Posts Tagged ‘tubbed’

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

FROM MINT TO MAGIC: Chris Irvin’s Holden 550hp 355ci VK


26 Mar

FROM MINT TO MAGIC

No amount of stern words from the car’s original owner were going to stop Chris Irvin from building his dream car
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

While we’re sure some people are just born old, it seems as though most of us forget what it was like to be young (and power hungry) as we begin to age. Music becomes too loud, speed becomes scary and you realise you don’t recognise any of the actors in the latest films.

Chris Irvin's Holden 550hp 355ci VK Clearly the previous owner of this pristine VK sedan was feeling some serious age when it came time to hand over the keys to new owner, 26-year-old Chris Irvin. “I found it as an original six-cylinder, 2nd owner car with log books and original paperwork,” he says. “I paid a deposit and returned to pick it up when the owner asked what I had planned for the car.”

It’s at about this time that the conversation took an amusing turn. “I told him I was going to take it home, strip it and cut the ass end out of it,” Chris continues. “He told me that if I’d told him that before he wouldn’t have sold it to me. In his own words, he said ‘You young people always wreck cars like this’.”

Surely looking at the car today, it would be a hard task for the old guy to argue that Chris has done anything but a superb job of creating something that, in his words, is “like factory, but better”. Sitting resplendent in an expertly applied DIY 2-pack white with the obligatory HDT grille and a few other subtle refinements, the VK is better than brand new and not in any danger of looking dated in six months time due to picking the latest trendy colours or interior design. We reckon the old guy should be pretty happy with the work done – work almost entirely completed by Chris and his family at home.

I didn’t have a hoist in the shed at the time that I wanted to clean up the undercarriage,” Chris says – a mechanic by trade. “So, my brother Mick and I jacked the car up as high as we could get it, got under it with two wire wheels and stripped it. There was dust everywhere.Chris Irvin's Holden 550hp 355ci VK

“We made a quick plastic sheet paint booth in the shed and Mick spent two days painting it. A week later the new hoist went in!”

Being a mechanic clearly has its advantages when building a car. So does having a father-in-law that restores and builds cars in his spare time and boasts a killer, fully equipped shed of his own (where we photographed the VK). Chris and Joe bolted together the stout 355ci VN stroker together. Plenty of work went into the project, including de-burring the block, cross-drilling the crank for better oil flow, balancing the rotating assembly and porting the cast heads to flow an impressive 580hp.

Once everything was bolted together, Chris coated everything in a fetching black, which looks menacing as well as looking super clean in the smoothed and freshly painted engine bay. This blacked-out theme continues on the outside where the window trims and tail lights are also black. With Plastidip in hand, Chris even turned his attention to the rims of those 19in Showwheels KWC 001 rims – the effect is understated and totally tough.

Chris Irvin's Holden 550hp 355ci VK At 10in wide, you can bet the rear end of this VK is anything but stock and true to his word, Chris did indeed “cut the ass end” out of the car, widening the factory tubs to the rails and replacing the old Salisbury with a narrowed Borg Warner running 3.9:1 gears and a full-spool. Just to be on the safe side, there are also 31-spline billet axles.

The black and white theme ends at the door and stepping inside Chris’ VK is akin to walking into a modern art museum. The factory cloth and vinyl trim is in incredible condition, with the roof lining and carpets replaced, but so much remaining from the Elizabeth assembly plant in 1984. Only a few deviations can be found, including the Autometer cluster, period correct HDT tiller and neatly integrated B&M shifter. The rear bench had to be modified a little to accommodate the larger tubs, too.

“The VK’s first big drive was meant to be a cruise to Wollongong,” Chris says. “But when I pulled out onto Picton Road, the car backfired, blew a flame out of the carb’ and shut off.Chris Irvin's Holden 550hp 355ci VK

“We worked out it was a dead coil, so the missus’ old man drove out with another one, wired it up and we turned around to head for home – only I got pulled into an RBT unit and defected. I was going to propose to Danni that day if I’d made it to the ‘Gong. Shit day, but it seems funnier now.”

Chris is ultimately happy with how the car has turned out and says there isn’t much he’d want to do differently if he had his time again – except maybe a blower (“That would look pretty good”, he says).

Well, we wouldn’t argue!

