Posts Tagged ‘ute’

Feature Car: Peter Robson’s Holden VE Ute ‘UDLO5E’


13 Aug

Late-model Commodores haven’t come in for the same level of customisation as most older models… well, with exceptions. Like Peter Robson’s crazy VE Commodore ute for example.
With a big turbo on its 403ci stroker, suicide doors, custom trim, smooth engine bay and 24x12in billets under its tubbed arse… this is one very custom late-model Commodore and it was featured in the August 2019 issue of Street Machine.

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Peter Robson's Holden VE Ute 'UDLO5E'
Peter Robson's Holden VE Ute 'UDLO5E'
Peter Robson's Holden VE Ute 'UDLO5E'

Feature Car: Clint Stevens’ Holden VS Commodore Ute


14 Jan

Get to your local newsagent now to grab yourself a copy of the latest issue of Street Machine Commodores! It’s the first issue back after being on hiatus for several years and is jam-packed with 10 amazing feature cars and all the Commodore goodness you could hope for! Inside you’ll find five of my photo shoots including the one on Clint Stevens’ tough supercharged SBC-powered Holden VS Commodore ute, as seen here.

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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.

Clint Stevens' 1999 Holden VS Commodore Ute
Clint Stevens' 1999 Holden VS Commodore Ute
Clint Stevens' 1999 Holden VS Commodore Ute

SMOOTH CRIMINAL: Chad Darke’s Smooth 336ci EH Holden Ute


18 Jun

Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

SMOOTH CRIMINAL

A long list of subtle refinements makes Chad Darke’s inky blue EH stroker one slippery character
Story and Pics by Ben Hosking

Chad Darke's EH Holden UteBesides the 48-215 and FJ, there’s no more an iconic Holden model than the EH. Even today, almost 50 years since the introduction of the EH range, they remain as popular as the 260,000 they manufactured between 1963 and early 1965.

It’s no wonder then that Holden lover Chad Darke scoured the country for the right basis for his next automotive project back in 2005. “I rang my mate to see if he’d come with me to check out a car,” the 37-year-old electrician from Sydney relates. “I didn’t mention it was in Tasmania! We flew down there the next morning and started haggling.”

Once Chad had settled on a price, it was time to get the ute home and instead of throwing it onto a transporter and taking the easy route home, Chad and friend jumped in and headed north. “I asked the seller about fuel economy,” Chad says. “He said it was good for 10km/L and it was supposed to have a 100L tank, so I filled it up in Victoria and we set off for home. Somewhere between Yass and Goulburn the car started to splutter… out of fuel in the middle of nowhere!”

“Here I am waving my Jerry can around furiously trying to hitch a ride when a guy that resembled Ivan Milat picks me up. He took me to the nearest town and after a tense trip I got some fuel and found my way back to the car safe and sound.”Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

With that fateful trip home behind him, Chad could breathe a sigh of relief and get stuck into the build up. Over the course of the next five years, the old EH would be transformed into a sleek, modern interpretation of the classic Holden, but not without the odd headache.

“Dealing with panel beaters and relying on other people’s conversion kits that didn’t fit were probably some of the hardest parts of the build,” Chad explains. “I ended up finding a good panel guy though.”

He’s not lying either – the finish on Chad’s EH is pristine and includes some choice body mods that really smooth the old girl out. For starters, the door handles and locks were shaved off. Given that Australian rules require a mechanical method of opening front doors, Chad replaced the handles with short metal rods poking up out of the top of each door. However, whereas most similar conversions work by being pushed down or lifted up, the mechanism on Chad’s doors works by gently pulling the rods toward you. We gave them a go and they worked effortlessly.

Chad Darke's EH Holden UteAnother huge visual improvement came via the deletion of the front quarter windows. With full one-piece glass inserted into the doors, it looks far more modern and further simplifies the exterior aesthetic. With an aviation-style fuel filler replacing the factory door, the modern iteration of the EH is almost complete – perhaps finished off most notably by the venerable Simmons FR18s.

Having a nice-looking ute is one thing, but without the proper mechanical motivation it’s little more than BBQ rice: all show and no go. Surely the old six-banger was never going to cut the mustard and Chad swapped it out for a Holden 5L.

