Posts Tagged ‘eh’

Feature Car: Jason Spiteri’s EH Holden


29 Jan

I had the pleasure of photographing Jason Spiteri’s tough-as-nails 1964 EH Holden for the January 2019 issue of Street Machine magazine. Powered by a stout 427ci Dart SBC, the car is slammed in the weeds and ready to destroy tyres at a moment’s notice.

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Jason Spiteri's EH Holden
Jason Spiteri's EH Holden
Jason Spiteri's EH Holden

SMOOTH CRIMINAL: Chad Darke’s Smooth 336ci EH Holden Ute


18 Jun

Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

SMOOTH CRIMINAL

A long list of subtle refinements makes Chad Darke’s inky blue EH stroker one slippery character
Story and Pics by Ben Hosking

Chad Darke's EH Holden UteBesides the 48-215 and FJ, there’s no more an iconic Holden model than the EH. Even today, almost 50 years since the introduction of the EH range, they remain as popular as the 260,000 they manufactured between 1963 and early 1965.

It’s no wonder then that Holden lover Chad Darke scoured the country for the right basis for his next automotive project back in 2005. “I rang my mate to see if he’d come with me to check out a car,” the 37-year-old electrician from Sydney relates. “I didn’t mention it was in Tasmania! We flew down there the next morning and started haggling.”

Once Chad had settled on a price, it was time to get the ute home and instead of throwing it onto a transporter and taking the easy route home, Chad and friend jumped in and headed north. “I asked the seller about fuel economy,” Chad says. “He said it was good for 10km/L and it was supposed to have a 100L tank, so I filled it up in Victoria and we set off for home. Somewhere between Yass and Goulburn the car started to splutter… out of fuel in the middle of nowhere!”

“Here I am waving my Jerry can around furiously trying to hitch a ride when a guy that resembled Ivan Milat picks me up. He took me to the nearest town and after a tense trip I got some fuel and found my way back to the car safe and sound.”Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

With that fateful trip home behind him, Chad could breathe a sigh of relief and get stuck into the build up. Over the course of the next five years, the old EH would be transformed into a sleek, modern interpretation of the classic Holden, but not without the odd headache.

“Dealing with panel beaters and relying on other people’s conversion kits that didn’t fit were probably some of the hardest parts of the build,” Chad explains. “I ended up finding a good panel guy though.”

He’s not lying either – the finish on Chad’s EH is pristine and includes some choice body mods that really smooth the old girl out. For starters, the door handles and locks were shaved off. Given that Australian rules require a mechanical method of opening front doors, Chad replaced the handles with short metal rods poking up out of the top of each door. However, whereas most similar conversions work by being pushed down or lifted up, the mechanism on Chad’s doors works by gently pulling the rods toward you. We gave them a go and they worked effortlessly.

Chad Darke's EH Holden UteAnother huge visual improvement came via the deletion of the front quarter windows. With full one-piece glass inserted into the doors, it looks far more modern and further simplifies the exterior aesthetic. With an aviation-style fuel filler replacing the factory door, the modern iteration of the EH is almost complete – perhaps finished off most notably by the venerable Simmons FR18s.

Having a nice-looking ute is one thing, but without the proper mechanical motivation it’s little more than BBQ rice: all show and no go. Surely the old six-banger was never going to cut the mustard and Chad swapped it out for a Holden 5L.

Based around a Kingswood pre-EFI block, Alan Bruni built up a nice offset-ground 336ci stroker motor that is updated with a pair of VN EFI cast heads. It’s a relatively mild affair with an HSV hydraulic cam’, unported heads and a 650cfm Holley on top. While power is untested, the combo has pushed the ute to a 13.8sec ET in full street trim; and as they say, a 14sec street car is nothing to sneeze at.Chad Darke's EH Holden Ute

Chad shifts gears through a T5 5-speed and there are more Commodore parts to be found out back, with a VN Borg Warner running 3.45:1 gears and an LSD centre. Check each corner and you’ll find VT-spec’ discs on the nose and VN discs in the rear.

The sweet combination of old and new continues inside where the cabin has been decked out with timeless black leather and suede. Premier buckets provide an iota of more lateral support than a bench, but it’s the Autometer dash, Sony stereo and Momo wheel that helps bring the old girl into the present day.

