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  •   Antonio Ghini reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Ben Hosking posted a new blog post in Ford Sierra
    A crazy blend of V8 power, stock car racer inspiration, and lots of tyre smoke… it’s a Sierra but not as we know it! Words by Ben Hosking. Photos by Ade Brannan.
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    PORSCHE 914 IAN ALLEN / #1972-Porsche-914-1.7 / #1972 / #Porsche-914-1.7 / #Porsche-914 / #Porsche-914-4 / #1972-Porsche-914-2.4 / #Porsche-914/4-2.4 / #Porsche / #Porsche-914/4 / #VW-Porsche / #VW-Porsche-914/4

    ‘I ’ve always wanted one of these since I saw one in the south of France,’ says Ian Allen, owner of PPC’s favourite rust-proofing company, Rustbuster. ‘The owner was blatting up and down showing off his car and his dolly bird. I thought one day you will be mine – well I got the car bit right.

    ‘The car was originally a 1972-Porsche-914-1.7 injection made for the US market, so sold and marketed as a Porsche – they were sold as VWs in the UK. A chap had imported it from Texas only to find out on arrival that the floor was rotten. Ever the optimist I bought it thinking it would be a simple job to fi x, only to find out the boot floor and the floor under the seats were rusted out. Plus, the dreaded ‘hell hole,’ which is a total bugger of an area to get access to under the battery tray, which sits right in the middle of the car.

    ‘There are a lot of aftermarket body panels made in the USA where the car sold best, so I was able to locate new floor panels and a battery tray – the rest I had to fabricate. Many hours of welding later the car was ready for a repaint in its original Phoenix Red. The vinyl roof was retrimmed by me, which was a first, and I had the interior reupholstered. The door cards are original and the carpets are an exact copy from a Belgian company.

    ‘The engine received a big bore kit, upping it to 2.4-litres, and I changed the cam, but not for anything too lairy as I’m looking for driveable torque, not revs. Twin choke 40 down draught Webers, electronic ignition, a Facet pump and fuel regulator completed the engine mods.

    ‘All of the gear linkage joints were replaced on a remote linkage that goes from the gear stick all the way to the back of the gearbox via a dog leg almost six foot long – you need the linkage to be up to scratch. The gear linkage service kit is still available. Exhaust is an equal length four into one sports, which gives it a nice bark.

    ‘The next job is to take it for an MoT then get it registered for the UK. Then dive the nuts off it, track days, Santa Pod and car rally’s – no show pony this car, although it does look the mutt’s nuts.

    ‘The restoration is not for the faint hearted but with the price of these rising they’re definitely worth looking at. Having the VW based engine it is still a very practical performance car.’

    914 was sold as a Porsche in the US, a VW in the UK. Mid-engined 914 has removable targa roof panel. 914 became Porsche’s best selling car during its production run. 1.7-litre ¬ at four now stretched to 2.4-litres.
    Ian Allen’s Porsche 914. He’s probably rust-proofed it.
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  • Shelby Glenn is now friends with Ben Hosking
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    / #VW-Karmann-Ghia / #Volkswagen-Karmann-Ghia / #Volkswagen / #Karmann-Ghia / #Karmann / #Ghia
    / #Volkswagen-Karmann-Ghia-Typ-14 / #Volkswagen-Typ-14 / #VW-Karmann-Ghia-Typ-14 / #VW

    VW Karmann Ghia You’d be hard pushed to find another Karmann Ghia as spotless as this one. In fact, we had to go all the way down under to check out what has to be the cleanest on the planet.



    Pat Eung’s Karmann is an exercise in emphasising the timeless prettiness of the Ghia form. But look closer and you’ll see a few modern tricks…

    Even the engine bay is absolutely spotless.

    Like photosynthesis or the patterns of the tides, modifying Volkswagens is one of those universal constants. It’s just something that happens. For as long as there have been aircooled VWs in the world, there have been people champing at the bit to customise them, from the inception of the Type 1 (which you may variously know as the Beetle, Käfer, Coccinelle, Fusca... you name it) through the enduring cult of the Type 2 (aka Kombi, Transporter, Microbus, Camper) and every other model on the spectrum. There’s nothing that hasn’t been done to them – dragsters, lowriders, race cars, surf wagons, every conceivable style exists within the VW scene.

    Nowadays of course the watercooled VeeDub scene is equally massive, and it’s leading the charge in the modern repurposing of the word ‘stance’. If you want to see what’s hot in the world of high-end wheels and low-down suspension, you look to the VW crowd.

