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720HP 434CI LX TORANA

ISSUE #24 - MAY 2020

R O S D IN W I C 3 6 3 N W O BL Y IT L A U Q D IL U B R A C SHOW PRO-TOURING HANDLING

Plus!

Nitrous Capri - Blown EK - Tough NOVA

30 PERFORMANCE BOLT-ON’S REVEALED

Eleanor's

NIGHTMARE

Smoother. Tougher. Faster!

KILLER RIDES IS PROUDLY PRODUCED IN AUSTRALIA


From the Desk HANDS UP IF THE CORONA VIRUS HAS PLAYED HAVOC WITH YOUR LIFE?

It seems like such a long time ago that we had the freedom to do what we want, go where we want and see who we want, without the fear of copping a huge fine, or even coming down with the nasty virus itself. 2020 has been a bugger of a year already, but hopefully soon, things will be back to normal…

®

It’s affected everything we do and everything we love to do – including just about every facet of the motoring industry. Car sales have dropped, businesses are closing and car shows – well they are non-existent right now. It’s a strange feeling not spending my weekends travelling to shows and taking in the cool rides on offer. Hopefully, it’s a short lived situation. Which brings me to my main point of this months Editorial. After offering up Killer Rides for two years without charging a cent to read it each month, I am forced to change that to keep the magazine online and happening in the long term. So, as it sits, this will be the last issue that will be available for free, sorry. From Issue #25 (June), there will be a small charge to read Killer Rides. It will only be $5 each month – about the same price as a 600ml bottle of coke or a large cup of coffee. So I am asking for your support to keep bringing you the tough cars each and every month. It’s a small amount to ask for, but will make a huge difference in producing Killer Rides (and Super Rod from Issue #3) each time. The company taking the payment and the program operators we use all take their cut from the payment and the rest will go into the mag itself.

So, as it sits, this will be the last issue that will be available for free, sorry. From Issue #25 (June), there will be a small charge to read Killer Rides. It will only be $5 each month... So guys, I am asking (not begging – that’s a bit weird!) for your support moving forward. Being a one man operation with a limited number of valued contributors, I need your help. I hope I can count on you all!

Shop online now @ WWW.SPEEDPRO.COM.AU 11 A I R L I E AV E N U E , D A N D E N O N G V I C 3 17 5

P H O N E 0 3 9 7 9 4 517 7

Now for some great news. I have decided to add a couple of new magazines to the stable – Killer Fords and Commodore Performance. Each will be published quarterly and yes, will have a $5 price tag attached. These two sectors have been ignored of late, so I m hoping these two additions will be well received… See you next issue. Stay safe…

Paul

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Digital Publishing

Online Motoring Magazines With Attitude!

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Jake Myers - Burnout Champion!

To advertise in any of these titles, please contact Paul Beck - Publishing Editor (0432) 795336 - paul@killerrides.com.au

ve ha I at th g in th e on d an e lif y m l al rs ca “I’ve been around tough tang us M y m hy w ’s at Th . ity al qu on e is om pr m co learned is never to ” o! to r ca ur yo r fo lls ve Lo on ST SI IN s! ng ri is fitted with Lovells Sp

www.lovellsauto.com.au


ISSUE NO.24 May 2020

CONTENTS REGULARS 03 EDITORIAL From the Desk 08 WHAT’S HAPPENING News, views and things of interest 16 HAVE YOUR SAY Tell us what you think 20

26 Pro-Touring, blown ‘68 Mustang

COMING ATTRACTION Custom 1958 Chev Apache Pick Up

50 30 PERFORMANCE BOLT-ON’S Go fast gear for your car. 92 IN THE SPOT LIGHT US Mopar Muscle Cars 6 102 KILLER PIC Dealership Ferris Wheel with a Difference 106 PERFORMANCE DIRECTORY Quick Find Ad’s

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38 434ci LX Torana

72 Blown 402ci EK Holden

50 30 Performance Bolt-Ons.

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60 Tough Street ‘65 Nova

92 Spot Light On US Mopar Muscle

FEATURES 26

CODE BLUE Blown 363ci ‘68 Mustang

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MULTI TASKING Part Show, part street, all tough LX Torana

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SUPER NOVA Tough street ‘65 Chevy Nova

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FAMILY JEWEL A cool, blown EK passed down from Father to Son.

9.1-sec 434ci Capri

REPEAT OFFENDER Quarter-mile Capri with a long history

Don’t forget to Subscribe at www.killerrides.com.au


WHAT’S HAPPENING Vale: Mike Lavallee

Air-Brush Artist Extraordinaire

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Many would know the name Mike Lavallee for his distinctive “True Fire” air-brushing that has been applied to everything from fridges, toilets, helicopters, fire-engines, bikes and of course a myriad of custom cars over the years, gaining Mike world-wide attention and admiration. As the owner of Killer Paint in Snohomish, Washington, Mike and his team revolutionised the airbrushing world with his talent and technique that is often copied, but never bettered. Of course, it wasn’t just flames that made Mike famous. Check out his other styles. He made plenty of TV appearances over the years, most notably on Overhaulin’, Rides and Monster Garage, where his paint work adorned many cars built by some of the industries best. Sadly, on April 14th, after surgery for bleeding on the brain, we lost Mike. He will be fondly remembered by all that knew him as a fun-loving guy to lived his life to the fullest and loved his family and friends as much as they loved him.

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n O e m F la

! e k i M

Gone too soon, Never Forgotten!


WHAT’S HAPPENING AUTOMOTIVE COLLECTABLES FACEBOOK GROUP

Are you into cool diecast cars and bikes, old signs, petrol bowsers or any kind of car-based memorabilia? If so, you need to check out our new Facebook page – Automotive Collectables. It’s a group page where members are invited to show-off their collections, or part thereof. The page has only been online for a short time, but already there’s been some amazing collections showcased. If you have something you’d like to add to the page – whether it’s to show-off or whether you want to buy, sell or swap; click on the logo below to be taken to the page.

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KILLER

Video

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NOISE!

Big engines, big burnouts, big attitudes!


WHAT’S HAPPENING WANT TO DISGUISE YOUR LS CONVERSION?

Thanks to Billet Specialties, you can now add an LS-based engine into your early GM or Ford (if you’re that way inclined) and make it look like its meant to be there with these cool rover cover conversion kits that allows you to adapt either ‘old-school’ Chev rocker covers or Ford Windsor rocker covers over the factory LS items. A coil relocation kit is required and each kit uses LS gaskets on the bottom and either standard Chev or Ford gasket between the cover and the adapter.

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WANT A CAMARO? BETTER HURRY!

GM fans just can’t cop a break after HSV recently announced that their commitment to converting the Camaro to RHD for Aussie muscle car fans is over. After a total production run of 1550, 1200 2SSs and 350 of the supercharged ZL1, HSV have stopped their conversion of the coupe and are now concentrating on the Silverado. All is not lost though with quite a few examples of both still available in dealerships across the country. The decision to axe the Camaro has all but put the final nail in the coffin for the Camaro to be part of the V8 Supercars in 2021 and beyond. So where does that leave the Holden fans? What a year 2020 is turning out to be…

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WHAT’S HAPPENING

SPECIAL MUSTANG SET FOR NSW HIGHWAY PATROL

It seems that the NSW Police Force have reconsidered their decision not to include the Mustang for Patrol duties with the news that the Police force will be taking delivery of a very special Mustang Interceptor built by Ford guru, Rob Herrod at Herrod Performance in Melbourne. This comes off the back of Rob’s involvement in the R-Spec Mustang. The Police Mustang will be based on the new ten-speed auto, 339kw 5.0-litre GT Mustang, but will have a revised cooling system, lower suspension and will have the rear seat removed to house all of the electronic gadgetry that the NSW Police Force rely on. Though , at the time of writing, there’s been no definite answer on when this may happen, but I am guessing that if the official announcement hasn’t been made by the time you read this, it won’t be far away...

