SHANE Baker’s 1982 VH Commodore sedan carries a couple of turbos on its Holden-based powerplant. On around 23psi of boost, it develops close to 1000hp, although Shane (who builds performance hardware at his business, Shane’s Bikes, Boats & Performance in Warwick) isn’t sure of the precise figure.
“I have a dyno, but I street-tuned and datalogged this one,” he said of his E85-fuelled and Holley Terminator X-managed mill. Reading between the lines, that means he hasn’t yet strapped it to the rollers and mashed the pedal.
But does he need to? Maybe not – it’s the car’s other numbers that really matter. Prior to Drag Challenge Weekend, the Commodore’s best was 8.47@165mph on the quarter and 5.37 over the eighth-mile. During DCW, Shane’s quickest run was an 8.77, as the heat made things difficult, softening the launch he required. Despite that, he was came fifth in the Overall stakes, fourth in Haltech Radial Blown, and took home awards for Quickest Holden-Powered and Quickest Without A Trailer too!
With its neat Formula Blue paint, this VH displays a stack of street pride, too. As with the engine – and just about everything on, in and under this car – Shane is the man who made it happen, laying on the colour when he saved the car from the crusher 25 years ago.
The late VT-series roller-block motor wears COME alloy VN-type heads and has a COME stroker crank for 350 cubes under 10:1 squeeze. The two Garrett GT35 spooly-dooleys are mounted in the front corners of the car in the forward section of the wheel wells. Smart thinking: there’s minimal cutting of the body for intake plumbing, and with the really hot bits outside the engine bay, managing the heat is less of a problem on the 40-degree days we’ve experienced at Drag Challenges in the past.
Behind the mighty iron lion is a Coan 10-inch billet converter, a US-built Powerglide and a Truetrac-centred nine-inch with 3.5:1 cogs. And for all the YouTubers who reckon chopped-in wheel tubs, shiny chrome four-links and adjustable coil-overs are essential for track performance, Shane achieves his numbers using an untubbed body and standard-type rear suspension components!
1982 VH HOLDEN COMMODORE
Class: Haltech Radial Blown
Engine: Holden V8
Turbos: Garrett GT35
Transmission: GM Powerglide
Converter: Coan 10in
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Previous PB: 8.47@65mph
Best DCW 2020 pass: 8.77@149mph
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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