Based around a Kingswood pre-EFI block, Alan Bruni built up a nice offset-ground 336ci stroker motor that is updated with a pair of VN EFI cast heads. It’s a relatively mild affair with an HSV hydraulic cam’, unported heads and a 650cfm Holley on top. While power is untested, the combo has pushed the ute to a 13.8sec ET in full street trim; and as they say, a 14sec street car is nothing to sneeze at.Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

Chad shifts gears through a T5 5-speed and there are more Commodore parts to be found out back, with a VN Borg Warner running 3.45:1 gears and an LSD centre. Check each corner and you’ll find VT-spec’ discs on the nose and VN discs in the rear.

The sweet combination of old and new continues inside where the cabin has been decked out with timeless black leather and suede. Premier buckets provide an iota of more lateral support than a bench, but it’s the Autometer dash, Sony stereo and Momo wheel that helps bring the old girl into the present day.

With a ute as cool and contemporary as this in the shed, many would be happy to rest on their laurels and take a break, but Chad has more plans under way. “I’ll probably end up putting a bigger stroker kit into it,” Chad starts. “It’ll also cop a bigger stainless fuel tank,”

Bring it on!

Owner: Chad Darke
Model: 1963 EH Holden
Colour: PPG Midnight blue
Bodykit: Aviation-style fuel filler, deleted door handles and locks, deleted quarter windows
Engine Type: Holden V8
Engine Mods: Offset-ground 336ci stroker conversion, 5.7in small-journal Chevrolet rods, ACL Larry Perkins pistons and rings (10:1-comp’), ACL bearings, VN cast heads, polished rocker covers, HSV hydraulic cam’, Yella Terra roller rockers, double-row timing chain, high-volume oil pump, High Energy sump, Davies Craig thermo fan, 80A alternator, PWR alloy radiator, 650cfm Holley DP carb’, ceramic coated Torque Power intake manifold, adjustable FPR, K&N air filter, Bosch HEI distributor, Bosch EA Falcon coil, wiring hidden, Carter fuel pump, braided lines, custom bonnet hinges
Power: Untested, 13.8sec @ 98mph
Exhaust: Custom stainless headers, twin 2.5in into single system, single stainless muffler
Gearbox: T5, heavy-duty 10in single-plate clutch
Diff: Narrowed VN Commodore Borg Warner, 3.45:1 final drive, LSD, Cortina tail shaft
Brakes: 300mm VT-spec’ rotors and calipers, 278mm rear discs, VN calipers, front braided brake lines, VN master cylinder, VN V8 booster
Wheels and tyres: 18in Simmons FR rims (7in front, 8in rear)
Suspension: HR front end, King front springs, Pedders shocks, reset rear leaf springs, custom sway bars, LH Torana rack and pinion conversion, modified EH column
Interior: Momo steering wheel, EH Premier buckets, black leather retrim, custom Autometer instrument cluster, custom door skins, black carpets, black suede roof lining
Other Mods: Battery relocated
Stereo: Sony head unit and speakers
Build Period: 5 years
Cost: $44,000
Thanks: Pioneer Plating, M&S Johnson, “Tony Wellington for the timber tray; Jeffrey Smith for the machine work; Terry Edwards for engine balancing; Ray and Warren for the great panel and paint and my wife for putting up with us.”

BLAST OFF: Ditch Jones’ Show-Stopping Blown Holden HR Ute


24 May

Ditch Jones' HR Holden Ute

BLAST OFF

Ditch Jones just wanted to take his HR to the next level. What he did was propel it into the show-scene stratosphere
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Ditch Jones' HR Holden UtilityYou’re looking at the most famous HR in the country. There. We’ve said it. No point beating around the bush or acting like we’re showing you the latest car on the block.

However, Ditch Jones’s 1967 HR Holden ute carries with it a remarkable story that’s really only fully coming to fruition now. See, Ditch has been working hard to get the HR into a position where he can finally relax a little and put some kilometres on the odometer.

Yeah, we know, right!?

But let’s hit rewind for a second and get a little history under our belts. Ditch and his HR go back a long way: around 20 years, in fact. Back then the ute was a largely original, 179ci-powered driver that had only recently been refinished when Ditch bought it for the princely sum of $6500 – in mid-1980s money.Ditch Jones' HR Holden Utility

Even in those early days the ute was a trophy winner; wearing kidney-hole alloys and boasting Premier trim. Being a Canberra local until recently, he and the HR were even there for the birth of the Summernats.

Over time, Ditch put plenty of his own taste into the HR, changing the way it looked and drove and winning more trophies at the same time. But thanks to his willingness to drive the ute to each and every show he entered, the ute slowly became a little tired and Ditch found that it was getting harder to keep up with the other builders. The main issue for Ditch was the undercarriage – Dragway 5-spokes and hot pink accents still winning favour at the time.

