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.

November 07, 2014

Max De Jersey - De Jersey Shunter - Holden Grey motor

08:55 Posted by GreyFC 1 comment

ONE of the top names in Australian drag racing must surely be that of 25-year-old engineering mechanic Max De Jersey, secretary/ treasurer of the Victorian Hot Rod Association and a leading light of the hot rod movement for the past four years. Max's interest in motor sport started at the tender age of 14 when he built his first machine an all-Independently suspended TQ which he had ideas of racing at the now-clefunet Brennoeic Park Speedway. Unfortunately Max's parents didn't share his opinion and the TQ was, in Max's words, "disposed of".

Four years later he got his driving licence and once again started work on a competition car--an FX Holden. When work finished in 1498 the ear boasted a 3 1/8th in. bore, three carburettors and a four
Rudimentary cockpit of the Holden rail the 1/16th overbore started at high 16s et
speed ENV gearbox, with tuning by Jack Wilson of Norm Beechey fame) power output was In the vincinity of 110 bhp. Unfortunately once again a little gentle pressure was applied and Max sold the car to track competitor Barry. Foster. He had a few punts but the oar's best performance was when Kevin Dean took it to third placing in the Victorian Touring Title at Phillip Island. In this race the car was beaten only by two Super 90 Porsches and did in fact lead home drivers like Norm Beechey and John Raeburn.

Later In '58 L)e Jersey gained an interest in drag racing, which at that time was under the control of the Southern Hot Rod Club and very much In its infancy. This time there were no objections from his parents he had learnt his lesson and this time simply didn't bother to tell them.

This new machine was a "Holden powered space frame" but during testing on a deserted country road, De Jersey came over a slight rise to find a cow filling most of the available space. During the hectic few moments which followed this monumental discovery the new device was untidily demolished. Max recalls with chagrin the fact that he even had to reimburse one irate cow cocky for destroying valuable livestock. Even worse were the number of stories doing the rounds. about De Jersey who shunted de Jersey.

Shortly after this he married and for a time dropped all thoughts of competition motoring. However the bug was soon biting again and he invested in a '34 Ford sedan which as he describes was "my first big mistake". The Ford was good fun but even after chopping, channelling, and so on it was still far from a top performer. He ran at a few East Pakenham meetings but eventually sold the car to a speedway stocky who converted it for bash and crash. Again De Jersey bought out of things for a while, then in 1962 he built up an FX Holden strictly for dragging. Its first outing was on the straight at Phillip Island when the SHRC turned on a demo between events.

His time was 16.2 on a slightly downgrade quarter and he duly col-lected fastest time of the day. This machine featured a 31 in. bore and at the Island ran with twin 2 in. SU carts. These were later replaced with triple 14 in. tarts and in this form Max clocked 14.85 seconds at the Victorian Sporting Car Club's Fishermans Bend quarter (and in Max's opinion a damn short quarter mile) sprint. This proved to be fifth fastest time recorded during the day for all classes and Max was pretty happy with the result. With sprints and drags few and far between this machine was sold. De Jersey once again went into retirement. Then in late 1962 Riverside Dragway finally got underway. At this time he was working with Dave Bennett at Perfeetune and it wasn't long before Perfectune built up another Holden strictly for drag racing.

With Max at the wheel the Perfectune car clocked a best of 15.95, which wasn't too bad, although Dave Bennett later carried out further mods and lowered this figure to 15.7 seconds. Shortly after this Max left Perfectune, built up his own dragster chassis and installed an FX Holden power plant. Running only 1/8 in. over bore, single cart) and standard exhaust the new rail clocked 16.1 at its first outing. Max again set to and with chassis and engine modifications this figure came down to 13.2 seconds and 106 mph through the traps by November of 1963. With finance somewhat on the short side this rail was sold and for a time Max drove John Frencham's ex-police Studebaker Lark. This car was clocking times around 16.25 but due to Max's rather brutal power shifting it became necessary to replace the synchro after every meeting.

When finances improved Max bought a space frame from Norm Wilson of Repco Research and after rebuilding to his own ideas he dropped in Brian Kewin's Holden engine and turned a 12.6 and 110 mph. A fairy godmother now appeared on the scene in the shape of Dynospeed who agreed to build up a 179 engine. Stock capacity was retained but the unit was given full competition clearances, an Eddie Thomas camshaft, triple twin-choke Hitachi carburettors, solid lifters and a full balance job. Power was transmitted through a slightly modified 179 chitch mounted• to a 6 lb steel flywheel. A stripped EH gearbox, running only second and high cogs, was 'coupled up and traction hit the bitumen via a standard 3.89 to 1 FJ differential. -The idea behind this new rail was to build some-thing which was both fast and, even more important, reliable. Even so, power output was over 170 bhp and as Max figures the rig still only owes about £450 this is pretty good perform'an'ce

The rail carried only one gallon of fuel, enough for two runs, and the cooling system consisted of ,host the water contained in the head and block —plus, of course, a pretty solid blast of air. The best ET ever clocked by Max was 12.1 and a terminal rate of 119.4 mph — not real bad for a standard bore Holden. Following his appearance at the February Riverside, where he once again took Top Elim honors with a time of 12.15 and 113.9 mph. Max announced that the rail had been sold and work was already well underway on a new beast. This latest rail is still in the process of development. How this new "jigger" will perform remains to be seen but one thing is for certain. Max De Jersey is in the game to stay — and his main aim in life is "... to introduce as many others as possible to this cheap form of the sport." Hot rodding is firmly on the map in Australia and, like America. it is here to stay. Melbourne and Riverside are in the enviable position of being the centres of the sport in this country. Big Question is. can they hold that lead? Latest developments suggest they can. They have the support of some of the State's best known motor-ing personalities. Three of them have new rails Projected and these promise to be big stirrers in the dragging world. Eddie Thomas has a new secret weapon which promises to be in the run-ning for Ton Eliminator.

Knowing the way Eddie does things we don't hesitate to make that prediction. But there will be even more opposition. De Jersey's rail has already been mentioned but Mustang Man Nomi Beechey is on the way with one too. The chances are that a Beech Rail would be more than a little potent. He will undoubtedly pursue top rail honors with the same keenness as he has chased the National Touring Car title. And it just could be a Beechey year. After all, he just won the Australian Touring Car Cham-pionsh'ps and he has never looked better.

Whichever way you look at it, the sport pro-mises to be rather exciting this year By the end of the year we predict the present movement will have doubled. tin other words. you can expect to see twice as many rods, rails and dragsters around. This can't fail to attract the spectators. Vive la Riverside!

Hot Rodding Review - July/August 1966 Page 21

1 comment:

  1. Great piece of history this article. Real "hot rodding" and backyard engineering.
    I was amused by the comment about "this cheap form of sport". Today's modern Hot Rodding is expensive and Drag Racing is very expensive and high tech.