Posts Tagged ‘retrotech’

Feature Car: Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden ‘WILDFB’


02 Jul

The Beauchamp family’s incredible 1960 FB Holden phantom coupe appeared in the June 2018 issue of Street Machine. It’s not every day I get to shoot something that is so comprehensively modified as this. From the chop top and two-door conversion, to the one-piece flip front and twin-turbo Lexus V8 – it’s one crazy beast. And the execution is flawless.

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Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden

Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden

Beauchamp Family 1960 FB Holden

ALL ROUNDER: Willem Fercher’s LS7-Powered Holden LJ Torana


10 May

Willem Fercher's LJ Holden Torana

ALL ROUNDER

Street, strip and circuit: Willem Fercher’s incredible LS7-powered LJ Torana can do just about anything you want
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Willem Fercher's LJ Holden ToranaEvery now and then we come across a car that makes our pulses race and our palms a little sweaty. While out and about covering the 2011 All Holden Day in Clarendon, NSW, we came across a vehicle that did just that. Welcome to Willem Fercher’s awesome LJ Torana coupe: a car that seems capable of doing just about anything you could want it to and doing it well. Cruising, straight-line racing or hitting the corners, this purple LJ can do it all. It’s even at home looking pretty at local car shows.

Willem, proprietor of Winmalee Car Care, built the car to be adaptable and to excel in no matter what discipline he was to choose down the track. As you’ll read later on, he took several clever steps to ensure that anything would be possible, allowing different combinations of driveline components to suit the task at hand.

Purchased in 2009, Willem informed us during the photo shoot that the car had actually had a previous life as a speedway car. Considering the die-straight ‘purrple’ bodywork the car boasts today, we almost fell over at the statement. However, given the car’s long life as a racer, its life today with Willem seems perfectly fitting.Willem Fercher's LJ Holden Torana

Underneath the machine Willem equipped the coupe with plenty to smile about, including a CRS chassis strengthening kit, tubular upper control arms and a complete VX Commodore trans’ tunnel. “I did that to make it easy to swap from a manual to an auto’,” Willem says. “I run a T56 for circuit racing and a Craig’s Automatics-built 4L65E for drag racing. It also uses the VX cross member in its original bolt holes.”

At the time of our shoot the car was set up for drag racing and had the auto’ fitted, including a steep 5200rpm stall. This backs up what is perhaps the centrepiece of the entire car: the LS7. The normally 427ci alloy monster was stroked out to 445ci thanks to a Callies crank and rods, with Wiseco pistons compressing a diet of E85 up against a set of ported alloy heads to the tune of 14:1 static comp’.

Willem Fercher's LJ Holden ToranaIf horsepower is created by burning air and fuel, then it’s no surprise Willem’s LJ makes 600rwhp and runs an “easy” 9.96sec ET. Mounted atop a ported Carey single-plane intake is a staggering 2000cfm Edelbrock throttle. Coupled with a meaty Comp Cams hydraulic roller boasting 0.700in lift, this engine can breathe some big air. Waste gases exit via a set of custom fabricated headers with 2in primaries, which is about all it runs when drag racing. For circuit work and life on the street, Willem bolts on a pair of extensions with a pair of mufflers to quiet things down.

“The car is street registered, it runs 9s and in circuit format it has been as high as a Top 4 spot out of 80 cars at the Bathurst hill climb,” Willem says, proudly. “We’ve also had it around Wakefield where it’s run a best of 1min 10sec.”

No matter where you look on this Torana, you’ll find gobsmacking attention to detail that is far beyond what you’d normally expect to see in a car built to race. From the artful stainless fuel lines under the car to the symmetrical fuel lines and centrally mounted regulator in the engine bay, everything has been carefully thought out and expertly executed.Willem Fercher's LJ Holden Torana

It’s the same inside the car, where things like the carbon door trims and delete plates have been neatly fettled into place. The extensive cage has been colour coded and contrasts nicely against the largely black cockpit. Sparco Sprint buckets are the only chairs in here, with the rear bench deleted to make way for the cage and to save weight. It’s not all about forgoing comfort for speed however, with the cabin and boot space extensively covered in sound deadener to keep in-car noise as low as possible. Hell, the front half even boasts nice, fresh black carpets.

Willem is no stranger to late-model power plants. He previously owned a daily-driver VZ Commodore with a 427ci stroked LS3 that ran 10.8sec and the LJ’s recently completed stable mate is a circuit-racer VK HDT mock-up that also runs a stout LS7. “With the LJ currently set up for drag racing, I want to get it back to the track,” Willem says. “I’d like to explore 9.5-9.6sec ETs. It did the 9.96sec easily. We just needed more setup time.”

