Posts Tagged ‘muscle car’

Feature Car: Jason Sandner’s Holden LX Torana


14 Nov

Jason Sandner’s incredibly-detailed Holden LX Torana appeared in the November 2018 issue of Street Machine. It is the second time I’ve been able to get up close and personal with the car and it never fails to blow my tiny mind. Jason has done an incredible job of building the car, which is highly detailed, both on top and bottom. powered by a 378ci alloy Donovan SBC, it’s also potent!

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Jason Sandner's Holden LX Torana

Jason Sandner's Holden LX Torana

Jason Sandner's Holden LX Torana

Feature Car: Charlie Saliba’s 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38


11 Oct

Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

My photo shoot on Charlie Saliba’s 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38 was featured in the September 2018 issue of Street Machine. The 265ci Hemi six-powered coupe took a long time to get to this point, but the results of Charlie’s hard labour is evident no matter where you look and you can read all about it in the Sept. 2018 issue.

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Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

Charlie Saliba's 1971 Chrysler Valiant VH Charger R/T E38

Feature Car: Jason Grima’s 1971 XY Ford Falcon


03 Oct

Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

Jason Grima’s beautiful 1971 XY Ford Falcon was featured in the September 2018 issue of Street Machine magazine. I reckon the images speak louder than any technical info I could hurl at you. Enjoy!

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Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

Jason Grima's 1971 Ford XY Falcon

Feature Car: Dave & Sarah Cowie’s HJ GTS Monaro


24 Jul

David and Sarah Cowie’s pristine LS-swapped Holden HJ GTS Monaro was given a small feature in the June issue of Street Machine magazine. With a clean LS1 Conversion, flawless interior and a tough stance, it’s a largely home-built affair and the paint is to die for – a job David also handled himself.

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Dave & Sarah Cowie's HJ GTS Monaro

Dave & Sarah Cowie's HJ GTS Monaro

Dave & Sarah Cowie's HJ GTS Monaro

Feature Car: Jason McGrath’s 355ci Top 20 Elite Holden LC Torana


10 Jul

My photo shoot on Jason McGrath’s 355ci, Summernats Top 20 Elite, Holden LC Torana was featured in the June 201 issue of Street Machine magazine, which was on sale last month. It’s an immaculate little coupe, with detail for days.

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Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

Jason McGrath's 355ci Elite Top 20 Holden LC Torana

TRACK ATTACK: Steven Lacey’s 480hp, 365ci Holden LX SS Hatch


24 May

Steven Lacey's Holden LX Torana

TRACK ATTACK

Steven Lacey’s genuine LX SS is living the on-track life it was always meant to
Story and Pics by Ben Hosking

Steven Lacey's Holden LX ToranaIt’s no secret that the Torana, in its many various guises, has been a formidable competitor on the nation’s race tracks over the previous four decades. Light weight and nimble, the LC and LJ coupes tore up the Bathurst circuit in their day and the legend and fanaticism that surrounds the A9X LX hatch is rarely matched by any other make or model.

Perhaps it was this mythology, legend and racing heritage that attracted a young Steven Lacey to the LX hatch back in 1993 when he first laid eyes on the example you see before you today. “I bought the car in the summer of 1993 from a guy that lived on the north beaches of Sydney,” remembers 42-year-old Property Asset Manager Steve. “My first impression was that I had to have it.”

Already boasting a red 308ci V8, Top Loader and 9in, the car had been dropped to its knees with an angle grinder, but Steven could see the potential. “The seller wouldn’t let anyone drive it. He took us for what could only be described as a ‘hell ride’,” says Steve. “We were either stopped or flat out, with the arse of the car hitting every bump in the road.”Steven Lacey's Holden LX Torana

Steve had to convince his mechanic father that this was the car was for him. His dad thought the car was a death trap, but he haggled on the price and the next day Steve was back to pick up his new car. “It was here that I discovered that the car was unregistered due to unpaid speeding fines,” smiles Steve. “I don’t remember exactly how much I paid to get the car re-registered, needless to say the guy got much less in his pocket that he wanted.”