    Naturally there are always cars that offer a bridge between the two eras of the VW modding carnival, fusing old and new, aircooled and watercooled, smashing styles together like tiny particles at CERN. There’s a VW K70 doing the rounds that’s been bodydropped over a Passat W8 chassis, a Mk1 Golf rocking aircooled Beetle running gear. All sorts. But perhaps one of the most cohesive and aesthetically joyful offerings is the car you see before you here, Pat Eung’s 1967 Karmann Ghia. It simultaneously shimmers with the memories of SoCal circa 1975, and lassos a knapsackful of cues from the modern stop-drop-and-roll Golf kaleidoscope. And while the Beetle and Microbus are such iconic silhouettes that pretty much everybody in the world would probably be able to recognise them, the Karmann Ghia is something rather more offbeat.

    “The reason I chose it is that the first time I saw one, I assumed it was a Porsche,” Pat admits. Although, to be fair, there’s more than a little shared DNA between Porsche and VW, so such a guess isn’t too much of a stretch.

    The Karmann Ghia was one of those good ideas that we can all be thankful was pushed into existence. Fusing the bombproof aircooled underpinnings of the VW Beetle with an achingly gorgeous body styled by Ghia’s Luigi Segre, the hand-built coupé was a runaway success. It quickly became the USA’s biggest automotive import of its time, and the global production figure topped 445,000 in its 19-year run.


    Okay, they weren’t quick. But they were easily tuneable, although the model was always meant to be more of a boulevard cruiser than a sports car. And that’s a brief that, as standard, it fulfils perfectly. These things operate on a sliding scale though, don’t they?

    “I bought the KG because I saw my watercooled VW, a Passat CC, rapidly devaluing, while the insurance was going up,” says Pat. “It seemed a bit crazy, so I bit the bullet and bought something desirable that I could ultimately hand down to my son one day. It was restored by a retired engineer in the States who worked on it out of passion, and modified it to his liking. When I first had it imported over to Australia, I was only really planning on lowering it… How wrong I was!”

    Indeed, there have been a fair few changes made to the car under Pat’s tenure, many of which are hiding under the skin beneath that flawless Polar Silver paint. But let’s look at the suspension first, shall we, given that it was priority number one in the grand plan?

    Rather than go down the old-school route of drop spindles and what-have-you, Pat’s opted to employ the ever-so modern method of air-ride. Okay airride’s actually been around since World War Two. But you can’t deny it’s the darling of the stance scene these days. So it’s that the car borrows heavily from its younger VW brethren, by running Monroe air shocks at the front and a Limebug air-ride kit with Air Lift bags at the rear – to get the thing sitting snake’s-belly low on the showground, while also letting Pat keep his sump intact should he happen across a speed bump.

    Speaking of sumps, let’s take a peek under that engine decklid. Remember how we were talking about the Ghia being a boulevard cruiser? Not so much here. “It’s running a Porsche 914 2.0-litre motor,” says Pat. “The internals are largely stock, but there’s a mild cam in there and it’s fuelled by twin Weber 40IDAs.” The performance figures may not look massive on paper, but as a percentage gain it’s really quite phenomenal.

    A stock KG would offer somewhere south of 50bhp, while this 914 unit provides a dyno-certified 73bhp. Feisty, huh? In order to ensure that these newfound avenues of performance potential were easily mineable, the stock 1600 transmission was rebuilt with Freeway Flyer gears and a short-shift, while a rebuilt Airkewld steering box found its way up front. In combination with the top-flight air-ride setup and a beefed-up braking system (DBA front discs, and an Empi conversion to discs at the rear too), the refined chassis and Porsche flat-four now work in perfect harmony to keep this shimmering butterfly of a car streamlining along as it should.

    With the go and the show taken care of – along with the stop, the sway, and plenty of wahey – the final piece of the puzzle was the interior. Pat’s had the stock seats retrimmed in a tasteful two-tone fusion of black vinyl and brown tweed, topping things off with a classy old-school Porsche-sourced Mota-Lita steering wheel. Timeless stuff, although again it’s interesting to note that Porsche accessories and tweed trim are heavy-hitters on the watercooled scene… further evidence of Pat’s over-arching artistic vision. And while the exterior is an exercise in textbook Karmann Ghia class, from the Euro bumpers to the custom front airdam, it’s the wheels that really are the cherry on the fusion-cooking cake: Schmidt TH Lines, as you’d expect to see on a slammed Polo or somesuch, but cunningly narrowed to fi t into the aircooled logic sphere.

    What Pat’s achieved with this project is to harness the spirit of his more modern VWs and infuse it into a retro Dub platform; old school, new rules – and by keeping it all relatively restrained, the more outrageous features really shine through. As a family legacy, we imagine his son can’t wait to grow up and grab the keys.


    What was the hardest part of the build? “The air-ride! Despite being a bolt-on kit, there were a lot of modi¬fications and tinkering to make it work. The wheels cost a fortune as they had to be rebuilt to ¬ t in with the suspension!”