Owner: Willem Fercher
Colour: ‘Purrple’
Bodywork: GT-R spoiler
Engine Type: 445ci LS7
Engine Mods: Callies 4.1in crank, Callies rods, Wiseco pistons (14:1-comp’), Clevite bearings, ported alloy heads, PAC springs and retainers, ASE breather tank, Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam’ (0.700in lift, 270˚ duration), chromoly pushrods, Yella Terra 1.8:1 roller rockers, ARP head and mains studs, JP timing chain, Moroso oil pan, Meziere electric water pump, PWR alloy radiator, SLP oil pump, 2000cfm Edelbrock throttle body, K&N filter, ported Carey single-plane intake, stock relocated coils, GM rocker covers, VZ LS1 ECU, twin Bosch 044 pumps, Turbosmart FPR, 3L surge tank, 60L fuel cell, custom stainless fuel lines, Speedflow fittings
Power: 600rwhp (447rwkW), 9.96sec @ 133mph
Exhaust: Custom headers (2in primaries), twin 3in mild steel exhaust, ‘race’ merge collectors, muffler extensions fit for street and circuit
Gearbox: 4L65E, 5200rpm Circle D stall
Diff: 9in, 31-spline axles, Strange 3.5:1 final drive, Strange full-spool
Brakes: 326mm front rotors, 300mm rear rotors, 6-piston VTTR calipers, Carbon ceramic pads, Tilton pedal box
Suspension: King front springs, Koni front shocks, tubular upper front control arms, rear coil-overs, Selby rear sway bar, modified steering, Castlemaine chassis kit
Wheels/Tyres: 18in Oz 3-piece rims (8in front, 10in rear), A048 Yokohama tyres
Other mods: Mini tubs, battery relocated to rear, VX Commodore trans’ tunnel and gearbox cross member
Interior: Momo steering wheel, 100mm boss, Sparco Sprint buckets, deleted rear bench, carbon fibre door trims and under dash panels, RCI harnesses, B&M Pro Ratchet, full cage, chequer plate floor panels, sound deadener throughout, black carpets
Stereo: Carbon fibre blocking plate
Build Period: 12 months
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Winmalee Car Care, Craig’s Automatics, Diff Technics, Wholesale Suspension, Fibremaster, Bond Rollbars, Duspeed, Oz Wheels, ASE, Compton Excavation, Blaxland Auto Electrics

VINTAGE MODERN: Davin Cochrane’s LS1-Powered Holden LH Torana


10 May

Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana

VINTAGE MODERN

Davin Cochrane saved this LH sedan from oblivion and gave it a new, high-tech lease on life.
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana“A friend had seen a Torana near his house sitting under a tree out near Baradine,” starts 43-year-old Davin Cochrane. “It had been sitting there quietly for quite some time. I made contact with the owner and got hold of a car trailer to go pick it up.”

Davin paid the princely sum of $2000 for the LH back in April 2008, hauling the hulk several hours back to his home base south of Newcastle in NSW. No doubt there was more than one session of serious cleaning before the true condition of the car was revealed.

“A number of family members looked at the car and thought it was a piece of junk, but I could see the potential,” Davin says. “Considering what we wanted the outcome of the restoration to be, we decided ‘no regrets’ was the way to go.”

Before a spanner got turned in the name of restoration, Davin hatched his plan on what he thought the LH should become in its new phase of life. “At the time we started the project, there was only a couple of Toranas running GenIIIs that we were aware of,” he says. “It also had to be a manual. So an LS1 with a 6-speed sounded like the go.”Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana

LS1 conversions were pretty thin on the ground in 2008 and as a result, finding parts wasn’t all that simple. Davin started out with some CRS mount and cross member parts, while working with an electrician in QLD fabricating a custom wiring harness to suit the applications. However, there were more pressing matters on Davin’s radar than jamming a new drivetrain into the Torana – like the rusted body.

“We stripped the car and had it blasted first,” Davin says. “There were lots of rust holes and the roof had been caved in, as though the local kids had been using it to land on when jumping out of the tree it used to sit under.”

“The panel guy looked the car over and recommended we start with another body. Not to be put off, I persuaded them to continue with the original car, even if it ended up costing a bit more.”

Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden ToranaDespite the hard slog the paint and panel guys faced, it wasn’t too long before Davin had the car back in his possession and he could now turn his attention solely toward the fun stuff like the engine conversion and running gear. Davin looked around and found a guy who had a 255kW VX-spec’ LS1 he had planned to put into a hatch. With only 67,000kms on the clock, Davin swooped in on the engine.