This is where the story starts getting really complicated – complicated because it can simply be very difficult to write about such a large number of seemingly endless modifications that have resulted in vehicle that may in many ways still resemble an HR Holden, but is so far removed from one that it almost defies description.

Ditch reckons there are easily 100 different body mods in his ute alone, without counting the scores of modifications to be found inside and underneath the car. The wheelbase has been stretched 100mm to properly centre the front wheels in the guards, the front wheel arches were raised 35mm to offer better steering travel and the sills were extended by around 35mm – a mod’ that makes the car look lower and just a little chopped.

Ditch Jones' HR Holden UtilityStill on the body, the side glass and window frames have been deleted and both front and rear screens are flush fitting with the front glass coming down further than stock. The rain gutters were shaved, as were the doors that are now suicided. Up front, the bonnet was extended to the windscreen with the cowl removed and re-fabricated underneath with custom billet hinges. Custom billet hinges also hold up the doors that hang from strengthened B-pillars and the A-pillars were reshaped so that prominent swage line across the top of the guards ran right up and over the car.

There are dozens more body modifications to be listed (see captions), but the HR isn’t just a combination of its fancy panels. Gone is the HR’s original chassis. Ditch and Drago originally tried to build the ute while retaining some of the HR’s original architecture, but three months in, Drago bit the bullet and scrapped everything only to start again with a clean slate. Now, the HR runs a ¾-chassis with a tubular front end that Ditch says could take any power plant he ever chooses, but we get the idea that the yellow menace will forever be powered by a Holden six. Not that this ute runs any old inline six banger.

Based around a 3.3L 202ci six, the engine boasts the refinement it needs thanks to the boost generated by the Fisher 4/71 supercharger bolted to the side. Wanting the look of an injected setup, while retaining the 700cfm blower-prepped Holley, Ditch approached Garlits about adapting one of their injector hats to suit and the result is ‘sex’ cast in alloy form.

Drago and his team had to move the engine and gearbox back 100mm to accommodate Ditch’s desired 4in blower belt. While they were at it, they also lowered the combo into the bay by some 65mm that helped sit everything in horizontally, but also meant only the blower hat protruded from through the super smooth, boxed-in and extended bonnet. Not only that, but the sump then sat perfectly in-line with the flat floor pan.Ditch Jones' HR Holden Utility

Truly masters in the art of metal fabrication, SCV created the entire interior out of steel. In fact, Ditch says the only fibreglass to be found anywhere is the trick tail light housings that house equally neat LED assemblies.

Inside the cabin you’ll find a swoopy design that completely disguises the ute’s 44 years. Teal micro-suede covers the modified Cobra one-piece seats as well as the false floor panels, custom door trims and rear bulkhead as well as that intricate roof panel that until now has not been seen in a magazine. There’s no question that the ute set a new benchmark when it hit the show scene a few years back with consecutive Top 10 spots at Summernats 20 and 21. Just look at the design of that delectable floating centre console pod that houses the shifter, switches and Dakota Digital airbag controls.

Ditch Jones' HR Holden UtilityDitch was once quoted as saying that he planned to race and cruise the HR and while that hasn’t happened yet, he and Ziggy’s Hotrods have been working to bring that final element to fruition. Now a resident of NSW’s Hunter region, he and the ute have spent plenty of time at Ziggy’s workshop where a significant proportion of that insane undercarriage have been modified to better suit driving.

Gone are the coil-overs, making way for Air Ride airbags and the front end utilises a Rod City stainless setup. The HR still uses 330mm Hoppers Stoppers rotors front and back, but the show-spec’ items were replaced by functional ones. Perhaps the only real set back preventing Ditch from putting some serious kays on it now is the ridiculously tiny 20L fuel tank.

We didn’t realise it at first, but Ditch later admitted that our driving shots represented the first real driving he’s done in the HR since all the new suspension work was completed and looking at some of the shots we took, you could see the tension in Ditch’s face! With the maiden voyage over and done with – and the ute passing with flying colours – let’s hope those original plans to race and cruise the HR finally come true.

Owner: Ditch Jones
Model: 1967 HR Holden
Colour: PPG ‘Ditch’s Twisted Lemon’ and Diamond Silver
Bodywork: Custom steel grille, modified headlight buckets, shaved and narrowed bumpers, revised wheel arches, extended sills, shaved door handles, suicide doors, deleted window glass and frames, custom tail light assemblies, shaved and moulded tailgate area, shaved rain gutters, re-shaped roof swage lines, flush-mounted glass, stretched bonnet and deleted cowl, 1-piece front clip (all steel), Euro-style headlights
Engine Type: 3.3L Holden six
Engine Mods: Ben Gatt custom O-ringed 9-port head, ACL Race Series pistons (8.1:1-comp’), offset-ground crank, race-prepped rods w/ARP rod bolts, Crow solid roller cam’, 700cfm Supercharger Series Holley DP, Fisher 4/71 supercharger, custom Fisher manifold, Mick’s Metalcraft radiator, Scorcher billet dizzy, Pro Comp ignition, modified Kilkenny rocker cover, billet breather, 4in blower belt, Garlits blower hat
Power: Enough
Exhaust: Custom ceramic coated headers, ceramic coated mandrel-bent exhaust
Gearbox: Trimatic, 2800rpm Dominator stall
Diff: 9in, 28-spline axles, Strange 3.98:1 final drive, mini-spool
Brakes: 300mm Hoppers Stoppers rotors, 4-piston front calipers, 2-piston rear calipers, braided brake lines
Wheels and tyres: Showwheels Matrix billet rims (17x7in front, 19x1in rear)
Suspension: Rod City stainless steel front end, Air Ride front and rear airbags, ¾ chassis and ladder bar rear end, adjustable panhard, custom steering column, Commodore rack, box and tube chassis
Interior: Custom all-steel dash and interior, custom floating centre console, B&M Pro Ratchet, Dakota Digital airbag controller, Showwheels Matrix steering wheel, Autometer gauges, 6-point roll cage, teal micro-suede trim, modified Cobra race seats
Other Mods: Wheelbase stretched 100mm, billet door hinges, billet bonnet hinges, engine moved back 100mm and dropped 65mm, LED lighting in engine bay and under body
Stereo: N/A
Build Period: 4 years
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Sefton Concept Vehicles, Ziggy’s Hotrods, G-Trim, PPG, Showwheels, Shannons, Meguiar’s, MirrorFinish, Geof’s Garage, Gen-Tech Performance, Hoppers Stoppers, Covercraft, The Chop Shop, Probag, Bluewire Motorsport, “A big thank you to Lea, Luko, Kev and all my friends who have helped me along the way”

A TRUE CLASSIC: The Sacilotto Family’s 1964 EH Holden Ute


17 May

Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden Ute

A TRUE CLASSIC

As if the EH Holden weren’t classic enough on its own, the Sacilotto family went and built this!
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden UteThere’s little room for dispute that the EH Holden range is one of Australia’s true classic vehicles. Holden built over 250,000 of the buggers over a couple of years and the model displayed numerous refinements over the similar-looking EJ, including the introduction of the ‘red’ motor.

We’ve featured plenty of EH utes in this magazine over the years and with just cause: people keep choosing them as the basis for their custom ute project and their malleability and adaptability to different styles, different uses and different engine combinations make them a damn fine choice. Perhaps it was some of these reasons that the collective Sacilotto family chose a 1964 EH ute as the focus of an intensive rebuild process that took a tired old hay hauler and turned it into a Summernats Top 10 champion.

Purchased way back in 1997, the ute you see gracing these pages certainly didn’t start out looking this way, but with the incredible craftsmanship of some of the premier builders on the east coast toiling away on it, magic eventually happened. So let’s take a look at what makes CLASIC such an honest to goodness classic.Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden Ute

Before you even open a door of lift a panel you’re immediately struck by the colour. “Choosing the colour was probably the hardest part of the entire build,” says Luke Sacilotto. “Everything after that went really well.”

The colour gracing the panels, engine bay and interior is a custom metallic mauve that was applied to the super smooth panels by the Desisto brothers – well renowned for their own incredible EH Holdens over the years. Working under the Malibu Paint and Panel name, the Desistos completely restored the sheet metal to beyond new condition and also seam welded the engine bay. Straying a little from the factory specification, the spare wheel door was smoothed over and replaced by a recessed number plate housing. They also added some modern-looking motorcycle side mirrors and replaced the small quarter windows with full-size window glass.

Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden UteIf that weren’t enough, Drago Ostric formed a superb custom dash top out of steel that now houses a plethora of Autometer gauges set into a billet fascia. While we’re inside, check out the custom oyster leather trim; put together by the guys at All Trim. It includes cut down and re-trimmed Rodeo buckets, tan carpets and those incredible custom door trims. A Billet Specialties tiller connects to the Commodores steering rack via a custom billet steering column and you’ll find more from the Billet Specialties catalogue to help you wind the windows up and down.

