The Holden Grey motor is often referred to as the Holden side plate. The engine earned its name as they were painted grey from the factory. They came in 2 sizes, 138ci and 132ci. More engineering and after market modifications have gone into this engine than any other engine in Australian automotive history.

October 17, 2017

Rescuing, building, collecting & compiling the history of the GREY MOTOR HOLDEN ENGINE 1948-1962

20:24 Posted by Unknown No comments

Rescuing, building, collecting & compiling the history of the GREY MOTOR HOLDEN ENGINE 1948-1962

Having a passion for the Holden Grey Motors, I am endeavouring to acquire any parts, memorabilia, information, documentation and photographs for a display of engines and to compile a book on subject.

The Grey Motor was originally developed for the automotive industry but was adapted for use in industrial applications including forklifts, compressors, welders, concrete agitators and marine - to name a few.

Any assistance you can supply in my endeavour to save the history of this engine, would be greatly appreciated.

Please cantact: BOB LEWIS P 1 02 9826 1709 m I 0414 621 947  

• Standard 6 volt 48/215
• Single Cylinder Olds Marine
• Triple Carbys & Extractor
• Repco Highpower
• Dunstan Rotary Valve
• 12 Port Vauxhall Headed Holden
• Twin Cam Waggott
• Twin Cam Foster
• Dodge Crank Up to 1" Stroke
• Vauxhall Crank
• V12 Wallbank with 2 High Power Heads 

May 28, 2017

Repco Crossflow on the racetrack

18:32 Posted by Unknown No comments
Repco Crossflow on the Dyno

That motor has an experimental cam which was no good producing around 200 hp at the flywheel. The previous engine had 225. Max power on this engine flat past 6,300. The previous one had max power at about 6,800. Hence the change point around 6000 in this race. Previous engine change point 6500 

At the Track:

April 18, 2017

December 04, 2016

Lucky 7 - A grey powered Speedway Ute

15:04 Posted by Unknown No comments

Lucky 7


When it comes to slinging spanners most young blokes are keen to pull stuff apart, but quickly realise its tough putting it back together. Young Brad James is different. Not only can he put it back to together, he makes it work — as you can see from his FX ute. It all started for Brad tinkering in the shed with a bunch of grey motors his dad Tom had. Tom was a founder of the Howling Humpy's — a classic speedway class that uses grey-power FX and FJs — so he had a few spare donks.

"I always liked the old grey motors': Brad explains. "Dad usually had a few dungers lying around so I mixed a few parts around to get something going." This was when Brad was in his early teens and with a motor ready they decided to slot together a speedway car. Tom got a couple FX shells from a mate who ran a local scrap yard. Both were pretty sad. One had been lifted with a hook through the back window, distorting the roof, while the other had a better body, but rusty chassis. "They were pieces of poo when we got them," Brad admits.

So they decided to combine the two. Easier said than done of course, and since it was to be a racecar they decided the channel the body four inches. A pair of sills was cut from a Chrysler Centura and welded in to replace the rusty originals. They opened up the rear wheel aches for larger rear tyres, removed the spare wheel door under the back and closed up the tailgate opening using metal from a Torana bootlid.

With no plans to drive the ute on the road they set the engine back 14in and built a new removable firewall out of aluminium checker plate. A full rollcage with fixed intrusion bars was welded in and doors made up from a pair of skins on simple frames. The idea was to keep things cheap and simple.

They already had an engine but pulled it down to check it. It was rebuilt using mostly used parts — even the bearings were second hand. "There's only two new parts in the motor — the file-fit rings and the reground cam': Brad laughs. All else they pulled out of other motors. But Brad says there's a new 150ci 'big-bore' donk on the way with a ported head and roller rockers. The gearbox is an all-synchro three-speed with a heavy-duty red motor clutch.

