Adam Rogash's jaw-dropping ALLSHOW VK Commodore was built to run sevens in street trim
This article was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Street Machine
GENUINE seven-second street cars are few and far between, and while Adam Rogash’s positively stunning ALLSHOW VK Blue Meanie replica is yet to dip into the sevens, we feel very confident in saying that it’s only a matter of time. Allow us to explain.
Adam is one of just three members of Street Machine’s exclusive Seven-Second Club, and his previous ride, a VX ClubSport known as NOSHOW, is a multiple Drag Challenge class winner. It has finished the event twice, four-up, towing a trailer full of parts and tools, with hardly a spanner being put to it for the full five-day duration. It also happens to have a PB of 7.80@178mph to its credit. If that doesn’t fit your definition of a seven-second street car, then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.
ALLSHOW resembles a Blue Meanie on steroids, with huge drag radials up the back and a no-nonsense stance. The chassis had to be modified in order to fit the 315/60/15 tyres (though the car’s wearing 325/50/15 in these pics), but it’s all been done as per engineer’s requirements, with structural integrity and crush points incorporated into the chassis design
NOSHOW’s sequel, ALLSHOW, was recently unveiled amidst critical acclaim at Red CentreNATS, and just two days later it reeled off a casual 8.24@176mph on its first full pass at Alice Springs Inland Dragway. Compared to NOSHOW, it’s significantly lighter, makes more power, runs a larger tyre and has vastly superior suspension. You do the maths.
But while the new car is set to make NOSHOW look almost slow by comparison, the motivation for the build was more centred around safety than speed.
There’s no shortage of VK Group A replicas doing the rounds, so a quality finish is required to stand out from the crowd. Corporate Auto Body took care of the bodywork and the PPG Formula Blue paintjob on ALLSHOW, and the results speak volumes for their abilities
“My wife has never asked me to do anything before, but she’d noticed NOSHOW was starting to twist up a bit,” explains Adam. “She asked me what my goal was and I told her 7.80. She said once I’d run my 7.80 she wanted me to pull the car down and make it safer. It didn’t have a full-floater rear, so if we broke an axle it was going to go bad, and it still had standard front suspension. It was going to be the same outlay to build another car as what it was to re-do NOSHOW, so we started again from scratch.”
Blake from Shine Finish Detailing carried out a full paint correction on the car and colour-sanded the engine bay, providing the icing on the cake
Adam is the co-proprietor of MPW Performance in Melbourne, and in an industry full of people who love to talk the talk, he much prefers to walk the walk. His achievements with NOSHOW set the bar high for this build, and he knows all too well that the car is a reflection of his own work and that of his business. That’s why the finished product is staggeringly well engineered, brutally tough, and finished to show car-like standards.
Cars like this are generally years in the build, but through militarily-precise project management and good old-fashioned hard work, Adam and his team managed to turn the car from a rusty six-pot stocker into what you see here in just 10 weeks, with nary a corner cut. That might seem hard to believe, but we have documented the build for posterity on the Street Machine YouTube channel, so you can watch it unfold for yourself.
“I think we found the limit of how much sleep the human body really needs and stuck right on that borderline,” Adam says. “Building the car has been as much work as running my business, and trying to do both at once is out of control. Sometimes we’d be working until three or four o’clock in the morning, getting a couple of hours’ sleep, then the next day we’d do customers’ cars until shut-off and then another full day on the VK afterwards; not to mention Saturdays and Sundays.”
Adam and his team began the build by stripping the VK to its undies in no time flat, then got straight into the sheet-metal work, installing lightweight tubs large enough to accommodate a 315/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Street radial on 15x10 Weld AlumaStars. The engine bay was shaved and all the holes were welded up, then the engine was trial-fitted and a custom chrome-moly K-frame was fabbed up by McDonald Bros Racing. Aside from the weight saving it provides, the new front end is fitted with VY-style hubs, allowing fitment of better Wilwood brakes and double-adjustable Viking coil-overs to suit the later-model Commodore.
From there the car went to Corporate Auto Body where the VK’s panels were knocked into shape and the PPG Formula Blue paint was laid on. In keeping with the Blue Meanie theme, a VK Group A body kit was fitted, along with a fibreglass bonnet and bootlid from Alfa Motorsport Fibreglass. The team knocked the car over in record time without compromise – the panel gaps are perfect, the bodylines are razor-sharp and the paint finish is superb.
The car then returned to McDonald Bros, who worked with Adam to do the rear end over a weekend. It utilises the factory pick-up points (reinforced by MPW), with adjustable arms suspending a full-floating nine-inch with 3.25:1 gears. Then it was back to MPW where the remainder of the fab work took place, including the turbo manifolds, exhaust, chrome-moly ’cage and chassis connectors, among other things.
The engine is the same Powerhouse-built unit that once powered NOSHOW, but Johnny Pilla has freshened and tweaked it to perform even better. Based on a Dart LS Next block, it weighs in at 440ci with a Dart crankshaft, Callies Ultra rods and custom JE slugs. The heads are custom-built six-bolt items by Powerhouse that Johnny creates in-house from blanks, with his own ports, guides and seats.
Adam describes the camshaft as “pretty big for what it is,” but it’s still a hydraulic-roller unit. In fact, the engine still retains factory-style rockers with a trunion upgrade and a single-row timing chain: pretty remarkable for something that’s made 1450rwhp on low boost in the early stages of development.
Tucked behind the front bar is a pair of Turbonetics billet 75/75 turbochargers. These are vastly capable units, but an upgrade to Precision 88s is on the cards as part of the hunt for even more grunt. Wastegates and blow-off valves are all Turbosmart products, along with the turbocharger oil pressure regulators.
The sexy billet intake manifold is from Plazmaman – one of their twin injector units, fitted with 16 Bosch Motorsport 2200cc injectors. “The second set of injectors is staged through the Haltech Race Expansion Module off the Haltech Elite 2500 ECU,” Adam explains. “The second set of injectors is activated at 60 per cent duty cycle. It’s the same with the three Holley 1800 fuel pumps; we get up to 8psi of boost and then it starts staging the other fuel pumps to come in.”
How much potential horsepower is on offer? The short answer is ‘plenty’.
It’s pure street car back here. Even the fuel cell and the rear section of the ’cage have been trimmed in suede
“The engine now has a bit more comp and more cubes than it did when it was in NOSHOW,” Adam says. “It’s already proven itself, so we didn’t need to chase power. It’s currently making about 1400rwhp on 24psi, and, while we can make a lot more power than that, the car’s not ready for it yet. We’ll see how it behaves for now, but when we’re ready to turn it up I’m happy to put 36psi in it. We think it’ll be making around 2000hp. NOSHOW went 7.80 on 26psi of boost, which worked out at about 1880hp, so we know it’s going to make more than that.”
One of the final pieces of the puzzle to come together was the interior, which is a welcome departure from the stock standard Brocky look.
With the Turbonetics 75/75 turbos hiding from view, you’d hardly think you’re staring at 2000hp worth of engine here. With smoothed inner guards and a killer billet intake from Plazmaman, the engine bay is very pleasing to the eye
“I wanted a car that looked like everybody else’s Blue Meanie to be honest with you, but I wanted my own twist on it,” Adam says. “I love charcoal trim so we went with a charcoal suede and vinyl. The vinyl looks like leather but it’s half the weight. Red Hill Trim did that for us and we went through a lot of ideas and patterns. We ended up looking at a Pagani Zonda, which is where we ended up getting the theme of the interior from. We’ve deleted the door handles and gone with a Supercar theme because the Brockys were a supercar of their day.”
Lowe Fabrications billet strut tops hide a set of camber/castor adjusters for the custom McDonald Bros Racing front end. Like everything else in the engine bay, they’ve been coated black for ease of maintenance and to provide that highly sought-after stealth look
Not only did Adam complete the build in short order for its debut at Red CentreNATS, but he also found the time to tip countless hours into our own Carnage MX5.7 project in the process: a superhuman effort. When we were granted some ‘alone time’ with the VK just prior to its public unveiling, we found that the quality of the finished product was astounding, completely belying the impossibly short build time.
“The whole plan was, yes, it’s a 10-week build but we don’t want it to look like it is,” says Adam. “I don’t want people to say: ‘It looks really nice for a 10-week build.’ I just want them to say that it looks really nice.”
The full ANDRA-spec chrome-moly rollcage was built by Adam’s business partner, Luke Foley, who was front and centre putting in big hours for the full duration of the build
So how on earth did he manage to pull it off?
“I don’t let my friends down, and when Adrian Hodgson [from Summernats] asked me to unveil the car at Red CentreNATS I took it as an honour, and there was no way we weren’t going to make it,” says Adam. “We work in closely with Summernats because we do the dyno comp there, so Adrian and Russell Avis and Andy Lopez are guys that I really don’t want to disappoint. Without people like John Pilla, Luke Foley, Chris from McDonald Bros and all my mates who helped, we couldn’t have got it done.”
While the Kirkey seats were a requirement for tech compliance, the cabin is otherwise quite comfortable – a reflection of Adam’s intent to drive the car on the street as much as possible. Highlights include a MOMO steering wheel, Haltech dash and B&M shifter, while the custom trim job is the work of Red Hill Custom Trim
ALLSHOW met the deadline with time to spare, and took Red CentreNATS by storm, winning Top Engineered Street Car, Top Tuff/Competition, cleaning up on the dyno, and scoring a spot in the Street-class Top 10. It also set the quickest quarter-mile pass in Red CentreNATS history with an 8.24@176mph, straight off the trailer, and cruised the streets of Alice Springs all weekend.
You’d better believe it’ll continue to see plenty of street miles, too.
“I plan to drive it a lot,” Adam confirms. “We’ve got a lot of car shows down our way on weekends, and it will be nice to be able to take my girls out to a show to give my wife some time to herself. And then, of course, there’s Drag Challenge!”
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
Adam is a veteran of Street Machine Drag Challenge who’s enjoyed great results in his previous ride, NOSHOW. Now that ALLSHOW is complete, he again has his sights set on the Radial Blown class.
“Drag Challenge is one of the main focuses for myself and Johnny Pilla from Powerhouse Engines,” he says. “It’s a big thing for both our businesses and we seem to always do well at it, so I definitely built the car with Drag Challenge in mind. It’s an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of MPW and the products of the people I’m associated with.”
With potential to run deep into the sevens, the VK will likely front at Drag Challenge 2017 as one of the favourites for an outright win.
“On paper ALLSHOW should be quite competitive, but I can’t stress enough that we’re not expecting it to perform how we want it to at the track straight off the bat,” says Adam. “I’ve driven it on the street, and, while I’ve driven a lot of fast cars, I’ve never driven anything this fast. I’ve driven NOSHOW on the street in full race trim and the new car is much faster. It feels more responsive and more refined. You can feel the weight difference straight away.”
And what of NOSHOW? Rumour has it the car is set to be transformed into a dedicated race car with twin-turbo big-block power. Watch this space!
1985 HOLDEN VK COMMODORE
Colour: PPG Formula Blue
Brand: 440ci Dart LS Next
Induction: Plazmaman billet intake manifold
ECU: Haltech Elite 2500
Turbos: Turbonetics billet 75/75, Turbosmart 50mm wastegates, Turbosmart 50mm blow-off valves
Heads: Six-bolt by Powerhouse Engines
Camshaft: Large custom hydraulic-roller
Conrods: Callies Ultra
Pistons: Custom JE
Crank: Dart, centre counterweighted
Oil pump: Melling
Fuel system: 3 Holley 1800 pumps, 16 Bosch Motorsport 2200cc injectors
Cooling: ADRAD radiator, Davies Craig fans
Exhaust: Custom turbo manifolds, custom twin 3.5in system
Ignition: Custom leads, LS3 coils
Converter: TCE 10.5
Diff: McDonald Bros full-floating 9in, 3.25:1 gears
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Front: Custom chrome-moly K-frame, VY hubs, Viking adjustable coil-overs
Rear: Adjustable trailing arms, Viking adjustable coil-overs
Brakes: Wilwood discs & calipers (f & r)
Master cylinder: Wilwood
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Weld AlumaStar 2.0; 17x4 (f), 15x10 (r)
Rubber: Mickey Thompson ET Front (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street 315/60/15 (r)