Mount Gambier car enthusiast Mick Argoon has brought a “big banger” VK Holden Commodore back to life recently.
After completing a long seven-year restoration process, Argoon drove his precious, but aggressive machine on track for the first time at The Bend Motorsport Park.
The revhead said it was an emotional moment steering the car out of the pits for the first time.
“It was quite a deal of relief,” he said.
“I was very apprehensive at the same time as being very excited and exhilarated.
“The car was very exciting to drive and very, very fast.”
Under the bonnet of the all black VK Commodore is a roaring LS-based six-litre Chevrolet engine and Argoon struggled to believe its capabilities.
“The car lasted better than me, I was exhausted by the second run,” he said.
“The sheer acceleration speed was phenomenal.
“My eyes were popping out of my head because there were G-Force limitations where I had not felt for many years.”
The test under sunny skies on the northern section of South Australia’s famous state of the art FIA Grade 2 circuit was culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and tears for Argoon.
The Mount Gambier driver had already raced and crashed two cars at Ararat and Port MacDonnell respectively.
After the pair of incidents, Argoon had “no intention” to return to racing, but could not help himself from using the surviving parts for his next project.
He said the reborn car’s possibilities grew the further he ventured down the path, but more problems followed.
“I have had a few hurdles along the way and basically destroyed it twice on the dyno,” Argoon said.
“The first time was pretty big smashing the adapter plate between the transaxle and the diff, so we went back to the drawing board.
“We put it all back together and put it back on the dyno, but we broke it again and changed what went wrong.
“I never had any intention to spend the money I did, but it blew out of proportion
“It started out as just ‘we will put this Corvette CG centre tube car into the existing body and build the car around it’.
“But we started designing it on a computer and things did not work, so we made new bits, brought some stuff from the United States and designed a whole tube framed car and it looked really good.”
Argoon said the restoration was so extensive, there were less than a handful of original parts left on the Commodore.
“The only things that remain from the original car are the roof and the A, B and C pillars.
“The door frames are still there, but they are no longer integral parts of the car because it is all fibreglass with aluminium and a full tube frame car.
“It is basically a whole brand new car, every single part of the car is custom handmade so there is not another one like it in Australia.”
Despite the car making a successful return to the tarmac, Argoon said the project was far from complete.
However, motorsport fans could get to see the beast in action at this year’s Legend of the Lakes Hill Climb to spark memories of Peter Brock’s famous 1984 Bathurst 1000 victory with Larry Perkins.
“It is not finished yet because we came away from the weekend with lots of data and things to do,” Argoon said.
“I have (a number of) weeks before Legends, but the car is in its infancy.
“I need a tailshaft imported from the states, a new diff built, sort out the tyres and I want the car to be more drivable, so it is by no means complete.
“The agenda is to have it ready for the hill climb and I want to be the king of the bogans.”