It muscles out almost 400kW at the wheels but, somehow, it gets its grunt to
the road progressively and without fuss – no opposite-locking down a straight
road or feathering the throttle to keep control.
This 400kW ATW monster just gets down to business – the business of boogyin’!
Nail the loud pedal at rolling speed and Peter Conridge’s Monaro snowballs
with speed; the rear-end copes marvelously despite the massive accelerative
load. The exhaust snarls, the supercharger whines and the world passes by at an
exhilarating rate. It’d almost be boring if it weren’t so fast!
And if this isn’t impressive enough, the car rides better than the factory
version and has fully adjustable handling thanks to its Whiteline 40mm struts.
The Harrop brakes are also hugely impressive, providing awesome stopping power
with good pedal feel.
On its mechanical credentials alone, Peter Conridge’s Monaro is a killer
machine. But don’t just focus on its go-fast bits - this is one of the most
immaculately presented vehicles we’ve ever seen. The subtle detail work is
top-notch and the new paint job is 100 percent glitch-free.
Think of this as the perfect street, drag, circuit and show
Peter, a successful business owner, has owned a string of Holden V8s from VT
to VX. His previous machine was a VX SS with a CAPA Vortech supercharger kit – a
set-up good for 277kW at the wheels. However, when it came time to trade up,
Peter ripped the blower out of the SS and slipped it into his new Monaro CV8.
The supercharger is a current-generation Vortech V2 which runs quieter than
previous models. The blower is installed using CAPA mounts and pulleys, a CAPA
front-mount air-to-air intercooler (which is an option for those people who want
big power) and the supercharger’s oil supply was custom routed from the engine.
Take a close look under the bonnet and you’ll see Peter’s Monaro has a few
other modifications to the base CAPA kit. The induction pipe that leads into the
compressor has been enlarged to a 4-incher with a gentle radius. This was made
possible by relocating the ECU into the cabin and fabricating a custom
windscreen water bottle. A large K&N air filter lives in the guard and
protects the supercharger compressor from debris.
There are twin Bosch blow-off valves to avoid breaking serpentine belts when
backing off sharply from full power and a BBK 80mm throttle body is the final
mod to the inlet system.
Routing exhaust gasses away from the engine are CAPA 4>1 headers and a
custom twin 2 ½ inch stainless system with high-flow cats. Note that the rear
pipes are configured to provide an outlet on each side of the car - the standard
tailpipe exits the passenger side only. Peter says this particular exhaust
causes almost zero backpressure.
The twin outlet exhaust meant the standard fuel tank had to be removed and a
custom 104 litre alloy tank fabricated to fit under the body and inside the
spare wheel well. Peter says the standard spare wheel can’t be used with his
upsized brake set-up anyway, so he carries a small compressor and can of foam
as a substitute. Interestingly, the fabricated alloy tank and exhaust layout
weighs the same as the original arrangement (with the spare wheel left in
The ECU was originally sent off to CAPA for a reprogram, but Peter has
recently enlisted Silverwater Automotive Services (SAS) to install a HSV GTS
program configured to run MAP sensor load sensing. A set of 50lb injectors
connect to modified fuel rails, while fuel pressure is controlled by a SARD
regulator. A Bosch Motorsport pump and surge tanks can be found at the opposite
end of the system. David Alexander from SAS performed the tuning.
With boost pressure peaking at 12 psi near the redline, Peter’s beautiful
Munro has a whole bunch of kilowatts to its name. Three hundred and eighty five
to be exact (as measured on SAS’s Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno). Not bad
considering the internals are 100 percent stock - camshaft and
The under-bonnet appearance is unmistakably aftermarket, but Peter went for
the OE look with his custom valve covers. Using GTO valve covers as the
platform, Peter enlisted an engraving shop to cut out ‘SUPERCHARGER’ lettering
and fitted these in the space normally reserved for the letters ‘GTO’. A nice
touch or what?!
The standard LS1 driveline is relatively strong so there are no concerns
running the original 6 speed manual gearbox with street tyres. The only change
to the driveline is a shorter 3.9:1 Holden LSD. We’re told an aftermarket clutch
will soon replace the tortured standard part.
If you’ve read the article Holden Monaro CV8
you’ll know that the standard Monaro from 2002 has an overly
harsh ride that leads to handling issues on anything but a perfectly smooth
In Peter’s words, "it felt like Skippy."
When Peter approached Whiteline a few months ago, they asked if he’d like to
lend the car and test their new Group 4 adjustable struts. Peter agreed - and
he’s ever so glad that he did! Combined with adjustable front and rear swaybars,
firmer Z bushes, camber and castor kits on the rear, the Monaro’s ride is now
so much more comfortable and controlled. The chassis is also better
balanced and the back-end doesn’t flick out under power while encountering
bumps. It’s just what you need in a 400kW ATW vehicle – stability,
predictability and controllability.
Further increased driver confidence comes from those sexy looking Harrop
anchors. Peter purchased an off-the-shelf Harrop kit comprising 355mm front and
343mm rear slotted discs together with 4 pot calipers for each end. EBC Green
Stuff pads are currently in service. Interestingly, these new brakes are
installed without modification to the factory brake master cylinder yet provide
factory-like brake pedal feel and progression. Stand on the brake pedal and the
Monaro absolutely buries its nose as it grinds to a halt. The standard Holden
ABS system ensures safe braking in all conditions.
When it came to cosmetic enhancement, Peter wanted to avoid overt bolt-ons -
the flowing shape of the Monaro had to speak for itself.
To achieve this, Peter went for a Pontiac GTO nosecone. This required fitment
of current-model Monaro headlights which were fitted together with GTS Coupe
taillights. If you look closely, you’ll also see Peter replaced the standard
Pontiac fog lights with pencil-beam driving lights. Oh, and a custom ‘BLOWN’
badge has been attached where it normally says ‘GTO’.
Once the new nose was installed, Peter decided to get the entire car
re-sprayed to ensure colour consistency between panels – some existing hail
damage helped prompt the move. Before being re-sprayed, the car was hand-filed
to ensure smooth panels around the door handles and various other sections where
the factory finish is below par. They’re subtle touches, but ones that really do
make a difference when sunlight is shining down the side. The colour is Base
Black - different enough from any of the factory colours to attract a second
glance. Extra glamour comes from inched-up Equip 18s with meaty 265/35 rear and
235/40 Falken tyres.
Peter optioned his CV8 Monaro with an electric sunroof which
provides a pleasant ambience inside. The standard Monaro seats are very
comfortable and attractive so there’s been no need to throw their leather-lined
goodness in the bin. The only changes to the cabin are a boost gauge and GTS
Peter says the comfy interior is part of the reason he’s able to use his
near-400kW ATW Monaro as a daily driver. Given its magnificent suspension
composure and predictable on-road behavior, there’s absolutely no reason to keep
it parked in the shed for only weekend use.
It is rare for this level of performance to meet street manners and
show-standard presentation. It’s for this reason Peter’s big black Monaro is one
of our all-time most admired feature cars.
And after featuring literally hundreds of modified cars, that’s saying something!
Since our photo shoot, the original Monaro engine has split a cylinder
The solution? Peter has dropped in a big-bore LS6 engine for greater
all-round torque and about 20 – 25kW more at the wheels!
"It’s now got more than enough," says Peter with a chuckle...
Whiteline Suspension +61 2 9603 0111
Peter would like to thank Whiteline, CAPA and Tony’s Prestige Smash Repairs.
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