Posts Tagged ‘billet’

MR. FANTASTIC: Brian Apap’s 355CI ‘MRSLR’ Holden Torana


22 May

Brian Apap's MRSLR LX Holden Torana

MR. FANTASTIC

Brian Apap’s incredible MRSLR LX Torana is well known on the scene – for good reason
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Brian Apap's MRSLR LX Holden ToranaPersonalised number plates can be funny things. While many owners no doubt order their custom plates as a means to giving their vehicles a sense of personality or notoriety, some cars almost seem like they were destined to wear their plates from the beginning. Brian Apap’s LX Torana sedan is a good example. While the car may wear the plates MRSLR, its larger than life appearance – it’s immense attention to detail and blinding Barbados green paint – makes it seem like the plates merely earned THEIR spot on the car; not the other way around.

“I bought the Torana around 10 years ago,” says Brian, a 39-year-old primary producer from Sydney’s North West. “In the first year of owning it the car was stolen. Luckily it was found.”

Lucky for us perhaps, because we now get to witness the grandeur that Brian was able to create with the LX over a five year period ending in late 2005. Immediately after the build was completed, the car scored itself a spot in the Top 60 at Summernats – a feat is achieved again twice more in the following consecutive years.Brian Apap's MRSLR LX Holden Torana

Incredibly, that retina-searing green paintwork is far from new. “The paint on the car is around 20 years old,” Brian confirms. “I haven’t changed it in my time of ownership, except for the engine bay that got repainted during the build up.”

What an engine bay it is! With a flat firewall and smoothed inner guards and rails, the LX boasts a bay most car lovers would give a right nad for and it houses something just as sweet in the shape of that 355ci stroker. “The car had a 253ci and 4spd manual in it when I bought it,” Brian explains. “All the driveline has been replaced.”

Based on a 308ci Holden V8, the motor was stroked with the help of Lunati rods and CP pistons that create a high 11.5:1 static compression against the ported VN heads. It runs a ton of lift thanks to a Crow roller cam’ and the engine makes use of the breathing capacity via an 850cfm Barry Grant and highly-polished single-plane intake with a 1in spacer in between. Power is untested, but Brian believes it to be between 400 and 450fwhp.

Brian Apap's MRSLR LX Holden ToranaBacking up the aggressive combo is a T350 that runs a manualised valve body and nutso steep 5300rpm stall. This sends the grunt to a narrowed 9in that replaced the old Banjo and houses 3.7:1 gears and an LSD centre. Then it’s a quick trip along the axles to the brilliant 15in Billet Specialties rims that measure an impressive 10in wide under the bum.

As you can see by gazing over the photos, the car is much more than an engine and driveline. Indeed, step inside the cockpit of the sedan and you’re greeted with the sweet, intoxicating scent of leather as your eyes pan left to right, top to bottom. About the only things not covered in leather is the floor that boasts white Mercedes carpet and the roof lining which is matching beige velour. Then you’ve got the myriad billet pieces; many of which are custom one-offs like the pedals and switch panel under the dash. Pop the boot lid and you’re greeted by a space that’s been trimmed and detailed to match the cabin.Brian Apap's MRSLR LX Holden Torana

It’s this level of detail that has helped Brian’s Torana take out a number of top awards since its completion including Best Interior at the 2007 Toranafest, Best LX Sedan at the 2008 All Holden Day and Best in Show at the 2010 Toranafest – no small feat against the impressive vehicles that frequent that event each year. But with so many accolades and recognition, is there anywhere else left to go?

“I’m in the process of building another Torana,” Brian says. “I’m hoping it’ll be better than MRSLR, but I don’t want to give too much away just yet.”

You heard it here first folks and having seen the painted body shell up close for ourselves, we can tell you that it’s going to grab plenty of eyeballs and cause plenty of dragging chins once it’s unveiled. Stay tuned!