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FREE MAGAZINE OFFER

TAKE YOUR VEHICLE TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF TECHNICAL PERFECTION

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CLICK HERE

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INCLUDES CASE STUDIES & ARTICLES OF ONE OF A KIND PRODUCTS

Mailed to your home or business


HAVE YOUR SAY Got something to say? Send it to paul@killerrides.com.au or message us from the Killer Rides Facebook page.

MEMORIES OF EXTREME MAG

G’day Paul, Mate, the latest issue of Killer Rides was an absolute cracker. It reminded me of how Extreme Magazine was when you had it. Lots of horsepower oozing from a great mix of tough cars. To me, that was your best issue yet. Great work. Stuart T via Email

ISOLATION RELAXATION

Hi Paul, Since being in somewhat of a lockdown, like everyone else on the planet, I spend plenty of time checking my feed on Facebook and that’s where I was alerted to your post about Killer Rides mag being online. Being able to click and read all of your issues from number one through to the current one, has made my isolation time that much easier to handle. I’m loving the cars and the video inserts are awesome. Thanks for your efforts. Mark H via Messenger G’day Paul, Thank god for Killer Rides being online. The fear of being handed a massive fine just for going outside in the car keeps me and my family indoors more than we would like, but knowing that I can jump onto my computer or iPad to get my horsepower fix is bloody fantastic! By the way, that HG Ute on the cover of the latest issue is sensational. Congrats to Rob and all involved on building a tuff Ute. Can’t wait for the new issue to become available. Keep up the great work. Andrew A via Messenger Hey Paul, I had to send you a message to thank you for producing Killer Rides each month. With these crazy times forcing us to spend time indoors, I have been trolling through the internet much more than I ever would, but there’s also an uptime. My 10-year old son is at the age where he is developing an interest in cars. He constantly shows me pics of cool cars he finds on the internet and now, when I am checking out the new Issue of Killer Rides (and also Super Rod), he drags a chair up beside me and sits there glued to the screen asking plots of questions and offering his opinion of each car. It’s been great to be able to spend this time with my son and grow his interest in modified cars. Thanks so much. Steven W via Email.

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Guys, I am so happy that Killer Rides is helping to pass the time away while we are forced to take time out from our normal way of life. I can tell you that since these restrictions have been put in place, my number of views have spiked considerably. Whilst the event side of the scene has become non-existent, I’ve been busy trying to fill that gap with other features. 2020 has certainly been a different sort of year, let’s hope we can get back to normal soon.

G’day Stuart, Thanks for the kind words mate. Killer Rides was always going to be an extension of where I left off at Extreme. Tough cars will always be my passion and hopefully that comes out loud and clear through each issue of Killer Rides. I hope this issue keeps you happy too.

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CAR & BIKE ENTRY BY INVITATION ONLY! ALL NEW CARS AND BIKES ON DISPLAY FOR 2020!

4 # E V I L

NEW FOR 2020

REVEALS!

AUGUST 15-16, 2020

ILLAWARRA HOCKEY CENTRE, UNANDERRA

www.killerrides.com.au

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON: CAR & BIKE ENTRY TRADE STANDS & SPONSORSHIP Please contact Paul Beck @ Killer Rides (0432) 795336 paul@killerrides.com.au or Via Facebook

STREET MACHINES HOT RODS DRAG CARS CUSTOM BIKES TRADE STANDS & MORE!


COMING ATTRACTIONS

PICK-UP

Artist

1956 Chev Apache - Ryan Pitts In the Build at T&M Street Customz Starting as a multi-coloured, run-down project, this Australian delivered, ’56 Chevy Apache build will be unique in its approach and in its completed form. The owner, Ryan Pitts sat down with Tony and Matthew at T&M Street Customz to work out a game plan that, when completed, will make this Pick-up a head-turner.

R O O L F A E R A D A O HARDY PLANK L L A E V E R R E L L I F L AUTOMATED FUE L L E C L E U F N E D HID

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HQ CHASSIS 20-INCH SMOOTHIE WHEELS BREMBO BRAKES There’s no denying that custom trucks are big business at the moment, and thanks to the team at T&M Street Customz in Pakenham, Vic; there’s about to be another cool pick-up roaming the streets.


COMING ATTRACTIONS Mounted to a HQ Chassis, the body has already had a number of cool modifications including a fullyfabricated rear tub and roll pan. Other changes include turning the front bar upside down and getting it closer to the body to eliminate huge gaps that the factory thought were OK. The bar has been shaved smooth of any bolts and now hosts a recess for the numberplate. The doors have had the quarter windows removed, ad now have one-piece glass installed for a much smoother look. Lots of time has been spent making sure

AUTOMATED FLIP-PANEL REVEALS FUEL FILLER FOR HIDDEN FUEL CELL!

the panel gaps are perfect all round along with the body lines that tend to get messed up a bit over the years. For something different, the tray area will be lined in “Hardy Deck� panels with one slat featuring an electric actuator to reveal the fuel filler for the fuel cell that is mounted inder the floor. Inside, the doors will be full painted steel, saving the trimmer some time. The dash will feature a Dakota gauge cluster and there will also be Lokar branded gear added including the shifter, pedals and handbrake assembly.

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Lifting the sizeable bonnet will reveal a custom, one-piece engine cover that the boys fabricated inhouse. Under that cool creation will sit a cammed LS-1 that will provide plenty of power for the Truck as its going to be more of a show-piece / cruiser and not something expected to run sub-10-second quarters at Calder Park. Matt from PSI Performance handled the engine build and sorted all of the mechanical upgrades. The Chev will roll on 20-inch Smoothies with Brembo brakes added inside each wheel.

CUSTOM ENGINE COVER HIDES A BUILT LS-1 ENGINE!


COMING ATTRACTIONS There has been around 12-months of work lavished onto the body. In that time, the mods were done and the body taken back to bare steel in preparation for the colour. So what’s the colour combo chosen? Ryan wants to be different, so he has decided upon a Harley Davison colour called “Sarsaparilla”that has been tweaked further by darkening it a little and then covering it with a super matte clear coat. Keeping with the ‘no-shine’ theme, Ryan has specified

that all driveline components, wheels and all accessories such as the extractors, fuel and brake lines, diff, driveshaft and fuel cell be painted matte black. All the bolts have been changed to hex-head style and are in the process of being powder-coated matte black as well. The goal is to have the Apache finished in time to have it at MotorEx 2020, which is now scheduled for the last weekend of November. Keep an eye out for it…

THE BODY WILL BE COATED IN HARLEY DAVIDSON SARSAPARILLA COATED IN MATTE CLEAR! 24

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T&M Street Customz are located at 2-3/17 Bate Close, Pakenham, VIC. Check out their website at www.tmstreetcustomz.com.au or their Facebook page for regular updates - https://www.facebook.com/Tmstreetcustomz/


E D O C E U L B

DAVID MERCIECA - 1968 FORD MUSTANG

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WORDS / PICS / VIDEO - Paul Beck

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In case of an emergency, turn on the ignition, grab first gear and take that blown 363ci Windsor straight to Redline!