Naturally, for a car that’s been with the same owner for 17 years, the development process has ducked and weaved in numerous directions as time has passed. Outlasting at least two engines, including the original 308ci and a later 330ci stroker the LX now runs a 365ci combination based on a VT roller block.

LW Parry Engineering bolted together the sturdy stroker using a Scat crank and 5.7in H-beam rods – a set of dish-top JE pistons completing the rotating assembly with a static compression of 10.75:1. The cast heads were ported to flow 530hp and filled with Isky springs, Crow retainers and Yella Terra 1.65:1 shaft-mount rockers with the valvetrain controlled by a Comp hydraulic roller cam’.

Steven Lacey's Holden LX ToranaBoth the bottom and top ends of the engine are held together firmly with ARP studs, while the bottom gains ever greater strength with a stud girdle. After all, longevity and reliability are two things that can help win races and Steven wins plenty.

Still in the theme of strength and reliability, Steven turned to Mal Wood Automotive for a Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual ‘box. Built like the proverbial brick out house, they’re just the thing for hard driving. It uses an ACE organic single-plate clutch and sends torque down a balanced 3in tail shaft to the old 9in that now runs 28-spline axles, 3.5:1 gears and a True Trac centre.

Unbelievably, Steven is still running a braking system that many would call prehistoric. The front end uses relatively small 276mm HQ rotors and calipers while the rear end is even worse, with the original drum brakes still groaning under the pressure. Despite this, the car hasn’t only been competitive in its class; it’s actually been taking home plenty of silverware.Steven Lacey's Holden LX Torana

“We are looking to improve the brakes, suspension and possibly go to a full-floating rear end in the future,” assures Steven.

Speaking of suspension, the car runs a relatively rudimentary setup, with Selby springs front and rear, along with Koni adjustable shocks and a 24mm front swaybar. It’s been set up with 4.5˚ negative front camber and 5˚ positive castor which wouldn’t be much help on the street, but helps the car stick to the track like shit on a blanket.

Like much of the car, it’s a fairly subtle manipulation of parts that create the environment Steve needs to work his on-track magic. Much of the original SS trim remains, with a Bond 6-point alloy roll cage and Cobra Monaco race seat being the two main deviations from classic 1970s-era appeal. Even the Speco 3in tacho looks pretty retro.

Steven Lacey's Holden LX ToranaSteve runs two sets of wheels on the Torana, with one set of 16in BBS rims for the street and a set of custom two-piece wheels for the track measuring 17x8in up front and a whopping 17×9.5in out back; making full use of those A9X flares. They’re 305/40 Yokohama AO50 tyres wrapping around those rear hoops.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for the LX though, with a huge stack almost putting the car permanently out to pasture in early 2010. “Whilst running at ECR, the Torrie broke an axle in turn five,” remembers Steve. “The driver’s side rear wheel went under the car, pushed the fuel tank through the floor, splitting it and then catapulted the car about eight feet into the air.”

The damage was extensive, bending the chassis at both ends. However, with the help of companies like Macri Motors, LW Parry Engineering, Panorama Smash and Neale Wheels, Steve says his sojourn to the legendary Mt Panorama a mere four weeks later would never have been a reality.

“I had the opportunity to run the full circuit at Bathurst,” beams Steve with the memory. “It was an amazing experience to do in the Torana. We were clocked at 216km/h up Mountain Straight, 160km/h across the top of the mountain and 247km/h down Conrod. It’s an awesome piece of road.”

Let’s hope this little white LX continues to pound the pavement for many years to come.

Owner: Steven Lacey
Colour: Heron white, Brilliant black
Bodywork: A9X
Engine Type: VT Commodore 5L
Engine Mods: Mains girdle, Scat 355ci stroker crank (small rod journals making 365ci), 5.7in Scat H-beam rods, JE pistons (10.75:1-comp’), JE rings, ARP mains studs, ACL bearings, ported cast heads (flow 530hp), Isky valve springs, Crow retainers, custom catch can, Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam’ (0.600in lift, 248˚ duration, 108˚ LSA), JET Engineering pushrods, Yella Terra 1.65:1 shaft-mount rockers, Rollmaster timing chain, JP high-volume oil pump, custom sump, custom thermo fan, Aussie Dessert Cooler 4-row/triple pass radiator, 750cfm Holley 4150 HP Ultra carb’, 1in spacer, Torque Power single-plane intake manifold, K&N filter, MSD Pro Billet distributor, Crane Hi-6 ignition, Crane LX92 coil, Mallory 140-series pump, Holley FPR, upgraded fuel lines
Power: 480fwhp (380kW), 12.4sec @ 116mph
Exhaust: Castle tri-Y headers (1.75in primaries), twin 3in mild steel exhaust, single Hurricane muffler
Gearbox: Tremec TK600 5-speed, ACE organic single-plate clutch
Diff: 9in, 28-spline axles, 3.5:1 final drive, True Trac centre, balanced 3in tail shaft, heavy duty unis, tail shaft loop
Brakes: Slotted 276mm HQ front rotors, PBR calipers, drum rear, Bendix Street Race Track (SRT) pads
Suspension: Selby springs, Koni adjustable shocks, 24mm front swaybar (4.5˚ negative front camber, 5˚ positive castor)
Wheels/Tyres: Custom two-piece 17in rims (8in front, 9.5in rear), Yokohama AO50 tyres (225/45 front, 255/40 rear)
Interior: Cobra Monaco S driver’s side race seat, Speco tacho, Autometer gauges, 6-point alloy roll cage, 4-point Williams harness
Stereo: N/A
Build Period: Ongoing
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: LW Parry Engineering, Macri Motor Repairs, Liverpool Exhaust, Mal Wood Automotive, Gear Exchange Services, Wilson Fibreglass, Panorama Smash Repairs, Bond Rollbars, Neale Wheels, Miller Chassis, Gordon Leven Motorsport Tyres, Hercules Competition Engines, Croydon Racing Developments, Brabond Brakes

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

NATURE’S FURY: David McGinniss’ 428ci 1969 Mercury Cyclone


22 May

David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury Cyclone

NATURE’S FURY

Meet one of Ford’s rarer motorsport-influenced models, the NASCAR-homologation Mercury Cyclone
Words and Pics by www.hoskingindustries.com.au

David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury CycloneBy the mid-1960s the popularity of stock car racing was booming, leading to what many would call the sport’s golden age late in the decade with cars like the Ford Galaxies, Richard Petty’s Plymouth, Ford Torinos and Mercury Cyclones, much like the example featured here that belongs to David McGinniss. Indeed, NASCAR was largely dominated by Ford in the mid to late 1960s – a time when the race cars still had to be close derivatives of road-going models (homologated) like our dearly missed Touring Car series here in Australia up until the early 1990s.

Back then, racing was fierce, exciting and supremely dangerous. Vehicles one or lost not just on driver ability, but also on the inherent qualities of the vehicles themselves. OE manufacturers were still living by the ethos of ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ and as a result, designed and built their cars to go fast.

Introduced in 1968, this iteration of the Mercury Cyclone came in various trim styles, including no fewer than 10 different engine combinations in the two years of production, when steel and oil were both still cheap. However, David’s example is a rare beast. This is a legit Cyclone CJ: one of only 3261 built, which is a piddling little number considering the volumes in which Ford used to build cars.David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury Cyclone

‘CJ’ stands for Cobra Jet, referring to the great lump of iron wedged between the sturdy chassis rails of the Cyclone. Measuring 428 cubic inches, it’s no small engine and came with an advertised output of 335bhp back in the year of its release. Besides the 429ci Boss that the NASCAR versions of the Cyclone were running in competition, there was nothing bigger or more powerful in the Ford line up than this bruiser.

Earlier in the model’s history, a few different variations on the body style existed, like convertibles and non-fastback coupes that were all known as Cyclones. Interestingly, by 1969 this was no longer the case, with non-fastback shapes known as Montegos and Comets, with the fastbacks – the same as David’s here – called Cyclones.

David originally purchased the Cyclone way back in November 1989 in original condition. Indeed, as it sits today most of the vehicle is true to factory specification including the interior, wheels, brakes, diff’ and C6 auto’. It’s still a matching-numbers 428ci, however David did rebuild the engine around 15 years ago, keeping pretty close to the original parts list save for a Mondello steel crank, better bearings and rings as well as the 735cfm Holley on top.

“It’s been an amazing car,” David says. “15 years on and it still drives fantastically.”

David McGinniss' 1969 Mercury CycloneNot afraid to make proper use of such a rare Ford, David piloted the Cyclone through the twists and turns of the Targa Tasmania on a number of occasions in the mid to late 1990s. The car performed well in its class, earning a second place in its class in 1996 and 1998. Considering the car’s weight, the weight over the nose and the archaic brakes and the fact he could steer it through the course is even more impressive. Take that Eric Bana!

While David says that owning the car has been a wonderful experience, he does admit it hasn’t always been a total walk in the park. “Finding spare parts for it has probably been one of the hardest parts of the rebuild and keeping it going,” David says. “That, and trying to convince people it isn’t a Torino!”

Sadly the glory days of truly exciting homologation motorsport have passed (not discounting the excellent racing the smaller and privateer classes do), so it’s nice to know there are still beautiful mechanical reminders of those times around to remind us. With dedicated and capable owners like David McGinniss there to keep these cubically endowed beasts on the road, we’ll hopefully have them around to enjoy for many more years to come.

Who knows, maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see an end to the current NASCAR and V8 Supercar boredom and return to some touring car excitement again on day. Imagine what the manufacturers could come up with then!

Owner: David McGinniss
Vehicle: 1969 Mercury Cyclone
Paint: Dulux Barlot red
Styling: Factory
Engine: 428ci Cobra Jet
Engine Mods: Mondello steel crank, stock rods and pistons (10.5:1-comp’), Pro Seal file-back rings, Clevite bearings, 735cfm Holley carb’, alloy catch can
Power: 410fwhp (305kW), 440lb.ft, 13.49sec ET
Exhaust: Custom 4-into-1 headers (2in primaries), twin 2.5in mild steel exhaust, twin mufflers
Gearbox: C6 auto
Diff: 3.55:1 final drive, LSD
Suspension: Bilstein front and rear shocks, 19mm front sway bar, variable-ratio steering rack
Brakes: Factory
Wheels/Tyres: Factory
Interior: Factory
Tunes: Factory
Build Time: 5 years
Bucks: $38,000
Who’s Responsible: Coasteer Automotive, Brenton Chere for the paint

Feature Car: Michael Ceyhan’s Ford XD Fairmont


26 Mar

Michael Ceyhan’s immaculate Ford XD Fairmont appeared in the March issue of Street Machine. It runs a 434ci Dart Eagle-based stroker that’s run a 10.9sec ET, but Michael says he didn’t build the car to race. Front to back, top to bottom – including the detailed undercarriage – it’s a fitting testament to as beloved dad.

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Michael Ceyhan's Ford XD Fairmont

Michael Ceyhan's Ford XD Fairmont

Michael Ceyhan's Ford XD Fairmont

Feature Car: Tom Banks’ 1972 Chrysler by Chrysler CH Hardtop


28 Feb

Tom Banks’ tough 1972 Chrysler by Chrysler CH Hardtop runs a stout 360ci small-block that makes over 430rwhp. I got to photograph it for the last issue of Chrysler Action.

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Tom Banks' 1972 Chrysler by Chrysler CH Hardtop

Tom Banks' 1972 Chrysler by Chrysler CH Hardtop

Tom Banks' 1972 Chrysler by Chrysler CH Hardtop