With a ute as cool and contemporary as this in the shed, many would be happy to rest on their laurels and take a break, but Chad has more plans under way. “I’ll probably end up putting a bigger stroker kit into it,” Chad starts. “It’ll also cop a bigger stainless fuel tank,”

Bring it on!

Owner: Chad Darke
Model: 1963 EH Holden
Colour: PPG Midnight blue
Bodykit: Aviation-style fuel filler, deleted door handles and locks, deleted quarter windows
Engine Type: Holden V8
Engine Mods: Offset-ground 336ci stroker conversion, 5.7in small-journal Chevrolet rods, ACL Larry Perkins pistons and rings (10:1-comp’), ACL bearings, VN cast heads, polished rocker covers, HSV hydraulic cam’, Yella Terra roller rockers, double-row timing chain, high-volume oil pump, High Energy sump, Davies Craig thermo fan, 80A alternator, PWR alloy radiator, 650cfm Holley DP carb’, ceramic coated Torque Power intake manifold, adjustable FPR, K&N air filter, Bosch HEI distributor, Bosch EA Falcon coil, wiring hidden, Carter fuel pump, braided lines, custom bonnet hinges
Power: Untested, 13.8sec @ 98mph
Exhaust: Custom stainless headers, twin 2.5in into single system, single stainless muffler
Gearbox: T5, heavy-duty 10in single-plate clutch
Diff: Narrowed VN Commodore Borg Warner, 3.45:1 final drive, LSD, Cortina tail shaft
Brakes: 300mm VT-spec’ rotors and calipers, 278mm rear discs, VN calipers, front braided brake lines, VN master cylinder, VN V8 booster
Wheels and tyres: 18in Simmons FR rims (7in front, 8in rear)
Suspension: HR front end, King front springs, Pedders shocks, reset rear leaf springs, custom sway bars, LH Torana rack and pinion conversion, modified EH column
Interior: Momo steering wheel, EH Premier buckets, black leather retrim, custom Autometer instrument cluster, custom door skins, black carpets, black suede roof lining
Other Mods: Battery relocated
Stereo: Sony head unit and speakers
Build Period: 5 years
Cost: $44,000
Thanks: Pioneer Plating, M&S Johnson, “Tony Wellington for the timber tray; Jeffrey Smith for the machine work; Terry Edwards for engine balancing; Ray and Warren for the great panel and paint and my wife for putting up with us.”

A TRUE CLASSIC: The Sacilotto Family’s 1964 EH Holden Ute


17 May

Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden Ute

A TRUE CLASSIC

As if the EH Holden weren’t classic enough on its own, the Sacilotto family went and built this!
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden UteThere’s little room for dispute that the EH Holden range is one of Australia’s true classic vehicles. Holden built over 250,000 of the buggers over a couple of years and the model displayed numerous refinements over the similar-looking EJ, including the introduction of the ‘red’ motor.

We’ve featured plenty of EH utes in this magazine over the years and with just cause: people keep choosing them as the basis for their custom ute project and their malleability and adaptability to different styles, different uses and different engine combinations make them a damn fine choice. Perhaps it was some of these reasons that the collective Sacilotto family chose a 1964 EH ute as the focus of an intensive rebuild process that took a tired old hay hauler and turned it into a Summernats Top 10 champion.

Purchased way back in 1997, the ute you see gracing these pages certainly didn’t start out looking this way, but with the incredible craftsmanship of some of the premier builders on the east coast toiling away on it, magic eventually happened. So let’s take a look at what makes CLASIC such an honest to goodness classic.Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden Ute

Before you even open a door of lift a panel you’re immediately struck by the colour. “Choosing the colour was probably the hardest part of the entire build,” says Luke Sacilotto. “Everything after that went really well.”

The colour gracing the panels, engine bay and interior is a custom metallic mauve that was applied to the super smooth panels by the Desisto brothers – well renowned for their own incredible EH Holdens over the years. Working under the Malibu Paint and Panel name, the Desistos completely restored the sheet metal to beyond new condition and also seam welded the engine bay. Straying a little from the factory specification, the spare wheel door was smoothed over and replaced by a recessed number plate housing. They also added some modern-looking motorcycle side mirrors and replaced the small quarter windows with full-size window glass.

Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden UteIf that weren’t enough, Drago Ostric formed a superb custom dash top out of steel that now houses a plethora of Autometer gauges set into a billet fascia. While we’re inside, check out the custom oyster leather trim; put together by the guys at All Trim. It includes cut down and re-trimmed Rodeo buckets, tan carpets and those incredible custom door trims. A Billet Specialties tiller connects to the Commodores steering rack via a custom billet steering column and you’ll find more from the Billet Specialties catalogue to help you wind the windows up and down.

Good looks are all well and good, but the ute was going to have to move under its own power, too. An L67 – or supercharged V6 for the rest of us – was chosen for the task, backed by the factory 4L60E automatic. Both remain stock, but the engine came in for some extensive detailing. This ute was destined for the show scene, so there was no way a factory look was going to cut it.

With a bunch of parts colour matched to the same metallic mauve, a number of custom one-off billet parts were fabricated to tie in with the interior and those gorgeous 18in Intro billets riding under the modified guards. Hiding behind those billet rims is a complete set of VT brakes, including the twin-piston fronts and the rear discs are connected to a VP Commodore diff’ housing running an LSD centre.Sacilotto Family's 1964 EH Holden Ute

When it first hit the show scene at Summernats 21, the ute pulled a prestigious Top 10 spot and found itself under the intent gaze of tens of thousands of admiring punters in the judging pavilion. Since then the Sacilottos have driven the ute to innumerable local shows where it continues to pick up trophies by the dozen.

“We really want to drive it more now,” says Luke. “It’s time to start enjoying it more.”

Indeed, the ute got plenty of driving under its belt during our photoshoot and we’ve since seen the ute at even more Sydney shows, always cruised to the event and back home. If only more elite-level cars and utes did the same thing.

Owner: The Sacilotto Family
Model: 1964 EH Holden
Colour: Custom mauve metallic
Bodykit: Hard tonneau, deleted spare wheel door, recessed rear number plate, deleted quarter windows, seam welded engine bay, motorcycle side mirrors, custom grille
Engine Type: L67 Statesman V6
Engine Mods: 4in custom billet filter housing, painted engine cover, painted coil pack, alloy radiator, billet caps, sheet metal rocker covers, alloy radiator overflow, Yella Terra blower snout, VL Commodore fuel pump, custom fan shroud, thermo fan
Power: Untested
Exhaust: Ceramic coated custom headers, twin 2.5in mild steel exhaust into single 3in, factory cat
Gearbox: Factory 4L60E auto’, B&M Quicksilver shifter
Diff: Narrowed VP Commodore V8 diff’, LSD
Brakes: Twin-piston VT Commodore front brakes, VT rear discs, Datsun 200B booster, Commodore master cylinder
Wheels and tyres: 18in Intro V-Rod rims (7in front, 8in rear)
Suspension: HR front end conversion, HQ stubs, Pedders springs, Monroe shocks, reset rear leaf springs, Commodore steering rack, custom shortened steering column
Interior: Billet Specialties steering wheel, Holden Rodeo seats, oyster leather re-trim, custom formed dash, billet instrument fascia, Autometer classic gauges, tan carpets, custom door skins, panelled rear bulkhead
Other Mods: Modified rear tubs, battery relocated
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Pioneer kick panel-mounted front speakers
Build Period: 11 years
Cost: Undisclosed
Thanks: Malibu Paint and Panel, All Trim, All Springs

Feature Car: Byron Prouse’s EH Holden for Xtreme Holdens


28 Sep

Our photo shoot on Byron Prouse’s EH Holden sedan is featured in the latest issue of Xtreme Holdens magazine, which is on sale now. Be sure to pick up a  copy and read all about the car’s transformation from asthmatic six-cylinder into brawny injected V8 muscle car.

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Byron Prouse's EH Holden

Byron Prouse's EH Holden     Byron Prouse's EH Holden

Feature Car: Daniel Craft’s 1964 EH Holden


16 Jul

We posted an image of the front cover of issue 4 of Holden Heroes magazine this week, featuring images from two of our photo shoots. one of those shoots was of Daniel Craft’s 1964 EH Holden station wagon and we can bring you more samples from that shoot now.

Daniel’s wagon has been built largely at home by Daniel himself – a guy that boasts qualifications in both vehicle mechanics and panel beating. It’s an impressive car and we hope you’ll go check out the whole story in Holden Heroes magazine, which is on sale at newsagents now.

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As always, we’ve got a series of six FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Daniel Craft's 1964 EH Holden

Daniel Craft's 1964 EH Holden     Daniel Craft's 1964 EH Holden