You don’t take a spot in the prestigious Top 20 at the Summernats with an ordinary car – and this slick ’68 Mustang is far from ordinary. Even before you get to see under the bonnet, take a peek at the interior or bother to get down on your hands and knees to see the underside, you’ve already made your mind up that David Mercieca’s finely-tweaked version of a Mustang is something special. It just has that aura surrounding it.

The sound can only be described as menacing, heralding back to the heyday of muscle cars.

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It was far from how it looks now when he first traded some cash for the run-down Mustang, with the body sporting more hits than the Beatles which the previous owner(s) hadn’t even bothered to repair. At least there were no nasty surprises hiding behind an inch or two of filler… With the body relieved of all its paint, the body was to receive a complete makeover. Not wanting to go too far over the top in regards to the styling, Dave had the damage that had accumulated over the years fixed along with handmade side skirts and guard flares fabricated in alloy, with the custom bonnet and boot lid made from the same material by Jeff at Western Street & Custom. The Eleanor-style front bar keeps the alloy grille company along with the extra lighting incorporating into the more menacing front-end treatment.


With the body work sorted, including the underside where mini-tubs were added and the floor was cleaned up, straightened and then prepared for a coat of matte paint, it was time to add the colour to the area’s that you can see. Resisting the temptation to build an Eleanor clone, Dave insisted that Jeff’s son Pat, coat the Mustang in a stunning shade of Deep Impact Blue from PPG, with contrasting silver stripes and GT500E branding. The colour flows into the smoothed-out engine bay. It goes without saying that the paint and body on this ’68 is nothing short of sensational. To give the exterior a modern feel, all lighting is now LED.

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After spending some ten years and an obviously obscene amount of the folding stuff to build his dream Fastback, there’s a fair chance those racing days won’t be revisited any time soon.

Open either of the doors and you’ll be smacked in the face with an acre of charcoal leather that covers the Procar front seats and remoulded rear seat, door trims and rear trim panels. The interior space also houses a bolt-in Shelby roll cage, billet steering wheel and a factory dash filled with cool Shelby Signature-series gauges. There’s also a Clarion/Blaupunkt sound system that provides crystal clear cruising tunes. Like the exterior, the interior space has been done to the highest level.


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When it came time to add the driveline, Dave looked no further than Sam at Westend Performance to build him a tough, 363ci Windsor small block to slot between the strut towers. This wasn’t going to be just any old Windsor though, this one had to be topped with a lowprofile, B&M supercharger and FAST throttle body fuel injection. To make sure everything performed as you would expect from a high-class American muscle car, Sam put together a stout engine package. Below the cool induction sits a bottom end that features a Dart block, Scat stroker crank and rod combo that swings forged pistons. A custom roller cam and lifter kit was added and gives the stretched Windsor a serious idle that makes sure heads turn when the Mustang is fired into life. A custom 10-litre sump holds enough oil to keep the engine well-lubricated via the Mellings pump. A pair of alloy AFR heads top the tough bottom end and provide the perfect platform for the forced induction. After the MSD ignition does its thing, the gases produced are shown the door via the custom headers that flow into a pair of Hooker headers and dual, three-inch exhaust. The sound can only be described as menacing, heralding back to the heyday of muscle cars. On the Westend dyno, the pumped small block made a credible 620hp – more than enough to keep a smile on Dave’s face. Not only does it perform great, it certainly looks the part doing it. Part of the reason why it romped into the Top 20.

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You don’t take a spot in the prestigious Top 20 at the Summernats with an ordinary car – and this slick ’68 Mustang is far from ordinary.


The Mustang is an iconic muscle car and from where Dave sits, tough muscle cars deserve to have a manual gear box. That’s why there’s a TKO500 five-speed box mounted to the 363-cuber, with gear selections made with a Hurst shifter that looks right at home in the centre console. The power is sent rearward through a four-inch tailshaft to the Tru-Trac 9-inch diff running 3.5-gears and 31-spline axles. The diff is located via a four-link system and is suspended with TCP coil-over shocks. At the other end, there’s a Unisteer rack adapted to the front end with coil-over shocks providing a firmer ride. FG XR6 Turbo Falcon calipers clamp over PBR disc rotors are added to each corner and are hidden inside the polished 20x8.5” and 20x9.5” Foose Ascot wheels, giving the Mustang a sensational look. To help the Mustang cope with the added power, there’s been some extra chassis bracing included in the build.

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Resisting the temptation to build an Eleanor clone, Dave insisted that Jeff’s son Pat, coat the Mustang in a stunning shade of Deep Impact Blue from PPG...


Dave has always loved the ‘67/’68 Fastback Mustang styling and when he found this car, it was located in Hornsby, northwest Sydney and was actually being used for racing. After spending some ten years and an obviously obscene amount of the folding stuff to build his dream Fastback, there’s a fair chance those racing days won’t be revisited any time soon. Asked if there’s anything he would do differently is starting the car again, he suggested he would add larger tubs and probably go with a pair of turbos’ instead of the blower. Will that happen in the future? Who knows, but for now, Dave is more than happy to cruise and show the Mustang as often as he can. Let’s hope the shows come back in 2020 sooner rather than later so Dave has a reason to get the Mustang out of the shed – where its currently taking up residency next to his ’66 Convertible. It’s nice to have a choice…

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS HERE!

IT’S CHEAPER THAN YOU THINK! Contact Paul Beck now to discuss your advertising options.

0432 795336 paul@killerrides.com.au

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THANKS TO: My family for their support during the long build time. Jeff at Western

Street & Custom for the metal and alloy fabrication. Pat for the amazing paint work. Sam at Westend Performance for the engine package. All of my friends that have helped with the build along the way.

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MULTITasking 38

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Peter Apap’s candy pearl green LX is a combination of show car, tough-street cruiser and some time drag racer! PETER APAP_1977 LX TORANA WORDS / PICS - Paul Beck


Peter Apap has a fascination for Torana’s. His garage is home to no less than prime examples, including an unrestored genuine SL/R 5000, a restored A9X sedan and his latest build, this Pro-Street LX show stunner, along with a few bikes and the last HSV offering, the GTS-R! But it’s his big cube small block Torana that gets his pulse racing more than any other in his collection. The detail inside, outside and underneath his

LX ensures it doesn’t get embarrassed at any show and there’s a tough small block Chev fitted into the engine bay that has easily propelled the Torana down the quarter in 10.77-secs at around 128mph! There’s more in it, but Peter admits he doesn’t drive the car as hard as it’s meant to be. As well as hitting the quartermile strip, Peter’s not afraid to get the Torana out of his sizeable shed to hit the black top on a regular basis.

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When it was removed from the paint booth and put in the sun, jaws dropped – but none more than Peter’s! Peter found this Torana, a genuine 6-pack SL/R, on eBay. The car was located in Melbourne and had quite a few bids on it when Peter joined in the bidding battle. He scored the win with a bid of just $6,500 and that price included shipping it to his door in Western Sydney! The Torana stayed in the same condition for twelve months whilst Peter drove the wheels of it. As boring as it was, the Torana proved to be a reliable cruiser day in, day out. A weekend cruise with a bunch of mates changed his view of the Torana forever though. With his mates all cruising high-powered Torana’s and Capri’s, Peter felt left out and decided right there and then that his Torana was going to get the Pro-Street treatment. The problem he faced was at this time, he was restoring his A9X Torana and because he was going to use the same tradesmen, the build was going to take longer than expected. With the A9X completed and secured in its little bubble in the shed, all attention was quickly turned to the new project. The brief was simple – make it fast and make it spectacular.