Owner: Chris Irvin
Model: 1984 VK
Bodywork: HDT grille, smoothed body seams, smoothed sills and fuel filler door, deleted exhaust cut out
Colour: White
Block: VN 5L
Engine Mods: De-burred block, Scat 355ci stroker crank, SRP forged pistons (11.8:1 comp’), ARP head and mains studs, Hastings rings, King bearings, ported cast heads (flowed to 580hp), double valve springs, Crane retainers, dash-10 breather lines, alloy catch cans, Camtech solid roller cam’ (0.640in lift, 108° LSA), Camtech pushrods, Yella Terra 1.65:1 roller rockers, Rollmaster timing chain, blueprinted JP oil pump, High Energy sump, CSR electric water pump, SPAL 16in thermo fan, PWR radiator, 120A alternator, billet Gilmer belt drive, 750cfm Holley UltraHP carb’, match-ported Harrop single-plane intake manifold, MSD Pro Billet dizzy, MSD HVC coil, MSD 6AL spark amp’, Holley Blue fuel pump, Holley FPR, Aeroflow fuel filters, 57L fuel cell, braided fuel lines, K&N air filter
Power: Approx 550hp (410kW)
Exhaust: Liverpool Exhaust tri-Y headers, twin 3in mild steel system, Hurricane mufflers
Gearbox: T350, 4500rpm Dominator stall, TCI manual valve body
Diff: Narrowed Borg Warner, 3.9:1 final drive, full-spool, 31-spline billet axles, Hardy Spicer unis, 2-piece tail shaft
Brakes: VT twin-piston front brakes, VN rear discs, Bendix pads, braided brake lines, hard lines replaced by stainless
Suspension: XYZ front coil-overs, VN V8 front sway bar, XYZ adjustable rear shocks, custom rear springs, narrowed panhard bar, boxed rear control arms, smoothed and painted undercarriage, VL manual steering rack, VN cross member, factory rear tubs widened to rails
Wheels/Tyres: 19in Showwheels KWC001 rims (8in front, 10in rear), 275 Achilles rear tyres
Interior: Momo HDT steering wheel, factory trim (rear bench modded for tubs), Autometer gauges, Rare Spares seat belts
Stereo: Clarion head unit, Rockford Fosgate rear 6x9in speakers
Build period: 10 months
Cost: Undisclosed
Contacts: MX Auto Electrical, Liverpool Exhaust, Ricky’s Driveshafts, KCDR Drivetrains, Sydney Suspension, “Mum, dad, Mick, my fiancée Danni, Joe, Justin Borg, Nick Schembri, Luke, Dennis, Matt Refalo, Dave Vasallo”

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

Cover Car: Josh Calgaro’s 7sec HSV WK Grange


04 Jan

I was lucky enough to photograph Josh Calgaro’s 7sec HSV WK Grange for a second time, this shoot being for the cover of Street Commodores issue 271. The 7sec twin-turbo monster puts a whole new spin on the term ‘performance luxury’. It also marked my very last photo shoot for the magazine, which closed down one issue later. It was my 202nd issue of the magazine as a contributor.

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Josh Calgaro's 7sec HSV WK Grange

Josh Calgaro's 7sec HSV WK Grange

Josh Calgaro's 7sec HSV WK Grange

Feature Car: Alex Vines’ HSV VX Senator


11 Oct

I have been lucky enough to photograph Alex Vines’ HSV VX Senator twice for two different publications. That’s probably because it’s a way-cool tubbed, blown LS1-powered monster. Between the deeeeep billets, candy red paint and 554rwhp, E85-sucking engine, why wouldn’t multiple mags want to run it!? This shoot was featured in the latest issue of Street Machine‘s LSX Tuner.

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Alex Vines' HSV VX Senator

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

Cover Car: Murat’s HSV VL Walkinshaw


13 Jun

Perhaps the wildest Walkinshaw in history, Murat’s HSV tribute was photographed for the cover of issue 265 of Street Commodores and features a 6/71-blown big-block Chev, with a big set of wheel tubs out back filled up with 22x12in Simmons FR rims.

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Murat's HSV VL Walkinshaw

Murat's HSV VL Walkinshaw     Murat's HSV VL Walkinshaw

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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Steve Hopes' Chevrolet Camaro 'SINISTR'

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

Cover Car: Dustin Goldsmith’s Holden VE Commodore


01 Sep

Our photo shoot on Dustin Goldsmith’s tubbed, caged and blown VE Commodore ute made the front cover of Street Machine‘s LSX Tuner magazine! Not quite sure how we forgot to upload some pics to the blog sooner! Oh well, better late than never, right!? Enjoy!

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Dustin Goldsmith's Holden VE Commodore

Dustin Goldsmith's Holden VE Commodore     Dustin Goldsmith's Holden VE Commodore

Street Machine - LSX Tuner Issue 3

Sneak Peek: Paul Knowles’ Holden VK Commodore


14 Apr

A sneak peek at our photo shoot on this tubbed, caged stroker Holden V8 VK Commodore for Street Commodores magazine.

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Tubbed and Caged Holden VK Commodore

Sneak Peek: Michael Gerstenberg’s Mazda RX7


11 Aug

A little sneaky peek at our photo shoot on Michael Gerstenberg’s Mazda RX7 for Fast Fours magazine. This thing is insane, with a big Precision turbo and wheel tubs with a coil-over 9in setup. One tough bastard. Be sure to read all about it in an upcoming issue of the mag’.

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Michael Gerstenberg's Mazda RX7