Good looks are all well and good, but the ute was going to have to move under its own power, too. An L67 – or supercharged V6 for the rest of us – was chosen for the task, backed by the factory 4L60E automatic. Both remain stock, but the engine came in for some extensive detailing. This ute was destined for the show scene, so there was no way a factory look was going to cut it.

With a bunch of parts colour matched to the same metallic mauve, a number of custom one-off billet parts were fabricated to tie in with the interior and those gorgeous 18in Intro billets riding under the modified guards. Hiding behind those billet rims is a complete set of VT brakes, including the twin-piston fronts and the rear discs are connected to a VP Commodore diff’ housing running an LSD centre.Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden Ute

When it first hit the show scene at Summernats 21, the ute pulled a prestigious Top 10 spot and found itself under the intent gaze of tens of thousands of admiring punters in the judging pavilion. Since then the Sacilottos have driven the ute to innumerable local shows where it continues to pick up trophies by the dozen.

“We really want to drive it more now,” says Luke. “It’s time to start enjoying it more.”

Indeed, the ute got plenty of driving under its belt during our photoshoot and we’ve since seen the ute at even more Sydney shows, always cruised to the event and back home. If only more elite-level cars and utes did the same thing.

Owner: The Sacilotto Family
Model: 1964 EH Holden
Colour: Custom mauve metallic
Bodykit: Hard tonneau, deleted spare wheel door, recessed rear number plate, deleted quarter windows, seam welded engine bay, motorcycle side mirrors, custom grille
Engine Type: L67 Statesman V6
Engine Mods: 4in custom billet filter housing, painted engine cover, painted coil pack, alloy radiator, billet caps, sheet metal rocker covers, alloy radiator overflow, Yella Terra blower snout, VL Commodore fuel pump, custom fan shroud, thermo fan
Power: Untested
Exhaust: Ceramic coated custom headers, twin 2.5in mild steel exhaust into single 3in, factory cat
Gearbox: Factory 4L60E auto’, B&M Quicksilver shifter
Diff: Narrowed VP Commodore V8 diff’, LSD
Brakes: Twin-piston VT Commodore front brakes, VT rear discs, Datsun 200B booster, Commodore master cylinder
Wheels and tyres: 18in Intro V-Rod rims (7in front, 8in rear)
Suspension: HR front end conversion, HQ stubs, Pedders springs, Monroe shocks, reset rear leaf springs, Commodore steering rack, custom shortened steering column
Interior: Billet Specialties steering wheel, Holden Rodeo seats, oyster leather re-trim, custom formed dash, billet instrument fascia, Autometer classic gauges, tan carpets, custom door skins, panelled rear bulkhead
Other Mods: Modified rear tubs, battery relocated
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Pioneer kick panel-mounted front speakers
Build Period: 11 years
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Malibu Paint and Panel, All Trim, All Springs

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

BUILT TO SKID: Warren Fleck’s VR Commodore Burnout Monster


12 Apr

Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore Ute

BUILT TO SKID

This sparkling VR ute has transformed from V6-powered first car to tyre-mashing LS-powered killer over 14 years and a lot of beers
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore UteThis is 31-year-old Sydneysider Warren Fleck’s first car. Bought 14 years ago, it was what you might expect for a first car: pre-Ecotec V6, slush box, open-centre diff’ and nothing much to report home about. However, it wasn’t long before Warren got busy making it something brawnier – bolting on a Vortech blower. “I blew the motor up,” Warren says, succinctly, adding that “I had just started seeing my now-wife Shannan and I was showing off a bit… massive fail!”.

From here he performed a 5L V8 conversion, later swapping the ‘bunch ‘o’ bananas’ for a twin throttle manifold and a 100-shot of nitrous – finally converting to a carby setup. Still not satisfied with the level of performance, Warren got talking to fellow western sydney local Matt Sims about building a 333ci stroker motor, but Matt set Warren straight and pointed him in the direction of an LS conversion.

“He suggested it as a cheaper, easier alternative,” Warren says. “It was out with the 5L and in with the LS.”Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore Ute

Warren says the LS engine swap was one of the most enjoyable parts of the build process, watching it all come together on the weekends as he and his mates bolted it together. “My mate Matt Sultana did all the fab’ work,” he says. Indeed, most of the work on the VR has been done by Warren and his mates, with Warren handling plenty of the tasks himself – even some of the paintwork.

“Lots of hours went into sanding, bogging and sanding the Aero kit to get it as straight as possible,” he says. “If I were to do it again, I wouldn’t fit the kit. As a purpose-built burnout car, I don’t think fibreglass is going to hold up too well.”

Inside, the ute is a little more utilitarian than the two-tone, flaming Alpine white/HOK kandy blue combo you’ll find dripping over the exterior. But considering the amount of thick, noxious smoke and rubber chunks this machine will see into the future, a largely black trim is the best idea. Still, it does boast a pair of grippy Recaro seats, B&M shifter and Autometer gauges amongst its sea of black carpet, painted finishes and roof lining. Pop the glove box and you’ll find the MSD ignition controller, too. Despite the heavy work the ute has to do, the fact that Warren took the time to hide the fuses and wiring is certainly commendable.

Warren Fleck's Holden VR Commodore UteSadly Warren didn’t have the final tune dialled in on the day of the shoot, hence the lack of driving or skid shots here. However, you can bet we’ll bring you some photos of the ute in action as soon as we can. “I took it to Summernats in January and had a blast cruising around with my wife and two kids riding shotgun,” he says.

14 years into Warren and his VR’s relationship, the future looks bright and he still has plans for more development down the track. “I would love to go blown with it,” he says. “Maybe a 6/71 with a mechanical injection hat on top!” Let the tyre destruction begin!

Owner: Warren Fleck
Model: 1994 VR Commodore
Bodywork: VR Aero kit
Colour: Alpine white / HOK Cobalt kandy blue
Block: 2001 LS1
Engine Mods: Lunati double valve springs, decked heads, 2x K&N breathers, Lunati hydraulic roller cam’ (0.651in lift), Rollmaster double-row timing chain, Davies Craig thermo fan, alloy radiator, Quick Fuel 750cfm carb’, Edelbrock Super Victor single-plane manifold, MSD spark amp’ and ignition controller, hidden coil packs, hidden wiring, Barry Grant 220 fuel pump, Holley FPR, Aeroflow fuel filter, custom stainless fuel cell, dash-8 braided fuel lines
Power: Untested (final tune not yet done)
Exhaust: Custom 4-into-1 headers, 3in system dumped at door length, no mufflers
Gearbox: T400, B&M 3500rpm stall, manualised valve body
Diff: 3.91:1 final drive, mini spool, narrowed housing
Brakes: Stock front, deleted rear
Suspension: King springs, Monroe shocks and struts, VL manual steering rack, mini tubs
Wheels/Tyres: 20in DTM rims (8.5in front, 10in rear)
Interior: Recaro seats, black carpets and roof lining, painted lower dash, trimmed instrument fascia and centre console, B&M shifter, rocker switches, Autotecnica steering wheel, Autometer gauges
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Pioneer speakers
Build time: Ongoing
Cost: Undisclosed
Contacts: White Magic, Lowe Fabrications, Azzfab, “My wife Shannan for keeping me and my mates fed while working on the car, mum and dad for letting me leave the car in their shed, Matthew Sultana, Matt Pisani, Dave Pendlebury, Troy Bates, Nathan Magri, Jason Sutton, Matt Sims, Johnny”

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

Feature Car: Grahame and Colin Barker’s 1951 Holden FX Ute


31 Mar

Grahame and Colin Barker’s 1951 Holden FX Ute cleaned up at Summernats in 2018, scoring Top Judged Elite and the car was featured in the March issue of Street Machine, including the fold-out poster. OPowered by an L67 supercharged V6, the car has been in the Barker family for over 20 years and was recently completed by Michael Ellard at Image Conversions.

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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.

Grahame and Colin Barker's 1951 Holden FX Ute

Grahame and Colin Barker's 1951 Holden FX Ute

Grahame and Colin Barker's 1951 Holden FX Ute

Feature Car: Kosta Contis’s Valiant CL Ute


09 Nov

As if Kosta Contis’s choice of paint colour didn’t make this Valiant ute stand out enough already – he had to go and squeeze a 513ci Gen III Viper V10 into the front end of it! Thanks to a full exhaust, though, the car sounds like a real pussycat on the street. I shot the CL ute for Street Machine‘s October issue.

BUY A SHIRT, PRINT AND MORE!

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.

Kosta Contis's Valiant CL Ute

Kosta Contis's Valiant CL Ute     Kosta Contis's Valiant CL Ute