A VL with a turbocharged Japanese engine, but it is also a V8. Welcome to the alternative conversion that is Trent Turnham’s 1UZ-FE Commodore

Photos by Daniel Ward

“I wanted something I could blow the tyres off at any speed, run a 10 and not cost too much to build” starts Trent of his turbo 1UZ-FE powered VL Commodore sedan. The idea came from his mate Dan after his experience with Scott Hoffman’s VH

On the outside the car still looks standard – apart from the wheels obviously – and with a single turbo on the 4L V8 the exhaust note at regular speeds is quite tame, but when Trent gets up it there’s enough power on tap to fulfil his goal of blowing the tyres off at will. “It made 525hp at the wheels on 20psi. I took it for a drive and it was a skid machine, turning the tyres in top gear at 100km/h”

Trent gave the engine a freshen-up and a few upgrades to ensure it’s capable of hanging together if he turns the wick up even further to 600rwhp. It sits on custom mounts welded up by Trent’s mate Matt Twining. There were some clearance issue to sort out but once they were dealt with everything went in including the manualised Toyota 4-speed auto

The project was completed in just 12 weeks, turning a “pretty clean, unmolested VL (bought) for $1700” into this weapon of a sleeper and on a very respectable budget of less than $20k

You can read the complete story on Trent’s VL Commodore and the conversion to turbo 1UZ-FE power in issue 214 of Zoom magazine, available now