Posts Tagged ‘hdt’

Feature Cars: Ray and Tony Elia’s Holden VK Commodores


12 Nov

About the only thing better than one tough, tubbed HDT-style VK Commodore is two and between brothers Ray and Tony Elia, that’s exactly what I got to photograph a few months ago for the return issue of Street Machine Commodores! Ray’s white machine is blown, while Tony’s Blue Meanie replica BT1 boasts a wicked Injection Perfection trumpet setup.

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Ray and Tony Elia's Holden VK Commodores

Ray and Tony Elia's Holden VK Commodores

Ray and Tony Elia's Holden VK Commodores

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM: Matthew La Spada’s 398ci VL Commodore


12 Apr

Matthew La Spada's Holden VL Commodore

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM

After starting a family, buying a house and owning two other V8-powered VLs, Matthew La Spada finally has the VL of his dreams
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

There’s an old saying that claims ‘good things come to those who wait’ and that adage is probably best shown in the story of how Matthew La Spada came to pilot this pristine VL Group A clone. Where most people tinker with modified cars are young – indeed, many of our top feature cars are owned by people under 30 – 41-year-old mechanic Matthew was wise enough to play around with Commodores pretty casually until only recently. And his patience has paid off.

Matthew La Spada's Holden VL Commodore“I’d done all the right things first,” Matthew says. “I built my house, got married and had a child. I had even sold my other cars to fund the house, but that itch to build a car was always there.”

Matthew would find himself watching eBay every night after putting his daughter to bed, trawling through the muscle car listings and lamenting the insane prices for his unicorn car, an HQ 2-door Monaro. Still, he kept his eyes open for something he could afford. “I’ve had two other VLs in the past: a Berlina and a Calais and both V8s,” he says. “I’ve always had a soft spot for them.”

As it turned out, eBay would offer up the basis for his next project and our story would begin in earnest. Although it almost didn’t happen at all. “I spotted this VL and I kept an eye on it,” he says. “I watched the price go down over a couple of auctions and then myself, my dad and brother went out to check it out and made an offer, but the seller refused it. So, we drove off. But the next day the seller called and said ‘come pick it up’.”Matthew La Spada's Holden VL Commodore

Getting the previous owner to agree to the price was only half the battle. Half way home, a trans’ line blew, spraying fluid all over the gearbox and extractors, causing plenty of smoke, but thankfully no fire. “It must have been close to catching fire,” Matthew says.

Despite the rocky start, Matthew now had the basis of a project build. Not that a full rebuild was what Matt actually had in mind to start with. “It was in average condition when I bought it, but it was a good starting point,” he says. “I really only meant to put a set of mag wheels on it, lower it, fit a Momo steering wheel and some number plates. I just couldn’t stop.”

Perhaps one thing that forced Matthew’s hand was that he already had a stockpile of VL spare parts in the shed looking for a new home – thanks to his previous VLs. “I had a lot of spares put away for a VL build, but had pretty much used none of them on the previous two cars,” he explains. “When I stripped this one down and had parts strewn all over the floor and back yard, I knew I was in trouble.”

Matthew La Spada's Holden VL CommodoreDuring the build, Matthew must have driven his family mad with frequent misuse of the clothesline for spraying parts and more than a few late nights in the shed. However, he says the build also helped bring other family members closer. “I would do it all again,” he says. “I had great times with my family and friends building this car.”

And what a car he’s built. The 398ci stroker Holden is about as big as you’re likely to get out of a 5L. Hume Performance achieved the prodigious cubes with a 3.875in COME Racing crank and matching 5.850in H-beam rods, connected to forged Probe pistons. This rotating assembly is housed within a welded and grout-filled VN Group A SS 4-bolt block that’s had numerous improvements made for power and longevity, including deburring the valley for better oil control.

The round-port Group A SS heads were also ported, which together with the large 825cfm carb’ and single-plane intake makes breathing easy – a good thing when your cam’ boasts well over 0.600in of lift. This is all backed by a built T350 and narrowed BW rear end with 31-spline billet axles and a 4-pinion LSD centre.Matthew La Spada's Holden VL Commodore

Inside things perfectly match the HDT homage exterior, with Walkinshaw buckets and the original Berlina bench wrapped in light grey leather. The dash and plastics have been painted to match a grey plush pile carpets can be found under foot. While there is a Pioneer stereo in the car (with the rear 6x9in speakers hidden in the parcel tray and a 4-channel amp behind the rear seats), Matt tells us he prefers the sound of the V8 rumbling through the custom Hurricane headers and twin 3in stainless system any day.