Diff is a standard FJ with a HR centre and 3.08 gears. It runs factory drums behind customised FX rims with 14x7s front and 14x8s rear — and go-domes for a bit of bling. Brad credits his dad for the colour scheme. They initially looked at Jetstar orange and black, but decided it needed a little white. Race numbers and signage are by Robbie Farren; Brad says seven is his favourite number. Now they had a racecar, but where to race?

Tom was invited to race at the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the Wahgunyah Speedway. He'd been out of the scene for years, so they showed up with the FX ute only to be told that the rules had changed — no utes were allowed. Strings were pulled and a one-time exception made so long as the ute started at the back of the field. So Tom got to race the ute — Brad was only 14 at the time — and even managed to pass a few in the field and picked up a battle scar in the process. "It got a scuff on the driver's side front, so we left it there," Brad says. But with no future for the ute in speedway they
decided to register it on street rod rego.

A few changes need to be made. Glass and headlights just for starters. Plus some new seats to replace the fibreglass race seat and cutting out the intrusion bars. It also needed proper doors. They got busy. The aim was to take it to the Kustom Nats at Phillip Island in a month. It was an epic thrash at the end with a 36-hour stint before pushing it onto the trailer. Carby issues meant the ute wasn't running, but they got their street rod plates and got it going at the event. That was four or five years ago. Brad is 19 now and has his licence.

He's driven the ute to events like Chopped and Summernats 25 and drives it regularly around his hometown of Shepparton. "I used to drive it to school. It was the first car I drove when I got my P plates',' he reckons. "It's friggin' loud at 110km/h because everything is solid mounted and the motor's right there beside you [laughs]. But it's a bit of fun and hangs on like it's on rails.

Source:  Hot Rod '12 Page 157
Story:  Scott Taylor
Pics: Chris Thorogood

September 11, 2016

19:44 Posted by Unknown No comments
Here is a cool pic of a Norman Type 65 Supercharger in a FJ

Picture from:

Norman supercharged grey motor in a windowless FJ panelvan in the late 70's, what would they want for this these days.

June 19, 2016

The Exterminator

20:39 Posted by Unknown No comments

First Early Holden into the 14's

THE success of the fabulous "Exterminator," owned and raced by Tony Prentice and Gra-ham Elliot, at the "Mr. Holden Eliminator" contest in Sydney in July, marks another "first" for South Australia in motor sport. More than 200 entries were pre-sent for this annual event, held at Sydney International Dragway (Castlreagh) and entries were divided into three classes.

1. JUNIOR DIVISION—For Hoi-dens from 1948 to 1963.
2. SENIOR DIVISION—For EH-HK Holdens and early models (48-EJ), with the 179-186 type engines.
3. OPEN DIVISION—For any type Holden with any type Holden six-cylinder engine and no limits on engine or body modifications . The only provision for all three classes was that all cars be suit-able for registration. The "Exterminator" was known to Sydney fans, as earlier in the year Prentice and Elliot ran a time of 15.20 at the strip, to win over all the other competitors.

The "Exterminator" at the grid at Brooksfield

They caused quite a stir, as Sydney racers said that an early model, running a maximum of 38 in. bore and twin carbs. couldn't run that fast. Consequently, the car was pulled down by officials, but was ruled legal for E/stock and eligible for the titles they had won.

Running against more than 40 competitors, the boys laid down a 15 second time trial that set the crowd on its feet. This time was faster than most competitors in "senior" division. Their closest time in "junior" was a 15.7 second run by a Sydney competitor.

When final eliminations came around the boys looked good and took the title out with' a 14.92 sec. run, making the first early Holden in Australia to break into the four-teens. For this they received a cash bonus of $50 in addition to other prizemoney.

For the title the car ran 4 and 1/4 in. bore, stock stroke, twin Stromberg carbs. and a wild "Maxwill" head and cam. [Many thanks go to John Lewis, of `Maxwill" dyno-tune, for all the assistance he has given the boys.]

Open division was taken out by Warren Armour's wild, top-chopped FJ with a 200 cube "186," which turned in a fantastic 13.67 to take the event.—PHIL HART.