Owner: Brian Apap
Colour: Barbados green w/blackouts
Bodywork: SLR kit, colour-matched bumpers
Engine Type: Holden 308ci
Engine Mods: 355ci stroker kit, 4-bolt mains conversion, Lunati rods, Childs and Albert rings, CP pistons (11.5:1-comp’), ARP head and mains studs, ported cast VN heads (flow 560hp), Ferrea valves, titanium retainers, K&N catch cans, alloy radiator, billet throttle linkage, alloy air cleaner housing, braided oil and fuel lines, polished single-plane intake, Crow Cams roller cam’ (0.680in lift, 252˚ duration, 106˚ LSA), Manley pushrods, Yella Terra 1.65:1 roller rockers, painted block and heads, billet caps, High Energy sump, oil cooler, 850cfm Barry Grant Demon carb’, 1in alloy spacer, MSD ignition, Holley Blue fuel pump, 120L drop tank
Power: 400fwhp/299kW (claimed)
Exhaust: Ceramic coated tri-Y headers, twin 3in stainless exhaust, stainless mufflers
Gearbox: T350, 5200rpm Dominator stall, manualised valve body
Diff: 9in, 3.7:1 final drive, LSD
Brakes: VT front calipers, HQ rotors, rear drums
Suspension: Pedders front shocks and springs, Pedders rear springs, Pedders rear airbags, narrowed steering arms, polished steering column
Wheels/Tyres: 15in Billet Specialties rims (7in front, 10in rear)
Other mods: Battery relocated, trimmed boot, smoothed bay
Interior: Billet Specialties steering wheel, VT Clubsport front seats, polished B&M Pro Ratchet, billet foot pedals, custom beige leather trim, custom door trims, white Mercedes carpets, velour roof lining, Autometer tacho, custom switch box, trimmed sill cover panels, custom instrument fascia
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Pioneer front and rear speakers
Build Period: 5 years
Cost: $70,000
Thanks: Jake Bain, Joe Bartolo, Carline Mufflers, Richmond Automatics, Kreative Enterprises, Pedders – Blacktown, My wife Noelene and our four kids

MR. CLEAN: Craig Darcey’s 400rwhp LS2-Powered Holden VK Commodore


12 Apr

Craig Darcey's Holden VK Commodore

MR. CLEAN

You’d never guess by looking at this spotless, LS2-powered VK that its owner is a total burnout addict!
Story and pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Craig Darcey's Holden VK CommodoreBelieve it or not, Craig Darcey originally built this immaculate VK sedan with the sole intent of ripping massive skids. Sure, there are some pretty sweet burnout cars getting about on the professional burnout scene these days from the likes of Phil Kerjean and Stephen Loader’s original VE sedan to name a couple. But you’d be forgiven for not believing us when we say that despite the flawless deep blue metallic paint and straight-as panel work, 41-year-old Craig still destroys a set of 20s every other cruise.

No wimping out with cheap steelies and cheese-cutters here.

Craig originally bought the car four years ago and got to work on rebuilding the 1985-spec’ Calais, however somewhere along the road to tyre-frying stardom, he changed his mind and decided he’d prefer a smart, tidy cruiser that could still turn the tyres, but get more regular use. This wasn’t too long before Summernats 2014 and he had his work cut out for him to make it to Canberra with a finished car.Craig Darcey's Holden VK Commodore

“I got it finished two weeks out from the Summernats and dropped it off at a mate’s shop,” he says. “While parked out the front, an old guy reversed into it in the car park and caved in the rear end. I had to replace the quarter panel and repaint car again, all before Summernats.”

As if the mad rush to get cars ready for the annual horsepower festival wasn’t already enough to fray nerves and test relationships, Craig somehow got the repairs done in time for Summernats and the repairs look flawless, even up close. Indeed, the entire car is spotless – easily earning its number plates TIDYAS.

Coated in a luscious custom PPG metallic blue, the Calais retains much of what makes the Calais a perennial favourite, although some subtle details help it stand out, even if you need to stare at the car a while to see them – like the detail work Craig put into masking up the tail lights for paint before coating them in clear. This level of attention to detail is what makes his VK so nice. Pop the bonnet and you’ll see another reason.

Craig Darcey's Holden VK CommodoreLurking under the bonnet is a smooth bay with a very neat LS2 conversion that boasts some judicious mods to the top end and ancillaries. It’s making just under 400rwhp and thanks to some head work and a lumpy hydraulic cam’, it sounds like it means business – especially at full noise as it destroys another set of 20in tyres. Better yet, Craig colour-matched parts of the block and heads and with the matching Meziere electric water pump, it all looks seamless and cohesive.

Like most cars built to enjoy the odd skid, it’s backed by an auto – in this case a manualised 4L60E – and out back there’s a 9in with short 3.9:1 gears and a full spool. If you couldn’t tell by the lovely backspacing on those 20×8.5in Showwheels rims, the diff’ housing has been narrowed, too.

Inside is a similar story, with cloth-covered Scheel seats and fresh coverings on everything else. Look closer and you’ll have a hard time missing that sweet sheet metal dash fascia with cool digital instruments. Much nicer than the factory VK dash.Craig Darcey's Holden VK Commodore

Incredibly, Craig says this VK has been his first performance build. Yet, the results are those of a far more experienced hand. Rightly, he reckons he wouldn’t do anything differently if he had his time over again – except perhaps to keep the car parked safe inside to try and avoid the damage geriatric drivers can inflict!