Let’s check out the driveline first. It was an easy decision to get George from Wild Automotive to piece together the engine for the new build. “When I decided to build this Torana, I told George that I wanted a tough Pro-Street Torana that can be street registered and run 10-sec quarter miles with ease. It must be built using old school mechanicals with no turbo’s, blower or nitrous – just old school, aspirated grunt”, Peter explained. “We achieved this nicely. I just had to add a quieter exhaust system to make things legal.” George started the engine build with a brand new Dart Little M block that had a stock displacement of 350 cubic inches, but was taken much further to 434 thanks to the Scat stroker crank and 6-inch rod combo. JE dome top pistons and rings were soon added giving the tough small block a compression ratio of around 12.5:1 putting paid to regular pump fuel. A custom Kinetic roller cam and offset roller lifters joined the party and along with the Rollmaster timing chain, CVR billet oil pump, Miloden sump and electric water pump built the foundation for a great street and strip engine package.

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It must be built using old school mechanicals with no turbo’s, blower or nitrous – just old school, aspirated grunt”, Peter explained.

After being match ported and polished by Rams Head Service, the 434ci block soon had its alloy heads and intake bolted into place to form the majority of the engine. The Dart intake manifold plays host to a 950cfm HP Holley carb that is topped by a K&N 11.5-inch air filter. A Magna fuel 300 pump drags the high-octane fuel from the alloy fuel cell made by Shaun’s Custom Alloy, to the engine via Aeroflow lines and fuel regulator. And after the bang takes place, the gases are shown the door via a pair of custom 4-into-1 headers and dual three-inch system. On the engine dyno, the small block made a credible 720hp on 98-octane fuel and 742hp on 109. Sam at Westend Performance handled the dyno work so you know that figure is accurate.


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Backing the engine is a no-nonsense Turbo 400 auto that has been built by Al’s Race Glides using only the very best components including a TCE 5500rpm converter. Gear selections are short and sharp thanks to the B&M shifter. A 3.5-inch Moser chrome-moly tailshaft transfers the ample power through to a braced nine-inch diff housing that features a Strange centre with 4.11-gears and 35-spline Moser axles. D&R Diffs are responsible for constructing the almost bullet-proof rear end. The diff is suspended using Strange coil-over shocks and chromemoly trailing arms. The rear of the Torana also features mini-tubs and 3mm plates welded into the floor where the suspension mounts. Pete Cleary at Pro Modifications is no stranger to pro-street rear end set ups and put all of his knowledge into making sure Peter’s Torana will handle anything Peter can through at it. The original front end has been beefed up using Pedders springs and shocks. Whilst the suspension hasn’t seen many changes, the same can’t be said for the engine bay. The front chassis rails have been trimmed of their excess steel and the firewall has been scalloped for clearance around the distributor. For the same reason, the transmission tunnel has been stretched to make sure the much larger turbo box has nothing that touches the body.

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Peter found this Torana, a genuine 6-pack SL/R, on eBay. The car was located in Melbourne and had quite a few bids on it when Peter joined in the bidding battle.


With the driveline built and the fabrication on the body sorted, it was time to prepare the body for colour. Peter looked no further than Deni and the team at Spray Fever in Campbelltown after knowing the quality that comes from their shop. Peter didn’t want to go too far with the body other than add the Alfa Fibreglass-sourced reverse-cowl bonnet, SL/R blackouts and the modified rear wheel arches that have been stretched 40mm by Pete Cleary to accommodate the bigger wheel and tyre combo. With all the filling, sanding and priming finished, the pristine body was masked up and wheeled into the booth for colour. When it was removed from the paint booth and put in the sun, jaws dropped – but none more than Peter’s! As you’d expect, the House of Kolor Lime Time Pearl and Lime Gold Candy mix over the Planet Green base, literally glowed! When combined with the blackouts, chrome bars and polished Weld wheels, the Torana is an absolute head turner. The colour extends to the engine bay and underside – the finish as good as any seasoned show car.

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On the engine dyno, the small block made a credible 720hp on 98-octane fuel and 742hp on 109.


The interior features a clever mix of original Torana and custom inclusions, but you’re not going to guess where! Sure, the door trims are retrimmed originals in the standard pattern, but you’ll have to look harder than that. The dash? Nope, nothing original there with the facia being CNC-machined and then filled with AutoMeter gauges and plenty of switches to operate the Torana’s vitals. The steering wheel is the standard Issue SL/R version and still suits the customized interior. That pretty much leaves the Autotechnica front seats and custom moulded two-seater rear bench. So that’s the custom part, but where’s the Torana in such modified seats? Try the material. Peter specified the original Slate “Golf Ball” insert with black vinyl for each seat and door trim. To compliment the grey/black theme, Peter had the roll cage painted in body colour. Dave King at King Trim did a great job with the interior makeover.

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Since its completion, Peter has entered quite a few shows with success, but it’s on the street where Peter gets the most enjoyment, so the Torana now has seen plenty of cruising with the boys, and now when he is out cruising, there’s no way he’s going to feel left out!

THANKS TO: George at Wild Automotive. Deni and the boys at Spray Fever. Dave

King at King Trim. Shaun’s Custom Alloy. Al’s Race Glides. Sam @ Westend Performance. D&R Diffs. Rams Head Services. Stuart Oakman. Last but not least, my wife for putting up with me during the slow, stressful process.


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e c n a m r Perfo

S N O BOLT

For many of us, building an engine from scratch just isn’t possible. But bolting on a range of go-fast bits certainly is. Here we list the Top 30 bolt ons for power gains and reliability.

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1. HIGH VOLUME SUMP There are lots of companies fabricating custom sumps for just about every application you can think off. Fitting an aftermarket sump can sometimes create clearance problems, so make sure you do your homework first. Ride height is one area that needs consideration if you’re looking at adding a sump that holds a considerable amount of extra oil over the factory pan. The last thing you need is to be banging the sump every time you go for a cruise. There’s many companies out there that can custom make a sump for your needs, and the benefits are more than worth the effort and expense involved.

2. PERFORMANCE BALANCER In high performance applications, the factory harmonic balancer always seems to struggle. Personally, I’ve had one fall off the front of a Holden six almost at the front of my house! Therefore if you’re driving a high-powered street car or a serious race car, you need to upgrade to a stronger, more sturdy balancer. Often overlooked, the balancer plays a big part in the performance of your engine.

3. HIGH-VOLUME OIL PUMP Keeping the supply of oil through the engine is of utmost importance. If your pump isn’t up to the task, you risk serious damage to your engines internals. On just about every engine build we see, a Mellings high-volume oil pump is on the list. The inexpensive pump can save thousands of dollars-worth of grief and is well worth the cost. Those drag racers amongst us quite often go for a Peterson dry sump system where the oil gets pumped from an external tank. Either way, it’s crucial to keep the liquid flowing. 4. FUEL PUMP Like the oil pump, if the factory fitted mechanical fuel pump is working at half rate, the performance of your engine will suffer considerably. Chances are that if you’ve fitted your old pump to a new engine that produces more power, you’re going to need to upgrade that old pump too. My suggestion is a more powerful electric unit as they can be mounted anywhere and are ultra-reliable. There’s a number of different options available, so speak to those in the know to get the right set-up for your application.

