WE CAME across Ricky Mill and his Monaro in the somewhat moist camping area at Street Machine Summernats 34. The monster rear wheels and air cleaners poking out of the bonnet tipped us off that this wasn’t grandpa’s CV8.

First published in the March 2022 issue of Street Machine

What’s the story behind the Monaro?

I originally bought it around seven years ago as a CV6 when I was on my P-plates. I had a VS first, but that was terrible – it was like the paint had been done with a roller! So I sold that and got the Monaro. A few years later it blew a gearbox when it still had the L67, and that’s when I did the LS conversion to it with the 6.0-litre L98 it has now.

Did you change anything else with the conversion?

The LS has a basic cam package, with an upgraded oil pump and a Holley dual-plane manifold using twin throttlebodies. It’s got a Haltech Elite 2500 and the iC-7 dash, and it makes around 400hp on pump 98. I tried a few 4L60s before I cracked it with them and got the Powerglide the car has now.

Tell us a bit about the rear end.

My brother Jack and I tubbed it, and it’s got a four-link nine-inch instead of the original IRS, and that’s all engineered and street-legal. It has 20×10 Simmons rear wheels with a 295 tyre, but it still manages to light them up pretty easily!

The colour is pretty unusual for a CV8; what’s the deal there?

I’m a panel beater, so the car has had a few colours over the years. It was the original silver when I got it, and then it was aqua for a few years, but after a while that was a bit too Hot Wheels for me. Now it’s HSV Racing Green with some candy mixed into it, and we only finished that colour change 10 days before the last Summernats.

And how did you go at Summernats this year?

It was good, but it wasn’t as successful as I would’ve liked. I actually took the car on the pad this year, but we melted the knock sensor during the skid, so I had to get out of it. Then the rear of the car caught fire on Skid Row! But we still got down there about four times over the weekend, so we still made sure we had some fun.

Does your partner share the love affair with the Monaro?

She certainly does! Elizabeth loves cars just as much as I do, and we actually met at Summernats 32 a few years ago. We dual-entered the Monaro at the ’Nats this year. She’s got her own VZ SS ute we’re working on as well, which is already mini-tubbed with some shortened axles and all that stuff. We’ll do a colour change on that soon as well, and hopefully have both cars back at Summernats next year – I’ve already entered mine!

Any other plans for the car?

I’m planning on putting a 200-shot of nitrous on it really soon, and then probably another colour change as well. I’d also love to do Drag Challenge in it one year, because it’s a true street car but I haven’t done any proper drag racing with it yet. I built it to use on the road; I drive it to work and all over the joint. I just love using it!

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