Brendan Cherry is no stranger to tough street cars. In fact, if you and your car mates sat around and spoke about your bucket list cars for a few hours, there’s a good chance that Chez has either owned - or currently owns - at least one car on the list.
None of them are nuggets, either. Fresh off the back of finishing a twin turbo 408-cube HQ Monaro, Brendan sold the Quey on the hunt for his dream car, a HK Monaro. The car that he found was none other than a twin turbo, big block-powered show car that had recently debuted at MotorEx.
“I tried to race the HK a few times with the big block but it made so much torque that it just knocked the tyres off on the start line, and honestly it was too much engine for the chassis - it was starting to pull the car apart and ruin door gaps,” admits Brendan, who quickly hatched a plan to rip the twin turbo fatty from the HK and shove it in to a VL radial car they’d been building for Street Machine’s Drag Challenge.
“We raided everything from the HK - diff centre, fuel system, turbo kit, ECU. The car was just a shell and sat there for around four years,” continues Brendan, who even dabbled in the burnout scene for a little while, building a blown LS-powered VH Commodore with a mate.
“I ended up trading my half of the burnout car for the cast iron 408-cube engine out of one of his projects to get the HK running. We set it up with a carby and that barely lasted the drive home - fuck carbies!” he chuckles, and immediately plumbed up a Holley EFI and nitrous combination.
The car was no slouch with this combo’, even winning the 255 tyre class at Heathcote Park’s King Of The Streets event, but Brendan had fond memories of the 2,000hp twin turbo combo in the VL. “I got tired of refilling nitrous bottles too,” he laughs, so he grabbed a turbo from the bench that he’d earmarked for another project and added a single turbo to the Monaro.
“That combo went 8.61sec at 166mph at Holden Nationals but we hurt the crank. We’ve just installed a billet DART 8CCW but to be honest, I don’t know if we’ll race it again. It’s too nice a car to risk damaging,” adds Brendan, who’s quick to point out that the car is far from a purpose-built radial race car. It uses a Gazzard Bros. leaf spring rear end and a 255 tyre, but that simplicity adds to it’s streetability.
“My daughter is a real rev head, so this thing has a baby seat in the back more often than not. I’d prefer a car that you can take the family for a cruise in, rather than go racing.”
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