When Richard Rus­sell turns the key in the ig­ni­tion of his HSV VE Maloo, it is made abun­dantly clear that some­thing is go­ing on un­der the bon­net. While the Maloo may look no dif­fer­ent from the way it left the fac­tory, Richard told us that, in the two years he’s owned it, the ve­hi­cle has gained a Ram­jet cold-air in­take, GM Mo­tor­sport head­ers, and a GM Mo­tor­sport straight-through ex­haust, from which Dar­ren Van Nes at Rev­o­lu­tion Dyno Cen­tre has been able to ex­tract a healthy 532hp. When Richard ex­plains his ve­hic­u­lar his­tory, his choice of the Maloo be­comes hardly sur­pris­ing. He has been around the block, build­ing and driv­ing clas­sic cars for 58 years, and one of his favourites was a ’37 Ford powered by a 406ci small block Chev sprint car mo­tor. The Maloo made sense to him as a per­fect all-rounder — pow­er­ful enough to sat­isfy his per­for­mance re­quire­ments, while prac­ti­cal enough as a work hack to carry all his tools and equip­ment in the back. “I love it — it’s like driv­ing a Corvette,” he says. “You feel it when you drive it, and, even bet­ter, it’s a man­ual, so I can re­ally use it.” It may come as a sur­prise that Richard has drawn the line at modifying the ve­hi­cle any fur­ther, with the ex­cep­tion of some much­needed sticky rear rub­ber. “It’s al­ready got more power than I can use on the road,” he says. Maybe power isn’t all-cor­rupt­ing af­ter all …

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