Need to split a bit of kindling – or perhaps a whole forest of the toughest hardwood? Here’s the gadget to get the job done in record time: the Holden V8-powered chainsaw. The V8 ripsnorter was designed and built by Whitlands Engineering, who -- being based in the high country of northeast Victoria where they burn through tonnes of wood -– are unsurprisingly Australia’s leading makers of firewood processing machinery.
While the products in their Superaxe, Logsaw and Aussie Chopper ranges use quite decent means of power, when they wanted to create the kind of chainsaw that would have forests tremble at the mere sight of it, they turned to the Holden 4.2-litre V8 last seen in the Holden WB Ute in 1985.
The idea was sparked after Whitlands saw something similar in New Zealand, but decided it hadn’t been done as masterfully – or muscularly – as it might have been. So they headed back to their high country skunkworks and started tinkering. You can see the result in the video, but it wasn’t without challenges, the chief one being how to redirect the engine’s output to a right-angled drive to power a chainsaw.
For those of you already excited – as we were – about getting your hands on one, there’s bad news. It’s been built purely as a marketing tool, and is already chewing up that role with gusto. Whitlands have been the main attraction giving demonstrations at field days, and have had inquiries to do the same from around Australia and also overseas.
The National Geographic network has been in touch about sending a film crew, and the V8 Chainsaw will be the star turn at the big Australia Day woodchop in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens.
This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott