Archive for the ‘Motorcycles’ Category

RED DEVIL: Les Chadwick’s 355ci Holden LX Torana Hatch


21 Aug

Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Torana

RED DEVIL

Meet Les Chadwick’s interpretation of the classic Aussie hatch back
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden ToranaIt’s easy to understand why so many people lust after the LX Torana hatch. Thanks to its motorsport background in this country and that fact that history occurred in the wonderful years prior to the mind-numbing parity of the V8 Supercars when racers piloted vehicles much more similar to the road-going versions, anything even part-way resembling the legendary A9X tends to get pulses racing.

Even though Sydneysider Les Chadwick has always loved Toranas, this gleaming LX is actually the 56-year-old’s first. “I’ve previously owned a twin turbo Hilux, Datsun 720 ute, Holden tonner, an HR, XD Falcon and an XY Falcon ute,” Les says. Clearly, Les a man of varied tastes.

The LX has come a long way since Les purchased it back in 2005. There hasn’t been a single nut, bolt, washer or gasket that hasn’t been turned, replaced or recoated and the results show in these photos. At the heart of it all is the stroker Holden; based on a VT-era 304ci block and filled with a 355ci COME Racing stroker kit.Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Torana

The VT blocks are generally considered the pinnacle in the Holden design and Les’ combo runs a solid roller valvetrain operating within a set of heavily ported cast VN-style heads. All the air enters the engine via the 750cfm Mighty Demon and a Redline dual-plane intake. Power is untested at this stage, but as we learned during our photo shoot, the car has no trouble turning the 10in-wide Convo Pros.

Les says that the completion of the flawless Brilliant red bodywork was one of his most memorable moments during the build, and with good reason: it looks fantastic. “Just being able to show everyone what all the hard work had been for was a real defining moment,” les says.

Painted by Bathurst Paint and Panel, the flanks of the car show no rippling, no dents and no signs of the car’s 30-odd years of existence. Contrasted by Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Toranathe traditional blackouts, the red really stands out, but it is a colour that isn’t going to date like the latest flash-in-the-pan fad.

Les has achieved a similar level of timelessness with his treatment of the interior as well. It mixes the classic primary architecture of the LX cabin with some more modern parts and styling to create a place that’s fresh and updated without feeling – or looking – weird.

Up front you’ll find some aftermarket reclining race seats. These and the rest of the cabin has been decked out in some soft leather with red stitching to match the paintwork outside. With a modern steering wheel and the addition of some Autometer gauges, Les sits pretty in a cockpit that grabs your attention with its subtlety and cleanliness as opposed to whitewash of tan leather and billet that is likely to date a few years down the track.Les Chadwick's 1976 LX Holden Torana

Luckily for Les, the build up of the Torana went pretty smoothly. “About the biggest problem I had was that my shed was too small,” he says. “There are no further plans for the car at this stage other than to enjoy it.”

Whatever the case, Les has the pleasure of cruising around in one of the nicer LX examples we’ve seen lately, bristling with attention to detail and packing all the right hardware to allow him to do just about anything his heart desires; whether it be long trips, drag racing or just going to the shops. What more could you ask for?

Owner: Les Chadwick
Colour: Brilliant red w/blackouts
Bodywork: A9X, painted bumpers
Engine Type: VT Commodore V8
Engine Mods: 4-bolt mains, COME 355ci stroker kit (10:1-comp’), ported cast heads, Crow solid roller cam’, Yella Terra rockers, double-row timing chain, High Energy sump, twin thermo fans, 3-core radiator, Gilmer belt drive, 750cfm Barry Grant Mighty Demon, 76A alternator, 8in K&N air cleaner, electronic distributor, Earl’s fuel filter, billet throttle linkage, braided lines and Speedflow fittings, alloy catch can and radiator overflow, Redline intake manifold
Power: Untested
Exhaust: Hurricane 4-into-1 headers (1-7/8in primaries), twin 2.5in mild steel exhaust, Hooker mufflers
Gearbox: T400, 3000rpm stall, ‘stage-2’ kit
Diff: 9in, 3:1 final drive, LSD, 31-spline Mark Williams axles, 3.5in double-wall tail shaft, tail shaft loop
Brakes: HZ front rotors and calipers, HZ rear drums
Suspension: HZ front shocks and springs, 26mm rear sway bar
Wheels/Tyres: 15in Centerline Convo Pro rims (8in front, 10in rear)
Other mods: Mini tubs
Interior: Black leather trim w/red stitching, front race seats, black carpets, B&M shifter, Autometer gauges, sports steering wheel
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Sony Xplod rear 6x9in speakers
Build Period: 4 years
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Walker Race Engines, Gary Campbell Auto Electrics, Active Automatics, KCDR Drivetrains, Bathurst Paint and Panel, Blue Chrome, Craft Diffs, “My wife Kim for all her support and patience and also to Sarah and Jake”

BRUTISH BRIT: Stefan Niceski’s Salt-Flat-Inspired 1954 Triumph Thunderbird


18 Jun

Stef Niceski's 1954 Triumph Thunderbird

BRUTISH BRIT

Stefan Niceski spent two year’s worth of Saturdays and a million beers building this ultra cool Salt flat-inspired Trumpy
Words and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Stef Niceski's 1954 Triumph ThunderbirdOld British bikes have really made a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. With the popularity of Harley-derived bobbers and choppers showing no signs of abating – and the cost of parts and base bikes staying high as a result – it’s no wonder people are looking for alternatives when constructing cool rides.

When you see some of the awesome bikes we’ve been lucky enough to capture on camera in the last few issues, it’s no surprise people are going for the humble Brit machines. One such advocate is 35-year-old Sydneysider Stefan Niceski.

You may remember the Trumpy we featured last issue belonging to Stuart Torkington. The two guys are mates and we were lucky enough to shoot both on the same day in the wonderful environs of 1349 Venice: a cool function/event space in Waterloo. At the time of our shoot, Stef’s bike hadn’t even been started.

Formed from a 1954 Triumph Thunderbird frame, you can imagine that its beginnings were less than auspicious, as Stef explains. “I found the frame in an old man’s green house,” Stef says. “It was surrounded by growth, including some tomatoes.”

Incredibly, Stef found the engine in another shed and with both primary components in place; he devised his plan of attack. “I thought I d fuse the two into some type of ‘Triumph Frankenstein vintage drag/salt flat sled’,” he says.Stef Niceski's 1954 Triumph Thunderbird

We reckon he’s nailed that design objective in superb fashion, but it didn’t happen overnight or by using all the factory components. “The build took me two years of Saturdays and quite a few beers,” Stef says. “I reckon she looks alright.”

Taking the original frame as the basis for the build, Stefan fabricated a custom rigid rear half, extending the length of the bike and helping it to ride lower in the process. To this he added XR250 front forks and exaggerated the low stance by bolting the handlebars on down low.

Up top, a Harley Sportster tank provides enough capacity for extended cruising while retaining the bike’s minimalist aesthetic. When it came to finding an oil tank, Stef got clever and modified a nitrous oxide tank before chroming it. About the only other appendages you’ll find bolted to the brilliant metallic blue frame is the custom seat and diminutive rear guard/shroud that Stef was responsible for as well.

Stef Niceski's 1954 Triumph ThunderbirdPower comes from that barn-find Bonneville 750 we alluded to earlier. At first, the engine was mistaken for a 1975-vintage unit, which is how the bike came to wear ’75’ on the tank (it’s reversed on the side of the bike we shot it from). “It was meant to represent the ’70s engine and ’50s frame, but it turned out the engine was actually from 1982,” Stef says. “It looked cool, so I left it anyway.”

That ’82-vintage engine runs a few choice upgrades in the interests of making more power – not that it needs a whole lot of grunt thanks to its light weight. Twin AMAL carbs mix the air and fuel, using little more than twin ram tubes for an intake. A Joe Hunt ignition sets fire to the mix and a pair of 1.75in straight pipes make a huge racket, wrapped in gleaming new exhaust wrap for that purposeful race bike appearance.

With full rego due to be applied to the bike shortly after our shoot, one of its first big voyages was the 2012 Taren Point Rat Day, where crowds flocked to it and mate Stuart’s ‘Skinny’ golden beast. Successfully mixing up the vintage vibe, Stef’s ’75’ is a crowd pleaser and we’re not surprised.

Owner: Stef Niceski
Bike: 1954 Triumph Thunderbird
Builder: Owner
Bodywork: Custom hard tail, custom mounts, 1985 XR250 front end, Bates head light, clip on bars, Baxter grips, custom Triumph pegs, custom seat and rear shroud, Harley Davidson Sportster tank, modified nitrous bottle oil tank, modified turn signal tail light
Engine: 1982 T140 Bonneville 750, Joe Hunt ignition, AMAL MK11 carbs, straight stack intakes, 1.5in chain drive, custom 1.75in straight pipes
Gearbox: 5-speed, stock clutch
Wheels: Front – 21in XR250 front rim, Avon tyre – Rear – 16in Harley Davidson rim, Avon tyre
Brakes: Disc front, drum rear
Thank you: Sovereign Classics, Sydney Custom Spray Painting

Feature Bike: Daniel Aquilina’s 2015 Harley Davidson Street Glide CVO


06 Jun

I photographed Daniel Aquilina’s 2015 Harley Davidson Street Glide CVO for issue 158 of Heavy Duty magazine. The airbagged bagger-style Harley runs a 110ci Screamin’ Eagle twin and boasts a raft of custom touches that set this CVO apart from the norm’, including raked rear bags and guard, huge 26in front Mad Wheels rim, heaps of RSD accessories and even a Diamond Audio subwoofer in the back!

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Daniel Aquilina's 2015 Harley Davidson Street Glide CVO

Daniel Aquilina's 2015 Harley Davidson Street Glide CVO

Daniel Aquilina's 2015 Harley Davidson Street Glide CVO

 

BUILT TO SKID: Warren Fleck’s VR Commodore Burnout Monster


12 Apr

Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore Ute

BUILT TO SKID

This sparkling VR ute has transformed from V6-powered first car to tyre-mashing LS-powered killer over 14 years and a lot of beers
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore UteThis is 31-year-old Sydneysider Warren Fleck’s first car. Bought 14 years ago, it was what you might expect for a first car: pre-Ecotec V6, slush box, open-centre diff’ and nothing much to report home about. However, it wasn’t long before Warren got busy making it something brawnier – bolting on a Vortech blower. “I blew the motor up,” Warren says, succinctly, adding that “I had just started seeing my now-wife Shannan and I was showing off a bit… massive fail!”.

From here he performed a 5L V8 conversion, later swapping the ‘bunch ‘o’ bananas’ for a twin throttle manifold and a 100-shot of nitrous – finally converting to a carby setup. Still not satisfied with the level of performance, Warren got talking to fellow western sydney local Matt Sims about building a 333ci stroker motor, but Matt set Warren straight and pointed him in the direction of an LS conversion.

“He suggested it as a cheaper, easier alternative,” Warren says. “It was out with the 5L and in with the LS.”Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore Ute

Warren says the LS engine swap was one of the most enjoyable parts of the build process, watching it all come together on the weekends as he and his mates bolted it together. “My mate Matt Sultana did all the fab’ work,” he says. Indeed, most of the work on the VR has been done by Warren and his mates, with Warren handling plenty of the tasks himself – even some of the paintwork.

“Lots of hours went into sanding, bogging and sanding the Aero kit to get it as straight as possible,” he says. “If I were to do it again, I wouldn’t fit the kit. As a purpose-built burnout car, I don’t think fibreglass is going to hold up too well.”

Inside, the ute is a little more utilitarian than the two-tone, flaming Alpine white/HOK kandy blue combo you’ll find dripping over the exterior. But considering the amount of thick, noxious smoke and rubber chunks this machine will see into the future, a largely black trim is the best idea. Still, it does boast a pair of grippy Recaro seats, B&M shifter and Autometer gauges amongst its sea of black carpet, painted finishes and roof lining. Pop the glove box and you’ll find the MSD ignition controller, too. Despite the heavy work the ute has to do, the fact that Warren took the time to hide the fuses and wiring is certainly commendable.

Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore UteSadly Warren didn’t have the final tune dialled in on the day of the shoot, hence the lack of driving or skid shots here. However, you can bet we’ll bring you some photos of the ute in action as soon as we can. “I took it to Summernats in January and had a blast cruising around with my wife and two kids riding shotgun,” he says.

14 years into Warren and his VR’s relationship, the future looks bright and he still has plans for more development down the track. “I would love to go blown with it,” he says. “Maybe a 6/71 with a mechanical injection hat on top!” Let the tyre destruction begin!