    What part of the build was the most enjoyable? “Again, the wheels and air-ride. As much as it was a headache, it was well worth it seeing people’s reactions to the end result. I took a gamble on the wheel choice, but it paid off.” Is there anything you’d do differently if you were to do it all over again?

    “I would have taken it straight to Mike at CBB Tuning from the start. It would have saved me a lot of the hassle I had with other mechanics!”

    Any modern extras are perfectly hidden away. We’re loving the custom tweed too!


    Pat’s wheels neatly reflect this Karmann Ghia’s fusion of old and new, taking a design that’s popular and desirable in the watercooled scene and rebuilding it to aircooled specs. He began with a set of 8x17-inch Schmidt TH Lines, and artfully readjusted them to fit the bagged Ghia chassis. The rears have been barrelled down just a smidge to a slightly less arch-troubling 7-inch width, but the fronts are the real showstoppers: they measure an almost dragsterlike 4.5x17-inches, tucking perfectly into the front wings and giving a real nu-wave/retro vibe. The widths are classic, the diameter distinctly modern.

    They certainly don’t come any cleaner than this.

    TECH SPEC: Karmann Ghia

    TUNING #1974 #Porsche-914 2.0-litre flat-four, fully rebuilt, stock internals, mild cam, twin #Weber 40IDFs, Pertronics electronic points, electric fuel pump, #Vintage-Speed Type IV extractor system and Type 1 exhaust, stock gearbox rebuilt with Freeway Flyer gears, Vintage Speed short-shift.

    CHASSIS 4.5x17in (front) and 7x17in (rear) #Schmidt-TH-Line Lines, 165/40 (front) and 195/40 (rear) Nankangs, DBA front discs, #EMPI rear disc conversion, early short axle, #Monroe air shocks, #Limebug rear air suspension kit, #AirLift bags, #Airkewld steering box.

    EXTERIOR Polar Silver paint, perfected by Elite Body Repairs, Euro bumpers, custom aluminium airdam and grille.

    INTERIOR #Moto-Lita Porsche steering wheel, seats retrimmed in custom black vinyl and brown tweed by Sewfine, #VDO gauges, Pioneer headunit with custom speakers in rear.

    THANKS All the guys from Liverpool Harry’s for all their help and support – especially Rick and Ali. My wife Ley for putting up with my expensive habits and turning a blind eye most of the time! ‏ — with Ben Hosking
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    THE CORRUPTOR #1999 #Holden-Commodore-VS / #Holden-VS / #Holden-VS-ute / #Holden / #Holden-Commodore
    Lock up your daughters, KRUPTN’s in town / #Holden

    Plasterer 27-year-old Clint Stevens is a man who has always had a mission. As you can see, it’s an epic one, the kind of stop-start build that reads like a Grisham novel. Says Clint, “I love the shape of the VS ute and I was also inspired by #KRUPTA .” He built the 1999 VS ute to be a tough street car. In his ownership for 15 years, it’s been a long ride, but what matters is the end product. Spoiler: It’s absolutely wicked.

    “I bought the ute as a stock V6 manual in 2005. It had a set of wheels, a nudge bar and a few dents and scratches here and there. I was on my red P-plates back then and my old man wouldn’t let me have a V8, so I settled for this with the dream of one day getting an eight between the rails. I loved the ute KRUPTA and wanted to have something just as tough.”

    After having the ute for a few months, Clint was looking at getting it painted, so he went to his mate Patto’s work and had a chat with his bosses Mick and Matt at #W&G (now #RYLESS Smash Repairs). It was soon booked in with a few new bits and bobs. Clint liked the standard colour, so it was just a matter of getting everything fixed and prep. One day Mick put forward the idea of putting a pearl over the top, with Clint over the moon about how it ended up coming out. The re-trim came next, but nothing “over the top”, as this remained Clint’s daily.

    “My good mate Patto informed me his uncle had a fresh 5L sitting in the shed, so with no hesitation I went around and bought it and put it aside for a rainy day. The V6 copped a bit of a hard time and the clutch finally let go. This was the rainy day I’d been waiting for, so I went on the hunt for a gearbox. I sourced a T700 and in went the 5L.”

    The boys at Goulburn Battery Factory wired a few things up and soon it was cruising better than ever. It was off to Canberra for a Stage II shift kit and minispool. “Broke apprentice wages don’t go far when building a car, so I was keen just to enjoy it.”