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5. HEADERS Engines need to breathe to be able to make power. Factory exhaust manifolds are designed to do the job enough to pass emissions – nothing more, nothing less. A pair of brand name headers will not only increase the power level, but will also give your car a sweeter sound. Be prepared though to modify the rest of the exhaust system to suit. And if you’ve added a different engine to your car, you’ll need to get a custom set of headers fabricated to suit. Be prepared for your wallet to ache for quite a while though…


6. WATER PUMP If it’s working well, the mechanical water pump on the front of your engine will flow enough water through your engine to keep it cool all year round. However, nothing lasts forever and from time to time water pumps simply rust from the inside out causing water leaks and cooling problems. Several aftermarket companies make replacement mechanical pumps for a straight bolt up operation, whilst those who need a more efficient cooling system, there’s a number of electric pumps that are more than capable of doing the job.

9. AIR FILTER A restrictive air flow can hinder your cars performance. Where possible, always go for an open air filter to allow maximum airflow into the carb. The racers of yesteryear knew that by forcing more air into the engine, the more power you make so they set about making air tubes the lead from the covered air cleaner to the front grille, bumper bar or inner wheel arch. These days, you can buy filters like K&N that drag air in from every direction for maximum air flow.

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7. INTAKE MANIFOLD Factory intake manifolds flow nowhere near the amount of fuel and air that a good aftermarket manifold will, yet it’s often overlooked in favour of a bigger carb. Combining a carb capable 52 of flowing a higher cfm with a factory intake is about as pointless as a scrum in rugby league – a complete waste of time. Whether it’s for a single, twin or quartet of carbs, the intake change will make a huge difference when combined with the right carby. Check out any good performance shop and you’ll find a range of alloy intake manifolds to suit your intended use and budget.

8. CARBURETOR(S) A common misconception with engines is that if you bolt on a bigger carb, you’ll get more power. This is simply not true, unless other factors have come into play as well including the intake, camshaft and cylinder heads – each one requiring a level of attention to get the most from that carb you’ve just bought. Still, if the engine proves capable of handling the greater flow and you have a spare carb hanging around, time is all you’ll spend. To find the right carb for your application, visit your local engine builder with your engine specs.

10. FUEL LINES I’m sure there is no need to highlight just how much damage a burst fuel line can cause. At the very minimum I suggest proper steel braided lines with the correct size fittings – making sure that the line doesn’t foul on any engine, steering or suspension part. The best way to go about it though is to utilise formed steel hard lines. Not only do they look great following the curves of your engine or chassis, their strength and durability is second to none.

11. CYLINDER HEADS Older engines that are showing signs of wear sometimes need their major parts replaced instead of rebuilt. With the cost of alloy cylinder heads now dropping there’s no reason why you can’t add a pair of Edelbrock, Merlin or similar heads to your engine. The performance gained straight up is worth every cent, not to mention that if a problem arises with a slight crack, most of the time they can be repaired.

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15. ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION EFI conversions are becoming more and more popular with the drivability and economy gains becoming more important than just outright power. Again, several companies offer various forms of aftermarket injection from single throttle body to eight staggered tube types. Why not have a look through some wrecking yards too where you can find complete injection setups with wiring and computer for an absolute bargain.

12. TURBO CHARGER(S) The biggest craze of more recent times is the turbo charger. More and more racers and street car owners are seeing the benefit of running one or two turbo’s on their V8 engine, gaining incredible results. Of course there’s a lot more to it than buying the turbo’s themselves, but the time and dollars invested with be well worth it. There’s a number of turbo charger professionals out there that can guide you in the right direction in regards to size, fuel supply and other requirements. 13. NITROUS OXIDE INJECTION Nitrous has been a tough car favourite for as long as there were tough cars around. The simple to fit, easy to use, power adder is one sure fire way to increase the power of any engine. Although deemed illegal on the street, you can always bolt the bottle in at the track for a night of racing at the flick of a switch. From simple under carb plate systems to the fulltilt, direct-port set-ups, there’s a nitrous kit available to suit any need and budget.

16. HIGH-POWERED ALTERNATOR Keeping a big charge in your engine is as simple as bolting on a high-powered alternator. Combined with a bigger than normal battery, the oversized alternator will ensure plenty of power with be flowing through the cars electricals when the engine is fired up. To enhance the under bonnet view, there’s plenty of polished or chrome items available too.

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55 17. GEAR REDUCTION STARTER MOTOR If your engine has a bucket load of compression, you’ve no doubt succumbed to a broken starter motor or two. My big block Chev had a habit of ‘kicking back’ resulting in more than one starter falling to the ground in two pieces. I went through two or three before going with a gear reduction starter, which spun 100-times faster resulting in an extended life.

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14. SUPERCHARGER Supercharging may not be the most cost effective way of gaining more horsepower, but show me another that is as in your face and as attention demanding as a polished 6/71 or 8/71 hanging out of your bonnet! Sure, these will certainly gain the attention from those wielding the defect books, but people still take the chance. There are various types of blowers available from the traditional Rootes type supercharger to the under bonnet versions being marketed by Vortech, Procharger, Harrop and Yella-Terra and others for both old and new school engine applications There’s a blower out there to suit your needs.

S N O T L O B 18. TALLER ROCKER COVERS Taller rocker covers are a necessity if you’re going to run roller rockers etc on your heads, providing clearance that genuine rocker covers just can’t offer. Available in polished alloy, chrome steel and fabricated sheet alloy, taller rocker covers can also give your engine bay a fuller look – especially cool if you’ve managed to shoehorn a big block into an early Holden or something just as crazy!


22. AIR CONDITIONING Packing a high horsepower engine doesn’t mean you can’t cruise in comfort, so why not consider adding air conditioning. There’s some trick fitting kits on the market made from billet aluminium that mount the compressor down low and out of sight, keeping the engine bay of your car clean and uncluttered.

19. LARGER RADIATOR If your philosophy is ‘bigger must be better’ than chances are your engine is working hard all the time. If that’s the case, you’re really going to need a better than average cooling system starting with a bigger radiator. As alloy disperses heat quicker than steel, it makes good sense to install an alloy radiator in your car, though there are other options on offer too! When doing so, it’s probably a great idea to add two thermos-fans with a custom shroud to keep the temperature cool.

56 20. SPARK PLUG LEADS The better the spark, the greater the burn. It’s no secret that Drag Racers run massive leads off their dual magneto’s to burn that alcohol or nitro at a rapid rate to keep the engine running. Whilst it’s not as critical on a street car, the same principle applies. Generally speaking 8mm or 10mm leads are more than capable of keeping your street car engine lit.

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21. PULLEYS You love nothing more than seeing the red needle on your tacho reach towards the redline and if that’s the norm for your engine, chances are you’ll be experiencing a little slippage on your fan belt if you still have the factory ‘V’ belt is use. To save the slip and to stop the belt from throwing itself off the pulleys, swap the ‘V’ belt for a toothed gilmer pulley system.

23. DISTRIBUTOR A quality distributor is a must have for any engine. Not only with a high quality dizzy get a better spark to your engine, there’s less chance of a failure. For me, an electronic distributor is the only way to go and can be sourced from either the aftermarket or the factory.

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24. FUEL PRESSURE GUAGES Having a fuel pressure gauge inside the engine bay is one of the handiest items you’ll ever install. If you’re chasing a fuel pressure problem, you don’t need someone inside the car reading the gauges whilst you’re looking for the source of the problem. An inexpensive item at best, it probably pays to have one inside the car too.