“Down the track, I’d maybe like to fit a blower under the bonnet,” he adds. “I think it’s a perfect and comfortable street car and I loved being able to work on it with my mates at Elite Fabrication along the way.”

Owner: Craig Darcey
Model: 1985 VK Calais
Bodywork: Factory
Colour: Custom PPG blue metallic
Block: LS2
Engine Mods: Ported heads (flow 600hp), Comp Cams valve springs, titanium retainers, Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam’ (0.620in lift, 110° LSA), Comp lifters, Rollmaster timing chain, Melling oil pump, Meziere electric water pump, PWR alloy radiator, Maradynz thermo fans, Edelbrock Victor Jr intake manifold, 1000cfm throttle, K&N air filter, LS1 harness, Bosch 044 fuel pump, custom fuel cell
Power: 398rwhp (296rwkW)
Exhaust: Ceramic coated tri-Y headers (1-3/4in primaries), mild steel twin system, Hooker mufflers
Gearbox: 4L60E, Dominator stall, manualised valve body
Diff: 9in, 3.9:1 final drive, full-spool
Brakes: PBR twin-piston upgrade (fr), VK rear disc
Suspension: King springs, Bilstein shocks and struts
Wheels/Tyres: 20×8.5in Showwheels rims
Interior: VL Group A SS Scheel seats, velour roof lining, digital gauges, polished sheet metal instrument fascia, B&M shifter, Calibre steering wheel
Stereo: JVC head unit
Build period: Ongoing
Cost: $40,000
Contacts: Elite Fabrications, RVO Transmission, Sydney Motor Trim, Adam Hodge, Gerard and Raelene Hodgskin from Indy 800 Kart Track for letting us do the photo shoot there, Moore Automotive, my partner Melissa and my two kids Aimee and Brandon for putting up with me while the car was being built

Feature Car: Grahame and Colin Barker’s 1951 Holden FX Ute


31 Mar

Grahame and Colin Barker’s 1951 Holden FX Ute cleaned up at Summernats in 2018, scoring Top Judged Elite and the car was featured in the March issue of Street Machine, including the fold-out poster. OPowered by an L67 supercharged V6, the car has been in the Barker family for over 20 years and was recently completed by Michael Ellard at Image Conversions.

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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.

Grahame and Colin Barker's 1951 Holden FX Ute

Grahame and Colin Barker's 1951 Holden FX Ute

Grahame and Colin Barker's 1951 Holden FX Ute

Feature Car: Peter Kulakovski’s Holden VK Commodore


16 Mar

Blue Meanie tributes and variations are thick on the ground these days. They’re like the new HQ – everyone is building them. But Peter Kulakovski’s blown 408ci LQ9-based, tubbed VK is a cut above the rest and it was featured in the February issue of Street Machine.

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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.

Peter Kulakovski's Holden VK Commodore

Peter Kulakovski's Holden VK Commodore

Peter Kulakovski's Holden VK Commodore

Feature Car: Ben Brown’s 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle


05 Mar

Despite a rough start thanks to a half-asses reality TV project build quality, Ben brown turned things around and ended up with a sweet, blown and billet Chevy Chevelle all his own. The 383ci SBC-powered coupe was featured in the January issue of Street Machine and will appear in Super Chevy soon.

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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.

Ben Brown's 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

Ben Brown's 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

Ben Brown's 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

Cover Car: Alex Vines’ HSV VX Senator for Street Commodores


14 Sep

Alex Vines’ HSV VX Senator made it onto the front cover of the last issue of Street Commodores magazine, which was on sale last month. It was the second time I’d been lucky enough to have the Senator in front of my lens – a 550rwhp, Vortech-blown beast with big tubs and deep, deep billets.

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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.

Alex Vines' HSV VX Senator

Alex Vines' HSV VX Senator     Alex Vines' HSV VX Senator

Street Commodores - Issue 268

Feature Car: Steve Hopes’ Chevrolet Camaro ‘SINISTR’


13 Nov

Our photo shoot on Steve Hopes’ brain-snapping NRE (Nelson Race Engines) twin-turbo Chevrolet Camaro was featured in the last issue of Street Machine magazine, which was on sale last month. There isn’t much left of the original car, with every nook and cranny replaced, smoothed, polished and fettled into a potent, tyre-destroying show car.

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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.

Steve Hopes' Chevrolet Camaro 'SINISTR'

Steve Hopes' Chevrolet Camaro 'SINISTR'     Steve Hopes' Chevrolet Camaro 'SINISTR'