NZ Per­for­mance Car : Hi, James. Tell us, have you al­ways been a Holden fan, and why?

James: Hey, team. I was al­ways a big Holden fan grow­ing up, but just like a nice car these days. My very first car was a red VL Ber­lina, which was of­fered with the RB30E and had a man­ual box be­hind it. Even though it went well, I was al­ways en­vi­ous of the turbo Calais and wanted that kind of chuff, so, some 15 years later, I was able to buy this straight (or so we thought) one from Tau­ranga.

But it wasn’t as straight as you thought?

Nope. I stripped it down af­ter find­ing a truck­load of rust and sent it over to Ja­son at Waihi Auto Spray for the huge task of cut­ting it all out and re­pair­ing it. Af­ter a full bare-metal re­spray in slick De Beer white, un­der­seal, and [a] par­tially smoothed en­gine bay, it sat in the shed for a year. But that year wasn’t wasted, as it meant [that] I could fo­cus on get­ting the mo­tor up to scratch.

Speak­ing of which, what’s been done to it now?

My mates Ryan Pad­man and Dwain Gods­mark gave me a hand to rip the mo­tor and box out, and it was sent to Mo­tor Prepa­ra­tions in Otoro­hanga for a full reco[ndi­tion], where it also got packed with the forged pis­tons in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the boost to come.

We un­der­stand that Sinco spent a bit of time un­der the bon­net, too?

Yeah, Mike at Sinco is a good mate of mine, and I gave him free rein to com­plete the long block with the sim­ple brief of mak­ing a re­li­able 400hp [298kW]. He sug­gested run­ning the Holset HRC40RS and con­structed the cus­tom twin-scroll man­i­fold around it. They also took care of the cold side with a cus­tom plenum and all the pipework, and a bunch of other bits like the fuel set-up.

Well, you chose the right hands for the job. What did it end up mak­ing?

It made 300kW tuned by Dynopower, so I was wrapped. But it’s al­ready gone back to have a big­ger cam put in and [to] wind up the boost some more [laughs].

Al­ways more power to be had! Any plans for the car’s fu­ture?

Be­sides the lat­est up­grades, just [to] drive it and keep tak­ing it out most week­ends. It will be kept for­ever.

We don’t blame ya, James. Cheers for the yarn.

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