25. INTERCOOLER Turbochargers and Superchargers work so much better when the air is cool. To keep the charge cold, a goodsized front mount intercooler with as much air-flow area as possible is a necessity for the engine to keep making good power when turbocharged. For the blower guys, several companies make intercoolers that get sandwiched between the intake and the blower to get the job done

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28. RADIATOR OVERFLOW RESERVOIR Like the oil catch can, the radiator overflow bottle should be mandatory on every car you build. If you overheat your engine, the spillage stays in the reservoir rather than spray around the engine bay, getting water into all kinds of unwanted area’s. For those who care about how their engine bay looks, you can purchase a polished alloy catch can at any well-stocked speed shop.

29. STUD GIRDLE Years of research go into cam designs, but if the valve doesn’t follow the cam profile all that work is wasted. Most stud girdles are made of aluminium for lightweight and then anodised for durability. Generally they are a one-piece solid bar design to tie the studs together as well as properly locate them. As a result, the engines bottom end will be much stronger and will last significantly longer.

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26. OIL CATCH CANS It’s more for safety than a performance gain, but I still consider an oil catch can an absolute necessity. Any oil saved from going onto your exhaust or under your tyres sounds like a good investment to me.

27. ROLLER ROCKERS Regular cast rocker arms have a habit of breaking under constant high rpm. To combat that problem and keep the engine spinning more freely, most engine builders will ditch the factory rockers as a matter of habit knowing full well that even the cheapest roller rockers are going to do a better job. Yella-terra are by far the more commonly used in Australia, but there’s any number of companies out there manufacturing their own. It all comes down to your budget.

30. WATER NECK As with any part that constantly has water running through it, eventually that part will begin to leak due to corrosion. To stop that from happening, bolt on a quality alloy unit from companies such as Billet Specialties who make their water necks in various angles as well as a swivel unit.


R E P U S a v o N

Seven years after importing this Nova from the US, Steve Bowman decided to do a few upgrades to an already tidy coupe. Those minor upgrades exploded into a major resto of epic proportions…

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STEVE BOWMAN - 1965 CHEV NOVA

WORDS / PICS / VIDEO - Paul Beck


it for no less than g in is u cr d ye jo f way, the closure en of us, Steve o d st n o ki m t u o ke Li ab d s. n u ar ro ye In a this Chevy seven to e ev St power the small d e le th rk f Pa o d re ti of Oran w to ars behind the gre ye t en sp ing and decided g in ak m av H . as w Nova ck lo b Super Sprints and der the bonnet to n u es d ra g p u e wheel of a WRX in m ue’s demise had so ower stakes. n ep ve rs e o h th , e g th in in ac R te it an Circu the to some old up in et g se, the plans of to ca g e n th ki o ly al su u Steve lo is As rned ting something an W . le sc u ine rebuild soon tu g m en l o o an g sch in o d n a first-generatio nversion, four-link co t h g ri to ft le a unique, he decided to in ll restoration to go. He found fu ay a w ly e al th tu en as w ev d va an No California – a rear in le p lt and screw would am o b ex t, u ct n fe y er ev e the per er h w ays wanted a wered car which o w al -p 7 g 2 3 in av ry H o . ct d fa ce , la p rare a ground-up be re to ed ct r, Steve took the je ca b su e yl n st t ee tr had bee -s ro p ing the Nova and was owned 8 rm 0 o 0 sf 2 an in tr f n o o ti sk ra ta o sive rest few thousand mas a st ju h got some industry it W d . an iff er e d ri st is by a Sh h in when needed. do, the Nova was ee ed lv sp vo e in th ts n h o g s ei w ile m vy where Steve hea , lia ra st u A to shipped

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When the Nova arrived on our shores, it sported a blue with black stripes paint job, and although it wasn’t terrible, Steve wanted a change from that look.


When the Nova arrived on our shores, it sported a blue with black stripes paint job, and although it wasn’t terrible, Steve wanted a change from that look. With a small amount of rust in different areas to take care of, Steve had Terry at Camden County Customs replace the rear floor sections, the boot floor and smooth out the dash before the body was sent to 2SUS Custom Resprays where Bass and his team set about getting the body work sorted in preparation for the new colour. Essentially, the body is still as the Chevy designers had envisaged, though the side mouldings have been ditched for a much smoother look. The engine bay is now smoother too thanks to the flat firewall installed when the right-hand drive conversion was done. With the body now better than it ever had been, the custom red pearl paint was laid on and the Nova had its new exterior look sorted.

He found the perfect example in California – a rare, factory 327-powered car... 64

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Whilst the body was getting plenty of attention, Steve had Grant at X-Trim handle the interior makeover which included covering the Procar front seats, standard issue rear end and door trims in black leather while the boot was also tastefully trimmed. The seat belts were custom made and feature aircraft-type buckles. Grant had to custom make the carpet to suit the enlarged tunnel and chassis rails. Behind the SAAS steering wheel sits a number of AutoMeter gauges and billet warning lights flush-mounted in the flat-panel dash. There’s no stereo fitted as Steve reckons “the engine is my stereo!” Fair enough…


Speaking of the engine, the factory fitted 327-cube small block is now just a distant memory, with a purpose built 383ci version now nestled into the newly painted engine bay. The 010 block houses an Eagle steel crank with Eagle ESP H-Beam rods and SRP flat top 11:1 pistons swinging off it along with a Comp Xtreme Energy roller cam and lifter kit to form the basis for the tough engine combo. The alloy AFR 195cc heads soon joined the party but not before being fitted with Comp valve springs wrapped around larger valves and more efficient rockers. Wanting to keep the ‘street’ in ‘pro-street’, Steve played it safe and opted for a single 850cfm Quick-Fuel carb mounted to a Victor Junior intake manifold – keeping the induction system under the bonnet line and away from the eyes of those with the blue and red flashing lights.

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After the ICE ignition system (with Voltage Booster) fires the big cube small block into life, the spent gases are shown the door via a pair of custom headers that flow into a custom, 3-inch mandrel exhaust system utilising Hooker mufflers, fabricated by Brett at Wicked Industries Custom Shop. A tough Turbo 700 auto is mated to the 383-cuber and is fronted with a TCE converter with a stall speed of 3700rpm. Gear changes are sharp and swift via the B&M Pro-Ratchet shifter. The horsepower is sent from the box, via a 3-inch driveshaft to the 9-inch diff that will withstand just about anything Steve can put through it thanks to the Strange iron centre-section, Daytona aluminium pinion support, 3.7-gears with True-trac, 1350-yoke and 31-spline Mark Williams axles.


underside has ’s va o N e th , es lin the sedate body the right-hand drive g n ti le In stark contrast to p m co er ft A or rethinking. assis fabricated h C er ill M at been through a maj e av D new trans tunnel, locate the diff. The to d en conversion and the ar re e th to -link assembly shocks wrapped s g in ik V le and installed the 4 ab st ju leted with double ad kes and 15x10-inch ra b m ru rear end was comp d Q H ed n fully-reconditio CPP mini suba , d en er th o in Strange springs, e th t A . s ring 295/50 rubber arms, Chassis Work l o tr n Weld Draglites wea co r la u b tu h led along wit 00mm Hoppers 3 a d an s g frame kit was instal n ri p is cks with 9-inch Var der. The matching lin cy r adjustable Varisho te as m d o o kit and Wilw VK Commodore ed en rt o sh Stoppers disc brake A s. ar f the width of the re ted to the custom ec n n front wheels are hal co is d an d been adapte steering rack has from Billet Works. collapsible column

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Chassis; Brett Dave Miller – Miller Custom Shop; Terry es ri st u d In d ke ic W Schmidlin – ustom Resprays; C S SU 2 s; m o st u C Camden County ing; Sam Fenech m im Tr r to o M m ri Grant - X-T s Performance; ill H – en B ; ce an d Westend Perform age; my family an ar G g in at o C e Th Damon – t when needed. u o ed p el h l al to s friend

THANKS TO:


With every part of the Nova complete, but still in separate pieces and with just a few months before Summernats 33, the big push to have the Nova completed, registered and ready to go to Canberra was on. In just nine short weeks, Steve along with help from family and a great bunch of mates, managed to achieve his goal of not only making it to the Summernats, but scoring a spot in the Top 30 Street Cars that went on display outside the Elite Judging pavilion.

