SAdding a Turbo LS to a first-generation Commodore is a good way to build a seven-second street car, as we’ve seen recently with cars like Adam Rogash’s VK, ALLSHOW. Darren Clinton’s immaculate VH SS combines killer stance on fat rubber with this flawless HDT-inspired bodywork and a 1200rwhp twin-turbo LS subscribe to this newsletter. But Darren didn’t mean to end up with an eight-second killer.
This article was first published. Street Machine’s LSX Tuner #9, 2019
“I originally wanted to do it semi-standard because I bought it on the basis that it was an original Group 2 HDT car,” says Darren. “I chased the evidence to support it and kept hitting a wall because there are so many gaps in the HDT records for this model. It is a genuine 308 VH SS, though.”
“I bought the VH as my first steel bumper car when I could finally afford a toy,” says Darren. “It was a roller with a 383ci Holden stroker, a T5 manual box in pieces, a nine-inch differential, and the interior was either missing or the older material was rotting and separating on the seats. It was a The original 308 is VH SS so I decided I would respray a quick closed door and put it back together as was… until we inspected the paint more closely and I I saw the waves. Then I decided it was time for a full panel and paint job, and the build started to spiral from there.
After stripping the car down to its undies, Darren underwent a mirror-image spray painting repair, painting the mid-size four-door in a custom beaded version of the famous original HDT hue, Maranello Red. Steve Green of Vintage Commodores worked with Tim Rayment to redo the interior, making it fresher than Don Johnson’s haircut in Miami Vice. But then Darren moved the goalposts, as the initial vision of a neat plastic-powered Strater became a bit more insane.
“I decided to go for a bigger horsepower combo because I wanted to try to run a seven-second time in a registered street car,” he says. “I sent VH to Jeff Johnson at Street Bullet Racing and we came up with a combo to match, then Lundy Race Fabrication went to work fitting it all.”
The combo expands to a 403ci production 6.0-liter LY6 truck motor, with JE pistons, a Callies DragonSlayer crank and Oliver rods, while a custom LJMS hydraulic-roller cam and LS7 lifters turn the power to T&D shafts. -Mount rockers transfer to AFR. 245 Sir. Cathedral port heads breathe through Sean’s custom alloy intake manifold and a Nick Williams 92mm throttle body.
Siemens 2400cc injectors feed E85 into the LS from a custom fuel cell built by Lundy Race Fab, which houses a trio of Walbro 460 liter per hour pumps with aftermarket Industries in-tank pump hangers. A Holley HP EFI engine management system controls the vitals and is currently set to 26psi of boost from twin front-mount turbos.
The LY6 is a Gen IV 6.0-liter iron truck motor that makes 364hp in stock form. 9.6:1 compression, 58-tooth reducer wheel and 4in bore, it was offered in the 2007-10 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD and 3500 HD pickups, 2007-09 Chevy Suburban 2500 and GMC XL. 2500 SUVs, and the 2008-09 Chevy Express 2500 and 3500, along with the same-year GM Savana 2500 and 3500 vans. Look for a K in the eighth digit of the VIN to indicate that the vehicle came with a LY6.
Gen 2 Precision 64/66 snails sit on a custom Lundy Race Fab exhaust manifold, joined by a Plazmaman Pro Series intercooler with more Lundy Race Fab custom pipework, plus full twin three-inch exhausts that match a four-inch. The tail falls into the pipe. . All combo makes 1244hp at 7000rpm measured at 26psi and E85 boost juice at the hub.
Being a Gen IV engine with a 4in bore, the LY6 is incredibly easy to build into a monster. Equipped with rectangular port #823 heads from the factory, the cam swap will wake up any iron 6L nicely, and interestingly, GM chose to equip the truck motor with the same valve springs as the high-performance LS3. .
Darren says, “Once the dummy build was complete, we realized that some rear suspension upgrades and a roll cage were needed to handle the expected horsepower.
VH scored a custom four-link rear end, with rails notched so the larger wheel tubs would swallow the 15×10-inch rear wheels. Kronk Customs also added fixed race seats in addition to a custom anti-roll bar, six-point roll cage, and parachute mounts per ANDRA regs.
Eight-second performance requires serious stopping power and Darren has fitted Wilwood six-piston front disc brakes, with Wilwood four-piston discs at the rear. They hide behind Weld Magnum 17x4in and 15x10in wheels, wrapped in radial race rubber.
The Race Products sheet metal nine-inch was loaded with a Strange Engineering TruTrac center, 3.25 gears and 35-spline bullet axle, then hung with AFCO dual-adjustable coil-over struts. It works with a Red Case ‘Glide, TCE 10.25-inch converter, and final drive two-piece tailshaft to carry power from the LS.
While it had a strong driveline, the car was far from complete. Nothing motivates a project like a deadline, and so Darren decided to show the SS at Western Australia’s biggest show Motorsport, just two months away.
“I was in talks with Mark ‘Happy’ Williams and he suggested finishing the VH for Motorsport two months away,” explains Darren. “I thought maybe it could be done, so I rang up some friends and they pushed me to go. It turns out it’s possible with a lot of coordination and running!
“There was a mad rush to build it, including countless hours from mirror image spray painting while the car was repainted, Kronk Customs, Street Bullet Racing, Audio Image for a complete rewire, vintage Commodores, Lundy Race Fabrication and Tim Repair my trimmer.
Dom at AudioImage wired the car up with a Holley HP EFI system and Race Pack display dash. This is no small task. Given that Darren still wants to drive his car on the road, it needs wipers, headlights and all the other circuits that can doom a purpose-built race car.
“Finished with it on the hub dyno at 2:30pm on VH Motorsport day, then set up around 4:30pm. It was an amazing effort by all involved and the VH turned out exactly how I dreamed it would be. .
After surprising everyone on debut, Darren took the SS to the track to meet his goal of a seven-second slip.
“It has run a PB of 8.30@169mph so far,” he says. “We ran into wheel-standing issues so we couldn’t dial it in any further, but new Pro9 struts have been ordered and the goal is to get a seven-second ET. For a full-trim street car with an exhaust. Not bad!
Problem with stripping
Anyone who has eagerly embarked on their first big project car knows the dangers of pulling it off. Taking apart a complex piece of machinery like a car means you need thousands of plastic bags and tags to record what goes where, as Darren discovered.
“I completely stripped the car down ready for panels and paint, putting the parts into minimally labeled boxes, figuring I’d have it done in the next two months or so,” he sighs. fills up “It went to Mirror Image Spray Painting where it took nine months to strip it, do the panel work, then prime, block and paint. By then I was starting to forget where all the parts on the car were or went, like I had also moved house now.
“We started rebuilding in our shed and I enlisted the help of Steve Green from Vintage Commodores because he stripped down most of the VHs. We basically had to build it out of parts boxes on the floor, and We were missing bolts and pieces all over the place.Thankfully, Vintage Commodores had all the parts we needed.
“The dash was stripped and sent off to be painted and trimmed and all the parts went to Vintage Commodores to be reassembled at a later date. The roof lining was done, the front and rear screens and The door glass went in, and the seats, console and parcel tray went into Tim Rayment for trim. We assembled the VH back into a roller, minus some exterior trim pieces and the dash.”
1983 Holden VH Commodore SS
Custom PPG Marnello Red
Brand: GM Iron LY6 403ci
include: Sean’s custom alloy manifold, 92mm Nick Williams throttle body
ECU: Holy HP EFI
Turbos: Precision Gen 2 64/66
Heads: AFR 245cc
Camshaft: Custom LJMS hydraulic roller
Crank: Kali’s Dragon Slayer
Fuel System: Siemens 2400cc, 3 x Walbro 460 pumps, custom Lundy Race Fab fuel cell
Cooling: PWR radiator
Emissions: Custom Lundy Race Fab manifold, twin 3in system
Ignition: LS coil pack
Gearbox: Red Case Powerglide
Converter: TCE 10.25in
Difference: Race Products sheet metal 9in, 35-spline billet axle, 3.25:1 gears
Suspension and brakes
in front: Super low springs, Pro 9 shocks, manual close ratio steering rack
Back: AFCO dual adjustable coil over struts, custom 4 link, tub
brake: Wilwood 6-pot calipers & discs (f), Wilwood 4-pot calipers & discs (r)
Master Cylinder: VS Commodore
Wheels and tires
password: Weld Magnum; 17×4 (f), 15×10 (r)
Rubber: 185/55 (f), M/T 275/60 (r)
Thanks and love to my wife Kali who put up with my crazy car obsession and supported me all the way including draining our bank account on several occasions. My daughter Sheila, she doesn’t realize how many cars she owns now and fingers crossed she actually likes them (she’s 18 months); To all my colleagues, and all the new friends I made during construction. Special mention to Corey and Mike for all their hours of support