Cars of Bendix August 2019 – All Holden Day
Aug. 28, 2019
For diehards of Australian muscle, All Holdens Day is an annual highlight. Held in every state, this event gathers the best, well known Holdens in one big location. This year we attended the New South Wales chapter at the Hawkesbury Showground. The sprawling fields allowed for a huge number of car clubs and individuals proudly displaying their rides. Some even brought along a BBQ stove and a few cold ones to pass the day by with their families in tow!
ANTHONY’S 1972 HQ MONARO LX
Just one glance at Anthony’s silver Monaro and we knew this was a very special car. The sleek, timeless lines of the HQ Monaro was once a bare shell, when Anthony first purchased it back in 1984. It took 10 years for Anthony to build it, and another 10 to perfect it to this degree. The rolling shell was treated to a full rotisserie restoration; the panels and chassis straightened and coated with Mercedes Benz Iridium Silver. While his taste in cars is classic, Anthony loves creature comforts more than anything. As he is an automotive upholsterer, he decided to take the seats of a VZ Monaro GTO and crammed them inside. A Honda S2000 start button hints at the VR Commodore V8 hiding in the smoothed engine bay. All in all, this silver ghost turns heads whenever Anthony takes it out for a cruise.
NIGEL’S 1977 TORANA LX SL
A good thing can take a long time to achieve, as evident with Nigel’s Torana LX SL. He first purchased it in 1992, packing a straight six auto and in a dark shade of blue. Over time, it began to morph into what we see here; a Torana in searing orange, proper V8 under the bonnet, and an interior so clean you could eat off it. The asthmatic straight six was replaced by a 350ci Chevrolet V8, topped with a 177 Weiand supercharger. This combo sends a hard 450hp to the rear wheels at 4lb boost. The rarely seen Supertrapps exhaust is an old school adjustable exhaust; you could lengthen or shorten the caps to adjust the volume. Inside, custom leather cover the VE GTS front seats, door cards and even the roof lining. The rear parcel shelf is home to an Option Audio sound system that’ll put most Sydney nightclubs to shame. The FR Simmons that Nigel bought brand new in 1998 has been re-barrelled to 17x8in front and 17x10in rear. Ever since completed in 2016 in its current form, Nigel drives it to shows everywhere, and is a regular feature at Summernats’ Top 60 in show and shine.
STEVEN & AMANDA’S 1986 VL CALAIS
Many would argue the VL chassis isn’t a true Commodore, but truth be told, we loved the superb 1980s shape of it, and the crazy Walkinshaw edition that earned its place next to bedroom posters of Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches. Steven and Amanda’s SYKO86 began life 10 years ago, with the idea of building it into a fantastic cruiser and show winner. PPG White Gold with Lilac Pearl paint were laid over the straightened and smoothened body panels, with HDT LE front and rear bar extensions giving the VL a finessed look. Under the bonnet, the RB30 straight six was rebuilt with higher compression pistons, balanced crankshaft and a bigger cam, then tuned with an EMS Stinger ECU. It was then reinstalled into a smoothened engine bay, with custom billet items, shaved rocker cover and braided lines throughout. Inside, the seats looked like they’ve never been sat in, and the stock vinyl door cards were re-trimmed to match the seats. The attention to detail on this VL Calais is staggering.
RICHARD’S 2017 VF HSV CLUBSPORT R8 TOURER
The name Holden Special Vehicles invokes an image of brutal power barely contained within a hulking Commodore body. Purchasing one of the last rear-wheel drive Holdens in tuned up form, Richard soon found the limits of the stock LSA. He tossed his fully rebuilt V8 into the bin and turned to America for a 6.2L Dart block, along with a 4.5L Whipple supercharger. With crucial oil cooler and interchiller in place. That combination is good for 650kW to the rear wheels. To assist Richard at the traffic light Grand Prix, a 3500 stall converter was installed, but the rest of the driveline has remained stock. To prolong its longevity, Richard had the engine detuned to 500kW, for competitive roll racing. Move over German uber estates, Richard’s Aussie muscle wagon is here.
ANDREW’S 1958 FC HOLDEN SPECIAL
Always keep an eye out for your neighbours; especially when they decide to put up their FC Holden Special for sale! Anthony nabbed his stock example just down the road from his house, when it suddenly appeared with a for sale sign on the dash. Jumping on this chance to own a Holden classic, Andrew then spent the next 10 years building it into this showstopper you see here today. The 350 Chev small block from Edelbrock updates the power quite nicely, and the old carburettor fuel system has been replaced with a Pro Flo fuel injection system. The transmission, brakes and steering, have been pulled from more modern Holdens to update the driving experience. The interior has been retrimmed, retaining the stock seats, but updating the vinyl door cards to match. Classic Auto Meter gauges makes it easier for Andrew to keep tabs on the Special’s speed and temperature while retaining the 1950s aesthetics. The exterior is given a fresh coat of Mica Gold and Alpine white, and all the chrome bits have been restored to their 1950s glory.
JOSEPH’S 1985 VK CALAIS
If you have a sense of déjà vu about this car, fear not; your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. It has won countless awards, a few magazine features, and no doubt there has been a ton of photos online of Joseph’s VK Calais. The classic VK sedan was given a full respray in Subaru Silver Stone and House of Kolor Blue Pearl. Full; as in inside out, and even under the body. Joseph had even kindly provided mirrors for us to check out how clean the underbody is, replete with polished suspension arms and driveline. The stock 304 motor was rebuilt with forged high compression pistons, ported and polished head, stroked to 355CI, then fed great amounts of fuel and air courtesy of a AED 750 Double Pumper Carburettor and Carter high volume fuel pump. With a MSD Coil and Ignition leads providing the spark, it packs about 550HP under its sleek rear arches. The engine is nestled back into a bay that’s butter smooth, and then everything that’s not a body panel has been chromed, polished or anodised red or blue. The attention to detail extends to the interior, with a full retrim in lush red leather. The boot lining isn’t overlooked either, the red leather layout providing a very classy place for groceries if Joseph decides to pop by Coles on the way home.
LAURIE AND JUDY’S 1975 HJ MONARO GTS
A theme that we are seeing regularly here are a updating classic Holdens with modern power, suspension and interiors. Laurie and Judy’s HJ Monaro GTS is no different; it takes the best of the modern CV8 Monaro and melds it with the classic boxy shape of the HJ. The LS2 V8 conversion looks right at home in the black engine bay, with custom chrome rocker covers, pipes and braided lines providing the contrast. The six speed manual gearbox is also shoehorned behind the engine, directing power to the rear and out on 18x9 Show Wheels Streeters. It even retains air conditioning for effortless cruising in summer. Bigger brakes, reinforced rear trailing arms and fly-by-wire accelerator are big nods to the modernisation of the HJ. To top it off, Laurie painted it himself with the colour of Yellow Devil, the iconic CV8 Monaro shade.
MR. X’S 1995 VS COMMODORE
We reckon if Alf Stewart built a Commodore, this would pretty much be it. A no-nonsense, clean looking VS Commodore, with enough power to spin the huge FR Simmons and an engine bay to wow passerbys. While we couldn’t get a hold of the mysterious owner, peeking about the car reveals the following; a 304cu V8 stroked to 355, fed air by two massive intakes peeking out the bonnet. The faultless engine bay has been smoothened to not distract from the chromed V8 and accessories. It’s kept the original white (albeit resprayed) and Atlas grey two-tone, and it rolls impossibly low on those huge rebuilt Simmons, courtesy of airbag suspension. Hiding behind the 5% tint and rear Venetians is a black leather interior that seems plucked from a Mercedes Benz; it looked incredibly classy and inviting. It’s easily the best VS Commodore we’ve seen so far.
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