Western Auto Electrical

Expert’s advice on planning a V8 restoration project – 56

December 23rd, 2010 by NZV8

Building your dream car isn’t easy, so we hit up some local experts to get their most valuable advice on when to do what and what to avoid.

Most of us who’ve built a car will have a list of things we would do differently next time. Experience tells us we’ve not looked far enough ahead, that we’ve used the wrong people, or just generally did the build arse-about-face.

Even the experts learn something new every time they build a car, so it’s obvious there is no perfect solution. However, over the following pages are words of wisdom and advice from some of the country’s best car builders.

Most of these guys are in the industry themselves and play a part in building or modifying vehicles every day, while others have a wealth of knowledge and experience through building top quality vehicles for themselves.

While everyone has an opinion on which order things should be done, there are some recurring themes, so if you’re planning to build the type of car you see in this magazine each month, read on for some of the most important advice you will ever receive.

Wayne Grimmer – 2x cover car owner and Western Auto Electrical proprietor

Once you have purchased your project car, decide how you envision the look of the finished vehicle. Get your wheels and tyres first, what type, size of rims and depth of dish and so on, and build the car around those wheels.


1970 Ford Falcon XW GTHO – The Real Deal – 50

July 10th, 2010 by NZV8

This genuine XW Falcon GTHO Phase II has been winning shows recently, but go back 30 years and it was winning races

Although the full effect of the Australian muscle car war really hit its peak in mid 1972, it began getting into its stride back in 1963, when Holden released its S4 EH. The annual 1000-kilometre race held at Bathurst each year actually started out as a 500-mile race at Philip Island in 1960. There was no direct manufacturer involvement in that race, which was won by John Roxburgh and Frank Coad in a Vauxhall Velox.

That first race was fairly nondescript but it grew in popularity and, in 1963, was moved to the sleepy NSW town of Bathurst, where it was held on public roads. That ’63 event saw the introduction of Holden’s S4, the first Australian car built specifically to win that race. Although it failed to achieve its goal, it spawned a local performance car industry that quickly snowballed, but which was then all but snuffed out in 1972.

That little S4 Holden prompted Ford to retaliate, and in 1965 it hit Bathurst with its Cortina GT500. The rules at that time required either 100 locally built cars to be manufactured or 250 imported. Ford’s competition adviser, Harry Firth, set about building a small run, thought to be of around 120, of special Bathurst Cortinas, that went on to win that year’s event. However, the following season minimum production numbers for locally assembled cars was raised to 250, deeming the Cortina GT500 ineligible.


Two Ford F100S – Red versus Blue – 45

January 28th, 2010 by NZV8

Two blue-blooded Ford trucks, one wild, one mild, with two serious Chev motors

What’s rarer than a Ford F100 truck? No, not a ginger kid who has luck with the ladies. The correct answer is: two Ford F100 trucks. And what’s even rarer than two F100 trucks? The correct answer is a Ford F100 with a Chevy engine. And what’s rarer than that? Yup, you guessed it, two F100 trucks with Chevy motors. And that’s exactly what we have here in the form of Mike and Lynn Ballerini’s and Brett Abraham’s superb classics. Both are similar trucks yet are also completely different. Apart from sharing Chevy powerplants, of course. As a side note, Mike and Brett had never met before this story ” oh, what matchmakers we are here at NZV8.

Different Strokes

Brett is an old-school kind of guy. Not one for fancy add-ons like blowers and fluffy dice, he wanted to make his F100 look as stock as possible, yet drive like a brand new Ford ute. Or should that be Holden? Since this truck houses a brand-spanking Chevy 350 crate motor. Mike, on the other hand, has a penchant for the extreme. Not only does his truck crank out more than enough power to pull the moon out of the earth’s orbit, but it looks the part too. It may sparkle more than a sparkly thing wearing sparkly earrings on a sparkly day, but it packs a whopping punch to the guts with its 484ci Chevy big block. It even has a spa pool in the back… well, not really, but sort of. All will be revealed should you feel brave enough to keep reading.