GRAND PLANS

Street Machine - - Contents - STORY GLENN TOR­RENS

A wild FB Holden cus­tom with twin-turbo, quad-cam Lexus V8 power

THANKS to the halo ef­fect of fac­tory-cor­rect mus­cle cars, our lit­tle hobby of street ma­chin­ing has had its ranks swelled by peo­ple restor­ing/refreshing and cruis­ing more mod­est time­warp stuff in the past few years. Few can af­ford $100K-plus for a race spe­cial, but the kid cruis­ing a stocko Com­modore, Kingy or Fal­con 500 isn’t laughed at any­more. Isn’t fash­ion funny some­times?

But even with these re­nais­sance cars sparkling in the street ma­chin­ing spot­light, at the top end of town there re­mains the elite-type car builders who con­tinue to in­spire us with mind-bend­ing builds such as this ter­rific green, two-door-con­verted FB Holden sedan.

It’s owned by Pe­ter and Judy Beauchamp, and a gen­er­a­tion ago, it was sim­ply the fam­ily truck­ster!

“We bought this about 28 years ago; it was all we could af­ford,” Judy ex­plains. “When we bought it, it got a quick once-over – some paint and an in­te­rior clean-out to get it go­ing. It was the fam­ily car for more than 10 years. The kids grew up with this car – Mum and Dad do­ing the runaround and drop­ping them at school. One day I even car­ried a cow in the back of it!”

The re­build be­gan about 15 years ago, and as with most long-term builds there was a soap­opera script of love and hate, sat­is­fac­tion and dis­ap­point­ments.

“We took it off the road with the in­ten­tion to do it up,” Judy ex­plains, “but it was never sup­posed to be this long! We got stuffed around a bit by a work­shop. Three steps for­ward and one back – the usual story that many peo­ple seem to have when they’re build­ing a car.

“But one day about 18 months ago my el­der son Daniel said: ‘Mum – enough is enough. We need to get this fin­ished. It’s been long enough.’ And that was the push we needed to get it done.”

Hubby Pe­ter takes over the yarn: “We did plenty here at home,” he says. “No shed! Just a dou­ble garage.”

The car was stripped and put on a ro­tis­serie, where most of the floor was cut out. The plan was to in­stall an HQ Holden half-chas­sis to re­place the FB (and all pre-hq Hold­ens’) bolt-on Y-frames; this work was per­formed early in the build by Jeff’s Chop Shop. Later, the front doors were stretched around 200mm by Cam­den County Cus­toms, who did the tilt-front con­ver­sion, too.

As well as the door stretch, the front and rear quar­ter win­dows have been binned and the side glass re­placed with spe­cial-build tough­ened panes. Get this – Pe­ter said he paid less than $400 for the new made-to-mea­sure glass.

The Lexus V8 up front was al­ways part of the plan. “Choos­ing this was as much about do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent as it was about power or per­for­mance,” Pe­ter reck­ons. “We could have gone the usual small-block Chev or Holden or the LS route, but this one just had ex­tra ap­peal for me. It’s all-al­loy and has six-bolt mains. I’d seen these Lexus mo­tors in other cars, and with dou­ble over­head cams and all that, they per­form re­ally well.”

The en­gine was bought in an im­ported half-cut. As the Fast Fours & Ro­taries crowd learned two decades ago, an ex-ja­pan chopped-in-half car is a handy way of getting just about ev­ery­thing re­quired – en­gine, hoses, fans, wiring and com­puter – to be shoved into some­thing else.

“WE TOOK IT OFF THE ROAD WITH THE IN­TEN­TION TO DO IT UP,” JUDY EX­PLAINS, “BUT IT WAS NEVER SUP­POSED TO BE THIS LONG!"

“It was like a jigs­saw puz­zle,” says Pe­ter of the en­gine’s in­stal­la­tion. “Ev­ery­thing had to be con­sid­ered with ev­ery­thing else.” Mak­ing the sit­u­a­tion a lit­tle eas­ier was the fact the FB’S ‘new’ HQ Holden rail-type chas­sis opened up a bit of en­gine bay space com­pared to the high sides of the orig­i­nal bay.

“We trial-fit­ted ev­ery­thing; we put the mo­tor in and got ev­ery­thing run­ning be­fore disassembling it all and fin­ish­ing it off,” Pe­ter ex­plains. “I had a bloke over at Smeaton Grange build it for us.”

That’s Aaron at Ad­vanced Per­for­mance Ma­chin­ing. He re­built the Lexus V8 with a few up­grades: JE pis­tons, Kelford cams and ARP studs. The in­take man­i­fold on the stan­dard Lexus isn’t too gen­er­ous, so it was re­placed with a built sheet-metal one, with for­ward-fac­ing 90mm throt­tle. The tur­bos re­quired fab­ri­cated man­i­folds, while the ex­hausts were fab­ri­cated in sec­tions, lin­ished seam­less from front to rear.

Be­hind the Lexus is a trans­braked C4 auto. Supplied by Rocket In­dus­tries, it’s good for 800-plus ponies and was fit­ted us­ing a Del­low bell­hous­ing. Pe­ter makes spe­cial men­tion of the torque con­verter: It’s pretty much half Toy­ota/ Lexus and half-ford to suit the en­gine/trans combo and a streetable 2800rpm.

Af­ter hav­ing the car sit for three years else­where wait­ing for paint, the Beauchamps had Leo at Mus­cle Car Restora­tions in Blair Athol ap­ply the colour. Pe­ter gives him a big wrap, reck­on­ing his wis­dom and ex­pe­ri­ence seems beyond his 26 years. “I de­liv­ered the car in primer, but he took it all off and started all over again,” he says. The paint is House Of Kolor, but this par­tic­u­lar shade of green is not from the usual cat­a­logue!

The in­te­rior is the work of X-trim in Smeaton Grange. Be­gin­ning with Fal­con ute seats and an empty cabin – with lit­tle tubs mess­ing things up at the rear – the team crafted a gor­geous Bis­cuit leather in­te­rior.

Sum­mer­nats 31 was the car’s first out­ing, with the Beauchamps coaxed by the ’Nats judg­ing team into pre­sent­ing it as an Elite con­tender. Good idea! It scored an En­cour­age­ment Award and 2nd Top Cus­tom be­hind Kylie and Adam Perry’s as­ton­ish­ing Tail­spin – also an FB Holden.

“I was asked to en­ter Grand Cham­pion, but I said ‘nah’, not on a brand-new en­gine,” Pe­ter says. He’s also mind­ful of the need to keep the car clean and tidy for more dis­plays in 2018. “We’ve got Meguiar’s Mo­torex in Mel­bourne and we’ve been in­vited to Red Cen­tre­nats in Alice Springs, too.”

But once the Beauchamps have got some kays un­der the tyres – and the tune sorted – they are keen to have a crack at Sum­mer­nats Grand Cham­pion in 2019. Bring it on!

WE TRIAL-FIT­TED EV­ERY­THING; WE PUT THE MO­TOR IN AND GOT EV­ERY­THING RUN­NING BE­FORE DISASSEMBLING IT ALL AND FIN­ISH­ING IT OFF

PHO­TOS BEN HOSK­ING

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