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Since returning from Canberra, Steve has been enjoying cruising the Nova as much as he can – and we all know what these Covid-19 restrictions have done to the car scene! But when things go back to normal, Steve, his family and the Nova will be out and about to many car events including some Roll Racing at Sydney Motorsport Park, so Steve can return to his motorsports roots. Bring it on‌


y l i m a F

RODNEY GRIMA - 1962 EK HOLDEN WORDS / PICS / VIDEO - Paul Beck

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Rodney Grima spent his most impressionable years with his Dad Mick, cruising in a tough, Chev-powered EK, and now he does the same with his sons in the same car. It’s the ultimate hand-me-down…


Funnily enough, I photographed this EK but in the early days when there was a tunnel-rammed small block providing the power. That was many years ago, and although the car has undergone a few changes, it has lost none of its coolness and I’m sure Mick is looking down suitably impressed by what Rodney has achieved. Before he had the opportunity to own this EK, Rodney had filled his garage with all kinds of modified rides including a few other EK’s (obviously influenced by his Dad and Uncles – Laurie with his stunning 56 Chev and Tony with a tough EK) several HQ’s, Torana’s, Statesman’s and a few Commodore’s, but none had the impact or sentimental value that this EK has. This is one family heirloom that is destined to be handed down from Rodney to his son’s in due course. But for now, Rodney is the one behind the wheel and making the most of it.

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By now, you’ve probably noticed that the EK sits a lot nicer than it did when it rolled from the showroom floor on its tiny cross-ply tyres.


Running his own mechanical shop, Rodney’s Automotive, he figured the time had come for some upgrades under (and through) the bonnet. Whilst the rammed small block was no slouch, it doesn’t hold a candle to the 402ci version currently serving duty. Starting with a Dart block, Rodney soon added K1 steel crank, H-Beam rods from the same company along with JE blower pistons, Sealed Power rings and a CamTech, blower-spec cam and flat tappet lifter combo, creating one stout bottom end. And it just keeps getting better from there. The AFR heads were bolted onto the prepped bottom end and have since been fitted with larger valves, Crane springs and more capable rockers. Having always wanted

to build himself a blown small block, keeping the tunnel ram in place was never really considered as Rodney had made up his mind that his 402-cuber was going to be wearing a blower! The 6/71 TBS supercharger was added via a Weiand intake and relies on a pair of 650cfm double pumper Holley carbs to provide the right amount of fuel. A complete MSD ignition system comprising of a 6AL2 box and Pro-billet distributor provide plenty of spark to light the small block’s fire and send the gases outwards via a pair of custom headers and dual, 2.5-inch exhaust. Rodney estimates the pumped small block makes around 500horsepower at the treads which is more than enough to keep him and his family smiling…

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A turbo 350 box sits behind the blown 402 and features tougher internals to deal with the torque and a 3000rpm Dominator converter. Gear selections are made via a B&M Pro Ratchet stealth shifter. The third member of the driveline trio is of course, a narrowed 9-inch diff. Not wanting to take any chances, the housing uses 3.5-gears and 31-spline axles.


Rodney handled the paintwork that covers an essentially standard issue body. Apart from the obvious hole in the bonnet, not so obvious fuel filler removal and mini-tubs, the body shell is as per the Holden spec sheets. The light blue is the original shade as used by Holden and suits the style of the car perfectly, combining with ample chrome work for that classic 60’s look. Inside, the original-style two-tone blue vinyl covers the Sigma bucket seats, factory rear seat and door trims while white was used on the headlining. Gary’s Motor Trimming got the nod to handle the stitch work, and he also laid down the contrasting blue carpet too. Although the factory dash cluster has been retained, the same can’t be said for the circa ’62 gauges. Rodney needed to know that the readings he was seeing were accurate so he binned the old gauges and replaced them with much more impressive AutoMeter dials that fit nicely into the standard spot. Four more smaller gauges were added to the dash along with a tacho and shift light on top in clear view. Other upgrades to the EK’s insides include VL Commodore seat belts, a Sony/Kenwood sound system and a billet steering wheel. Overall, it’s not a bad place to hang out when cruising. Boot space is consumed by the big alloy fuel cell and there’s just enough room for the battery, fuel pumps and wheel tubs.

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One thing is a definite though, this EK will never see a for sale sign. It’s destined to be registered to a Grima for generations to come…


By now, you’ve probably noticed that the EK sits a lot nicer than it did when it rolled from the showroom floor on its tiny cross-ply tyres. The suspension has had plenty of work performed on it over the years with Pedders coils springs on the front working with the HR leaf springs and Koni shocks to provide a firmer, but still comfy ride. Steering is no longer ‘bus-like’ too, with the addition of a HR front end, LH Torana rack and pinion steering assembly and HR column. Whiteline bushes have been used exclusively throughout making the drive nice and tight. Hidden inside the five and ten inch Weld Wheels are disc brakes on each corner. The front scored Leyland discs and HZ calipers while a VL Commodore donated the rear brakes. Ensuring a firm pedal is always at the ready is an XB Falcon master cylinder.

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Running his own mechanical shop, Rodney’s Automotive, he figured the time had come for some upgrades under (and through) the bonnet. Whilst the rebuild was a relatively straight forward deal, there were some teething problems that had to be sorted through, and that’s expected when undertaking a job of this proportion. Rodney and his helpers, that included his brother Phil, brother-inlaw Frank, uncles and cousins who are also big car nuts, his wife and kids and mates Mario Teuma, Benno and Ricky Parker; spent around 4-years transforming the EK into the cool ride you see here. When asked if there’s anything he would do differently, Rodney explained that “I’m always changing things as I go, so as far as I am concerned, it’s an ongoing build!” One thing is a definite though, this EK will never see a for sale sign. It’s destined to be registered to a Grima for generations to come…

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REPEAT

OFFENDER

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Back when Oran Park was Sydney’s only dragstrip, V8 Capri pioneer Bob Pinnell raced this Windsorpowered Capri. Fast forward a bunch of years and now Daniel Hawes is reliving the Capri’s race heritage to the tune of 9.1-sec quarters.

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DANIEL HAWES - 1971 FORD CAPRI

WORDS / PICS / VIDEO - Paul Beck RACE PICS - Grant Stephens / Cackling Pipes


Not long after Bob and the Capri were storming down Oran Park’s front straight, Bob accepted an offer and watched the new owner drive the Capri out of his life. For the most part, the Capri sat idle in the new owner’s garage for many years, and this is where Daniel comes into the story. Having heard that the Capri was for sale, Daniel made an offer, the owner agreed and Daniel became the owner of some tough car history‌ The downside to the Capri sitting unused for that long was that the car needed a complete going over from front to back to replace those parts

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that had perished over the years and to make sure things still worked the way they should. It was at this time that Daniel decided to give the Capri a long overdue refurbish. That striking Yellow Glow paint is, for the most part, just how it was from day one. With the exception of the reverse cowl fibreglass bonnet and wheel tubs, the body and paint remain untouched from when Bob was sitting behind the steering wheel. The classic silver stripe, silver paint around the taillights and GT badging provide a nice break from the attention seeking colour.

...this time around, Daniel teamed up with Tristan Triccas to piece together a big cube small block...

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The interior however was a completely different story. When you have a mate that is considered one of the best trimmers in the country, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of that! So Daniel let Simon Judd at Elite Custom Interiors loose inside the Capri to create a space that kept the tough street car brief, but was more suited to cruising on the street as well as hitting the quarter mile in anger. Simon covered the Bride front seats, reshaped rear seat and door trims in a charcoal suede with cool yellow stitching with the floor getting the same pattern in leather. The factory dash has had the original gauge cluster ripped out and binned, and in its place sits a digital Racepac dash along with a host of switches mounted to the carbon fibre facia. The steering wheel is from Nardi and between the seats sits the lever to release the parachute and the B&M Pro-Ratchet shifter. To comply with the drag racing rules, there’s a multi-point cage with removeable side intrusion bars in place. The interior is now part street, part strip!

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At Summernats 29, the Capri went home with the 3rd place Top Tuff Street trophy riding shotgun on the passenger seat.


The Capri has always had a Windsor between the rails after Bob did the initial conversion, but this time around, Daniel teamed up with Tristan Triccas to piece together a big cube small block capable of not only running down the quarter, but also handle some street cruising too. With that in mind, the Dart block was stripped down, cleaned up and prepped for some top-shelf gear that included a Callies stroker crank and Ultra rod combo, CP pistons and a wild, solid roller cam with Murrell roller lifters. A custom sump holds plenty of oil for the Mellings pump to share around the engine. The Edelbrock Victor heads have been ported and modified by Tricky and now feature much larger valves wrapped in PSI springs.

The cubic capacity now sits at 434-inches and in aspirated form, the dyno showed the engine to make 750hp.

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Supplying ample amounts of high-octane fuel into the engine is a Pro-Systems 1050cfm Dominator carb mounted to an Edelbrock intake with a Nitrous Pro-Flow plates system wedged between them to give the Capri that added hit when needed. Custom stainless 4-into-1 headers unwind to exit the car as a dual system and easily dumps the gases after the MSD Digital 7 ignition system gets the stretched Windsor powered up. The cubic capacity now sits at 434-inches and in aspirated form, the dyno showed the engine to make 750hp. First time out at Sydney Dragway, Daniel run the Capri to a best of 9.1-secs. He knows the car is capable of breaking into the 8’s without the bottle and when he does, the Nitrous will be armed and Daniel will be prepared to see just how quick his little yellow rocket can cover the quarter. Backing the engine is a Protrans-built Powerglide, complete with a billet gear set, TCE converter and C4 trans adapter. The power is fed to the narrowed nine-inch via a 3-inch carbon-fibre tailshaft. The diff features an alloy Mark Williams centre and gun-drilled, lightweight 35-spline axles to ensure there’s no embarrassing moments when Daniel launches the Capri at the flash of the green bulb.


The underside has seen a few changes too. The leaf springs have been relocated inwards fitted with Caltrac’s for optimum traction. The shocks of choice are single adjustable Strange items while the standard issue front end scored some modified shocks. While the parachute helps Daniel pull the Capri up after a big run, on the street, that’s just not viable. It would be cool, but frowned upon by those wielding the defect books. So to make sure Daniel has plenty of braking power, he has fitted Wilwood slotted and drilled discs and 4-spot calipers to each corner. The wheel and tyre combo show serious Pro-Street styling. Measuring 15x10 and 15x4, the polished Weld Wheels are shod with 275/60 M/T Street Radials and 175/60 Nankang front runners.

Elite Custom Interiors PTY LTD 3/75 Montague Street, North Wollongong NSW 2500 T: (0414) 803084 F: (02) 4228 8298 E: elitecustomint@gmail.com W: www.facebook.com/elitecustominteriors I: #elitecustominteriors

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At Summernats 29, the Capri went home with the 3rd place Top Tuff Street trophy riding shotgun on the passenger seat. But it’s on both the street and strip where Daniel and the Capri are most happiest. But as we are all aware, with the dreaded Covid-19 virus playing havoc with the car scene in general, doing either of those is non-existent at the moment. But, when Sydney Dragway opens the lanes once again, you can bet Daniel will be on hand to get that desired 8-second ET before turning the bottle on. Then look out…

THANKS TO: Tristan Triccas at Affordable Race Parts, Fred at Protrans, Simon at Elite Custom Interiors, and my mates Nik, Ben and Leigh for all their help.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

R A C E L C S U M

s r e t s Ma

There’s no denying that Ford and GM both have their die-hard followers that absolutely hate their life-long opponents. That’s just how it is. But it appears that those from those opposing camps all have a soft spot for the Mopar product. No one seems to understand why, and no one really cares…

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While both Ford & GM have their own factory muscle cars, they simply can’t match the variety on offer from across the road at the Mopar headquarters…


IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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Mopar muscle cars have always been about performance and style. From the earliest examples to the most recent Demon Challengers, those that call the shots at the very top of Mopar management are obviously muscle car fans and know that those with the dollars in their pockets deserve to have something fast and stylish in their driveway. The 60’s and 70’s were the ultimate eras are far as muscle

cars are concerned. The big 3 were all competing for bragging rights and with Mopar having many more models over GM and Ford, along with the most outrageous styling and factory colours, it’s no surprise that people were flocking to Mopar dealerships to get their hands on one of the many muscle cars on offer. In a time where it was all about cubic inches and horsepower, Mopar was undeniably king!

...it appears that those from those opposing camps all have a soft spot for the Mopar product... 95


IN THE SPOTLIGHT

As far as modern-day muscle goes, Mopar still flies the flag for those who crave more horsepower than is necessary in a road car. The SRT-equipped 300C Chryslers whet the appetite for Mopar muscle car lovers, and set the path for the nextgeneration Challenger to make an appearance on showroom floors, which eventually launched the current batch of supercars in the form of the 700-plus horsepower, supercharged Hemipowered Hellcat Challenger and Charger and of course, the 9-second Demon Red-Eye. And then there’s the giant killing V10 Dodge Viper!

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Mopar muscle cars have always been about performance and style.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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In a time where it was all about cubic inches and horsepower, Mopar was undeniably king!

It seems that the upper management at Mopar are hell bent on keeping the horsepower coming for those willing to part with the necessary dollars to own a factory-built performance street car. And while ever those people have their jobs, Mopar will be producing horsepower. Let’s hope they never retire‌

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KILLER PIC Can you imagine this happening today? OH&S would have a meltdown!

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VALUED CONTRIBUTORS

Lauren Jade @ Xposed Photography Tim McCormack @ Sweet Aussie Rides Chad Silvey @ Pics by Chaddo Leisa Bonnici @ Fordgal Images Blake Williamson @ Insane Grunt Photography Stephen Taylor @ The Motorsports Project John Antoniw @ 9000rpm Photography Jimmy Tee Photography Greg ‘Beach’ Ball - Joe Crispin - Jason Lowe Ben @ High-Explosive Media Luke Hunter @ Hunter Media

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Killer Rides Magazine #24_May 2020  

Issue #24 of Killer Rides packs another punch this month with another great array of hardcore streetcars including the Eleanor-inspired '68...

Killer Rides Magazine #24_May 2020  

Issue #24 of Killer Rides packs another punch this month with another great array of hardcore streetcars including the Eleanor-inspired '68...