Despite the lack of modified wheel tubs, the VL boasts a nice amount of backspacing on the 19x9in Simmons FR rims, which is made possible by the previously mentioned narrowed Borg Warner diff’ housing. The Simmons hide some nice detailing on the larger brakes and in the interests of saving finger and knuckle skin, the inner wheel hoops have been painted silver to prevent the need for constant polishing.

A Holden-friendly family, the La Spada clan plays host to several more nice Holden rides, including Matthew’s former daily VU SS that boasts the usual bolt-on mods and his brother Peter’s immaculate VL Calais. Together, they’ve got another early girl Commodore in the build and we can’t wait to see how that turns out. If it’s anything like this tough and tasty Berlina, it’ll be something to behold.

Owner: Matthew La Spada
Model: 1987 VL Berlina
Bodywork: HDT Group A, modified wheel arches, modified rear bumper moulds
Colour: Venetian red/custom mix
Block: VN Group A SS 4-bolt
Engine Mods: Welded and grout-filled block, COME Racing crank and H-beam rods (398ci), Probe forged pistons (11:1-comp’), Diamond rings, King bearings, ported cast VN Group A heads, Ferrea 6000-series valves, Isky valve springs and retainers, custom catch can, Camtech billet cam’ (0.653/666in lift, 255/261° duration, 108° LSA), 1.65:1 roller rockers, head and mains studs, Rollmaster timing chain, JP oil pump, High Energy sump, heavy-duty water pump, SPAL 16in thermo, PWR alloy radiator, 200A alternator, custom 6-rib pulleys, Romac harmonic balancer, 825cfm Holley Pro Series carb’, Torque Power single-plane intake manifold (match-ported), K&N filter, MSD Pro Billet dizzy, MSD Blaster, MSD 6AL, Holley billet FPR, dash-6 fuel lines, Aeroflow fuel log and throttle linkage, billet power steering reservoir
Power: 466rwhp (347rwkW)
Exhaust: Custom Hurricane tri-Y headers (1-7/8in primaries), twin 3in stainless system
Gearbox: T350, 4000rpm stall, reverse-pattern valve body, manualised
Diff: Borg Warner, 3.9:1 final drive, LSD, 4-pinion centre, Moser 31-spline billet axles, custom two-piece tail shaft
Brakes: 296mm front rotors, twin-piston front calipers, 279mm rear rotors, VL V8 rear calipers, Bendix pads, modified VT booster, VT master cylinder, hidden braided brake lines, stainless fittings
Suspension: Custom Jumbo springs, Monroe GT gas shocks, Pedders sway bars, Whiteline adjustable panhard, Nolathane bushings, boxed rear trailing arms, adjustable top rear trailing arms, adjustable camber/castor strut tops
Wheels/Tyres: 19in Simmons FR19 (8in front, 9in rear), Khumo Ecsta SPT tyres
Interior: Scheel seats, light grey leather trim, Momo Race steering wheel, painted dash and plastics, suede roof lining, HDT cluster, Autometer ancillary gauges, NOS seat belt buttons, grey carpets, trimmed and panelled boot
Stereo: Pioneer CD head unit, 4-channel power amp’, 6x9in Pioneer rear speakers in parcel tray, Gold Series cabling, electric aerial
Build period: 4 years
Cost: Undisclosed
Contacts: On Track Auto Electrical, Hume Performance, Abruzzi Race Transmissions, Terry Diffs & Chassis, Smithfield Diff & Gears, Race Brakes, Alfa Motorsport Fibreglass, All Trim, Anthony Coronna (paint, engine bay), Alex Vella (undercarriage, interior plastics), Hume Mufflers, Lowe Fabrications, Daryl (custom pulleys/brackets), Tempe Tyres, Liverpool Trans, Ricky (tail shaft), Peps Auto Parts – Hoxton Park, Anthony Fonti, my father Phil and my brother Peter (endless help and advice), “And last but not least my darling wife Ana-Maria and my daughter Veronica for all their patience, love and support”

Feature Car: Lewis Younis’ Turbo LS-Powered Holden VK Commodore


11 Apr

Lewis Younis’ HDT-styled VK Holden Commodore might look pretty much like most others you see getting around car shows these days, the combination of its stance and the 500rwhp turbocharged LS conversion under the bonnet helps set it apart from the pack. Street Machine thought so too, featuring it in its March 2018 issue.