Owner: Warren Fleck
Model: 1994 VR Commodore
Bodywork: VR Aero kit
Colour: Alpine white / HOK Cobalt kandy blue
Block: 2001 LS1
Engine Mods: Lunati double valve springs, decked heads, 2x K&N breathers, Lunati hydraulic roller cam’ (0.651in lift), Rollmaster double-row timing chain, Davies Craig thermo fan, alloy radiator, Quick Fuel 750cfm carb’, Edelbrock Super Victor single-plane manifold, MSD spark amp’ and ignition controller, hidden coil packs, hidden wiring, Barry Grant 220 fuel pump, Holley FPR, Aeroflow fuel filter, custom stainless fuel cell, dash-8 braided fuel lines
Power: Untested (final tune not yet done)
Exhaust: Custom 4-into-1 headers, 3in system dumped at door length, no mufflers
Gearbox: T400, B&M 3500rpm stall, manualised valve body
Diff: 3.91:1 final drive, mini spool, narrowed housing
Brakes: Stock front, deleted rear
Suspension: King springs, Monroe shocks and struts, VL manual steering rack, mini tubs
Wheels/Tyres: 20in DTM rims (8.5in front, 10in rear)
Interior: Recaro seats, black carpets and roof lining, painted lower dash, trimmed instrument fascia and centre console, B&M shifter, rocker switches, Autotecnica steering wheel, Autometer gauges
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Pioneer speakers
Build time: Ongoing
Cost: Undisclosed
Contacts: White Magic, Lowe Fabrications, Azzfab, “My wife Shannan for keeping me and my mates fed while working on the car, mum and dad for letting me leave the car in their shed, Matthew Sultana, Matt Pisani, Dave Pendlebury, Troy Bates, Nathan Magri, Jason Sutton, Matt Sims, Johnny”

Feature Bike: Paul Bailey’s 1937 Harley Davidson Land Speed Tribute


08 Jan

Paul Bailey has built a lot of bikes, but this one is particularly special as it pays tribute to the Harley Davidson Knucklehead that set a world land speed record in 1937 that stood for 11 years at 136.183mph on Daytona Beach.
This bike uses a 1939 frame with an S&S Knuckle engine powering it. Pretty, ain’t she!? It was featured in issue 155 of Heavy Duty.

As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Paul Bailey's 1937 Harley Davidson Land Speed Tribute

Paul Bailey's 1937 Harley Davidson Land Speed Tribute

Paul Bailey's 1937 Harley Davidson Land Speed Tribute

Watch my 2017 Portfolio Video!


22 Nov

Just a little something I strung together with my favourite shots of last year.

Feature Car: KNG57L VZ Holden Commodore SS


11 Sep

I had the pleasure of spending a few hours in the Russo Performance workshop some months ago, committing three of their recent Commodores to ones and zeros for Street Machine magazine’s LSX Tuner special issue. This one, a VZ Holden Commodore SS, makes over 1050hp at the treads thanks to a massive 88mm BW turbo.

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

KNG57L VZ Holden Commodore

KNG57L VZ Holden Commodore     KNG57L VZ Holden Commodore

Feature Bike: Jimmy Alameddin’s Harley Davidson Nightrod Special


04 Aug

My photo shoot on Jimmy Alameddin’s blacked-out gold carbon and air-bagged 2015 Nightrod Special is featured in the latest issue of Heavy Duty magazine, which is on sale nationwide now.

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Jimmy Alameddin's Harley Davidson Nightrod Special

Jimmy Alameddin's Harley Davidson Nightrod Special    Jimmy Alameddin's Harley Davidson Nightrod Special

Feature Bike: Josh James’ (HD Hooligans) 2006 Harley Davidson Dyna


19 Jun

I photographed Josh James’ beautifully custom painted 2006 Harley Davidson Dyna Street Bob for issue 151 of Heavy Duty magazine, which was on sale last month. Smith Concepts handled the amazing retro custom paintwork and Josh set the bike up for doing wheel stands and other stunts you wouldn’t expect to see a Harley doing.

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Josh James' (HD Hooligans) 2006 Harley Davidson Dyna

Josh James' (HD Hooligans) 2006 Harley Davidson Dyna     Josh James' (HD Hooligans) 2006 Harley Davidson Dyna

Feature Bike: Kyle Smith’s Rigid Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster


20 Apr

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Kyle Smith at Smith Concepts in Brookvale, NSW a number of times over the last seven years. The prolific builder and custom painter’s latest personal project is this awesome rigid-frame 1200 Sportster that is featured in the latest issue of Heavy Duty, which is on sale now.

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Kyle Smith's Rigid Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster

Kyle Smith's Rigid Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster     Kyle Smith's Rigid Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster