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Cars of Bendix September 2019 – Cars Under the Stars!

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Sep. 24, 2019

This month we visited Cars Under the Stars held at Greenway, Wethrill Park NSW. With a great mix of old and new vehicles there is something for everyone’s automotive taste.

CHRIS’ 1992 NISSAN SKYLINE GTR 32

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Big powerful GTRs are everywhere, but we haven’t seen one that is at extroverted as Chris’ immaculate example. The House of Kolor Candy Teal shouts for your attention, the liquid paintwork contrasting sharply with the GTR’s boxy lines. Pop the bonnet and marvel at the rebuilt RB26DETT, its assorted shiny ancillaries, and howall the twin turbo piping managed to fit in such a tiny engine bay. Featuring forged internals, big lumpy cams, and Tomei ARMS twin turbochargers, the Godzilla easily punts out 750hp at all four wheels. Planting rubber to the ground are a set of three piece BBS rims, measuring 18x9.5in all around. Hiding behind them are massive brakes to haul the beast up, with KSport 8 piston calipers on the front and 6 pistons on the rear. Clamping on 383mm 2-piece rotors upfront, you can count on the GTR for go and whoa in equal measures.

JIM’S 1987 HDT CALAIS SPORT

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While there is no shortage of clean and restored Commodores, Jim’s HDT Commodore Calais is in a class of its own. The model, colour and trim specification is so rare that Jim reckons it’s the only one in Asteroid silver with red leather interior trim from factory. Jim has owned it for 20 years, and finished his restoration/modification just three years ago. The RB30 straight six engine has been rebuilt by Motorsports Mechanicals. Stout enough for good for 1000hp, a massive Precision 6870 turbocharger mounted on the side helps the Calais achieve that four figure horsepower mark. The chromed engine sits in a smoothed out bay, drawing attention and wows from show goers. Anything that wasn’t chromed has brushed metal surfaces or replaced with braided hoses. Outside, it’s been painstakingly repainted in its original colour, with the bodywork restored to factory perfection. The FR Simmons that’s so ubiquitous on older Commodores are found at all four corners in more modern sizes of 20x8in front and 20x9.5in rear.

1978 FORD CORTINA TE GHIA

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The Ford Cortina was underappreciated next to the Falcon, which hogged the limelight and motorsports accolades in Australia. But that didn’t stop this mysterious gentleman from restoring it back to its glory. A barn find, he set about accumulating the papers and slowly brought the original paint, bodywork, interior and mechanicals back to new. Digging through its history, the owner discovered it’s the only Cortina to have the following combination of options: meadow green paint, power steering, air conditioning, black vinyl roof, and the 4.1l crossflow straight six. As the Cortina hailed from Britain, the land of rain, fog and spectacular rally stages, the owner added fog lights on the front, and shod it with forged DragPro wheels as a personal touch to the car. Don’t worry though, the stock wheels are stored safely away.

PAUL’S 1971 FORD FALCON GT TRIBUTE

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In the build for the last 10 years, Paul’s Ford Falcon GT made its show car debut here at the Cars under the Stars, and what a debut it was. Parked right up front, it was the centre piece of the show. With a blower poking out the bonnet and gleaming black paint drawing attention from bystanders, the wow factor. The orange and matte black stripes highlights the boxy and iconic lines of the classic 70s’ Falcon. Inside, the sumptuous leather interior has been restored to its former glory, making it a comfortable place to experience the full might of the blown injected 340cu Windsor V8. Power is sent through one of Al’s Raceglide C4 two speed autos. A Smithfield Diff and Gear built Ford 9in with custom axles and ratios controls traction at the rear wheels. Custom 19in Globes are found tucked under the fenders all round.

