It’s crazy, it’s outlandish, it’s positively over-the-top – that’s Arthur Kajewski’s 2000 VT Commodore and, judging by the number of trophies it’s won, it’s just the thing you want to see!
Arthur's not a bloke who does things by halves and that’s the sort of person you need to be if you want to win at AutoSalon, dominate dyno competitions and generally out-gun the competition. Restraint is for the weak!
What you’re looking at here is around AUD$220,000 of modified Commodore extremity.
So how do you spend two-twenty k on a Holden sedan, you ask? Well, you take a VT Commodore ex-Victorian police pursuit car (one of only three built) and don’t let anything hold you back from achieving almost 1000 horsepower (746kW), creating a one-off appearance and wiring in a kick-butt audio visual system.
AutoTech in Toowoomba can be thanked for much of the under-bonnet magic. Details are a bit sketchy but it seems this particular ex-pursuit car already had a few engine bits that gave it more kick than the usual LS1 – it appears the camshaft and tune were upgraded and maybe more. The engine has since been built with a 7.2-litre Eagle stroker kit along with a set of Ross forged pistons that provide a static compression ratio of 8.1:1 – perfect for forced induction. The alloy two-valve-per-cylinder heads were given a tickle, upgrade valve springs, roller rockers and a Fast intake manifold/billet throttle body assembly have been whacked on.
But now for the serious bit.
Arthur didn’t want a centrifugal supercharger as he says the twin-turbo set-up can give better useable boost and is a bit more unique. AutoTech took plenty of time and care in fabricating a pair of stainless steel manifolds to locate twin Garrett-based turbochargers. The turbos are custom GT25/30s capable of flowing 480hp each. Note that there’s no need for an oil scavenge pump for the turbochargers as they’re mounted high enough to allow gravitational oil drainage into the sump.
The custom manifolds are thoroughly heat-wrapped to keep a lid on under-bonnet temperatures and, from the back of the turbines, you’ll find a twin 3 inch system with high-flow cats and mufflers.
The custom turbochargers inhale through HKS air filters and are spun up to 17 psi thanks to a TurboSmart two-stage boost controller. Charge-air temps are chilled by an AutoTech fabricated front-mount intercooler which is based on a PWR bar-and-plate core. A TurboSmart atmospherically venting blow-off valve is mounted near the compressor outlet of each turbo.
And, just to be sure there’s more than enough grunt, the stroked and twin-turbocharged LS1 also features a wet nitrous system! Yep, when you really need a power boost you can hit the button that activates a NX nitrous system. The system can be tuned for up to 150hp and is activated only at 100 percent throttle.
It’s a testament to LS1 Edit software that a 1000-odd horsepower beast like this can be successfully run using the factory management system. A MAP load input is used and the direct-fire ignition system is upgraded to include MSD coils. The fuel system comprises a set of 660cc injectors, modified rails, a Malpassi pressure regulator (with a return line added) and two Bosch Motorsport pumps.
In this configuration, Arthur’s LS1 pushes 643hp (480kW) at the wheels which equates to more than 600kW at the flywheel. Oh, and that’s achieved with only a 50hp shot of gas – there haven’t been any dyno tests with the full nitrous assist...
Fortunately, GM knows how to make some tough drivelines. Arthur’s car runs a Corvette six-speed manual ‘box driven via an ultra heavy-duty twin-plate clutch. An ex-Clubsport 3.9:1 LSD lives out the back with no apparent problems.
For those who’ve been keeping an approximate price tally we’re now at about half way.
The body kit fitted to Arthur’s Commodore is a guaranteed one-off – few people could afford to import a GTO body kit from the States and then have it modified to suit the big Aussie sedan. The kit includes eye-catching flared wheel arches, skirts, new-look front and rear bumpers and a rear wing. Euro-style mirrors, clear lens taillights and side indicators are also added. It’s obvious that the installer (DMD Image) spent a lot of time working on this kit – 13 weeks in fact... The kitted body is finished with a custom silver and purple graphics scheme by ALE Signage. These add impact against the original white paintwork.
The heavily detailed body sits at an attractive ride height using an adjustable Pedders suspension kit and the guards are filled by 18 x 8 ERIX polished rims wearing 265/35 tyres. Peer through the spokes and you’ll see the original braking system has been upgraded to an off-the-shelf PBR kit comprising front calipers and discs. If you’re really keen you can get down on your knees and check out the 18 carat gold plated sump guard.
Inside, Arthur has given the car a full-on audio and visual system upgrade. The standard head unit remains (Arthur says it sounds as good, or better, than other systems he’s heard) teamed with three amplifiers, front splits, rear 7 x 10s and a single Boss Audio sub inside the fully trimmed boot.
The underside of the bootlid is equipped with twin Pioneer speakers and a 7 inch LCD screen (great for displays at car shows), while there’s an LCD screen built into the head restraint of the front seats. A Sony PlayStation 2/DVD player is nestled under the front passenger seat and a collection of DVD movies is kept in a custom built rack between the rear outboard seating positions. The rear seat has been comprehensively modified into a twin bucket seat arrangement which matches the front seats. White painted console trim, aluminium pedals and an AutoMeter boost gauge complete the cabin.
Despite the vast amount of time and money invested in the build, Arthur points out that his VT is genuinely street driven.
"It’s just awesome on the street," says Arthur.
"I get people driving up alongside to take photos with their phone and some people have thrown a U-turn on the highway just to come and have a look."
Of course, there’s also plenty of interest at car shows. Arthur has taken home trophies for Best Commodore at Auto Salon, Top Holden, Top Engineered, Top Interior, Top Car (four of five times!) and People’s Choice (about five times!). It’s fair to say Arthur has enough trophies that he soon won’t know where to keep ‘em all!
Still, there are ongoing plans to add a bit more gold plating and bigger turbochargers and exhaust manifolds. But Arthur is also contemplating building yet another show-stopper in the form of a Holden Monaro. And that’s where you come in. If you own a current Monaro you’re welcome to trade it for Arthur’s all-out Commodore – with a cash adjustment, of course. Alternatively, if someone offers about AUD$85,000 they can consider it theirs (contact Arthur via firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re genuinely interested).
One thing’s for sure - you won’t find another like it!