June 11, 2016

A two Wheeled Holden?

09:36 Posted by Unknown 1 comment
Source:  Two Wheels - #4
Author:  Warwick Robbins

TAKE a 210 bhp, six-cylinder Holden engine, a supercharger, various lengths of steel tube, a conglomeration of cogs, chains and shafts, an assort-ment of mechanical bits and pieces, throw together methodically, add two wheels — and you've got a motorcycle? 

You also need another ingredient — the guts to ride it. One hopes Dennis O'Regan takes after his Irish ancestors in that respect, because he's certainly going to need a fair helping of intestinal fortitude when he climbs aboard. 

Over three recent months Dennis, who lives in the outer Sydney suburb of Kingswood, with the help of his brother and several mates, has been building up an outfit which is guaranteed to warm the blood of every drag fan in Australia. 

The main difference between this and other drag bikes so far seen on Australian strips is in the power unit — a 1955 Holden six. This has been mounted sideways in a special frame which had its origin a long way back on a Triumph outfit. The only part of the Triumph frame which is left is the rear section which mounts the wheel and will eventually carry the seat. However, even this is due for some extra modification. 

The front of the frame is all Dennis' own work. It is built of welded steel tube with heavy gauge plate for engine mounts and brackets. The top tube is 21 in. diameter, 11 gauge and the two front engine braces 2 in., 16 gauge. The rest is in 1 in. or 11 in., 11 gauge. The engine itself is built in to form part of the frame. The front forks are from a BSA 125, mounted on an Aerial stem. However, this will be replaced with a stem of Dennis' own making to bring the forks closer together to fit a 20 in. Bultaco front wheel running a 2.75 width tyre. The front wheel will also be fitted with a brake for starting only. The rear wheel is the original 20 in. Triumph, unsprung and will eventually be fitted with a 300 Avon drag slick. 

Altogether the frame is extremely simple yet designed for maximum strength. In standard form the engine puts out about 65 bhp but when the bike first appears it will probably be producing in the vicinity of .140 bhp. However, the supercharger should easily boost this over the 200 mark with other modifications and careful tuning. At one stage Dennis thought of including a gear-box, possibly an early Morris unit, in place of the transfer shaft, but this posed too many problems and will not be required anyway, as he has dropped plans for using the machine for roadwork. 

The fuel tank will either be mounted underneath the top frame member in front of the motor or along the top member in the form of another tube. It will have a capacity of about half a gallon. Another engine modification will be the addition of a fabricated sump, angled to the centre for a centre oil pickup and to give better ground clearance at the sides. 

The electrics will be as for the normal Holden, but both the generator and starter motor will be scrapped. It will also run without a radiator. With an estimated final weight of about 6501b, a possible standing quarter speed of 140 mph at 7500 rpm and time around 10 seconds this is going to be a pretty mobile rig. 

However, Dennis says he won't need a parachute, just a standard back brake — and a good prayer. So far this project has cost him only $50. Final cost will probably be about $400. If you're a drag fan, keep your eyes open for an extra wide, two-wheel monster in brilliant orange. 

Top view probably gives the best idea of how the
mating of the bike and Holden engine takes place.

June 05, 2016

Norman Super Charger for sale

20:27 Posted by Unknown No comments
It's not often you see such an exquisite piece of Australian automotive history for sale, but thats what we are seeing right now on eBay.

A genuine Type 65 Norman super charger is for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $5500.  It's missing a few bits buts it's a fine piece of speed equipment.

I have seen some pictures ( I will try dig them up ) of a perfect condition and complete Type 65 that sold 5 years ago for $8500.  It was by an unknown buyer and many people thought it was a fake bit, but it wasn't it was real and the cash changed hands.

This goes to show the price is what someone is willing to pay at the time.

I have personally seen very few Norman super chargers change hands ( only 2 Type 65s ) and they are never cheap.

They are period correct for the Holden grey motor.

Ebay Link: