Posts Tagged ‘car audio’

Feature Car: Peta Psaras’ Holden VE SS-V Wagon


05 Dec

Not so long ago, cars loaded with fancy interior trim and in-car entertainment hardware like this were almost always under-powered and slow. Peta Psaras wasn’t having any of that with her Holden VE SS-V wagon. Nope, hers makes 617hp at the wheels thanks to a stout combo from Sam’s Performance and that last piece of the puzzle is part of the reason why the car made it into the return issue of Street Machine Commodores!

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Peta Psaras' Holden VE SS-V Wagon

Peta Psaras' Holden VE SS-V Wagon

Peta Psaras' Holden VE SS-V Wagon

FITTING TRIBUTE: Kim Smith’s Supercharged V6 VY Holden Commodore


30 Apr

Kim Smith's Holden VY Commodore

FITTING TRIBUTE

A smiling, welcoming fixture on the East Coast show scene for years, Kim Smith encountered tragedy in 2011 with the loss of her son, Matt. After nearly walking away from the scene, Kim’s VY ute, ‘Wildfire’, has returned better than ever as an automotive tribute
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Kim Smith's Holden VY CommodoreIf you live on the East Coast and have been to a few shows in your time, chances are you’ve seen this Red Hot 2003 VY ute in the flesh. If you’ve been really lucky, you’ve seen its owner, Kim Smith. People like Kim are what the Commodore scene is all about. We’ve known the Hunter Valley resident since she and her ute started popping up at car shows around a decade ago – instantly memorable for her perpetual smile, genuine, positive attitude and warm hugs.

Over the years her VY continued to develop and improve – a fact reinforced by multitude of trophies she took home with her from every event she drove the ute to. Indeed, four Top 60 trophies at Summernats are among her most prized. This isn’t even ‘Wildfire’s first feature shoot for Street Commodores.

That seemingly endless optimism was rocked in late 2011 when her son, Matt, was killed in a car accident a mere two kilometres from home on a foggy stretch of road – a collision with a truck. “Matt was lost in the fog, following the white line to see, blinded by the one street light there he didn’t see the lights of the oncoming truck until it was too late,” Kim says. “His accident was ruled age, inexperience and severe prevailing weather conditions”.Kim Smith's Holden VY Commodore

“I came so close to walking away – more than most people realise. On the day he was killed I threw out trophies and anything that reminded me of my life with cars. Thankfully [my husband] Ken retrieved them. But how could I be a Mum who lost a son to the roads AND be an avid car enthusiast?”

After some time to grieve and reflect, it was the very same car scene that helped convince Kim to continue on with the ute. “I cannot – ever – thank them enough for the love, support and encouragement that they have provided to me and that they continue to show to me,” she says. “I can honestly say that I feel like I have a family of thousands that stand with our family on the really tough days.”

Those tough days might visit a little less often now, three years on, however Kim has been able to focus some of her energy into creating a fitting tribute to Matt, through the ute. “When I decided to keep going I struggled to find a way to build that loss and also a sense of celebration for Matt’s life into the ute,” Kim says. “I wanted to stay with the theme (fire) and was very lucky to meet a young lady called Mel Carroll at a car show. I wanted flame that swept from the front of the ute to the back and for that flame to sweep through an image of Matt playing his beloved guitar. She absolutely nailed it. The flames do just that, with no panel left untouched, sweeping though Matt and up into a heart of flame on the hard lid.”

Kim Smith's Holden VY CommodoreWildfire is full of fond memories for Kim. The ute represented her first new car purchase and it was love at first drive – “smitten”, she says. “Owning it unlocked the heritage of modification and car preparation that my father gifted to me. He was a mechanic that modified just about anything he touched (speedboats/lawnmowers/cars/bikes…) and was a proud race competitor in Speedway. I didn’t know it at the time or really appreciate it, but my Dad gave me that genetic connection to do what I have done. I miss him so much because he would have loved to see Wildfire gather four Summernats trophies.”

There are also tons of happy memories for Kim involving Matt, who she says was like a “mini me”, always helping out with show prep and going to the events. These days, Kim volunteers her time at a local road safety initiative called Drive 4 Survival, telling hers and Matt’s story. “Drive 4 Survival gives country kids four nights of road safety education and a first aid course, all for a subsidised cost of $20,” she says. “Matt and I participated in April 2011 – we lost him that August. I share Matt’s loss with them, and show them pictures of what remained of his beloved VT wagon. I also remind them that it’s ok to enjoy cars and modify them, but there is always an appropriate time and place.”Kim Smith's Holden VY Commodore

Luckily for all of us, Kim didn’t turn her back on Wildfire permanently and we still get to see her and the VY at shows on a regular basis. Her smile may not always be as wide and carefree as it once was, but her passion for the ute will never diminish – reinforced by its newfound connection to Matt.

Next time you see her at a show, repay the love she’s given the scene and give her a hug. Tell her Hosking Industries sent you.

Owner: Kim Smith
Model: 2003 VY ute
Bodywork: EL GT Falcon bonnet scoop, hard tonneau, modified VU rear skirt, rear in-fill panel, LED under-car lighting, painted undercarriage, SS front bar
Colour: Red Hot w/murals, Dupont clear coat
Block: Ecotec
Engine Mods: Raptor stage-2 Pro-Street supercharger (11psi), custom PWR intercooler, ceramic coated intake manifold, reversed plenum, 36lb/hr injectors, IPR sheet metal rocker covers, suede-covered radiator shroud and custom under-bonnet cover for shows
Power: 172.2rwkW (231rwhp) before intercooler
Exhaust: Ceramic coated Pacemaker headers, hi-flow cat’, 2.5in Redback exhaust
Gearbox: Extreme clutch
Diff: LSD
Brakes: 330mm slotted front rotors, 315mm slotted rear rotors, detailed calipers
Suspension: Kings Springs Super Super Low (Front), Super Low (Rear)
Wheels/Tyres: 20in HSV Pentagon (copies), 225/35/ZR20 tyres
Interior: Custom painted plastics, red suede and leather inserts, custom sill covers, suede shifter boot, flame-embossed pillar covers and roof lining, red LED lighting, digital gauges in console, full custom tray install, underside of tonneau trimmed
Stereo: (Cabin) Pioneer AVH-P3250 double-DIN source unit, Pioneer 220w speakers in doors w/tweeters in dash, Clarion SRV303 subwoofer behind driver’s seat, Rockford Fosgate P400 power amp’, power point for charging batteries behind passenger seat. (Tray) 2x pair Rockford Fosgate T1652-S splits, 2x P3-series 12in D412 subs, 2x P300-1 sub amps, RF Punch EQ, 2x batteries under install
Build period: Ongoing
Cost: Undisclosed
Contacts: Ken, Mark and Matt. Without them, none of this matters. My Dad Bob; my friends, Nesse, Danny, Mitch, Lee, Dave, Adrian and Sarah, Bec. Tim Staier at Raptor Superchargers, Stitched Up Custom Trim, Mel Carroll Airbrushing, Kel Whittaker Smash Repairs and Streamline Automotive for looking after my R8 Maloo, especially Mark, Pat and Kane… My many, many car scene friends

FUTURE PROOF: Andrew Drain’s 418ci LS3-Powered VH Commodore


18 Apr

Andrew Drain's Holden VH Commodore

FUTURE PROOF

Andrew Drain dragged his VH sedan kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The results are incredible
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Andrew Drain's Holden VH CommodoreThere’s retrotech and then there’s Andrew Drain’s 1982 VH sedan, known as MRVH. No, not ‘mervuhh’. Mister Vee Aitch, to you, thank you very much. Bought five years ago, this lucky VH was purchased to replace the horrid, twisted hulk Andrew was already trying to salvage.

Coming from a large family, Andrew inherited a damaged V8 VH from one of his older brothers who wrecked the car in an accident. But the deeper he dug into the shell in his attempt to rescue it from the metal recylcer, the worse things got. Finally, he had to admit defeat and find a new shell.

“I inherit a lot from my older brothers,” the 26-year-old plant mechanic explains. “A lot of the body parts and the body kit have been handed down from two of my older brothers.”

The new donor car was already running an injected 5L and boasted a number of ‘improvements’, including a disastrous VS Statesman dash conversion that was largely held in with fencing wire. If he hadn’t been planning it anyway, a full tear down was the only way to put things right.Andrew Drain's Holden VH Commodore

During our photo shoot, Andrew explained that he is one half of identical twins – his brother an engineer and largely book smart. Andrew on the other hand tries to tell us he’s “just a mechanic”. Take a decent look at the work he’s completed on this VH and you soon realise that he’s as humble as he is talented with the tools.

Dressed in a thick coat of HSV’s Cherry Black, the VH wears a SS Group A body kit, consisting bonnet scoop, front and rear aprons and side skirts. He’s also added SL/E bumper extensions, tail lights and chrome trims. It’s a classy and timeless look that doesn’t follow the latest trends and will mean that Andrew won’t feel the need to repaint the car again in 12 months.

Pop the bonnet and you’ll start to see where the last four years have gone. Between the smooth engine bay and the hidden wiring, the LS3 nestled within gleams like a diamond. Things didn’t start off so easily though. “I bought a crate motor for the car, but before I’d even driven 300kms, the thing lunched itself,” Andrew says. Even more worryingly, the shop that sold him the GM crate motor wouldn’t live up to their warranty – something that’s still going through arbitration.

Andrew Drain's Holden VH CommodoreNo to be deterred, Andrew tore the motor down himself and rebuilt it. Putting a positive note on a bad situation, the LS3 now boasts 418 cubes thanks to a COME crank and rods, Diamond pistons and Higgins ported heads. Power is untested as Andrew runs the combo in, but it’s got all the goodies, including a 0.595in-lift cam’, FAST manifold and modified VCM OTR cold-air intake. Backed by a tough T56 Magnum ‘box and Borg Warner rear end with 3.9:1 gears, the little VH should positively scream once the final tune is locked in.

While the late-model power train and driveline (completed by Harrop True Trac, billet axles and alloy diff’ cover) are clever enough, it’s inside where Andrew’s thought processes have really come into their own – aided by Todd at Eastside Kustom Trim. While tinkering with ideas, Andrew happened to casually hold a VY dash pad inside the stripped out VH, only to find at it was an almost perfect fit. Enthusiastic about the potential, he turned to Eastside to do the heavy lifting, going so far as to include the VY centre console as well. It’s so seamless that you’d forget you weren’t actually sitting in a VY. Completing the transformation are custom door trims with moulds to produce a neat transition into the ends of the dash, as well as custom speaker pods, Coulsen front seats and a very lumpy rear bench, modified to suit.

Eastside covered everything in black leather, including the dash. The roof lining is matching suede and the silver accents highlight the clever integration of Autometer gauges into the instrument fascia as well as an eBay binnacle and the original HVAC control holes.Andrew Drain's Holden VH Commodore

From here the little details continue to widen your grin. Andrew got the factory electric window switches working, as well as a central locking and keyless entry system. When the car is immobilised, two of the central LEDs in the instrument fascia blink. When the car is running, those same LEDs operate as indicator lights. The hole for the original trip computer now houses a digital tacho and to the right of that, the little speaker grille now hides the microphone for the integrated Bluetooth system.

Andrew has also converted all the VH’s lighting to LED, save for the headlight globes, of course. All the interior lighting, the tail lights and the parkers are now LEDs, tying in well with the car’s future-proof theme.

Andrew Drain's Holden VH CommodoreIf that weren’t enough, there’s a tidy stereo system in here too. It starts with the double-DIN Alpine DVD player in the dash. This feeds signals to two hidden power amps, in turn powering two pairs of 6in Fusion coaxials and a 10in Fusion sub, the latter of which is housed in a custom parcel tray along with one pair of the coaxials. Pop the boot lid and you’ll find there’s still a ton of space for some overnight bags or the shopping, but underneath the false floor you’ll find Andrew has worked out a way to include a space-saver spare, jumper leads and a couple extra tools, just in case.

It’s a good thing there’s some extra room in there, because Andrew has every intention of driving the wheels off of the VH. “It was always going to be a street car,” he says. “I love how smooth it drives. How smooth the power comes on.”

He’s not quite done yet, though. Once the full tune is completed, Andrew says he wants to replace the 19×8.5in VE SS Redline rims with a set of 20in billets to match his steering wheel and the hoses for the heater and A/C will go back in, too (the controls for which are already mounted behind the Hurst shifter in preparation). What more could anyone possibly want? Welcome to the future.

Owner: Andrew Drain
Model: 1982 VH
Bodywork: SL/E bumper extensions, SL/E tail lights, LED head light and tail light illumination, smoothed door handles, SS Group A body kit, VL mirrors, SL/E chrome trims
Colour: Cherry black
Block: LS3
Engine Mods: COME crank and rods (418ci), Diamond pistons and rings, ARP head and mains studs, King bearings, Higgins’ ported heads, Lunati double valve springs and retainers, Bullet hydraulic roller cam’ (0.595in lift), Lunati tie-bar lifters, Edelbrock water pump, modified sump, B&M oil cooler, custom Adrad radiator, Billet Specialties serpentine pulley kit, FAST 102 intake manifold, modified VCM OTR CAI, hidden wiring, custom fuse boxes and ECU mounts, modified wiring harness, 2x 600hp Walbro pumps, FAST fuel rails, Elite Engineering catch can, SX FPR, 4L surge tank, Brown David 100L drop tank, braided fuel lines, smoothed bay
Power: Untested
Exhaust: Ceramic coated CAE headers, 3in twin-into-single system, Magnaflow mufflers
Gearbox: T56 Magnum 6-speed, Ace 11in billet flywheel, single-plate clutch
Diff: Narrowed Borg Warner, 3.9:1 final drive, custom one-piece tail shaft, Harrop True Trac, billet axles, alloy diff’ cover
Brakes: 330mm front and rear rotors, PBR twin-piston front calipers, Bendix pads, upgraded booster, braided brake lines
Suspension: K-Sport adjustable coil-overs front and rear, Whiteline strut brace, Whiteline adjustable panhard, adjustable K-Mac front sway bar, custom power steering reservoir and fluid lines
Wheels/Tyres: VE SS Redline 19×8.5in wheels
Interior: VY dash conversion (leather covered), VY centre console, Billet Specialties steering wheel, Coulsen front seats, custom rear bench w/Coulsen headrests, black leather trim, custom door trims, custom suede roof lining, Autometer gauges, central locking, keyless entry, electric windows, boot and fuel door poppers, new seat belts, HSV pedals, black carpets, Hurst shifter, custom sill covers, custom dash fascia, custom rear parcel tray
Stereo: Alpine in-dash DVD source unit, Vibe mono block amp’, Vibe 4-channel power amp’, Fusion 6in coaxials front and rear, 10in Fusion sub’, custom sub enclosure, headrest-mounted screens, custom boot install
Cost: “Over $80,000”
Build period: 4 years
Contacts: Eastside Kustom Trim, Seaside Smash Repairs, Pryce Engines, A1 Exhausts – Thornton, Mal Wood, Gibson Driveshaft Services, Diff Trans, Bowers Suspension, Streamline Automotive, “My girlfriend Kate; Dave Hoffman; my family and friends, Evan, Phillip, Henno, Dave, Chris, Hooley and Mick”

FULL HOUSE: George Aspite’s 403ci Audio-Heavy Holden VY SS Ute


04 Apr

George Aspite's Holden VY SS Commodore

FULL HOUSE

George Aspite’s 403ci, audio-heavy VY SS boasts everything you could want in a late-model ute
Story and pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Cast your mind back about 10 years. Car magazines like this one had regular features dedicated to vehicles boasting stupendous amounts of car audio gear jammed into every nook and cranny. So popular was car audio at the time that even overtly tough, blown monsters carried their weight in speakers most of the time and Street Commodores magazine even ran a regular audio tech feature for good measure.

George Aspite's Holden VY SS CommodoreHowever, over the ensuring years the car audio craze started to give way to a more stripped down aesthetic where body kits, stereo and ‘bling’ took a back seat to more horsepower. While this was probably a reaction to the sheer excesses seen back then, with plenty of car guys claiming to have never liked the car audio craze, we reckon it’s something that has been sadly lacking. So it’s nice to see the occasional Commodore carrying its share of stereo hardware, like George Aspite’s VY SS pictured here.

George started building the ute some four years ago and like most projects; it began as a stocker – in this case a VY SS. It once served as George’s work ute as he worked on abrasive blasting quotes for customers. But these days the ute is more of a weekend warrior than long-haul survivor.

There’s a good reason for that, too. Well, numerous good reasons. Perhaps the best is the flawless Quicksilver exterior, George stripped the original paint work himself in the garage at home – no doubt giving his family heart palpitations at the sight of a perfectly neat SS being torn down to its undies. It all ended well, though, with the ute now wearing a super smooth coat of paint, as well as an SSX-style front bar, VZ HSV guard flutes and a custom bonnet from Savage Fibreglass.George Aspite's Holden VY SS Commodore

It’s what lurks under the surface that probably makes the SS all the more special for most of us. George’s VY is a balanced mix of muscle and music, boasting a 403ci cast iron LSx up front and a similar power level out back in the tray.

The engine was built by Feneck Race Engines and features Manley rotating parts, Howards Racing cam’, FAST intake, Holley 90mm throttle, AFR alloy heads and all the good stuff that makes a modern V8 so potent. This is backed by a T56 with a Textralia clutch.

Out back and in the cabin, George has assembled what must surely be the majority of a Rockford Fosgate product catalogue. While the combo starts with a Clarion double-DIN source unit, the rest of Rockford gear and includes two pairs of 6.5in splits and two shallow-mount subs in the cabin before spilling out into the tray where a custom install houses no less than four pairs of speakers and another two sub woofers. Oh, and a pair of 7in monitors! On top of that, there’s an extensive lighting system using LED down lights and LED strips to highlight it all.

George Aspite's Holden VY SS CommodoreWe’re not done with the interior just yet. Inside, there’s nary a piece left untouched, with a two-tone grey leather re-trim immediately improving on the factory SS fare. The leather covers the factory door trims, steering wheel and centre console lid, as well as the rear bulkhead – but also the trick VE GTS buckets. All the dash and door plastics have been custom painted, too, using the cool marbleised effect. Adding to the appeal (and the sonic footprint) is the speaker enclosures covering the quarter windows. These also feature custom LED lights.

George reckons the install – performed by Luke Clifton – has cost him around $8000 “ish”. This includes the custom lighting in the tonneau lid and interior, extra battery in the tray, custom fibreglass enclosures behind the seats, reversing camera and remote switching in the cabin that controls the cacophony out back. Pretty good value for money if you ask us!

As nice as the current combination is, George isn’t done yet. “There’s a possible upgrade to the tray still to come,” he says. “As for the engine, I want to fit a Magnusson supercharger.”

Alright!

Owner: George Aspite
Model: 2003 VY SS ute
Bodywork: SSX front bar, VZ guard vents, custom Savage Fibreglass bonnet, rear bumper in-fill panel
Colour: Quicksilver
Block: Cast iron 6L
Engine Mods: 6.6L (403ci) stroker, DuSpeed OTR, 90mm Holley throttle, FAST LSX R intake, Manley crank, rods and pistons, AFR alloy heads, Howards Racing cam’, Edelbrock dress covers
Power: Untested
Exhaust: Pacemaker headers (1-7/8in primaries), high-flow cats, twin 3in system
Gearbox: T56, Textralia Z-Grip clutch
Diff: Factory
Brakes: AP Racing 4-piston calipers, slotted rotors
Suspension: OZ Racing coil-overs front and rear
Wheels/Tyres: 20in MC Racing rims (8.5in front, 9.5in rear)
Interior: Leather trimmed steering wheel, custom painted plastics, VE GTS seats, Depo gauges, custom trimmed rear bulkhead and centre console lid, custom door trims
Stereo: Clarion VX-401 double-DIN source unit, Rockford Fosgate T1652-S splits front and rear, 2x Rockford Fosgate P3 shallow subs (inside), 2x Rockford Fosgate P2 subs (in tray), 4x Rockford Fosgate T1692 6x9in speakers (tray), 2x Rockford Fosgate T165 coaxials (tray), 2x Rockford Fosgate T165S splits (tray), 2x Rockford Fosgate T800 4-channel power amp’, Rockford Fosgate T1000 mono-block power amp’, second battery in tray, blue LED lighting, custom fibreglass sub enclosures behind seats, Hertz power amps, custom tray install, custom C-pillar speaker pods, reversing camera
Build period: 4 years so far
Cost: Undisclosed
Contacts: Feneck’s Race Engines, Savage Fibreglass, Luke Clifton

Cover Car: Steve Santos’ XY Ford Falcon ‘BOSSXY’


05 Jan

My photo shoot on Steve Santos’ incredible late-model-powered, supercharged Ford XY Falcon made it onto the front cover of the latest issue of Incar Entertainment, which is on sale nationwide now! You can see more photos of the car and download FREE wallpapers HERE.

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Incar Entertainment - Issue 1-2107

 

Cover Car: Travis Wells’ Honda Accord Wagon


08 Dec

My shoot on Travis Wells’ crazy Honda Accord station wagon made it on to the front cover of the last issue of Incar Entertainment, which was on sale last month. Jammed full of audio gear and featuring full airbag suspension, scissor doors and custom paint, it’s an insane 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.

Travis Wells' Honda Accord Wagon

Travis Wells' Honda Accord Wagon     Travis Wells' Honda Accord Wagon

Front Cover: Travis Wells’ Honda Accord Wagon for Incar Entertainment


05 Nov

Our photo shoot on Travis’ Honda Accord wagon made it onto the front cover of the new issue of InCar Entertainment Magazine! This car has to be seen to be believed – and we’ll bring you some FREE wallpapers soon. Airbagged, scissor doors and the stereo from hell! Awesome. Pick up a copy from selected newsagents now!

Incar Entertainment - Honda Accord

Feature Car: Alex Martin’s HSV VF GTS


19 Feb

Alex Martin’s HSV VF GTS is featured in the latest issue of Incar Entertainment magazine (#1 2016), which is on sale now! As you can see from the photos, it’s crammed full of high-end audio gear, as well as that tickled LSA blown V8.

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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 Martin's HSV VF GTS

Alex Martin's HSV VF GTS     Alex Martin's HSV VF GTS

Feature Car: George Aspite’s Holden VY SS Commodore


27 May

Our photo shoot on George Aspite’s Holden VY SS Commodore ute made the cover of the latest issue of InCar Entertainment magazine, which is on sale now. George’s ute is full of high-end car audio gear, but also boasts a cast-iron stroker engine and plenty more goodies to read about. Be sure you pick up a copy and have a look at your newsstand 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.

George Aspite's Holden VY SS Commodore

George Aspite's Holden VY SS Commodore     George Aspite's Holden VY SS Commodore

Cover Car: George Aspite’s VY SS Commodore for Incar Entertainment


21 May

Another front cover for us this month! This time it’s InCar Entertainment Magazine and George Aspite’s tricked out VY SS ute! Be sure to check out the whole spread in this month’s issue, which is on sale now.

Incar Entertainment