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Lewis Younis' Turbo LS-Powered Holden VK Commodore

Lewis Younis' Turbo LS-Powered Holden VK Commodore

Lewis Younis' Turbo LS-Powered Holden VK Commodore

LIFER: Nick Sassine’s 450rwhp 355ci VK Holden Commodore


04 Apr

Nick Sassine's Holden VK Commodore

LIFER

At the ripe old age of 31, Holden-addict Nick Sassine finally popped his old-school cherry with this kickass VK SS clone – and he’s keen for more
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Nick Sassine's Holden VK Commodore“I’ve owned Holdens all my life,” says 31-year-old Sydneysider Nick Sassine. The builder/developer got stuck on the brand thanks to his family. “My uncles and grandfather all had VKs at one time or another and I loved the shape,” he says. “My first car was a VN Calais 5L. It was repainted orange and had big wheels. That was 15 years ago.”

The Calais proved to be total cop bait, but Nick wouldn’t be deterred. “It got attention everywhere I went,” he says. “I remember having a drawer full of defect notices and spending all my spare time going back and forth clearing them.”

Eventually he got sick of the bureaucracy and sold the car, but couldn’t live without a Holden – instead turning his attention to later-model examples. “I ended up with a VY Maloo and from then on I bought newer model Holdens. I also had a VZ Senator and more recently a VE Senator,” he says. “But while driving around I’d see these old-school Holdens out cruising and I’d think to myself ‘There’s nothing like an old-school Holden. I’m going to build myself one of those one day’.”Nick Sassine's Holden VK Commodore

And that’s exactly what Nick has done. Although, fate had a helping hand in getting him started on his journey. “I had to get the front bar of my VE repainted. I walked into the workshop and spotted a freshly painted VK shell sitting there in that Blue Meanie colour,” he says. “It had no motor, no interior… it was just the shell. I figured it was someone’s project and wasn’t for sale.”

Clever Nick made a few enquiries and learned that the car belonged to Sam, the spray painter at the shop. Nick convinced him to sell the shell and with a deal done, Nick had himself a project car. First thing on the agenda was an engine and Nick approached Sports Tech to build him a 355ci Holden stroker (see spec’ box) and a little more convincing by Nick saw him secure a built T350 that Milad from Sports Tech had in waiting for one of his own projects.

Nick Sassine's Holden VK CommodoreNick still needed an interior and a rear end and he found both in Melbourne. “I found a car in Melbourne that had a Scheel trim and a 9in in it,” he says. “Now I had two VKs. My bank account was getting smaller and so was my driveway!”

With the 9in sent off for reconditioning and narrowing, Nick had the Scheel trim steam cleaned to find it practically brand new underneath the grime. Months went by with Nick scouring the globe for parts to finish the project off and in quick succession it was towed between Sports Tech (to put the motor, ‘box and 9in in), Budget Exhaust (where the twin 2.5in system was fitted as well as having the undercarriage sprayed black), Sports Tech again (for the wiring) and then home for final assembly.

“I was getting closer to hearing it fire up for the first time,” Nick says. “Finally that day came and the sound was heard streets away. It was like music to my ears!”

With most of the car complete, Nick went in search of an HDT body kit to get that iconic SS Group A look. At the same time, the car was given its stance with King Springs and Pedders gear, getting just the right height for the big 20in Simmons FR rims filling the VK’s small arches.Street Commodores - Issue 243

“Putting it all together was definitely my favourite part,” he says. “Waiting for the parts sucked, but whenever something came in, I couldn’t wait to fit it. It was my first time building a car and I really enjoyed it. I wait to do more to it.”
The “more to it” Nick alludes to could see the VK reach new heights in automotive aggression, with future plans including a blower and big tubs under the bum. “I’d love to put deep dish 22s on it,” he says.

Owner: Nick Sassine
Model: VK
Bodywork: HDT SS Group A
Colour: Formula blue
Block: 308ci Holden
Engine Mods: Harrop stroker crank (355ci), Scat rods, SRP pistons (11.5:1-comp’), head and mains studs, cast VN heads, MSD coil, high-volume sump, Howards solid cam’, Scorpion rockers, 2x 395cfm Holley carbs, Holley HP125 fuel pump, tunnel ram intake manifold, Holley FPR, custom catch can, braided fuel and oil lines, billet strut top covers, alloy radiator
Power: 450rwhp (335rwkW)
Exhaust: Pacemaker headers, twin 2.5in exhaust (dumped at diff’)
Gearbox: T350, 3500rpm TCE stall, manualised valve body
Diff: Narrowed 9in, 4.11:1 final drive
Brakes: 296mm front rotors, D2 8-piston front calipers, D2 twin-piston rear calipers, DBA pads, VT booster
Suspension: King springs, Pedders shocks, adjustable panhard
Wheels/Tyres: 20in Simmons FR (8.5in front, 9.5in rear)
Interior: Scheel trim, HDT Momo steering wheel, B&M Pro Ratchet
Stereo: Clarion head unit, 2x Kicker power amps, JVC 6in front speakers, 2x 12in subs, custom sub enclosure, rear, 6x9in speakers
Build time: 3 years so far
Cost: Over $55,000
Contacts: Sports Tech, Budget Exhaust – Merrylands, Wholesale Suspension, Savage Customs, Race Brakes, Unique Restorations, Lowe Fabrications, Rare Spares, “My mum for putting up with all the noise on those late nights”

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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Peter Kulakovski's Holden VK Commodore

Peter Kulakovski's Holden VK Commodore

Peter Kulakovski's Holden VK Commodore

Feature Car: Anthony Dooley’s 1985 Holden VK Commodore


15 Feb

My photo shoot on Anthony Dooley’s blown, 408ci VK Holden Commodore appeared in issue 6 of Street Magazine magazine’s LSX Tuner special, which is still on sale now. This was the second time I’ve been lucky enough to shoot this car, with the first appearing about a year ago in another title. It now features new wheels

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Anthony Dooley's 1985 Holden VK Commodore

Anthony Dooley's 1985 Holden VK Commodore

Anthony Dooley's 1985 Holden VK Commodore

 

Feature Car: Anthony Fava’s HDT VK Group C Replica


26 Jul

My photo shoot on Anthony Fava’s wide-body HDT VK Group C replica was featured in issue 265 of Street Commodores, which graced newsstands a few months back. Sorry for the delay! 🙂 Enjoy some free wallpapers.

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Anthony Fava's HDT VK Group C Replica

Anthony Fava's HDT VK Group C Replica     Anthony Fava's HDT VK Group C Replica

Feature Car: Grant Jansson’s Holden VH Commodore


24 Feb

I shot Grant Jansson’s sweet Holden VH Commodore for the latest issue of Street Commodores magazine. It’s a nice replica of an HDT SS but with plenty of personal custom touches.

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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.

Grant Jansson's Holden VH Commodore

Grant Jansson's Holden VH Commodore     Grant Jansson's Holden VH Commodore

Anthony Dooley’s Holden VK Commodore


20 Feb

My photo shoot on Anthony Dooley’s tough, blown VK Commodore made it on to the front cover of the latest issue of Street Commodores, which is on sale now! The HDT clone makes 800hp from its 8/71, 408ci LS-based powerplant.

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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.

Anthony Dooley's Holden VK Commodore

Anthony Dooley's Holden VK Commodore     Anthony Dooley's Holden VK Commodore

Street Commodores - Issue 261

Cover Car: Mario Attard’s Holden VH Commodore


18 Aug

Our photo shoot on Mario Attard’s killer Holden VH Commodore HDT clone graces the cover of the latest issue of Street Commodores magazine, which is on sale now. It’s an absolutely gorgeous car and extremely well finished. Be sure to pick up a copy of issue 255 of the magazine and read all about the build!

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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.

Mario Attard's Holden VH Commodore

Mario Attard's Holden VH Commodore     Mario Attard's Holden VH Commodore

Street Commodores - Issue 255