Update, 24 November 2022: KINGGM has popped up for sale on our sister site. Trade unique cars.sporting a different look and powerplant.
Previous owner Justin Ellis says the car has had two owners since it left his hands, and one of them reworked the KINGGM look to make it his own. Keen-eyed Holden nerds will note the VY ClubSport body kit and Senator wing that replaced the SS gear, plus a set of VF HSV repair wheels.
Under the bonnet is a Harrop-blown LS1 that claims 503kW instead of the 408-cube turbo L98 when we featured it, and the TH400 has been replaced with a six-speed manual.
You can view the full for sale listing with all changes. Here.
Here’s the story:
We love classic metal around here. Street Machine, but the late-model muscle car’s hot-rodding appeal hasn’t been lost on us either. Melbourne’s Justin Ellis has applied a highly traditional and comprehensive approach to building his VY SS Commodore with impressive results.
Unlike the majority of modified late model Commodores, the King GM is just a cam and heads package, low coils and a set of 20s. It was completely rebuilt from the ground up, and featured body mods, custom paint and trim, and a built – and very turbocharged – 408ci LS combo.
That being said, Justin’s VY has lost none of the elements that made late-model muscle cars such an attractive proposition in the first place. It still has air, steer and cruise, power windows, a decent stereo and clockwork reliability. But it’s also a massive trophy magnet, and despite its ultra-real nine-second capability it still boasts impressive street manners. How’s that for a versatile street machine?
Justin bought the car in Sydney, where it had already been cut out with some high-speed bits. “I found the car on carsales.com.au, fitted with an ASE turbo kit with a T04Z copy on the stock 5.7L, and a TH400 auto,” says Justin. “I flew out 48 hours later and got it back to Melbourne, then started cleaning it up. It was a bit rough; the paint was faded in spots and it hadn’t been looked after. We went over it and plug, Replaced the leads, fuel pump, suspension bushes and a few other bits and pieces, then had my mate Jason Kenney at LS1PWR Performance rebuild it and it went 10.94@138mph.
Justin ran some Coulson seats and a set of AP Racing anchors in the car, and it really started to take shape – even winning a couple of trophies. But more power was always on the agenda. Eventually the current 5.7L LS1 and turbo setup was sold to make way for an L98-based 408ci stroker and a much larger BorgWarner S480 bullet snail.
While Jason was putting together the 408 complete with his Callies crank and rods, Wiseco forged slugs and custom turbo grind camshaft, Justin’s other partner in crime, painter Phil King, was putting ideas into his head. “Phil suggested that when the engine was finished we could give it a fresh coat of paint,” says Justin. “Then he suggested that if we were going to do it, we might as well change the color. Things really started to grow from there!”
The car was taken apart at Easter last year, and while the full bodywork got stuck in, the interior was sent off to the trimmers. A series of subtle body mods, including shaved aerials, deleted exhaust and towbar cutouts, smooth and full bumper bars and a custom mesh grille, showcasing Phil’s plastic welding skills, really set the car apart from the crowd. help
Likewise, the engine bay was a hive of activity during construction. Late model Commodores are notoriously difficult to get right in this department, due to wiring, engine accessories and general clutter from the factory, but Phil nailed it. Every hole and flaw was filled and smoothed, the wiring was hidden and a scallop was added to accommodate the turbo. Welds were smoothed on the forged precision manifold, the catch can and power steering reservoir, along with the belt rocker cover, were painted silver.
At first, Justin had his heart set on BMW Atlantis Blue for the body color, but Phil insisted that it looked like a flat color, and instead produced a custom mixed metallic bronze, which the couple added. named ‘Madeleine Mica’ after Justin’s daughter. . Incidentally, Madelina’s arrival had a lot to do with why Justin went with the Commodore. “My wife Anne and I decided it had to be done, because I knew I wouldn’t have time to build cars after Madeleine was older and I wanted to do something nice in the shed,” says Justin. Justin says. “Anne loves the car and drives it often. I need to thank her for letting me blow the budget!
With the engine and ‘box reinstalled and fab work completed on the new turbo system (thanks to Jason’s right-hand man Daniel Dering), the interior work looked like it might put the Smyrnatus deadline in jeopardy. Fortunately Danny at SOC Audio & Upholstery stepped up to the plate, took ownership of the job and made it his mission to complete it on time. The cockpit has a classic European feel, with the aforementioned Coulson front seats complemented by an HSV GTO rear, lavishly trimmed in stunning shell and black leather. WL Statesman door cards were trimmed to match, while a host of smooth and painted components bring that killer exterior hue indoors.
As the team neared the tipping point of construction, a few things were going well, and Justin was very close to throwing in the towel. “Daniel brought us all together and gave a great motivational speech!” they say. “He revived us and finally got it right before Smyrnatus.”
As soon as the car pulled into the EPIC gates, all the hard work began to pay off. It won Top Sedan, Top Standard Paint, Second Top Body and Third Top Engine Bay, generating a stack of positive feedback. With more than 500rwhp on tap at a low 8psi on pump juice from the new combo, Justin is hoping for around 800rwhp and nine-second time slips on E85 after finalizing the tuning. But for now he plans to enjoy his creation and show it off.
“When Phil, Jason and I were younger, Jacks drank and dreamed of building a car like this. It was great to finally be in a situation where I could let them loose,” says Justin. “The whole car. Built in my and Jason’s garages – never even on a hoist. His expertise and attention to detail was second to none. I had the best two guys at work.