    Fast-forward a few years and the hunt for a blower was on. This led to a trip to Sydney for tuning the Haltech, but when Clint learned he couldn’t run his current box with it, he sourced a new gearbox set-up. “A few other potholes and the car was running, but I was not happy with the money that was spent and the workmanship on the car. I put up with it for 12 months before my mate Brad from Brad’s Auto Repairs talked me into a cam change, which turned into getting stroked to 355 while there was no engine in.”

    Clint thought he may as well do the bay while he was at it, so Patto was on the job again with a few late nights in the shed. Life commitments got in the way, but after a year everything was back together again, including many changes inside and a new exhaust courtesy of Chev at Liverpool Exhaust.

    “After talking to a few people I decided to go a 1L surge tank that feeds into twin 044 pumps. My mate Cooky helped make up a tray to mount everything on, while my mate Glen helped out with a few other bits and pieces. After the abortion of a wiring job from the last workshop, I took the ute to Gentech in Canberra for them to sort it out. It made 485hp on its run-in tune.

    “In Goulburn, the cops don’t like anything other than stock, so with it not being engineered there was a lot of night and country road driving. Just when I thought everything was going well, the convertor blew to bits the night before I was taking it to a show.” Unfortunately, metal had gone through the box, which is when the two-speed Powerglide went in. “What a change that made. It was a whole new car to drive.”

    But everything did need to squeeze under the bonnet if it was going to be engineered, so Clint’s made Glen’s dad Gary Bell took a standard VS bonnet and made a reverse cowl for it. Finally, engineered, it’s now out and about doing exactly what those plates preach, and that’s just the way we like it.

    Thanks: “Kylees (W&G Smash Repairs, 0248214521), Brad’s Auto Repairs (0413645072), Steve at United Motor Trimmers (0248211987), Rob at Comp Coat, Cam at Walled Up White Walls (0403285004), Gentech, Joe at Central Coast Performance Transmissions, mates who have helped, Kain for the cheap parts, Brad for work for the engine bay and other bits, Jason Cook for the fuel system and other bits, Payne Trevanron and Matt Cole for bodywork other than W&G, Glen and Garry Bell for everything they have done to get the car to where it is now, my dad, mum and girlfriend Daniell for being understanding with the build, Chris Degan for the cooler the engine work, Jamie Patton pipework.

    TECH DATA NITTY-GRITTY #Holden-Commodore-VS-ute

    ENGINE: #Holden-304 stroked to #Holden-355 eight-cylinder

    PERFORMANCE: 485hp (run in, E85)

    ENGINE HARDWARE: 304 block, #Scat crank and I-beam conrods, #SRP pistons and #Hastings rings, #Camtech camshaft, Crane pushrods and lifters, port and polished cylinder heads, #Gold-Crane 1.65 rockers and stainless valves, Crane valvesprings, #ASR sump, JP high-volume oil pump, 44lb 440cc #Bosch injectors, two #Bosch-044 fuel pumps, PWR intercooler and radiator, #CAPA side-mount supercharger, twin Ford AU themos, Haltech engine management system, Turbosmart boost controller, Hurricane exhaust system, Torquepower intake manifold.

    DRIVETRAIN: Two-speed Powerglide, billet servos, fully manualised, TCE 3500-3800rpm stall convertor, PWR cooler with fan, spool.

    SUSPENSION/BRAKES: King Springs Suplerlows, Pedders shocks, Pedders swaybar rear, VT twin-piston calipers front with slotted rotors, slotted rotors rear.

    WHEELS/TYRES: 20in VE GTS Clubsport wheels, various tyres.

    BODYWORK: Tungsten with blue pearl respray (PPG), VS SS front bar, hard cover infill panel on rear, reverse cowl bonnet 75mm.

    INTERIOR: Bock Scheel seats front and rear, full re-trim in tan leather with custom flames on rooflining, #SplitFire gauges, #B&M Pro Ratchet shifter, #SplitFire gauges, Speco steering wheel, flames on door pods, #HSV symbol behind seats, Alpine head unit, front speakers.

    “In Goulburn, the cops don’t like anything other than stock”

    “I love the shape of the VS ute and I was also inspired by KRUPTA”

    It’s all engineered now, too, thanks to the reverse cowl above.

    Clint’s main advice to himself next time around would be not to do things twice. Coming soon here will be billets and a set of tubs.

    There’s a lot of detail you might miss at first, including the flamed roof-lining.

    “Just when I thought Everything was going well, the convertor blew to bits”
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Ben Hosking unlocked the badge Reviewer
    Reviews blog posts that is created on the site. To unlock this badge, you need to rate more than 25 blog posts from the site.
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  • Ben Hosking is now friends with Daniel 1982
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  •   Ben Hosking reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Ben Hosking created a new group

    Holden Commodore VS

    Holden Commodore VS - 1995 - 2000 Club
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  • Bob BMW is now friends with Ben Hosking
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