, Reid case, TH400, followed by a 35-spline, Strange nine-inch. Suspension wise there’s coil-overs all ’round, tubular front end and four-link rear – with Panhard bar. The underside is as nice as the top, even the engine block has been ground and smoothed. Inside the 20×8 and 22×10 Schott wheels is Wilwood stoppers – six-spot front, four-spot rear with a booster up under the dash.
No Holden influence remains inside the full-on interior. X-Trim handled much of the work, which included covering the modified Kirkley seats, door trims, flat dash and flat floors in high-end leather. Rounding out the interior is a Bandit shifter and Dakota Digital dash.
“Ruben, Brad, Clint, Gibby, Dennis, James, Ian and Chad – I take my hat off to them all,” says Chris, “you couldn’t pay these blokes for what they’ve done.
Few would argue they’ve done Tozza’s memory, very, very proud.
1934 Ford Coupe
MICHAEL Connors pretty much built this sizzling silver ’34 coupe at home in the garage. During STANCE’s four-year build, it only left for paint (Paul Elms) and trim (Anvid). Although it started as an off-the-shelf fiberglass body its now considerably different. To make it tougher, the roof is 4-inches lower with a laid-back screen.
“It’s a lot of work to get any fiberglass body good,” says Michael, “Paul Kelly spent ages smoothing and refining many areas.”
Up front there’s an alloy-headed 383 Chev with lots of trick billet bits along with black powder coating and black anodizing. This black theme is carried over to the TH350 and 9-inch – which is nicely accentuated with the polished alloy calipers and ceramic coated discs.
The Rod City chassis has been kicked in at the rear to swallow the fat rear rubber and kicked up to sit low over its 15×6 and 20×10 billets. The IFS, four-bar rear plus the rest of the suspension is polished stainless – there’s also a host of cast stainless brackets, all polished to perfection.
The silver/black theme is carried over into the clean and simple interior. There’s perforated black leather, body coloured dash and polished aluminum accents.
“I’ve had a few Street Machines, like HQ’s before,” says Michael, “but this is my first hot rod and definitely my first high-end build. I built it to do local rod runs, as I’d rather join in and get involved than be a spectator.”
Michael admits he really blew the budget, however it’s all worth it as the family loves STANCE – his two daughters even helped out on the build.
For Michael, the hardest thing was putting in the hours, “It’s not going to happen by itself, you’ve got to be committed and get out into the garage.”
1973 Ford TC Cortina
FOR A Steering Wheel Attendant (AKA Truck Driver), David Xuereb definitely has some sheet metal skills. As he’s responsible for nearly all the fab work on TUF73C, including mini tubs, smoothed engine bay, underside and the fabricated dash filled with Stewart Warner gauges. The bright red is straight tinter and was laid on by Rods Restoration, while the interior was stitched by Loui.
The street-smart, 550hp 364-cube Windsor was screwed together by C&B Performance and is backed by a full-manual C4 and mega-tough, 31-spline Mark Williams nine-inch. Tucked up under the guards is Schott 19×8 and 20×10 billets. “They cost me more than a small car!”
Dave’s owned his ’73 TC for 35 years. “Bought it when is was 14. Used to race it at Oran Park with WOG007 and the boys going from hotted-up six, to a V8. I was just going to mini tub it, then I found a bit of rust, one thing led to another and once I pulled the dash out, it was all over.”
Dave acknowledges a tonne of help from his brothers, Mark and Paul, along with Eithan (electrical), Joe Bajada and Paul Sant. “I call Paul the Chip Foose of Australia. He showed me how to polish bolts properly so there’s not a single mark in them. I spent many, many hours polishing every, single last bolt.”
Even the screws in the LED front blinkers and rear taillights are polished. TUF73C has been a family affair, Dave’s wife was chief Procurement Officer, often dragging the kids along on her many parts runs. His sons William and Luke, plus daughters Natalie and Holly also helped on the build.
“Holly used to have inch-long nails – after doing a heap of polishing they’re not that long anymore.”
Despite being a decade-long built, it was still a big push to the finish line. Last minute details like gapping the body and completing the trim all finally coming together over Christmas. “It’s turned out so nice it’s not funny.”
1983 Holden VH SLE Commodore
“I WANTED to build an eight second car,” says Craig Morrow, “But I got carried away, made it all pretty and it got heavy.”
Everything’s not lost though, there’s still the option to turn the boost up on the all-black, 1050hp supercharged LS engine and make more power, but….
Not that Craig is worried, the Powerhouse Engines 427ci is plenty strong and capable of handling more boost than the 11psi the 4.0-litre Whipple is currently pushing.
Started life as a genuine 5.0-litre VH SL/E, ST1NKY now sports a smoothed engine bay, the side detail line ends at the SL/E guard badges, while Fabrication Techniques added a roll cage, tubs and extractors.
To sit the engine low and get it under the bonnet, there’s McDonald Brothers tubular K-frame and dry-sump set-up. Rounding out the driveline is a bulletproof TH400 by Berko Transmissions, with a Reid housing and 4600-stall TCE converter. The Race Products, chrome-moly housing filled with a Strange S-Trac alloy centre and 35-spline axles is equally bullet proof. To help ¼-mile performance, Craig added Pro9 front struts and a huge Pro9 rear sway bar. Like most of the engine, all of the driveline has been given the black powder coat treatment. As for the sweet body and paint, take a bow Maskells Customs.
Craig originally started building the SL/E to take himself and five groomsmen to his wedding. That’s why there’s a bench seat up front – something no VB to VL Commodore ever came factory fitted with fitting the bench led to the unusual dash-mounted shifter location. Although the 3.5-year build missed the wedding deadline by a year or so, he couldn’t have used it anyway, as the rear seat could only fit two bums because of the 15×10 Weld wheels and tubs – five seats is one too few. The fabricated dash (complete with Haltech IQ3 dash), door trims, tunnel, flat floors and aforementioned bench seats were all covered in vinyl that’s very close to the factory Carmine Red.
Aluminium panels with CNC’d Holden lion logo are flushed into the floors, which match the CNC’d SL/E kick strips. Instead of a regular hood lining, sheet metal has been welded around the perimeter and finished off with inserts.
“I think I went a bit overboard,” says Craig, ‘Even the boot is trimmed nice.”
1971 Ford XY Falcon
HAVING built a string of tough XY Falcon’s, including TUFFGT a two-time Summernats Top 60 car, Jason decided to build one for his wife and three kids.
“Now that it’s finished, she reckons I’m too scared to let her drive it,” says Jason.
Originally purchased as an unfinished project painted in candy apple red, Jason had almost had it half-finished when the dog scratched the guard.
“I couldn’t get the paint matched,” says Jason, “so I decided to start from scratch – except in silver and to a much higher level.”
Built by Ed Brodie (another Summernats legend) its alloy headed, 377ci SB turned over 600hp on Jason Manswetto’s dyno. To clear the full 3-inch stainless exhaust, Bain Racing fabricated a narrower fuel tank.
Other under-bonnet details include; billet hinges, March serpentine pulleys and no bonnet catch – GT hood pins now hold the smoothed fiberglass bonnet securely shut. Note the lack of AC lines, they’re neatly routed under the guards.
Up front is RRS adjustable coil-over struts and power R&P, with Street Creed Cal-Tracks out back. After crashing and rolling another XY because of a broken axle, Jason takes no chances these days. The rear is a beefy 35-spline Mark Williams unit with 5/8 studs. While its 4.33:1 gears may not sound highway friendly, when combined with the Tremec T56, TUFFGS sits on 2600rpm at 100km/h.
Good friend Alex did the stellar panel and paint (he also did TUFFGT), while Geoff Azzopardi wired it to mining-spec.
With its off-white seats and doors trims, the interior of TUFFGS looks somewhat standard-ish. However, there’s a tilt column, Auto Meter gauges neatly grafted into the GS dash facia and AC. The AC is operated via the XY’s modified heater controls and blows through vents in the kick panels and centre console. A lot of work went into making all this look factory.
“My dad, Tony and my brother, Lawrence are my biggest critics,” says Jason. “People think I’m fussy, I’ve got nothing on them. TUFFGS is as good as it is because of them, along with guys like Gizmo, who sourced many parts. I still have TUFFGT, the two look pretty good parked next to each other in the garage. I really have to thank the missus, without her I wouldn’t be allowed to do any of this shit.”