“We deleted the power steering and had to fit a sump with the pickup at the back due to the cross member,” Davin says. “We found a T56 from a wrecked Maloo with only 35,000kms on the clock, which is where we met our next problem.”

That problem was a transmission that was significantly larger than the Torana’s trans’ tunnel would accommodate. While he tried to work around the problem, Davin had no option but to face up to it and grab the angle grinder. When the gap ended up too large to simply weld shut, a friend of his came to the rescue, allowing Davin to cut out the tunnel from a Commodore he was wrecking.Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana

Over the course of the build, Davin faced a number of other conversion issues – as you might well imagine would be the case when trying to join 21st century technology to archaic 1970s Holden hardware. Auto and Marine Instruments in Victoria converted the original factory gauges to electronic units to overcome the speedo output from the T56; subsequently giving Davin the ability to recalibrate the speedo easily himself down the track.

With the bits and pieces sorted and the car getting close to driveable, Davin sourced a set of wide Simmons FR18s that hide the Hoppers Stoppers brakes. The FRs really fill out the SLR-style flares and the gunmetal centres work well against the blinding Sting Red paintwork.

“I initially thought the classic Marlboro racing colours would be cool, however others in the family didn’t think cigarette advertising was a good idea,” Davin says. “Steve and his team at South Lakes Smash did a really good job on the car with the hours they spent saving the body.”

Simmons and SLR styling. LH Torana and GenIII power. This mixing up of eras and merging of styles can also be found inside the car where Davin combines the immaculate original class of the Torana vinyl with a modern steering wheel, race buckets and Autometer gauges.

All told, Davin should be proud of the results he’s achieved with the LH. It’s gone from a rusted, caved in wreck under a tree to a being a potent, current and ultimately tasty retrotech machine that is sure to continue hunting unsuspecting ricers on our nation’s roads for decades to come. While the greenies might argue the point, we reckon that’s an excellent case of conservationism!

Owner: Davin Cochrane
Colour: Sting Red w/blackouts
Bodywork: SLR-5000
Engine Type: VX 5.7L LS1
Engine Mods: Custom harness, PWR alloy radiator, Aeromotive FPR and gauge, Edelbrock alloy inline fuel filter, braided fuel lines, PWR alloy radiator overflow tank, thermo fan, custom sump, deleted power steering
Power: Untested
Exhaust: Custom ceramic coated headers, twin mild steel system
Gearbox: Maloo T56
Diff: 9in, 2.75:1 final drive, LSD, custom tail shaft
Brakes: 330mm Hoppers Stoppers front disc and twin-piston caliper kit, 300mm rear Hoppers Stoppers disc kit, 7in double-diaphragm booster
Suspension: PCD swap to HQ pattern
Wheels/Tyres: Simmons FR18 rims
Other mods: Everything rechromed, halogen headlights, VDO electronic dash conversion
Interior: Autometer ‘Bowtie’ ancillary gauges, SAAS steering wheel, front race seats, fresh roof lining and door trims
Stereo: Pioneer CD player and rear coaxial speakers
Build Period: 3 years
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Killa Kustom Kables, Auto and Marine Instruments, Gibson’s Driveshaft Services, Hoppers Stoppers, Hamilton Chrome, Grant Roberts Automotive, Cools Autotrim, South Lakes Smash Repairs

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”

Feature Car: Andrew Drain’s Holden VH Commodore


18 Aug

Newcastle, NSW is a city busting with sweet modified cars and that’s where we found Andrew Drain’s incredible retrotech Holden VH Commodore, which is featured in issue 227 of Street Commodores magazine – on newsstands now.

Powered by a 418ci LS3 small-block, the VH also features an insane black leather interior by Eastside Kustoms, including a seamless, late-model VY dash conversion. Be sure to pick up the latest issue of Street Commodores to read all about it in our feature story.

As always, we’ve got a series of seven 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.

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Andrew Drain's Holden VH Commodore

Andrew Drain's Holden VH Commodore     Andrew Drain's Holden VH Commodore

Feature Car: Davin Cochrane’s LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana


06 Feb

Two red Toranas in one issue? Yep, Xtreme Holdens issue 51 contains two red LH/LX Toranas, but they are different animals. Les Chadwick’s 355ci-powered hatch is a total classic Australian street machine, whereas Davin Cochrane’s four-door, pictured here, has gone an altogether different route.

Powered by an LS1 alloy V8 and T56 and wearing a set of Simmons FR rims, Davin’s LH is the epitome of retrotech flavour. You can read all about the radical modern transformation that took place in issue 51, over a generous nine page feature.

As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy and strobist fans will find our lighting information and EXIF data on each image’s caption, too. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana

Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana     Davin Cochrane's LS1-Powered LH Holden Torana