ALEX’S 1977 HOLDEN TORANA LX

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Alex’s 1977 Torana started as most projects start off…a simple, straight body shell. Purchased 17 years ago, Alex went straight to work, taking five years to put together this insane monster. Straight off the bat the 6/71 blower dominating the bonnet shouts power, gulping air down to feed a built LS2 V8. It’ll churn 750hp at the rear wheels, which are just as massive as the engine’s torque range. The 15.5in wide semi slicks sit in a tubbed rear end, modified to fit a 4 link suspension setup using Strange coilovers. Power is distributed via a Ford 9in differential and a Powerglide auto. It only has two speeds, which we are guessing is Fast, and Ridiculously Fast. The entire muscle bound package is hidden under a Torana LX sedan body that’s been restored to concourse standards. Alex has sent it down the quarter mile before, easing it off to make a Hail Mary pass of 9.5 seconds. He doesn’t have plans to go back as there is just no way he’d fit a roll cage and ruin the restored interior of his tough street Torana.

FRANK’S 1957 CHEVROLET

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There’s something seductive about the colour silver; a sleek colour that hides details until you come closer, and yet still catching your eye across the parking lot like a shiny coin on black pavement. As we walked nearer, we knew we were in for a treat. Frank’s ’57 Chevrolet is in its second incarnation, sporting a subtler paintjob than the last cool sky blue shade. As he set to straighten every panel, a bright silver mix was cooked up in the painter’s lab to be laid over the refreshed bodywork. Since he had decided to paint the entire car, the original engine was taken out and interior had to be taken out. It was then when Frank decided to go big or go home. A Dart small block, a mean Howards cam, and an 8/71 blower sucking air through 750cfm carburettors means the Chev is now ready to rumble. With MSD ignition providing the fire to the 98 pump fuel, Frank’s fat Chev would pound the tarmac to tune of 850hp. The interior has been also jazzed up, with soft cream leather on the trims, while touch panels and controls have swapped for billet aluminium pieces or anodised to a brushed metallic finish. Wide WELD Drag racing wheels in custom sizes lay within its massive arches. It’s definitely a car that’ll bring a smile to anyone who sees it.

1932 FORD ROADSTER

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The bright yellow paintjob, the exposed wheels and engine bay, the assorted chromed bits; yes, it can only be a ’32 Ford. It’s tough to pinpoint what exactly draws car enthusiasts, young or old, back to these custom built classics. Each one we’ve seen are so different and individual that they speak volumes about its owners. This clean, sunny Roadster features the usual restoration cues; a rebuilt Ford V8 packed with American goodies from Edelbrook, Holley, MSD and other big names in the horsepower business. The triple intake bug catcher adds a fantastic induction noise and tops off the clean chromed engine neatly. The owner has even installed mirrors on the firewall so you can admire it from all angles. The interior is kept super simple with a period correct steering wheel, comfortable re-trimmed benches, and just essential gauges for the engine’s vitals. No air-conditioning is needed when you can just peel the roof off the Roadster! The wide, shiny billet Show Wheels adds a sense of pizazz to the Roadster, whereas on other cars it might look more brutish and tough. Follow the smooth wheel arches to the back and you’d notice that the ubiquitous custom pinstripes are left on the painted Ford 9in differential. It’s a little, personal flourish that brings the entire car together.

SUSAN’S 1996 HSV CLUBSPORT VS

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We love our HSVs here, so when a neat HSV Clubsport VS pops up, we can’t help ourselves but meander over for a look. Imagine our surprise when we saw a Garrett GT42 turbocharger hanging off the side of the venerable Holden V8. A gleaming intercooler beams through the front bumper, and we knew immediately that this isn’t your regular HSV museum piece. Susan from TeamWild Speed has owned this HSV for over three years, and had always wanted to do something different to it. “Originally it was supercharged, but we felt the turbo would make more power,” she remarked. The 355cu V8 now sucks air through the custom piping and GT42 to make 550hp at the rear wheels, all without the need to nick the bodywork for space. A Haltech ECU controls all motor functions, making sure the air fuel mixture is translated into motive force via those 20in Momo wheels. The Clubsport still rides beautifully thanks to Monroe GT Sport shock absorbers and springs, while reducing the gap between the fender and tyre.

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